We are facing a challenge of social transformation and change in business management that is maturing. Each year there are more sensitized companies that seek to unite the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) to their main business, and that include in their strategy to improve the social environment in which they operate starting with the closest actors to them, their clients, their employees and the environment.
Why do organizations invest in CSR? Are they really engaged? What does CSR encompass? Are we talking about profitability or is it an image issue?
On February 8, Alares organizes a day at the CEOE where they will answer all these questions that often arise many marketing directors and human resources. During it, Pablo Claver, Dream Manager, will make an exhibition on how happiness is profitable for everyone. We will also have 3 case studies of companies that are applying CSR in their organizations where they will tell us about their experience.
Although it is the policies of large corporations that stand out at the media level, small and medium-sized companies have begun to seek advice to get on the road to responsible management, after observing that actions of this type improve the profitability of their business and guarantee your survival
It is easy to find good examples of CSR among large companies. Thanks to its mediatic nature, its campaigns of corporate social responsibility are usually in the mouth of the general public, making it win whole in terms of competitiveness. But what about the small and medium business?
Although at first glance it seems a field only suitable for large multinationals, the truth is that responsible management is increasingly common among SMEs. “More than 55% of the entities that have a CSR management system certified according to the SGE 21 standard are SMEs,” says Ana Herrero, director of Projects and Services at Forética. Also, in your opinion, there are many small businesses that are working in the field of CSR without knowing that they are doing it.
In order to clear up doubts, Herrero explains that doing CSR implies responsible management of the company’s human resources, in terms of equal opportunities, non-discriminatory treatment, maintenance of a good working environment, attention to needs or training and development. professional.
But also offer a quality service to customers, marked by honesty, transparency and trust; promote correct management of suppliers, selecting those that are aligned with your corporate policies, maintaining similar commitments and responsibilities; Commit to minimizing negative impacts on the environment, both social and environmental, and try to promote, at the same time, the positive ones as well as the maintenance of solid ethical standards (good governance, anti-corruption and transparency) in relations with others agents and in day-to-day operations.
“Taking this into account, no company, regardless of size, can be kept separate, as we are talking about a way of managing and doing business that guarantees survival.”
An opinion that subscribes from the Observatory of Corporate Social Responsibility in SMEs of Murcia. Its director, Isabel Martínez Conesa, warns that implementing CSR processes is not an expense, but an investment, and recommends SMEs initiate responsible management processes if they want to be more competitive.
“We have developed a formula in which workers, the environment, the local community are present … we designed a model, we validated it and we observed that the companies with the best evaluation of the level of responsibility were also more profitable,” he says.
What can be highlighted?
Dependent of the Chair of CSR of the University of Murcia and supported by several companies in the region, the Observatory is advising dozens of companies that want to start developing their own actions in this field.
“Sometimes companies think that it will force them to change their entire structure and that is not the case. We help them to define a roadmap so that the impact on their day to day is minimal, “explains Martínez.
According to a report recently presented by this entity, SMEs reject certain actions of CSR, such as investing in ethical investment funds; carry out independent audit systems; prepare an annual corporate governance report and promote activities to promote fair trade.
On the contrary, they see feasible: develop occupational risk prevention programs; adopt non-discriminatory hiring policies; boost the training of workers; take responsibility for defective products; develop recycling programs; guarantee the veracity of advertising; use clean and renewable energies; encourage dialogue forums within the company, or integrate foreign labor.
“There are small and medium companies from sectors of new technologies that can achieve a differentiation by orienting their innovations to solve social or environmental challenges; or introducing new forms of work that promote, for example, conciliation, such as teleworking “, lists the person responsible for Forética.
Interestingly, among the motivations that push an SME to implement CSR processes ethical issues are far behind. In fact, the main reasons that drive companies to develop this type of initiative are reputation, customer loyalty and compliance with legislation.