Your CSR Strategy Needs to Be Goal Driven, Achievable, and Authentic - Deepstash

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Your CSR Strategy

Your CSR Strategy

As more companies commit to adopting CSR strategies that address environmental and social issues, it’s becoming more important than ever for these strategies to be goal-driven, ambitious yet achievable, and authentic.

Outlined below are six tips for companies to develop this kind of CSR strategy: Get buy-in from executives, determine material issues, align goals to company values and culture, establish a goal framework, create a system of implementation and accountability, and deliver transparent reporting.

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Get Buy-in From Your Executives

  • Getting buy-in from your CEO and executives before developing a strategy will ensure it reflects your company’s highest priorities. 
  • Executive support of the strategy will communicate its importance to employees and other stakeholders. 
  • The executive support will also help facilitate a successful companywide implementation.
  • Demonstrate the business value of a goal-driven strategy by showing how it will drive positive impact and position the company competitively. 
  • Use examples to educate executives on corporate responsibility goals and how they can drive long-term value for stakeholders.

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Determine Your Material Issues

The next step of goal-setting is to identify your material issues: the areas that matter most to stakeholders and where your company can deliver the most impact through its operations, products, and services.

Conducting a materiality assessment can define your company’s core issues and can be done either in-house or through a third party.

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Align Goals to Company Values & Culture

After determining the broader material issues, an important next step in goal-setting is to discuss how to approach these issues in a way that is authentic to your company’s purpose, values, brand, and culture. Assemble a diverse, cross-functional, and global team for this exercise, and ask yourselves: How can we best use our unique strengths to make a difference?

Setting goals that reflect your company’s values will create greater employee engagement, which is an essential element of any successful corporate responsibility program.

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Establish Your Goal Framework

Once you determine your specific goals and ensure they align with employee, customer, investor, and executive priorities, you’ll want to establish a framework that organizes and communicates the goals in a memorable, effective way. One approach is to organize goals into a broad framework around areas of impact such as People, Communities, and the Planet.

It is also a good practice to create a framework with goals that range in difficulty and level of ambition.

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Create a System of Implementation and Accountability

  • Achieving corporate responsibility goals requires consistent effort and collaboration across an organization. 
  • Working toward a waste reduction goal may require your facilities managers to assess waste management contracts, your procurement teams to buy fewer disposable products, and your employee resource groups to organize education campaigns. 
  • To keep everyone on track, it’s helpful to create a governance system.

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Deliver Transparent Reporting

When developing a communications plan to announce a corporate responsibility strategy and goals, focus on three principles: honesty, transparency, and repetition. Be honest about where your company and industry have come up short, whether that’s workforce diversity or greenhouse gas emissions levels. Be transparent about your plans to address these issues and work toward your goals.

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