By Melanie Salemno
This post is part of the Conference Series, where 2016 PRSSA National Conference attendees from AU PRSSA reflect on the lessons they learned from the conference’s events and panels. Click here for more conference blogs.
Most companies have long practiced some form of corporate social or environmental responsibility with the broad goal, simply, of giving to the to the communities they affect and on which they depend. But contrary to popular belief, company philanthropy efforts are far segmented from true Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). We are lucky to live in a society that places an increasing pressure on organizations to incorporate CSR as a business discipline and demand that every initiative deliver results. While philanthropy and charity efforts are much appreciated and honored, Corporate Social Responsibility refers to the fusion of a company’s social activities within its core business model. Think TOMS® One for One, not Google’s employee gift matching program. For the best CSR programs, outcomes that enhance the well-being of society are results, NOT their reason for existing.
3BL Media’s Chief Marketing Officer, Dave Armon, walked PRSSA Nationals through some of the leading examples of CSR efforts in today’s market:
UPS is the world’s largest package delivery company and a global leader in supply chain and freight services. As the leading shipping company, UPS’s destination scans are worldwide and nearly instantaneous. This scan is an electronic record indicating the immediate location of shipments. The World Health Organization has called on UPS to use this technology for greater good, which is now implemented into its business model. The UPS Foundation’s Humanitarian Relief & Resilience program has mobilization protocols which are triggered when a natural disaster occurs anywhere in the world, enabling the distribution of critical relief supplies. For example, UPS has contributed more than $1 million worth in services for emergency relief following Hurricane Matthew. For more information about The UPS Foundation’s Humanitarian Relief & Resilience Program, visit UPS.com/Foundation.
- Sealed Air
Sealed Air is a packaging company that works with global supply chains to protect goods through their travel. Sealed Air has many hotel customers and automatically enrolls them in its Soap for Hope program. This program takes used soap from hotels and then transports it to a local site where residents reprocess it using an innovative but simple method. The new soap is then transported to communities in need and distributed, thereby eliminating waste, improving hygiene and creating new jobs. Soap for Hope is just one example of how a company can bring together business and societal commitments. For more information, visit SealedAir.com/sustainability/soap-for-hope.
Corporate Social Responsibility is not optional. CSR must be built into our business standards for future and current initiatives for a better way of life for customers and the communities they serve. A community-minded business will reap benefits from its charitable mindset, including positive PR, high employee morale and improved connections — all areas that can also aid in long-term profits.