The Power of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
The coffee giant Starbucks recently announced good news: It will eliminate single-use straws in all its stores by 2020 with a replacement called “adult sippy cup”. For some people who truly need to consume their drink with a straw, don’t worry, there will be REUSABLE straws available in store, how exciting! However, some people are concerned that the new lid may ruin the pleasure of sipping the ice-cold coffee during summer, while some say it is clever because they are so sick of the fact how much negative impact large fast-food companies bring to our environment.
I was thrilled when I heard about this news! I am that kind of person who always carries a reusable cup everywhere and try my best to reduce the use of those disposable products. I rarely order frappuccinos from Starbucks even though very tempting, because I know I am going to create more plastic waste by ordering one. What if there is a shop is using reusable/biodegradable cups, will it change my mind? The answer is a solid YES. As a consumer, in my opinion, if a shop is willing to conduct corporate social responsibility (CSR), commit to minimise any negative effects and maximise its long-term beneficial impact on society, I definitely prefer to shop there regularly over those shops without.
Does CSR really matter in the consumer decision-making process?
As competition is rapidly growing in current marketplaces, CSR seems like a new expectation to be fulfilled by all kind of corporates in order to win consumers’ hearts. Numerous studies have pointed out that a company which promotes a CSR initiative can lead consumers to hold a positive attitude and build credibility for this company. Take Starbucks as an example, its CSR efforts are focusing on three different areas:
-Community: Community services, providing job opportunities and professional training
-Ethical Sourcing: Supporting coffee farmers and working with diverse suppliers in order to build prosperous communities.
-Environment: Green retail, track its own environment footprint and aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions
CSR is often considered irrelevant to small businesses, however, the social and environmental impacts are inevitable. Big names like Starbucks have the budget to design its own CSR program and constantly monitor it. Small businesses might be restricted on budget and resources, however, keep this in mind, even a small action can also shift consumers’ decisions. These are a few suggestions about what you could do to engage in CSR:
- Use eco-friendly products and feel free to share it on your social media sites!
- Encouraging and inspiring customers to reduce social and environmental impacts. For example, providing customers discount when they bring their own reusable cups.
- Australia is such a multicultural country, ensuring you are hiring a culturally diverse team and offering equal-rights working environment and flexible hours is also an opportunity to give back to your community.
- Having a volunteer program is a good idea to support your community. Based on such mutually beneficial relationships, your company will receive valuable assistance from volunteers, while local employees can also gain more working experience.
What do you think?
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Keep it in mind, even a small good could possibly make a huge difference on supporting our community and saving our planet.
Supporting those organisation who conduct CSR program if you are a consumer. Considering to engage with CSR program if you own a business J