Matt Talbot Community Trust, Dublin. Ph: 01 626 4899.

The Value of Corporate Social Responsibility

January 12, 2018

What is it?

The European Commission defines Corporate Social Responsibility as “the responsibility of enterprises for their impacts on society.”

Different businesses may choose to focus on different areas, depending on their sector. For example, retailers may focus on responsible supply chains while fossil fuel companies may try to promote their more sustainable activities in order to cement the future of their business.

With economic growth and the pursuit of profit, the business activities of many companies are compromising social and environmental standards. Over the last few decades, a large proportion of businesses have acknowledged this and worked to incorporate CSR strategies into their plans.

There are five pillars which make up corporate social responsibility:

Community

Workplace

Marketplace

Governance & Communications

Environment

Businesses may choose to focus in on one or two areas or incorporate all five into their strategy. Although not a legal requirement, embedding CSR into the strategy of a business has become a necessity in securing the future of a business, its profits and its workforce.

Benefits to Company

The growth of corporate social responsibility can be attributed in part to an increasing demand from employees and prospective employees for their employer to practice responsible business. Having a widely publicised CSR strategy can also secure the future of a company by enhancing credibility among stakeholders.

Some other benefits include:

  • A positive impact on employee motivation which could result in increased productivity
  •  CSR strategies can facilitate compliance with regulatory requirements
  • Activities such as involvement with the local community are ideal opportunities to generate positive press coverage
  • Understanding the wider impact of your business can present opportunities to develop new products and services
  • CSR can make you more competitive and reduce the risk of sudden damage to your reputation (and sales)

Predictions for 2018 from leading CSR professionals suggest that businesses and organisations will be further activating and incorporating the UN Sustainable Development Goals into their programmes in a more concrete way meaning that societal problems such as poverty, access to education, and inequality may feature more heavily.

CSR and the Matt Talbot

Corporate social responsibility has resulted in a better alignment of corporate goals with societal ones and has resulted in companies partnering with not-for-profits to help provide innovative solutions to some of the societal issues they work to address. The Matt Talbot Community Trust has placed the CSR relationship at the core of its programme development in more recent times. As an organisation, we view this growing relationship as an integral part of the evolution of the organisation.

In general terms, we benefit through:

  • Awareness raising through publicity and support
  • Sign up of volunteers
  • Building relationships which can result in more volunteers and fundraising
  • Diversifying experience leading to a different way of thinking
  • Developing mutually beneficial partnerships

Our Impact Days have far reaching value way beyond the physical works that go into transforming the site at Ballinascorney. Firstly, the days give our participants the opportunity to develop leadership, practical and life skills by leading corporate groups through a variety of practical projects. This experience is invaluable for our participants and the projects feed into and are evaluated through our Future Options programme. Secondly, the corporate Impact Days afford the Matt Talbot a number of development opportunities by tapping into the diverse knowledge and skills with the corporate groups. This has led to a number of workplace tours and CV and Interview skills workshops for our participants.

Given the success of this approach we are committed to developing our activity in this area to ensure that each company’s needs are matched with the development of key work ready skills for our participant group. We can create bespoke team based projects which focus on communication, problem solving, skill development and awareness raising one off events or longer term programmes which provide a range of challenges and creative means for companies to follow through on their CSR commitment.

We are always looking for new partners to work in collaboration with. Please feel free to get in contact or you can read more here

Last modified: January 18, 2018