CSR FOR PROFIT MAKING
Blue-chip companies are becoming more socially conscious than ever. Companies that have put in place sound CSR strategies are better situated to experience positive growth. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is the doctrine practiced by companies and organizations with an aim of transforming the society. In this case, a corporate entity extends a helping hand to customers, employees, and the society at large. Most CSR activities are always philanthropic in nature. Unilever has been in the forefront of environmental conservation advocacy thus the need to play their role through the manufacturing of the environmental friendly brands. Although many firms prefer engaging in outdo CSR activities, Unilever has stood out from the crowd to impact the community through their innovative brands. From this perspective, it is evident that running sound CSR strategies can be a profitable venture.
Unilever Sustainable Living Plan as a Corporate Social Responsibility In 2010, Unilever launched a massive campaign to embark on globalised environmental campaign through its business model dubbed, the Unilever Suitable Living Plan. The objective of this activism plan is three-fold. Unilever appeared in the top three most preferred employers in the world according to the data obtained from LinkedIn. It is apparent that companies that are able attract the best talent is always at a position to perform better. Besides sustainable living brands recording good results, they also created an increase in demand for other standard products. The History of Corporate Social Responsibility Corporate Social Responsibility started gaining momentum in 1980 when Nike factory workers engaged in numerous demonstrations to protests against Nike’s demeaning policies.
The protests were witnessed in Vietnam, Indonesia, and Korea. Traditionally, firms would plough out part of their profits to finance CSR initiatives. Nike laid the foundation on CSR but multinationals like Unilever stepped in to change the course of social responsibilities. There are numerous companies that have followed into Unilever footsteps in producing sustainable brands. They include Tesla, Ikea, Toyota, General Electric, and Chipotle. These firms have maintained healthy balance sheet due to the growth of their businesses. To achieve this mission, Nike has been manufacturing eco-friendly sport kits that enhance an athlete’s overall performance. Nike has recorded an increase of sales due to the introduction of these sustainable products. Unilever and Nike are some of the manufacturing legends that have benefited from dealing in sustainable products.
Engaging in philanthropic, charitable, and ethical activities requires heavy financial investments. There is no single corporate entity that would operate in a market with a sole intent of offering social benefits to the community (Kolk, 2016 p. However, these studies have been lacking empirical evidence on how corporate social responsibilities affect the sales and returns of businesses. There is more in the field, than what meets the eye. There are so many factors that determine the impact of any CSR project undertaken by companies. These factors include corporate measures, consumer sentiments and beliefs, and the overall image of the company. A company which has a competent board of governors is bound to make effective decisions that impact the business positively. In early 2000s, some companies started to reduce harmful substances from their products as a way of giving back to the community.
Although this move was applauded across the board, some corporate governance professionals and activists argued that the move cannot meet the stringiest requirements for community service. It was argued that removing toxic substances and making products safe for human consumption is not a favor but an obligation which rests upon the shoulders of manufacturing firms. Corporate social responsibility is not a new concept; it has only been applied differently by different companies. Modern companies are required to conduct CSR services irrespective of their financial performances. Unilever plans its CSR activities based on the importance of its business ventures. For instance, the firm will only serve its employees socially when they are sure of positive business impact. As a leading multinational on consumer goods, Unilever strategizes its corporate social responsibilities to maintain their market position and sustainability of the business.
Unilever has a well laid down strategic plan to implement its CSR obligations. The strategy fulfils the ideals that consumers should be at the center of the firm’s citizenry. Customers are the backbone for any d a business entity. When a company satisfies customer’s expectations, it stands a good chance of maximizing its sales ambitions. Employees Employees come second in pecking order as far as social corporate responsibilities and business strategy is concerned. These stakeholders have direct influence to the goods produced by Unilever. Employees are more interested in competitive remuneration and steady career development. There are also some kinds of corporate social responsibilities that are accorded to Unilever’s investors. Investors are only interested in performance of the business products.
To get value for their money, investors will always ensure that the company’s brands are performing well in the market. High returns and good company’s profile increases the investors’ confidence. Investors are the most influential factors when it comes to injecting capital into the company. Unilever has also formulated structures on how it can grow together with its suppliers. This is a kind gesture which servers to uplift the spirit of suppliers. When suppliers are assured of constant business opportunity with the company, they do their work diligently hence good tidings for both entities. Communities Communities are part of the stakeholders in the Unilever’s business structure. Since Unilever’s customers live within different and diverse communities, it is prudent to determine a universal community service which is beneficial to everyone.
Communities give Unilever the much needed positive feedback that is crucial in strengthening the brands and driving the sales agenda. When the firm has a good public image, its brands attract impressive sales records that lead to profitability. Unilever has recorded high performance than its peers when it comes to fulfilling corporate social responsibilities. Although the Unilever Foundation was founded in 2012, the entity has implemented significant projects that have impacted lives all over the world. The company capitalizes on their strong business partners and well rooted supply chain networks to facilitate the firm’s corporate responsibility strategies. Whenever this CSR projects are undertaken, they transform into a big impact to the company. Conclusion Corporate social responsibility is a doctrine under which a business entity is required to give back to the society.
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