In today’s global world businesses of all types and sizes are expected to take a proactive role in how they manage their social responsibility. There is a growing expectation that businesses are actively pursuing activities as global corporate citizens; but what does this mean, and where do you start?
Global Citizenship is about taking a greater interest in how you interact with the world as a whole. Corporate Citizenship focuses on the importance of social responsibility considering all of your stakeholders such as your employees, suppliers and customers.
From the ‘hole in the wall’ café that sources its coffee beans from a sustainable supplier - to a global enterprise that has an active program of auditing its overseas suppliers for safe work practices; the cost of not taking responsibility can be devastating to your business.
Business owners may consider the cost of buying sustainable raw materials, changing suppliers, and conducting regular audits of their overseas factories, too high. And yes, in the short term this may be true. However, over the medium term, such changes will reap rewards.
With immediate access to information from anywhere in the world your customers/ prospective customers, employees/prospective employees have their ‘finger on the pulse’ of what you and your competitors are doing, and not doing, when it comes to social and sustainable practices. The market has a long memory, and information is retained forever. The business that fails to take its responsibilities seriously, or worse says one thing but can’t demonstrate results, risks its brand reputation, a loss of customers and employees, and in turn a fall in business and profits. History has shown that the consequences of getting it wrong can be devastating.
You can’t become a global corporate citizen overnight but you can start to address your immediate risks and commence the dialogue to address social change with your stakeholders now.