Blogs & Comment

A Recipe for Authenticity

Why do some corporate CSR initiatives appear authentic and others just feel like window dressing?
Yesterday one of my colleagues at Impaktgave me a copy of an Avedabrochure that states the company’s mission as “to care for the world we live in, from the products we make to the ways we give back to society. At Aveda, we strive to set an example for environmental leadership and responsibility, not just in the world of beauty, but around the world”. Closer to home, we have Mountain Equipment Co-op, a company who’s “products are built with purpose, people, and the planet in mind.”
Why do the messages and actions of these companies appear so authentic? Largely, it’s because, from the outset, their founders wanted to do something more than make simply money – these companies were social enterprises right from the start. It’s much more challenging for everyone else.
How can your businesses increase its authenticity quotient? Here are the 3 essential ingredients:
1. Ensure sure your operations and products are as environmentally responsible as is possible and have this verified by a third party.
2. Develop a community investment program that reflects the interests and priorities of your employees and puts a priority on social outcomes rather than dollars given.
3. Build partnerships with non-profit organizations that align with your environmental and social objectives and include your relationship with these groups in all key internal and external communications.