Sustainability of CSR impact is the key aspect that differentiates socially responsible corporate from the rest. In the minds of every CEO or CSR Leader, the question that remans unanswered is How to make CSR – Socially Sustainable?

Today’s for-profit-business world considers several options to make there CSR contributions. Most commonly found ones are –

  • Encouraging employees to engage in community service activities
  • Supporting Education Establishments
  • Supporting Local Government Initiatives
  • Volunteering in Disaster Recovery

Very few companies, focus – also on-

  • Promoting Economic Development
  • Transforming a chosen field e.g.: healthcare, village adoption, housing etc

Of these, the impact will be sustainable only when CSR is upgrading the community permanently to the next level of comfort in living. Which means – Promoting Economic Development and Transformation initiatives have a long and deeper impact for the community.

How can a business make this happen?

Simple rules of thumb that helps :

  • Review your portfolio of products & services, and brainstorm : how can we use this to change the world around us – especially those who really need to be upgraded – economically and can not afford our products/services directly?
  • Identify projects/ initiatives that will have a long term impact and make full use of your core product/service/expertise. Make it public. Let the world know what you will change in coming months/years and how!
  • Commit your best business skills, resources & knowledge behind this as a prioritized project/program in the portfolio.
  • Establish an eco-system that helps execution of this program seamless and successful. You might need additional support system for being successful. E.g.: New partners, alliances and implementation groups.
  • Hold a key business leader accountable for the initiative. Make team participation  – voluntary and recognize all contributors in a way they will be proud of being part of this.

There are quite a few successful companies who have been applying this diligently and creating significant, sustainable impact. For instance, check this one from CISCO…

==================

At the core of our CSR efforts, we use the same
expertise, technology, and partnerships that we use in
working with our customers. We believe this is the best
way for us to have the greatest impact, because we
know that an intelligent network is not only a powerful
tool for doing business, but also for transforming lives,
building communities, and protecting the environment.

For example, this year we completed our three-year
engagement in Sichuan, China, where we built a human
network of multiple partners to help the region recover
and rebuild after the devastating 2008 earthquake.
Working together, we implemented collaborative
networking technologies in 66 healthcare facilities
and 102 educational organizations. By using the same
technology and business principles that we apply to
working with our customers, we multiplied our impact
across Sichuan, enabled seamless medical insurance
claims processing for 60 million rural patients, and
increased the reach of 21st century education to
135,000 students.

John T. Chambers
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

=========================

All it takes is good intentions to make use of whatever we are good at, in the same way as we do for our top customers – with the leader of the company behind it fully!

You have the might. You are the best. Go for it… Help change the world for good!

~