Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is no longer just the idea that a company is obligated to give back to the community and make up for some of the environmental impact of doing business. Today, CSR is much more than that. It represents a measure of a company’s corporate citizenship and has become an integral part of modern business practices and stakeholder relations.
Investors look at CSR metrics to determine whether a company’s leadership has appropriately examined and prepared for risks. Employees and potential employees want to understand whether a company will be a good employer. Customers and business partners want to know whether they are doing business with a company that is responsible and forward-looking.
Rather than simply being interpreted as a stand-alone endeavor within a company, CSR must be integrated into the organization’s planning and execution and, therefore, be directly tied to the company’s business performance. Beyond simply understanding and benchmarking business performance as it relates to CSR, it is important for a company to be able to identify and communicate how its CSR activities benefit the communities it reaches, in addition to enhancing business performance.
Hawthorne Strategy Group’s CSR Audit uncovers and analyzes a core subset of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) metrics and benchmarks them in comparison to the reasonable expectations of prospective investors, current and potential employees, and the publicly reported performance of peer companies. The goal is to translate those learnings into business practices that will:
-Enhance current CSR efforts
-Increase public understanding and recognition of those efforts
-Improve the overall perception of a company’s brand