stock-photo-communication-and-networking-660119-574619-edited.pngIn recent years, corporate social responsibility efforts have become more commonplace.

As Time points out, nearly 15 years ago, only about a dozen Fortune 500 companies issued CSR or sustainability reports; by 2012, the majority were sharing them.

Today, 64 percent of chief executive officers say corporate social responsibility is core to their business, according to a 2016 global CEO survey from PwC.

Consumers’ response to CSR programs, which has helped fuel their acceptance, has been well documented. Ninety-one percent of global consumers now expect companies to operate responsibly to address social and environmental issues, according to a recent study from PR and marketing agency Cone Communications.

Eighty-four percent of consumers say they purposely seek out responsible products whenever possible.

Corporate Social Responsibility Recruitment

Organizations may not realize that, in addition to the benefits CSR offers employees, the environment and other entitles, a robust initiative can also enhance a company’s employer brand and assist with hiring efforts.

CSR programs and internal and external incentives designed to help companies give back to the community, treat employees well, act sustainably and make other moves to improve the world they operate in can potentially help attract socially minded candidates.

Young millennials, in particular, may favor jobs with a CSR component. Sixty-six percent say they’d take a pay cut to work for a responsible company, according to Cone.

Could your organization benefit from a strong CSR program?

Consider taking a cue from the following corporate social responsibility innovators who have:

edited-corporate-social-responsibility.pngProvided an earth-friendly product and production process

Research global food, home and personal care product provider Unilever conducted recently found more than half of consumers want to shop more sustainably. The company’s sales support that finding: Growth of its Sustainable Living brands exceeded the previous year’s levels in 2015, increasing nearly 30 percent faster than the rest of the company’s business and delivering nearly half of its overall growth.

At the same time, Unilever has made progress metering its effect on the environment through its CSR program. Since 2008, the company has significantly reduced energy-related CO2 emissions and the amount of waste sent to disposal.

Helped nonprofits with time and other resources

Making a difference in the community is important to Disney, which gave $333.3 million through charitable cash giving, in-kind and product contributions and public service announcements to nonprofit organizations that aid kids, families and communities in need in 2015. Since 2012, the company has donated 23.1 million books to schools and children, and employees have contributed 2.4 million hours of community service. In 2015, Disney employees volunteered more than 83,000 hours at 235 local events through its VoluntEARS program.

11-2-15_blog.jpgGiven entrepreneurs around the globe a boost

Through a partnership with nonprofit organization Kiva, proceeds from Canadian sock company Cole and Parker’s products are donated to a fund used to provide small loans to entrepreneurs in developing countries. To date, the company’s sock sales have funded more than 415 loans in nine countries, according to the Cole and Parker.

Some companies have found CSR program-related philanthropy efforts, such as encouraging workers to volunteer, have helped increase employee engagement.

For other engagement tips, check out our recent blogs on the three elements your employee engagement program needs, your secret employee engagement weapon and ways to disarm your most disengaged employees.

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