Business plans. Sales and marketing. Funding and investors. Accounting and administration. All of these components (and more) are necessary for a prosperous business. But in 2019, a successful business strives for more. In fact, success as a business doesn’t just mean satisfied customers and profit—companies should be good corporate citizens.
What exactly does this mean? What is corporate social responsibility (CSR)? According to a business dictionary, corporate social responsibility is a company’s sense of responsibility towards the community and environment, both ecological and social, in which it operates. Companies express this citizenship in different ways, such as through waste and pollution reduction processes, by contributing to educational and social programs, and more.
Why Is This Important?
Beyond the obvious answer of being good humans, why does Sekisui Diagnostics uphold that CSR is so important? We may not wear capes to the office, but we believe everyone can be a hero. Think Batman (or Spider-Man, if you prefer Marvel!)– if you have the ability to effect positive change, you have a responsibility to effect change
Acting as a good corporate citizen benefits your employees, your local community, and the global community at large. Employees benefit from a positive workplace environment that is engaged with the town or city in which it operates. The benefits can be seen outside of the workplace as well—employees of a company that is involved in charitable pursuits may elect to volunteer for those or other charities outside of work, on their own time.
If you’re looking to employ the best of the best, employees often seek out employers that focus on more than the bottom line. Your corporate image is important to more than just your customers.
Finally, what the public thinks of your company is important. A 2015 Cone Communications/Ebiquity Global CSR study found that 91% of global consumers expect businesses to operate responsibly to address social and environmental issues, and 84% say they seek out responsible products wherever possible.
Expectations In & Outside of a Company
Customers have ever increasing expectations of companies beyond the product or service they supply. Individuals, government agencies, and other companies are concerned with environmental impact from the production and distribution of a product. But customers are also concerned with how a company treats its own workforce and the community(ies) in which they operate. Ethical labor practices are a form of social responsibility, especially for businesses that operate in international locations with labor laws that differ from those in the U.S.
Philanthropy is another way for businesses to practice CSR. They can donate money, products, and services to social causes and non-profit organizations, including those in their local community. Employee volunteer programs are yet another way to be involved, especially in the neighborhoods in which a company operates.
Contributing To Society Through Our Business Activities
Here at Sekisui Diagnostics, we know that a better future starts with our actions today– prompting us to remain focused on the principles of our parent company, Sekisui Chemical Co., Ltd. We are committed to environmental stewardship, customer satisfaction/quality, and our diverse work force.
We believe that future sustainability begins with environmental leadership. We strive to deliver products that have minimal impact on the environment while working as a team to conserve, recycle, and improve our own surroundings.
During our annual Environment Week in 2018, activities took place across the Sekisui Diagnostics sites around the world. The CSR teams are formed of company volunteers with a passion for CSR, but activities involve the wider company. A broad program of activities took place across the various Sekisui Diagnostics sites including a community clean up, painting a children’s playground, clearing out invasive plants, holding a clothes collection for donation to a homeless shelter, and conducting a universal waste collection.
We consider the voice of the customer the starting point of new products. We value the opinions of the people we serve and consistently strive to deliver value through our products and services. We utilize feedback to improve our manufacturing and quality systems and enhance employee training.
We are committed to continually building a highly skilled and motivated workforce. Fostering a diverse workforce allows us to enjoy the values, knowledge, and experiences our employees bring to the company.
At our Kent location in the UK, the CSR team created an inviting staff garden at the manufacturing site. This provides a great place to enjoy a break in the warmer months, as well as enjoy the benefits of gardening and growing plants.
Being a socially responsible company isn’t free or easy—it takes time, money, and resources. But the benefits, for the company and the world at large, are numerous:
- Greater employee engagement
- Improved environmental impact
- Better relations with the communities in which we operate