The first part of that proverb is one that everyone knows, pretty much. It’s about consumption. Once eaten, the cake is gone. This analogy is often used to describe heavy spenders. Once the money has been spent, there may be nothing left to show for it.
The second part of the above saying is rather more unusual, because how can you have something, then not have it, but then still have it, as well as extra? Confused? Then let me explain as this is what I think, CSR should be.
Shareholders, CFO’s and CEO’s all find it difficult in seeing the benefits of a good CSR program, mainly because they are constantly bombarded with requests for charity. These requests, however noble, do not take into account the bottom line for companies; it doesn’t offer companies’ value. And I don’t just mean for the initial cash outlay, but overall.
In a recent survey by the Economist 42% of executives cited cost implications and unproven benefits (40%) as the two biggest obstacles to implementing CSR programs.
It’s a fine line for CEO’s (who are people too) who want to care about the environment, community or social challenges, to sacrifice company profits for something that will potentially give them nothing but a quick PR hit for his or her company. This is why CSR should be more than that, it should take the needs of the company into account as well as the needs of the cause.
The Treedom Group and the Plant A Tree Today (PATT) Foundation understands this and have joined forces to offer Eco-Fusion. It’s a unique proposition that enables a company, a CSR program with the initial and ongoing cost elements removed. By combining a commercial product and a charity, Eco-Fusion is able to offer something that benefits the local communities, the planet, the charity and companies involved.
Fifty-five per cent of global online consumers across 60 countries say they are willing to pay more for products and services provided by companies that are committed to positive social and environmental impact, according to a new study by Nielsen. The propensity to buy socially responsible brands is strongest in Asia-Pacific (including Australia) at 64%.
It’s a proven fact that having a CSR program for your company enhances the triple bottom line (The 3P’s People, Profit and Planet), but with the cost element taken out, it has an added benefit of keeping your balance sheet positive.
PATT is a charity that plants local indigenous trees in rural areas of Thailand, with the help of the local community, who inturn receive the rights to the fruit grown from the trees. It has been helping to fight deforestation now for 10yrs and its aim is to plant 1 million trees by 2015.