Last week, we gave you a first look into one of the topics that will be driving our discussion at Zignal Summit 2019. In this Summit Sneak Peek, learn more about another theme we will be exploring throughout the event – corporate social responsibility.

While there is no one official definition, corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a business model that enables a company to bring about social change. More specifically, CSR helps companies stay accountable to a modern, expanded range of stakeholders (which includes employees, investors, customers and society), take responsibility for the outcomes of their business practices and consciously make a positive impact on society.

CSR isn’t simply practicing corporate philanthropy or providing employees with a few volunteer days they can use each year. CSR requires companies to make a meaningful change to the way they operate at their very core, whether it’s radically reforming internal HR policies or revamping supplier structures to ensure ethically-sourced goods. When implemented successfully, CSR ultimately shifts the definition of success away from just company well-being to collective, societal well-being.

The Times Are Changing

While there are no rules or regulations that require companies to adopt CSR, it has quickly become the de facto business model for the next generation of successful companies. The reason behind this shift? Consumers are no longer just consumers – they are now stakeholders. In the past, companies, especially large corporations, were accountable only to themselves. Laser-focused on profits, they conducted their business in a way that was most beneficial to the company’s bottom line, but not necessarily to their customers, society or the environment.

Now, with the rise of the internet and more public access to knowledge about unethical and questionable business practices, consumers are increasingly more discerning about the companies with which they interact and support. No longer content to sit back and simply buy whichever product has the flashiest packaging or loudest marketing campaign, consumers now want full disclosure about a company’s values and labor practices.

Everybody Wins

In response to this shift in consumer opinion, companies have been quick to examine the impact of their business practices and begin implementing CSR initiatives. Companies that can successfully associate their brands with CSR often see a multitude of benefits, including increased brand loyalty and reputation, a happier workforce, a meaningful impact on society and boosted sales. Think of Patagonia, Starbucks, Ben & Jerry’s and Salesforce – all long-time champions of CSR that remain highly successful today.

As Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce puts it, “Companies can do more than just make money, they can serve others. The business of business is improving the state of the world.”

Join Us at Zignal Summit 2019

If you would like to learn more about what it takes to successfully weave social responsibility into the core of your company’s operating structure, we hope you will join us at Zignal Summit 2019, taking place April 25th in San Francisco, where we will be discussing best practices for the identification, measurement and ongoing innovation of corporate social responsibility initiatives.

If you haven’t registered yet but would like to join us for Zignal Summit 2019, please register here. To see more details about Zignal Summit 2019, including a full list of speakers, please visit the event page.

For an even deeper dive into the evolution of and best practices for CSR, look for our upcoming ebook on the value – and necessity – of modern corporate social responsibility, to be published in March 2019.