Why should we be responsible for others wellbeing? During my life this question has come up in various ways, time and time again.
Whilst growing up I lived in a society where everyone looked out for each other, family was at the heart of all of our lives, we strived to help each other out when in need, whether this was financially or emotionally, and just to be there to support each other. This moral responsibility to support and help others has carried with me through my life, instilling me with a strong belief that society should help those who need it. From donating to charities who provide aid, or those who work to find the best treatment or support for patients to volunteering at homeless centres, there are so many ways we can all help on a personal level.
But what about as a business? Well, aside from growing up around a family who were always working to be socially responsible, my first personal encounter within a business was while working for a not-for-profit Biotech company. Vaccinations made up part of my product portfolio, and this enabled me to be involved in the amazing contribution this company made by donating vaccines and other medications during times of crisis throughout the world. By providing this aid, we were helping towards disease prevention, I can’t begin to imagine the amount of people who were able to avoid suffering a terrible disease or losing a loved one thanks to the companies amazing work.
Ten years ago, only a very small number of Fortune 500 companies issued sustainability reports. Now, a large number of both big and small businesses have integrated corporate social responsibility as part of their daily business routines. In today’s society, more consumers than ever are demanding that companies change their practices, become more transparent and communicative and take a more hands-on approach to making the world a better place
A 2014 survey found that more than half (55%) of online consumers around the world surveyed said they would pay more for products or services from companies who were socially and environmentally friendly, proving that the consumer world is changing, and people no longer want something for nothing!
TOMS are an amazing example of really embracing corporate responsibility. I was wowed by their mission statement – “With every pair you purchase, TOMS will give a pair of shoes to a child in need. One For One”. Just amazing.
You don’t need to be Coca Cola or TOMS to make a difference, small and medium enterprises can get involved too. Smaller companies are picking up on the “3 P’s” principle: People, Planet, Profits, and understanding that by doing this they are giving back to their community, as well as the planet, paving the way for the next generation.
I believe that all companies have the responsibility to help others, by making donations for every purchase, or investing in local work to help those in need, no matter how big or small, if we can we should try to help in the best way we can.