“We cannot live only for ourselves. A thousand fibers connect us with our fellow men.” – Herman Melville
Clients often reach out to us to support them in finding the right way to get involved and actively participate in the life of the community in which they operate and do business. This support is twofold – we help them conceptualize this involvement in terms of their corporate social responsibility strategies and implement the steps on the path that we defined to be the right one for their business model.
How do we go about this?
The first step in molding any Corporate social responsibility (CSR) strategy is to clearly
distinguish between an act of philanthropy and CSR activities. What does this mean in practical terms? Whereas raising money to support local and/or national institutions in activities of social importance is considered to be philanthropy, introducing the concept of corporate social responsibility in the overall corporate culture, which entails thinking of actual ideas and activities to solidify the process is, in fact, doing CSR. Thus, the second step is identifying the issues concerning a specific industry, and recognizing how a business can add tangible value that would be beneficial to the community.
For example, in our efforts to assist with the creation of the CSR strategy of Delta City shopping mall, two projects have emerged – Support for the creative industries of Montenegro and the Conscious fashion project. Although each targeting a seemingly different interest group, both are fundamentally changing the climate of the community and adding new, relevant topics on the social dialogue agenda.
Now, how are these two CSR and not philanthropy?
Delta City Mall is the most popular shopping mall in Montenegro, offering great visibility to everyone and everything showcasing any kind of service at its premises. As part of the project aimed to support creative entrepreneurship in Montenegro, twelve young entrepreneurs have been provided with a unique opportunity to present their creative products at the mall, taking advantage of Delta City’s visibility to promote their brands.
Conscious fashion project is another CSR project we developed together with the team of Delta City. With the garment industry being the second largest polluter in the world, this project was envisioned to introduce the sustainable fashion concept to the Montenegrin public. Although Delta City is not in the industry directly, as a retailer it plays a role of an active host, making it a perfect partner to raise awareness about being more responsible in this domain.
In order for CSR activities to truly be successful, they have to relate very closely to the business itself, because only those who exemplify unwavering dedication can steer change in the right direction.
Finally, you might ask yourselves how are CSR initiatives benefiting your business?
By doing CSR activities, companies help the educational efforts of the community they work in, directly addressing and interacting with those who benefit from them. CSR activities spread the message about the values of the company, create and enhance the sense of belonging to a community and have long lasting branding-related benefits. A strategically developed, properly implemented CSR strategy directly strengthens a brand’s ability to create and maintain a positive image in the eyes of the public.
Reach out to us for more.