What’s the ROI of: Corporate social responsibility

What’s the ROI of: Corporate social responsibility

We all have 'the Power to Do Good' - whatever role we have in our business. But when it comes to corporate social responsibility, can there be an ROI

We all have ‘the Power to Do Good’ – whatever role we have in our business. But when it comes to corporate social responsibility, can there be an ROI aside from a warm inner glow? It might not feel quite right to analyse everything through your ROI microscope, but when you want to know what the results could be so it’s not cut from your plans for the year ahead, we wanted to try and find some reports on what the ROI on corporate social responsibility could be.

Employees are interested in corporate social responsibility

The appetite is there -Almost half the workforce (42%) now want to work for an organisation that has a positive impact on the world, according to research carried out by consultancy Global Tolerance and nearly nine out of 10 workers surveyed said companies that sponsor volunteer activities offer a superior working environment to those companies that don’t. At least 12 peer-reviewed studies show that many job seekers are attracted to organizations with sustainable practices. However, only 38 percent of respondents said their employer offers organized opportunities to give time to charities. Could it be that the ROI is a bit woolly?

We took a look at a business called Aflac, who is the leader in voluntary insurance sales in the United States and their 2016 Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Report. The comprehensive report, which reflects the actions of Aflac, its employees and its independent sales agents, recounts the company’s actions in conducting business with integrity and ethics, highlighting activities throughout 2016.

The aims of a corporate social responsibility programme

According to the report, Aflac’s commitment was to start building and maintaining a solid corporate reputation, utilizing valuable information garnered through studies conducted by Reputation Institute and Aflac’s annual CSR Survey of consumers and investors.

The great news for anyone interested in the ROI is that the company uses all the data gathered through these studies to gauge the effectiveness of its CSR programs.
“At Aflac, we have long believed that who we are as a company says as much as the products and services we provide,” said Aflac Chairman and CEO Dan Amos. “Our studies as well as validated, third-party data show that consumers, shareholders and the community at large increasingly expect and even demand that companies conduct business the right way, with integrity and values. Through this report, we are pleased to provide a window into how Aflac strives to meet those expectations every day.”

What’s possible for a corporate social responsibility programme? 

Aflac decided to give everyone the power to ‘do good’ and this included a huge range of initiatives.

  • Arbor Day tree giveaway – Employees at all Aflac locations registered to win one of 750 free trees as part of Aflac’s Arbor Day event, which is conducted in partnership with Trees Columbus. To date, employees have planted more than 4,200 trees to ensure thriving tree canopies for future generations.
  • Earth Hour – For the sixth year, Aflac participated in the World Wildlife Fund’s Earth Hour, joining participants around the world for a one-hour power down.
  • Earth Day – Aflac’s eighth annual Earth Day events recognized the need to protect the Earth and support Aflac’s sustainability initiatives. Employees enjoyed activities such as information booths and demonstrations; planting herbs for spring; a Chuck the Cup challenge encouraging employees to say no to throw-away, one-time-use cups; test-driving electric cars on campus; and playing trivia games to learn more about green initiatives.
  • Alternative commute – Employees in Columbus, Georgia, left their cars at home and biked to work using the city’s rails-to-trails bike route on Bike to Work day.
  • Coordinating a 12-person team to host fundraising events supporting childhood cancer research and treatment
  • 10,480 hours donated to charity from employees
  • Kick-starting personal passion projects across the country, including a family emergency shelter and meal program called “The Breakfast Crew”; fundraising for Camp Hope, a summer camp for children with cancer; and volunteering at Arnold Palmer Children’s hospital.
  • Promoting diversity in the workplace and opportunities for women in the U.S. and Japan through mentorship and employee engagement programs;
  • Ensuring transparency and honesty are woven into the fabric of each department
  • Championing company-wide participation in recycling efforts through a supply swap
  • Coaching employees to reach new heights in their careers through career counselling services at Aflac’s Career Success Centers.

The results and ROI of corporate social responsibility for Aflac:

  • Aflac reached its philanthropic goal of raising $110 million
  • Recycling efforts through a supply swap that has saved Aflac more than $50,000
  • Aflac’s reputation pulse score improved by five points, from 68.40 in 2014 to 73.30 in 2015, which is considered a significant increase by the Reputation Institute.
  • It’s commitment towards coaching has lead to the promotion and/or positive career movement of more than 1,200 employees over the past three years.
  • In 2015, Dan Amos was named one of the 100 Most Influential People in Business Ethics by Ethisphere Magazine and Best Performing CEOs in the World by Harvard Business Review.
  • Fortune magazine named Aflac to its list of the World’s Most Admired Companies for the 14th time in 2015,
  • Aflac was named one of Ethisphere Institute’s 2015 World’s Most Ethical Companies, marking nine consecutive years on the list.

These are some incredible results. With a great reputation and glassdoor reviews singing the priases of the family feel and ethics of the business, as well as the amazing accolades, it’s clear that even taking a few initiatives on board can not only improve employee engagement but also provide genuine savings.

Will you be recommending corporate social responsibility programmes in your workplace?

 

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