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This post is one in a series designed to help SME businesses benchmark their business and create a best practice business improvement plan across all of their business processes.  You can find the links to the full series here.  

Why is caring about society and the environment good business practice?

There are hundreds of definitions of corporate social responsibility, or CSR. The International Organization for Standardization’s  Guidance Standard on Social Responsibility, ISO 26000published in 2010 says:

“Social responsibility is the responsibility of an organisation for the impacts of its decisions and activities on society and the environment, through transparent and ethical behaviour that:

  • Contributes to sustainable development, including the health and the welfare of society
  • Takes into account the expectations of stakeholders
  • Is in compliance with applicable law and consistent with international norms of behaviour, and
  • Is integrated throughout the organization and practised in its relationships.”

According to Edelman’s 2010 Goodpurpose Study, 67% of consumers say they are more likely to buy products and services from a company if they know it supports good causes.

How does your business measure up?

Here’s a checklist to help you determine the strength of your corporate social responsibility program.

  • Our CSR Program directly reflect our business purpose and values.
  • Our leadership team is passionately involved in our CSR Program and it is a key consideration in our strategic planning process..
  • Our CSR program resonates with our ideal clients and other stakeholders.
  • Our CSR Program is making a measurable difference in a key area that matters to our people, our ideal clients and our other stakeholders.
  • Our people are actively engaged in our CSR program, they understand what it is, why we are doing it and the difference we are making in the world.
  • The impact of our CSR Program is measured and reported as part of our regular review process.


About the Author

Brenda Thomson

Brenda Thomson

CEO and Founder of Synergy48 Group

Brenda is an experienced small business owner.  She has won an Australian Home Based Business of the Year Award, the My Business Magazine Best Start-up award and has also appeared in the Anthill Magazine top 100 Cool Companies and top 100 Innovative Businesses list.  Brenda has an honours degree in organizational psychology and a Graduate Certificate in training and development and is an experienced trainer, facilitator and counsellor.

Brenda is a firm believer in mutual collaboration combined with a practical, hands on tools, strategies and systems as the most effective way to achieve real results in business. 

Brenda is a sought after mentor, speaker and trainer in the areas of strategic alliances and joint ventures and networking with a twist.  She is also passionate about actively giving back to the wider community. In addition to donating her speaking fees and a proportion of every SMART-Connect Alliance membership to provide microfinance to help women in Malawi to start their own small businesses, Brenda has also climbed the Himalayas to raise money for Kids Help Line and helped lay a pipeline to supply water to a remote village in Tanzania.

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