Why Companies Need To Embrace Social Responsibility

Human. Balance. Society..

These are just a few words that can be used to describe corporate social responsibility (CSR). With the boom in industrialization came the decline of our ecosystems and working class individuals put aside certain values in order to reach for new opportunities for growth. While industrialization brought us out of the “dark ages” and revived economies, we seemed to have forgotten some of the important values that we were taught as children: helping those less fortunate, caring for the environment, recycling, acting with high morals, having good ethics, etc.
While some companies already do a great job instilling a culture that values social responsibility, there are other companies who still don’t see the benefits in investing into something that doesn’t bring monetary compensation. It’s understandable; that in order for a company to stay ahead they must be profitable, but in today’s hyper-connected world, there are no excuses for a company not to invest in this aspect of business. Social Responsibility is a win-win, not only for the world and society, but for the company as a whole.

At Optime Consulting, we have witnessed the importance of investing our talent, time, and money into projects and programs that positively impact our community. We also believe and have seen first hand, the intrinsic motivating power of volunteer work and going beyond the daily “busy-ness” routine in order to help others.

In 2013, we founded Optime One Cause which has become our company-wide CSR program that has encouraged employees to extend a helping hand. The largest event under Optime One Cause is the Optime 5K Run, which is now in its 4th year. Through the Optime 5K, we have raised upwards of $100K for organizations like United Cerebral Palsy of South Florida, Young at Art Museum and the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Southern Florida.

2016 Optime 5K Run

We are always asked, why. Why do you guys do this?  It is a huge investment and takes time away from other things… While the amount of time and efforts invested are vast, we are, as a company, driven to deliver an event that spreads optimism and builds a community of healthy and active individuals. We are driven to inspire others in the industry to join us and give back. The energy at the race is contagious and the people who participate bond over something much greater than themselves. This way of building a community is priceless and attracts more and more people every year by sheer word of mouth. By practicing corporate social responsibility, we empower our community and create memories alongside them. This annual activity also brings us together as a company and helps us connect with something that is family oriented, active, and benefits those who need it most. One of the best things about the Optime 5K is that it brings people together who probably had no idea that these local organizations existed and that they needed help.

Some highlights of the 2016 Optime 5K run benefiting United Cerebral Palsy

There are various ways to take part in corporate social responsibility: collecting used clothes and donating them to an organization, participating as a team in organizations such as Habitat for Humanity, having monthly trips to help feed homeless people, etc. are all relatively free activities that any individual and company can take part in.

 Still not sure about engaging in CSR?

Corporate Social Responsibility, indirectly, expands the brand awareness of a company. The more engaging ways you promote your company’s brand, the more recognition your brand will receive, it’s that simple. By building the brand around a CSR event or activity, not only are you raising your brand’s image, but it is also expressing the values of the company. CSR also brings innovation and new methods of developing products and services. Unilever’s Global VP, Geoff McDonald, pushes Unilever to embrace innovation and creativity and find new ways to become more socially responsible. With this in mind, Unilever has been able to cut the amount of water they use in products, improve sanitation in countries like India and improve the wellbeing of millions of people. Other companies, such as General Mills have been able to cut cost and save money by using less packaging and energy. According to its 2011 CSR Report, General Mills was able to save $600,000 by installing energy monitoring meters on various equipments in one of their plants. CSR also engages your customers and employees to see your company as humans and not just another product on the shelf.

 If you are an employee of a company, we challenge you to find ways for your company to take part in CSR. If you own the company or have the power to make decisions, we challenge you to take part in CSR as well. Imagine if every company in the world took this initiative to become socially responsible, the world would be very different, in a positive way…

Let us know what you think about CSR in the comments below.

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