Why corporate social responsibility should be on your mind

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has become a key pillar for any large organisation. While you may question the true motives of some, there’s no doubt that good comes of it, especially to the beneficiaries. In most cases, businesses are sincere about their CSR intentions. In the 2019 Global Human Capital Trends report by Deloitte, the CEOs surveyed cited impact on society, including income inequality, diversity and the environment, as their most important measure of success in 2019.

So why should you care?

For one, it’s good for business. A recent survey by Nielsen found that over 81% of respondents from around the world felt strongly that companies should help to improve the environment. This response traversed gender and age; Gen Z, Millennials, Gen X and older.

If you’re a listed company, this is even more important, as investors increasingly look for evidence of CSR initiatives in annual reports.

And of course, CSR attracts talent, particularly Millennials, as the same Nielsen survey found. Employees today feel more strongly about societal and environmental issues and they want to work for a company that shares those same beliefs.

So how should you go about CSR?

Your CSR efforts should blend in with your company culture. At Pure Storage for example, we’ve built CSR – with a focus on ‘Philanthropy, People and Sustainability’ – into our code of conduct so that it stays in our corporate DNA. To provide an executional element, we set up the Pure Good foundation, which taps into the causes our employees are most passionate about.

Sustainability starts with the design of our products. Our founders and engineers have given us the most resource-efficient storage platform on the market. We are known for saving customers tens of thousands of dollars in energy costs per year by dramatically reducing the power used by our equipment and also the amount of heat they create in the data centre, requiring dramatically less air conditioning than legacy designs.

This is a fundamental engineering commitment to efficiency and sustainability. We can thank our engineers for creating a product that uses the same power as a toaster oven, while comparable legacy equipment requires the electricity of four large suburban houses.

Locally in Australia, all three pillars of this CSR program are constantly and actively in play. Our office is virtually paperless, recycling processes are in place and our lighting and air conditioning is automatically controlled for optimal usage.

On the people front, we adhere to diversity hiring policies and our talent acquisition strategy is inclusive – always searching to add new individuals to our team.

We leverage the Pure Good foundation to enable our employees in Australia to get involved and support charity activities.

Across every industry, every individual within an organisation has the ability to improve the lives of other people on a global scale – they have a responsibility to do so. It starts with a commitment from business leaders to challenge the status quo beyond technology or services, and to think about limiting their environmental footprint, enhancing their philanthropic efforts, and having the right people on board to drive change.

Business leaders are central to this and need to find ways of contributing to their communities, supply chains and people, in a way that creates a virtuous cycle that fosters ongoing community investment and change.