Corporate Social Responsibility

Accountability can attract customers and employees.

Big Picture

It’s not only important for your company to give back to your community and to your staff, it’s necessary to gain and retain customers, as well as attract and motivate employees. Your millennial and Gen Z customers are looking for sustainable products and are willing to pay more for them. Those seeking employment at your shop are interested in what you’re doing to be environmentally conscious because they want to work for a company that shares their values. 

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a self-regulating business model that helps a company be socially accountable to itself, its stakeholders, and the public. Initiatives include philanthropic efforts, sustainability campaigns, diversity and labor practices, and supporting and/or creating volunteer programs. Consumers say the most important CSR issues are employee treatment (39 percent), ethics (38 percent), and respectful treatment of customers (35 percent), according to the 2017 Harris Poll Reputation Quotient. 

The Bernard Group is a visual merchandising company that offers design and production services for the retail space. Clients include Target, Patagonia, Home Depot, and Adidas, just to name a few. The company’s CSR document states “The Bernard Group is committed to operating in a responsible and sustainable manner and creating positive social change in our community. We are committed to understanding, integrating, and monitoring our social, environmental, and economic impact to enable us to contribute to society’s wider goal of sustainable procurement.”

Take a look at some of The Bernard Group’s efforts. Use these examples when creating initiatives to help your shop become more socially responsible. 

  • Environment
    • Created a sophisticated recycling system which has greatly increased the efficiency, material type, and amount being recycled. In 2019, they recycled 69 percent of their total waste.  
  • Workplace
    • Conducted quarterly all-employee town halls hosted by the CEO, created a bonus plan that rewards each employee based on the company’s annual performance, and launched LinkedIn Learning free to all employees to help them develop personally and professionally.
  • Community
    • Hosted a clothing drive for “Dress For Success,” sponsored the St. Jude Red Carpet for Hope 2019 Gala benefitting St. Jude Hospital, and led a company volunteer food packing event at Feed My Starving Children, packing 172,083 meals for children in Haiti.
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