How to build your CSR policy
On your Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) journey, one of the key steps is to build your CSR policy and make sure that it is well communicated internally. The process starts once you have built your CSR strategy. This way, you will know exactly what you need to put into your policy – what your company and team stand for. We have put together these six easy steps after working with hundreds of businesses in the CSR space.
1. What kind of “person” is your company
Your CSR policy is as much an official document as it is personal (for the company). It represents what your and your team’s values are, what the ethos of your company is, and how you conduct your business. So, when creating your policy, start by outlining those things – write a couple of paragraphs as an opening statement and introduction.
2. List your main focus areas
In the next paragraph, you should outline the key responsibility areas you have identified when building your CSR strategy. A few examples are: sustainable sourcing (of raw materials), your community, people and workplace, the environment, client and community impact. These will be very different depending on the type of business you are and the product you sell. Usually, you would have between two to five main areas that you focus on.
3. Elaborate on each area
Next, you will want to write down your commitments for each of those areas. For example, a clothing company would outline the ethical business conduct it has towards its people and workplace when producing clothes; an energy company would state all its efforts to use renewable sources and help the environment; a financial services company would talk about their efforts to support clients in financial education and difficult situations; the list goes on for different businesses and different CSR commitments.
4. Remember to measure, review
After you’ve listed each commitment and the efforts you are willing to put into it, the last paragraph needs to state what you will have in place to measure your impact and review your success over certain periods of time.
5. It is personal, but it is official too
Remember that your CSR policy is an official document that usually needs to be accepted at a board level and communicated effectively to everyone in the company. Very often, that document would be requested in a large client proposal and your customers would want to read it and see how you have implemented everything in your CSR Policy. This makes running this document through your legal, communications, and PR departments a good idea.
6. Leadership signature
Last but not least, the CSR Policy is usually signed by the company’s leadership. And because it is such an important document for the organisation – internally and externally – it should have the CEO’s signature.
(KindLink is the technology platform supporting corporates in managing their CSR, offering features ranging from CSR strategy development and impact reporting to measuring SDGs, employee engagement, and volunteering opportunities marketplace)