by Unboxed Staff | June 8, 2020 | 5 Min Read

How to Become a Good Corporate Citizen

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Global corporate citizenship is essential to businesses of all kinds. Research shows that 67 percent of employees want to work for a socially responsible company. Fifty-five percent of consumers are willing to pay extra for a product sold by a sustainable brand.

Are you looking to make good corporate citizenship part of your business operations and your brand? Learn seven corporate citizenship best practices and how to be a better corporate citizen today.

What does it mean to be a good corporate citizen?

Before we get into the specifics of how to be a good corporate citizen, let's define "global citizen" and "corporate citizen."

Global citizenship is about taking a greater interest in how your organization interacts with the world as a whole. Global citizens understand they play a small part in the bigger picture. They take a proactive approach to positively impacting their communities and the planet.

Corporate citizenship focuses on the importance of social responsibility. Everyone from stakeholders to employees are responsible for meeting legal, economic, and ethical standards. Corporations then rally together their people and resources to improve the society’s quality of life, while remaining profitable.

Companies that prioritize corporate citizenship use responsible business practices and train their employees to uphold the same values. Learn more about environmental social governance training (ESG for short) for your organization.

Companies that recognize the importance of being good corporate citizens make the world a better place for everyone.

Why is corporate citizenship valuable?

Making corporate citizenship a priority comes with a list of advantages. The following are some of the most significant benefits that responsible corporations experience:

  • Better brand recognition.
  • Better business reputation.
  • Increase in sales.
  • Increased customer loyalty.
  • Reduced operations costs.
  • Improved financial performance.
  • Better business growth.
  • New opportunities to attract better talent.
  • Greater customer growth.
  • Greater organization growth.

The list could go on. Companies that practice good corporate citizenship tend to have an easier time accessing capital as well. Lenders and investors tend to be more willing to work with an ethical corporate company. In turn, these companies have more opportunities for growth and new chances to make a difference.

7 corporate citizenship best practices

Now, you probably think that it's a good idea to start focusing on being a better corporate citizen. But, you might be wondering…

How do good corporate citizens practically function?

How can my organization be a better corporate citizen?

How can I encourage other members of my company to be better citizens, too?

Let's review seven corporate citizenship best practices you can implement to improve your organization's reputation.

1. Create a Business Code of Ethics

Write out a concrete, descriptive business code of ethics. Work with stakeholders to identify your organization’s values and answer questions, such as:

  • What does corporate citizenship look like for your organization?
  • Where can your company improve when it comes to social responsibility?
  • What do your employees and customers value most?

Consider sending out a survey to your consumers and stakeholders to get feedback on their values, providing you with a starting point.

2. Commit to Environmental Protection

Environmental protection is an essential component of good corporate citizenship. If you're not already taking steps to minimize your carbon footprint, today is the perfect time to start.

Here are a few ideas to help you take a small step in the right direction:

  • Recycle and reuse paper.
  • Use energy-efficient lighting at the office.
  • Look into how to reduce product packaging waste.
  • Find ways to minimize the impact of air pollution from transporting your products.

3. Screen Suppliers Before Contracting

Outside of your own organization striving to be a better corporate citizen, take a look at your partnerships, suppliers, and third-party contractors.

Don't make internal changes for publicity, then begin contracting with other businesses that are wasteful or socially irresponsible. The collateral damage will only cause more problems and taint the hard work you've put into being a good corporate citizen.

Screen suppliers to learn more about their business practices. Are they socially and environmentally responsible? Are they wasteful? Do they cut corners at the expense of the environment or the wellbeing of others?

Ensure the companies your organization works with also value corporate citizenship.

4. Donate Money Wisely

Partner with others who want to make the world a cleaner, safer, and more sustainable place. But be smart about where your organization donates money. Research different charitable organizations before you contribute.

Find nonprofits who serve your local community and fit your organization’s values. Use a resource like Charity Navigator to validate that the money you contribute goes to the people who need it most. You'd be surprised how often this isn't the case.

5. Encourage Innovation and Participation

Encourage innovation companywide and ask for suggestions on how you can improve your global corporate citizenship. Look to your stakeholders and employees and ask for ideas on how to get involved in the community.

There's a good chance you'll be amazed at how much positive input your employees have to offer. It's up to you to ask and make sure they feel comfortable offering suggestions.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Donate clothes or food to a local orphanage.
  • Take half a day to pick up trash at a local park or beach.
  • Serve one Saturday a month at a local homeless shelter.
  • Offer a local school an opportunity for students to shadow your business for a "career day."

6. Foster Diversity and Inclusion

Take steps to make your company a more diverse and inclusive one. Seek out different points of view and invite people to the table who are different from you and your stakeholders.

Every business knows they are required to be an "equally opportunity employer." Yet, not everyone has the mindset of elevating cultural diversity and inclusion in their organization.

Hiring people who look, think, and act differently leads to innovation and helps your organization think outside of the box.

7. Improve Customer Experience

Finally, make sure you're thinking about how you can improve the customer experience. The experience you give consumers and clients determines how positively or negatively they view your brand.

Foster a loyal following by living and functioning out of your business’s code of ethics. Consumers and clients will be more inclined to promote your business to their friends and family. When people can get behind your mission and method, you create advocates.

Implement Corporate Citizenship Best Practices Today

Companies who prioritize being good corporate citizens survive and thrive long-term. Emphasizing global conscience initiatives and social responsibility transforms not only the community, but your company.

Start building a positive brand image that attracts the right consumers and clients by becoming a good corporate citizen.

Are you ready to improve your corporate citizenship? Need to train employees on your company’s values and code of ethics? Contact Unboxed Training & Technology today to learn more about custom corporate training.

Get advice from an industry expert about the best practices
and potential pitfalls about transitioning to virtual training.

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