The benefits of creating a culture of corporate responsibility in your business

Corporate Responsibility (CR) is a fantastic way for corporations to give back to society; however it is not just a selfless good deed. There are so many benefits from being a great corporate citizen and everyone in Ricoh is very aware of this. We’ve also been recognised by leading international authorities for our CR contributions, such as being recognised by the FTSE4Good Index Series for every consecutive year since 2004. This award particularly recognises Ricoh for our commitment to environmental management, human and labour rights, and corporate governance amongst others.

From our experience in Ricoh Ireland, there are a number of reasons why creating a culture of responsibility or purpose in your organisation is a valuable trait for your business, in addition to being crucial for local communities and charities alike.

Gary Hopwood, Ricoh Ireland and  Dara Connolly, ReCreateCR can promote innovation with new and better ways of doing things. Last year, Ricoh Ireland joined forces with ReCreate, an enterprise that reuses end of line stock and surplus materials from businesses and gives them to children to use as art materials. Due to the amount of stock it reuses, ReCreate estimates it will save 150 tonnes of waste from being put into landfill by Irish businesses. The environmental impact alone is incredible, not to mention the creativity, innovation and the underlying message of re-use / recycling the project is promoting to children.

The feel-good factor and sense of pride it creates among employees who know the company they work for is giving back to society is invaluable when it comes to attracting and retaining employees.

Another key value of CR is that it differentiates your brand. It can reinforce your reputation and strengthen your trust factor among customers. If customers know your company is sustainable, cares about the environment and has a sense of responsibility, they will be more likely to use your services and recommend you to others.

Establishing your business as a leader in corporate responsibility and/or sustainability can create competitive advantage. Walmart, a leader in sustainability, has run campaigns that have demonstrated the environmentally friendly choices that consumers can make. Promote the good work you’re doing and it will open a new conversation with your customers and prospects. It makes sense for your customer to choose the most ethical and sustainable option available to them.

Recently, we were delighted to be awarded the Business Working Responsibly Mark by Business in the Community Ireland and independently audited by NSAI. We’re proud to be the first company from our sector to be awarded the Mark. We now rank it high up there alongside many of our other important independent accreditations such as ISO14001, ISO 9001 and ISO 27001.

The chance to give back to your own workforce through CR is also very important. Our people work very hard and outside the office they are likely to want devote time to their families and friends. I don’t know anyone who hasn’t wanted to give back to society and usually the only thing stopping us is a lack of time. Last year as part of Focus Ireland’s Shine a Light event, myself and 70 other business leaders huddled together in the Iveagh Gardens in Dublin. Another 20 business leaders did the same thing in Cork’s City Gaol.

Our aim was to try and capture even the smallest sense of what it is like to be in the same position as someone less fortunate. Companies can link in with charities’ events like this and make it easy for employees to get involved in these types of activities. With this in mind, Ricoh Ireland has introduced to every member of staff two days’ paid annual leave to volunteer and work with charities and the local community.

With CR as part of your strategy, your company becomes even more geared toward the future. Ensuring your organisation is sustainable shows you are planning ahead and seeking positive, game-changing results. Employees, shareholders and customers alike all notice this, becoming fully engaged and recognising your ambition.

There are a wide number of wonderful charitable and community initiatives planned by the team here in Ricoh Ireland this year. We will keep you fully up-to-date on our exciting journey.

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