Brands which employ smart cost saving CSR programmes could generate enough cash to fund their entire CSR strategy, according to London marcomms agency Brand Reputation, after their MD helped a national restaurant chain save over £180,000 in landfill taxes.
Brand Reputation’s MD Graeme Crossley, who has worked with a range of household names including The Coca-Cola Company, Sainsbury’s and WHSmith, was enlisted by a national restaurant chain to identify and implement a CSR strategy, which resulted in the chain saving over £180,000 this year in landfill taxes.
Crossley claims that there are a host of similar organisational ‘hot spots’ in which valuable cost savings can be made, freeing up more cash to reinvest in CSR without having to cut costs in other areas.
“Think about the potential impact of instantly saving of £180,000 in current climate. Even if you reinvested £80,000 of that into community focused initiatives, you’d still be £100,000 up on last year. Not only would the brand gain valuable publicity through donating such a sizeable amount to charitable initiatives, but the company would be financially better off too, which in the current climate is an achievement in itself”, says Crossley, who has over 15 years experience in communications and CSR.
Amidst news that big brands such as General Electric and Intel have pledged to maintain their CSR spends over the coming year, Crossley believes that many brands still seem to be competing for who can invest the most money into their CSR programmes during the credit crunch, rather than on whose initiatives provide the most benefit to the business itself, as well as the wider community.
“Whilst it is great to hear about the $160 million that General Electric donated in 2007 and Intel’s commitment of $300,000 to education and development in countries like Afghanistan and Cambodia, what concerns me is that it seems like the focus is always on cash going out of a business through CSR, rather than the savings that can be made through implementing smart CSR initiatives.
"Most brands that I speak to don’t realise that CSR initiatives aren’t just about leveraging PR but can actually save the business a substantial amount of money, which in the current climate will help the business to be more financially stable and ultimately, sustainable”, says Crossley.
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