CSR way to business sustainability

For consumer products companies, there is often a quick assumption that sustainability will focus on the products themselves – products that are green, organic, natural or similar designations. But many new companies, the sustainability importance is rooted organically into the business enterprise, with a commitment to identify and leverage sustainable opportunities in the processes required to develop, create and deliver products to the consumer.

These processes have been invisible to the stakeholder, but with the increased demand for transparency and disclosure, companies have a greater opportunity to showcase meaningful commitments – a silver lining in the sometimes darkened practice of reporting, rankings and ratings. And, along the way, the thousands of employees who bring the sustainability commitment to life, from environmental engineers to marketers, are elevated to playing a role in a larger mission, not just “doing their jobs.”

In developing policies and processes for sustainability, one of the principles to commitment to is to “meet fully the obligations of corporate citizenship by contributing to the well-being of society and the environment in which it functions.” Today, in Uganda only a handful of companies are passionately committed to ensuring this commitment is met.

In the commitment to being internally genuine, companies face many possible environmental areas to tackle. When the lens of materiality is applied – is it meaningful to the company, the stakeholders, and the planet, and can the company have an impact – certain opportunities rise to the top.

For a company like Stanbic Bank, as the largest financial institution in the country, it has a huge impact on the people’s financial wellbeing as people take loans and seek other services. Therefore, a core mission would be to help people plan their finances well so that they never fall into financial traps and make wise investments. Of course it would be different for cement, furniture or brewing industries.

In case of leading by example, National Water and Sewerage Corporation provides tree planting services at water catchment areas to improve the water resource. This is an example of CSR tied well to the core mission of a company.

Being environmentally sensitive is also another way of being socially responsible. Put if plainly put, go green by being committed to a constant improvement of your products so that they move towards being environmentally friendly.

The core commitment is to ensure sustainable running of daily operations. People are delighted with their jobs if they believed that their work provides them with a privilege because they feel that they are a small part of a grand project that would benefit generations to come.

Written by Martin Mubiru

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