Social impact creates opportunities that are otherwise unavailable to the minorities or underprivileged. These groups can get access to quality education, clean water, gender equality, or able to obtain decent work and thus gain economic growth, etc. Social impact strategy might sound a bit dry and boring, but it’s actually incredibly exciting. It’s all about finding innovative ways to make a positive difference in the world while also generating economic and social value.
And who doesn’t want to make the world a better place while also making a profit?
On both a small and a large scale, several sectors, such as businesses, governments, and charitable groups, can contribute to good improvements. Groups that promote social impact think about how their actions affect the society rather than how a potential solution will affect their personal or financial bottom line.
Now that we know that several successful and famous Social impact marketing strategies are used by various business and it can also be used by non-profits and governments to achieve their goals more effectively. Many well-known companies have integrated social impact strategy into their operations, including:
Companies use social impact strategy for the betterment of the society, but what is in it for them? Well there definitely are benefits for their business too.
6 Benefits of Social Impact for Business:
Social impact strategies are used by various business and it can also be used by non-profits and governments to achieve their goals more effectively. Many well-known companies have integrated social impact strategy into their operations, including:
Adidas: The famous producer of the ‘three stripes’
Is an athletic wear brand that prides itself on a corporate responsibility structure built on 3 complementary pillars: community involvement, employee engagement, corporate giving. It has launched various programs and initiatives around the world; such as their Pakison Women Empowerment Program, which helps women workers improve their abilities and find excellent job prospects another such example is BOKS by Reebok, an Adidas company, which is designed to bring access to fitness to children between the ages of 5 and 12.
Walt Disney: Bringing Magic to Social Change
The Walt Disney Company, which firmly holds that education is the path to opportunity, supports its workers by supporting the most extensive employer education programme in the nation. Disney’s Aspire initiative covers 100 percent of tuition costs and provides support services to employees. The Walt Disney Company has pledged $150 million towards high school equivalency, English-language learning, vocational training, college and master’s degrees, and more.
LinkedIn: Transforming Communities
LinkedIn realises its social efforts. They are working towards being “zero-waste” by increasing their recycling and composting activities. In addition, instead of emitting damaging greenhouse gases, their workplaces use 80% renewable energy from sources like wind and solar. Using more environmental friendly modes of transportation including bicycling, walking, and carpooling, 70% of their worldwide workforce, employees participate by commuting to work.
Dave’s Killer Bread: Giving a Second Chance
Dave’s Killer Bread was first offered at the Portland Farmers Market in 2005, and it has since experienced phenomenal popularity. Dave’s Killer Bread believes in Second Chance Employment and employs the best people regardless of criminal histories in addition to procuring high-quality, organic ingredients.
Starbucks: Making a Brew-tiful Difference
Starbucks is committed to sourcing ethically grown coffee, reducing its environmental footprint, and supporting local communities through the Starbucks Foundation. Starbucks initiated a program that encourages employees to volunteer in their local communities and provides paid time off to do so, employees have contributed more than 3 million hours of her community service.
Given the current social and environmental landscape we now find ourselves in, societal expectations are changing. Consumers are now using their purchase power as a statement of their values. They’re purchasing goods and services from companies they believe are socially and environmentally responsible and align with their values as individuals. It’s becoming increasingly more expected of companies to generate a positive social and environmental change in the communities where they conduct business.
In a sense we’re seeing a new era of responsible business. But serving the communities where companies do business isn’t a new concept. Whether you call it corporate social responsibility, corporate citizenship or just doing good business, these acts of kindness have been a part of the social landscape for decades.
A social impact strategy might sound great, but how do you actually create one?
Start by identifying the social problem you want to solve. It can be anything from poverty to environmental degradation to inequality.
Developing a social impact strategy requires a comprehensive assessment of the social and environmental issues that a business affects, setting specific goals to address these issues, implementing sustainable business practices, and engaging with stakeholders to create lasting change. The examples of Unilever, Ikea, Microsoft, and Johnson & Johnson will help demonstrate how these actions can be integrated into business operations to create significant social impact.
Actions to Creating a Social Impact Strategy for Your Business
Conduct a social impact assessment
The ambition is to identify social and environmental issues that alter the company’s operations, products and services. This may include conducting stakeholder consultations, analysing supply chains, and verifying administrative compliance.
Example: Unilever’s Sustainable Living Plan is an example of a comprehensive social impact assessment. The plan includes commitments to sustainable sourcing, reducing waste and greenhouse gas emissions, and improving the health and well-being of consumers.
Set social impact goals
Once social and environmental issues are identified, companies can set specific and measurable goals to address those issues. These goals may include reducing carbon emissions, improving working conditions for employees and suppliers, and improving access to education and healthcare.
Example: Ikea’s People & Planet Positive sustainability strategy includes goals to produce as much renewable energy as it consumes by 2020 and to use only renewable and recycled materials in its products by 2030.
Implement sustainable business practices
This involves integrating sustainable practices into all aspects of the business, including product design, sourcing, manufacturing, and distribution.
Example: Microsoft has committed to achieving carbon neutrality for its data centres, software development labs, and offices since 2012. The company also uses renewable energy to power its data centres and has developed sustainable packaging for its products.
Stakeholder engagement identifies social and environmental issues that are important to stakeholders, understands their expectations, and ensures that social impact company initiatives are aligned with their values and needs. It is an integral part of creating a company’s social impact strategy because it helps to create effective social impact strategies.
Businesses must engage with a range of stakeholders, including employees, customers, suppliers, and communities.
Example: Johnson & Johnson’s Citizenship & Sustainability strategy includes stakeholder engagement programs to improve access to healthcare and education in underserved communities. The company also partners with non-profit organizations to address global health challenges such as HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis.
In succinct, implementing a social impact strategy is an essential step for businesses and organizations that wish to make a positive difference in society. By focusing on creating meaningful change and aligning values with action, companies can not only improve their bottom line, but also have a positive impact on their communities and the world at large.
Businesses and organizations that prioritize social impact can create long-term value for themselves and society by addressing important social issues, building meaningful relationships, and creating positive change in the world.