It used to be a buzzword in larger companies, but for business of all sizes, corporate social responsibility (CSR) can be an enjoyable way to make a difference and engage colleagues. Andy Lynch tells us what RED has been up to in 2018, and why CSR should be a key part of agency life.
Please introduce us to ‘CSR’?
When we first talked about how CSR could work for RED, I was surprised to learn that it was not such a new concept. Even as far back as the 1800s, there were employers dedicated to improving the lives of factory workers, for example.
By building better houses and offering health care, they were taking ‘social responsibility’ for their employees. Anyway, history lesson over! Today, it’s all about conducting business ethically, which means thinking sustainably and putting people first.
How does it work at RED?
We divide the year into quarters, and have a specific CSR theme for each: health; environment; social; and charity. At the beginning of each quarter, we have a brainstorm to identify relevant activities we’d like to be involved in.
In this way, everyone at RED is involved. It also means that each colleague can suggest something they feel passionate about, and the process is also a great way for us to connect as a group outside of work.
What have been some of 2018’s CSR highlights?
For me, continuing our partnership with the Hull Homeless Community Project has been the number one highlight. They are making a phenomenal difference to people’s lives in East Yorkshire. We hope we can be involved with its CEO Andrew Smith for a long time to come.
Other highpoints have been the careers evening we took part in at Hymers College in Hull. That was a fantastic occasion and an ideal opportunity to inspire the next generation about international marketing. In addition, we’ve been improving our own wellbeing this year by doing various team walks, healthy lunches and a step challenge.
Why is it important to be involved in CSR?
There are a number of great reasons to embrace CSR. At RED, we are all enthusiastic, likeminded people with many interests. Therefore, CSR is a terrific way of tapping into everyone’s energies in pursuit of a cause we can all relate to.
CSR goes beyond the ‘office walls’ with the intention of making a positive difference to the world. That’s incredibly satisfying for me and we’re looking forward to seeing what else we achieve next year.
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