Many companies today have corporate social responsibility policies – it has become an increasingly necessary part of any modern and forward-thinking business. But why is it so important for companies to make this kind of commitment? What are the benefits of taking this approach, and dedicating so much resource to this kind of investment?
Doing the right thing
“First and foremost, here at Midwestern Oil and Gas we invest in our corporate social responsibility programme because it is simply the right thing to do,” says our Chairman, Mr Onajite Okoloko. “As human beings, we have a responsibility to make sure that we use the rich resources that are available to us as a successful business and to try and use them for the benefit of the many, not just the few. Our corporate social responsibility work is one way in which we do this.”
But beyond it being the morally right thing to do, what are the practical benefits of having an effective corporate social responsibility programme?
Of course the first and most valuable aspect of having an effective corporate social responsibility programme is that it encourages stronger links with the communities we’re lucky enough to work within. Our host communities are critical to our success as a business – because they provide the local support that means that any operation can be sustainable and for the benefit of all sides. We’re proud then to be able to invest, in a structured, planned and coherent way, in our communities – directly, by providing work for local contractors and workers, but also through our support for education and healthcare. It is our intention that any community in which we work should benefit from the presence of our operations – and that people there should feel that they lead richer lives, not just in purely financial terms, but also in terms of their quality of life and the standard of living of themselves and their families.
A second benefit of investing properly in a corporate social responsibility policy is in the area of employee engagement attraction and retention. People, rightly, are attracted to companies that show that they are prepared to act in the right way, and that behave responsibly in the communities in which they operate. This has at least a couple of fundamentally important implications – it means that they are more likely to want to join our business, but it also means that they will hopefully want to stay with us too, building their careers in a business that shares their values.
Finally, having an effective corporate responsibility programme improves and strengthens relationships. So much of business comes down to relationships and by behaving responsibly we can show that, as a business, we are committed to doing things the right way. Our corporate social responsibility programme builds our relationships with our host communities, and with our existing – and potential – employees.
But it also helps us to build relationships more broadly, with other businesses, who respect what we do, and with investors who can see that we are company that understands the importance of building a sustainable model for our business. It also shows government – both locally and nationally – that we are committed to achieving goals that go far beyond short-term financial gain – and instead are focused on improving the lives of millions of ordinary people in our country.