As pressure is added by consumers seeking to make more responsible choices and by the constraints of ever-dwindling natural resources, more companies are incorporating sustainable strategies and adopting more socially responsible practices. The top trends in the area of corporate social responsibility include increased transparency, investment in green technologies, local community and employee engagement, and recognition of economic inequality.
Demands for Disclosure
Partly in response to heightened regulatory oversight, partly as a result of ever-increasing availability of almost instantaneous information and partly due to consumer and shareholder demands, companies are becoming more transparent in their operations. As part of a business model that embraces corporate social responsibility, companies are sharing more environmental, social and governance disclosures.
Creation of New Resources
Gone are the days of rampant resource usage without any accountability or thought toward replenishment. As available natural resources are rapidly depleted, rather than simply moving on to the next source of materials, fossil fuels and cheaply available labor, socially responsible companies are investing in green technologies and developing alternative resources.
Global Companies Acting Locally
Even companies that operate on a global level are recognizing the value of local markets and supply chains. Also, corporate social responsibility initiatives actively attempt to engage in activities that benefit local communities as well as produce profits for the corporation. Related to these efforts are attempts at engaging employees. Micro-volunteerism is an emerging trend that allows employees to volunteer their efforts and make positive contributions with minimal time commitments.
Investing in Employees
As the issue of economic inequality rises to the forefront of many political debates, so does the issue increasingly press upon corporations. Recognition of inequalities in pay and economic burdens of employees is a trend in more progressive companies. Raising the pay rates of the lowest earning employees is one of the top trends in corporate social responsibility.