Corporate Citizenship is defined as a company’s participation in positively impacting society. There's a great deal more going on beyond a company's financials, of which corporate Citizenship makes up a significant part. The metrics that fall under this umbrella include measurement of a company's:
- Support of good causes,
- Positive influence on society, and
- Environmental responsibility
Now more than ever, the public wants to know what companies are doing outside of business-as-usual, so much so that it's practically a given that business-as-usual in today's economic and policitally-charged climate includes corporate responsibility. Stakeholders are repeatedly asking: Do companies support worthwhile causes that are improving society? Are they intentional and genuine about their engagement with societal issues? Are they preoccupied with more than what’s improving their profit margins?
According to recent RepTrak data, Citizenship is consistently weighted as one of the most important drivers of corporate reputation. Globally, it accounts for 14.2% of a company’s reputation and ranks 3rd in importance among the other 6 drivers of reputation.
The archetype of a successful corporate citizen is a company that is deeply developed in its sustainability initiatives, whether they be people- or environment-focused. These brands are identifiably associated with the causes they support. Stakeholders perceive these companies to be fruitful in merging sustainability initiatives with their brand promise, and this makes all the difference.
Companies Winning in Citizenship
Two Citizenship role models are Natura & The LEGO Group.
Natura, a Brazilian cosmetics giant, brands itself as an eco-friendly and sustainable company. From incorporating sustainability into its supply chains and packaging practices to using relatable (more natural) people in its advertisements instead of the traditional notion of models, Natura is effective in aligning its brand purpose with its communication about it. Natura demonstrates that it is more than a successful business with amazing products; it is an ethical business with sustainable products.
The LEGO Group has committed to ambitious environmental initiatives. A leader in Citizenship due to its commitment to environmental sustainability in not only the organizations it supports, but in innovating the core substance of its business: plastic. As a business whose products rely exclusively on plastic, The LEGO Group has taken it upon itself to innovate its entire enterprise for the sake of environmental stewardship for future generations.
These two stellar corporate citizens are authentic in their actions and they support issues that are important to their stakeholders, not only through monetary sponsorship, but through all aspects of their business.
Want more insights on how your company can win at Citizenship? Download our eBook about Corporate Responsibility.