Many organizations often perceive Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) as a by the way endeavor, separate from their core business functions. They tend to view CSR initiatives as charitable activities conducted outside regular business operations, and yet CSR belongs very much in the business because no endevour grows in a vacuum and if the communities around you as a corporate are not growing the neither are you. CSR is therefore not a peripheral concern, rather an integral part of a company’s mission and identity.
Rather than considering CSR solely as a financial burden, forward-thinking companies now recognize it as a strategic investment that can yield numerous benefits. These include enhanced brand reputation, increased customer loyalty, access to new markets, improved employee morale, and long-term financial sustainability.
One company that has its CSR policies and activities up in its priorities is electronics giant LG Electronics which takes a radically different approach by uniting its CSR with its vision of Innovation for a Better Life. This means that the goal of making the world a better place through protecting the environment and the health of the community is core to the very design of LG’s products. Such commitment to the community growth and conservation of the environment sees LG ensure that product users have their well being taken care of.
If we may look at a few examples of great CSR projects by LG, in July this year the company supported 260 residents from Seger Ward in Nanyuki with infrastructure facilities focused on learning and safety, as well as water sanitation and hygiene. This was in partnership with Habitat for Humanity, and the facilities provided included a classroom in Naibor Primary School, toilet blocks, water tanks, and renovated houses. This will go a long way in improving education and housing in the area. Having access to quality affordable housing is fundamental to reducing poverty, improving equal opportunities and guaranteeing sustainable growth.
In February last year and still in Laikipia County, LG unveiled community empowerment initiatives worth Ksh.10.3m. These encompassed building of ablution blocks at Mbombo Primary School and furnishing of the school’s classrooms with desks and chairs. Under the same program, at least 60 LG products such as refrigerators, washers, water purifiers, air conditioners, televisions and microwaves were donated to the community institutions. This move will benefit 3,683 primary and secondary school pupils, and over 22,000 residents annually treated at Olmoran and Maundu Meri Dispensary. Read more about this great initiative here.
In the word of sports, LG runs a very impactful project of awarding our sports and women who stand out and fly our flag high in athletics. This is through the company’s Sports Personality of the Month initiative that goes a long way in motivating young and upcoming sports personalities to realise their potential. It also fuels one’s passion to give more. Some examples of people who have been awarded through this partnership are Faith Kipyegon, Titus Ekiru and Eliud Kipchoge.
These are just a few examples and clearly, there are numerous lessons that can be picked from global giants such as LG who may not identify as social enterprises but clearly have a socially conscious approach to product design and community empowerment.