Published at 2020, April 28th
After the lockdown, companies’ operations will have to continue. CSR projects may have been left on hold. Here are 3 tips to help reactivate them.
With the coronavirus crisis and the forced lockdown, many business activities have been paused, including CSR-related ones. Obviously, in unexpected transition periods, CSR reports, impact assessments or calculating carbon footprints stop being a priority compared to reorganizing operations and preparing mandatory changes to avoid the spread of the pandemic.
But soon enough business activities will gradually resume and CSR has to get back on its feet. We believe there 3 main aspects organizations should pay attention to once they resume their activities in order not to let sustainability on hold: training employees, organizing CSR projects, and using the moment to accelerate the transition.
1- Train Employees on CSR Issues
Studies show 90% of CSR approaches do not reach their objectives because employees are not sufficiently trained, invested and committed to CSR issues.
Right now, the whole lockdown situation and the side effect of in many employees working from home can be a perfect opportunity to remedy this. So what about preparing training sessions to help employees get more familiar global sustainability issues and the organizational challenges of corporate responsibility?
This way, when things return to the new, possible normal, and since new prevention habits will need to be adapted either way because of the coronavirus, other, sustainability-related habits can be introduced too. With previously done online training on how to separate trash and recycle it or how to save more energy, the purpose behind new, ecological habits will more easily be understood and respected…
2- Organize CSR Projects Around the Post-Covid Recovery
To relaunch CSR policies after quarantine it will, of course, be necessary to take into account the specificities of the period that’s coming. We cannot demand companies to resume their operations as they were before and that yesterday’s CSR projects are the same as the ones of tomorrow.
Adjustments will have to be made. The priority will perhaps be initially to resume organizations’ main activities and get revenue coming in again. But it is still possible for CSR departments to organize themselves in order to structure their projects for the coming months around this exceptional situation.
How? By supporting associations that participate in the effort of the moment, by putting production capacities at the service of the specific needs of this period or by supporting caregivers. But also by supporting employees’ return to work together with HR or simply by helping small suppliers who will certainly be in trouble after this complicated period.
3- Take Advantage of the Moment to Accelerate
Finally, CSR’s recovery will also have to seize the opportunity represented by this pivotal moment. The crisis increased the awareness about the need to diversify suppliers, develop resilient and more responsible supply chains, develop mechanisms for remote work and more flexibility at work… These are all subjects that primarily concern CSR.
Taking advantage of this awareness will mean knowing how to put on the table the subjects that matter for organizations. Sometimes it will mean shaking up habits and things formerly taken for granted or seen as unchangeable. Some organizations will try to go back to business as usual and resume old habits. This is a mistake. It is the perfect time to launch ambitions, sustainable project, and build more locally-focused, resilient business models. Watch out. Because society has never been watching so closely.