Many companies have difficulties measuring the effect of their corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives. Some of the benefits - such as customer loyalty and improved reputation - are hard to quantify, making it difficult to assess the value of your activities.
However, measurement is extremely important as it enables you to:
- disclose the importance of your activities to your stakeholders and customers
- improve your decision-making as you move forward with your CSR programmes
- align your activities with corporate goals, eg decrease turnover or develop staff skills
By measuring the impact of your CSR, you can connect the value of your activities to your company's bottom line. For example, you can establish a link between skill development and lower training costs, employee satisfaction and lower turnover rate, and even growth in sales leads that increases revenue.
How to measure the impact of your CSR?
Here are some ways to help you measure your CSR success. You can:
- benchmark your business against others - see measure performance and set targets
- seek recognition for CSR best practice - eg by taking part in responsible business awards or using measurement tools such as the BITC's Responsible Business Tracker
- use key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure your environmental performance - download a guide on environmental KPIs (PDF, 354K)
- use the CommunityMark standard to measure your community involvement
It's worth remembering that measurements will probably only show the immediate impact of CSR. The biggest benefit can be the long-term improvement in your reputation.