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Corporate Social Responsibility is Taking Root in Canada

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is defined as how a business manages their internal processes in order to have a positive impact on the world through sustainability, social impact and ethics. In this age of consumers demanding transparency in businesses, no matter how large or small, it is vital that businesses protect their images and demonstrate their willingness to be good corporate citizens throughout the world.

Some companies in Canada have not just talked the talk, but they have made a concerted effort to change the ways that they operate on a daily basis and so have changed the entire culture within their organizations to enable their actions to have the greatest possible positive impact on the world.

PepsiCo has taken major steps towards increasing their use of sustainable resources. They have focused on reducing: water usage, energy usage and packaging. Through their efforts, they have reduced their water usage by 40% in their production plants. Also, they are the first manufacturer in Canada to reduce their use of fossil fuels by introducing all electric, zero-emission, green-powered delivery vehicles.

Starbucks is also known for its corporate social responsibility, community welfare and sustainability, focusing on ethically sourced coffee, global network of farmers, greener stores, community volunteer service, and supporting a college program for its partners and employees.

While PepsiCo and Starbucks are major players in both Canada and the world, they are seen as leaders in CSR. But a business doesn’t have to be the size of PepsiCo or Starbucks to make a difference. They can begin with small things like: restaurants can recycle their oil used in their fryers; source fairly traded items to sell in their stores; provide paper instead of plastic bags for clients when they purchase something or encourage them to bring a reusable bag; sell products that are organically produced and fully recyclable; or buy local where possible and reduce the use of fossil fuels to transport the product. All of these are simple actions that can make any business a CSR practicing business.

CSR activities can also create a stronger bond between employer and employees, and boost morale.

So if your business wants to be a good corporate citizen, look for ways to change the culture in your organization to reflect your core values of fairness, environmental responsibility and sustainability.

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