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corporate social responsibilityCorporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is a big buzzword in business today. In the last decade, companies around the world have embraced the notion of "doing good" will ultimately help the company's bottom line.

Now that this idea has been around for a while and many different methods and styles tried and tested, what has evolved as the best approach to CSR?

A study conducted by Cone Communications found that 30% of consumers around the world today want companies to engage in CSR by changing the way the business operates. Consumers understand the greatest opportunity for impact comes from the core of a company; its operations. Consumers still certainly want corporations to engage with broad social issues through philanthroship, but increasingly they also want corporations to take an inward look at their operations to identify areas where they can function in a more sustainable and responsible manner.

Cone Communications found, "18% of global consumers call out new product or service development as the one approach companies should take to positively affect social and environmental issues." This approach is even more important to consumers from China and Japan, 26% and 30% of respectively, where technology and innovation have played an integral part of their economic prosperity and culture.

These are two significant global trends, but there are other approaches to CSR that ranked high in certain countries. India, for example, displayed a high penchant for knowledge sharing, with 24% of its consumers saying they would like most for businesses to raise awareness for and educate the public about an issue. On the other hand, the United States, as the trailblazing country for broad-based philanthropy, favours traditional corporate approaches to issue engagement. Thirteen percent of American consumers want companies to focus on making donations, a much higher rate of selection than the global average of seven percent.

Let's Review:

1. To best cater to the global consumer base today, organizations should reexamine their own operations to make them more sustainable and responsible.

2. Firms should also make innovative products and services a priority to help fight global social and environmental issues, to properly cater to the desires of today's consumers.

3. Businesses should learn the specific priorities of the consumers from the country in which it operates and/or serves.
Powering the world to do well by doing good.