Increasingly there are levels of pressure being placed upon industry organisations to operate in a more responsible manner, with great encouragement from government, industry associations and peers alike to display role model conduct on areas of corporate responsibility. Yet, with the very concept of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) being such a vast and nigh-on all-encompassing sector, it can be considered quite easy for organisations to get bogged down in the million and one ways to move forward; effectively, where to start?
Now, of course most organisations recognise some of the key areas of corporate social responsibility, which traditionally revolve around sustainability, environmental concerns, health and safety, local community works, providing benefits around those works being performed, providing personal development and opportunities for workers, and also supply chain transparencies. But with so much included in the CSR agenda, it can be very difficult for organisations to push the envelope on each of these areas simultaneously, or so it may seem.
Increasingly, key players in the construction industry have been perceived to try and meld different aspects of CSR temporarily, creating and undertaking projects where multiple boxes in the corporate responsibility agenda can be ticked all at once – and then being singular in nature, making this far more easy for organisation’s to manage.
For example; when undertaking projects in a community, interaction with that community is highlighted as being of considerable importance, yet it’s key to address the form of communication and channels thereof. Through interaction with local educational establishments, such as schools, construction companies have been seen to partner and work across the CSR spectrum most effectively: examples may include talks on environmental best practice, the importance of safety around construction sites and more.
What this means effectively is that, while it can be difficult for organisations to arrange complete strategies for CSR, especially in those organisations with smaller operational teams and controls, this does not mean that progress cannot be made in the field. Through thinking small-scale and creating targeted CSR-relevant projects, even the smallest of organisations can make a difference in a controlled, easy to manage environment.