Faced with the ecological and social situation in today’s world, many companies have embarked on a CSR approach, but preconceived ideas are hard to come by, and are holding many back.

When we talk about corporate social responsibility (CSR), we mean all the positive practices that an organisation puts in place to manage its impact on the environment, society and the economy.

Regardless of their sector of activity, many companies have undertaken a CSR approach. But there are still too many companies that look at it from a distance, not thinking they have anything to do with it.

Let’s work together to deconstruct the preconceived ideas surrounding CSR.

Preconceived idea 1: « CSR is only for big groups, my company is too small to pollute »

It’s not true! Through the movements of its employees, its activities and those of its suppliers, no company can claim to have no impact on society and/or the environment.

It is true that only companies with more than 500 employees or a turnover of more than €100 million are required to « report on CSR ».

Nevertheless, 90% of SME managers surveyed by the Laboratoire d’idées pour les PME-ETI said that they were carrying out CSR actions in order to combine their activities with the company’s values, even though they are not obliged to publish a dedicated report.

Preconceived idea 2: « CSR is useless, it's just communication »

It’s still not true! It’s a proven fact that starting a CSR initiative is a real added value. It contributes to your company’s good image, and helps to attract talent, particularly from the younger generation.

According to a study published by EDHEC Business School in 2019, for 50% of future graduates, respect for the principles of sustainable development and the CSR approach adopted by the company are the main criteria when choosing a company.

But be careful not to focus your entire CSR strategy on communication without really taking any action, at the risk of falling into the trap of Greenwashing. Your approach must be sincere and linked to concrete actions.

Preconceived idea 3: « CSR is too expensive »

Yes and no. It’s true that implementing a responsible strategy requires a budget. However, if you take things one step at a time, the expenditure will be spread over several months or even several years.

It’s important to see CSR as a long-term investment. It increases your credibility with investors and makes you more competitive and attractive.

What’s more, there are many ecological, social and economic actions that you can take without spending too much money. We’ll tell you all about that in our next article!

It’s important to remember that CSR is entirely voluntary. As a manager, you can make a commitment. By starting with small actions, then going further little by little.

Keywords: Preconceived ideas, CSR, ecology, environment, societal, Greenwashing