“Huge shift” in employer uptake of social responsibility credentials

Silverstone Technology Cluster

18th February 2021

The COVID pandemic has significantly raised awareness amongst employers of their social responsibility credentials – something that the new ‘Generation Z’ of young people say is as important as money when considering vacancies.

That’s the feedback from STC member CSR Accreditation (CSR-A) which specialises in training businesses in social responsibility and providing them with its own professionally recognised CSR certification.

“We’ve seen a huge shift. The pandemic has really emphasised how important social responsibility – enriching people’s lives – has become,” commented CSRA’s Richard Collins.

“Before COVID, we would receive two to three applications per month from businesses for accreditation – starting this year, we’ve received ten alone in January.

“Overall, we’ve seen close to 50% more enquiries from employers, both UK and internationally, keen to know more. The number of CSR accreditations is up by 65%.”

A business’s social responsibility credibility is measured in how pro-active it is across four ‘pillars’: Community; Workspace; Philanthropy; Environment.

Also note that the ‘C’ in CSR-A previously stood for ‘Corporate’, but instead can now mean a number of words including ‘community’, ‘charity’, ‘consumer’ or ‘collaborative’.

Richard continued: “We are very definitely seeing a different attitude from a new generation – ‘Generation Z’ – who are determined to ensure the future is more about social value over profit.”

Generation Z is the generation of young people born in the late 1990s/early 2000s…

Latest research by CSR-A shows:
• 76% of millennials consider an organisation’s social and environmental commitments when deciding where to work
• Bucks New University indicated that over 70% of students actively look for an organisation’s CSR policy before applying for/accepting a job
• 64% of millennials would not take a job if a potential employer didn’t have strong corporate social responsibility practices in place
• 84% expect their favourite companies to make public declarations of their CSR
• One in three councils in England now routinely considers social value and CSR in its procurement and commissioning
• 87% of consumers would purchase a product based on a company supporting a social or environmental issue the consumer cares about
• 87% of employees now expect their employer to support them in balancing their work and personal commitments

Richard said: “It’s about emotional investment; enriching the quality of lives for people that you employ and the community around you.

“During COVID, as people we’ve recognised the value of community. It’s given us a time to pause – it’s not necessarily about a ‘new normal’; more that we lost sight of what mattered.”

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