CSR, ESG, and CSV have been buzz words not only in the social impact sector, but also in the corporate world in recent years. Whichever direction you choose to start with, it could lead to various forms of collaboration with other purpose-driven organisations. In this article, we will look into the meaning of CSR, ESG and CSV, as well as some case studies, to help you understand and set the course for your company’s social impact.
CSR, ESG, and CSV – what do they mean?
CSR = Corporate Social Responsibility, is where a company supports external organisations that “do good”, in the form of monetary contributions or volunteering.
ESG = Environment, Social and Governance, is where a company is accountable for looking beyond profit maximisation, and analyses the impact of its business on these 3 factors.
CSV = Creating Shared Value, is where a company believes in “doing well by doing good”. It sees social impact as a competitive advantage that contributes to the company’s long-term success.
Why should you care about CSR, ESG, and CSV?
Although none of these is currently mandated by Hong Kong government, they each carries significant business implications:
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) brings brand proximity to those who care about the same social cause. It is seen as a cost that yields reputational benefits, allowing companies to demonstrate their commitment to the society.
Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) could bring reputational, regulatory and financial benefits to the company’s core business. According to an ECGI study, 25 countries have mandated companies to disclose ESG information between 2000 and 2017, including Australia, China, South Africa and the United Kingdom. Investors are also actively considering ESG risks.
Creating Shared Value (CSV) unlocks new opportunities for the company. It inspires deep soul-searching and radical innovation to find ways that benefit the business and generate positive impact at the same time. The benefits are three-fold: it pushes the company to innovate, brings a competitive advantage in the long-run, and generates positive reputation and induces loyalty among stakeholders.
What’s next? Case studies to inspire your own project for good
Prudential Hong Kong’s CSR Program
Prudential Hong Kong prioritises its contribution to youth, education, health, and community through staff volunteering and event sponsorship. With the increasing corporate’s adaptation of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs to report its CSR work, Prudential places relevant UN SDG goals under its focused CSR areas.
Swire’s Diversity and Inclusion Policy (as part of its ESG commitment)
Swire’s website includes information on the company’s D&I policy. It includes recruitment, board formation and process for D&I policy to be implemented. Such policy can be seen as the response to the growing call for companies to create an inclusive working environment for everyone.
CLP Power’s CLP Power Academy to Create Shared Value
To address the issue of talent shortage in the engineering field, CLP Power sets up CLP Power Academy (the Academy) to train future engineers. The Academy offers widely-recognised programmes for school leavers and working adults to develop careers in Electrical and Mechanical (E&M) engineering.
The Academy helps CLP to build a talent pipeline, create an agile workforce and reduce the time to train new engineers through in-house manpower investments. Socially, the Academy helps (1) school leavers and working adults to upskill themselves for career choices and (2) strengthens Hong Kong’s capability to adapt to climate change through building up the talent pool.
Ready to start your social project?
We hope this blog clarifies CSR, ESG, and CSV for you, and helps inspire your own project for good. Have an idea in mind? We’re eager to hear!
Dream Impact is Hong Kong’s largest network of social enterprises and impact ventures. With our experienced and passionate team, we can help you plan and execute your social projects. Book a free 15-minute chat with us here.