CSR: difficulties of its implementation
Our group worked together with a company, that in the last years made a lot of changes and improvements in their policies dealing with CSR issues, becoming a leader in sustainability of the retail market. However, as Niccolo Machiavelli said “Whosoever desires constant success, must change his conduct with the time” and so to keep the leadership, the company develops continuously new ideas to improve their impact on the society.
With our group, we had the opportunity to study and analyze the various policies that they adopted to solve sustainability problems. All these policies, however, improved mainly issues that arise from internal inefficiency, for example they implemented policies that reduced their waste and consumption of energy. Nowadays CSR issues, moved from a inside point of view of the company to a wider understanding of the stakeholder’s concerns. Our project consisted in finding solutions and alternatives for a specific policy, whose outcome depends entirely on the level of involvement of their clients. In fact, the main problem that rose from the project was to define the way, how the company should change customer’s behavior and routine.
In the company the main guideline for the introduction of a new policies is that changes do not have to complicate the purchasing process. This rule can be seen as a limit and boundary for the evolution of new trends and needs. Many ideas that we proposed and analyzed for the company were problematic, because they implicated a too high level of involvement for the ordinary client. Finally we realized that the best way to implement these ideas was to motivate customers to change their habits, with financial and non-financial incentives.
In conclusion, our company, whose main goal is to improve its social reputation, should determine if a proactive policy, which affects customer behavior, has a better impact than an incentive program. They should determine if a proactive policy would give them the first mover advantage and so an extremely better reputation.