Here are three degrees of social responsibility for you to consider when deciding your event's CSR involvement for 2012:
First Degree: Feel Good, Look Good
The most popular form of social responsibility for meetings falls into this category. This includes donation and volunteer projects. These kinds of projects contribute to a sustainable cause, but they are also equally directed at providing promotional benefits to the donor agency. These kinds of socially responsible acts can be measured in terms of number of media opportunities, and the financial value of exposure.
Second Degree: Responsible Action in Planning
This year, some meetings are starting to take things to the Second Degree. This includes actions that integrate social responsibility into fundamental planning actions, like procurement and hiring. There are often direct financial implications to this kind of action, some positive, some negative. For example fair trade-certified goods can cost more, however these increases can be neutralized by savings associated with using local staff for events.
Third Degree: Advocacy for Social Responsibility
The brave new world of social responsibility involves taking a stand to change practice. This is where social responsibility can start to become a little uncomfortable, and down-right revolutionary. Have you ever thought about how human rights factors into destination selection? What does the destination say about you and your organization? Do your suppliers act on social responsibility?
Whether taking it to the first, second or third degree each step is progress toward embracing our organization's opportunity to use meetings to improve quality of life.
Source: Having a Human Impact, Shawna McKinley, March 2010