Corporate Social Responsibility. Sustainability plans. These are two actions that more and more companies are taking to attract more talent and customers. They want to show that their corporate culture aligns with their social responsibilities. But what are they, and how does electric vehicle charging fit in?

First, let’s see how Financial Times defines our terms:

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)– a business approach that contributes to sustainable development by delivering economic, social and environmental benefits for all stakeholders.

Business sustainability– managing the triple bottom line – a process by which companies manage their financial, social and environmental risks, obligations and opportunities. These three impacts are sometimes referred to as Profits, People, and Planet.

Companies that take steps to benefit society or the environment, even if they are for-profit businesses, can be said to do CSR or have sustainability plans.

Why invest in corporate social responsibility/sustainability?

Company values are an obvious reason to invest in CSR. If helping society or the environment is important to your company, you should definitely create a sustainability action plan to carry out your goals. There are also two other reasons to invest in CSR that have a direct financial impact:

  1. To attract and retain talent
  2. To attract and retain customers

According to Forbes, there are four major qualities in a brand that Millennials want: active investment in the betterment of society, prioritization of “making an impact,” transparency, and opportunities to take part in the brand’s good works. Corporate Social Responsibility can help you make your triple bottom line.

Helping the environment helps you attract and retain employees

In 2012, Time wrote about the need for companies to invest in CSR. They quoted a Deloitte survey from the previous year, which found that “a company’s commitment to the community has an influence on [70% of Millennials’] decision to work there.” Entrepreneur said more recently, “prospective employees name a company’s stature in the community as the second most important driver of employee engagement.”

When employees say that they want their employer to have a sustainability plan, they’re serious. 62% of Millennials and 56% of the general population say they would take a “pay cut in order to work for a [socially] responsible company.” A different survey found that 65% would “seriously consider leaving their job if their company harmed the environment.” Finally, Carmax and CleanTechnica discovered that 72% of electric vehicle enthusiasts surveyed would buy a plug-in electric vehicle if their employer offered charging stations.

Creating a sustainability plan that includes environmentally friendly steps like EV charging stations shows current and future employees that you care about your company’s impact on the environment. Doing good makes you stand out against the other companies competing for the same highly talented people!

Next week, we’ll discuss how helping the environment helps you attract and retain customers.

Read Part 2