- 52% of business owners believe a successful CSR strategy can add value to a business
- 39% of UK business owners say CSR can boost sales and customer loyalty, which benefits growth
- Over half (52%) of UK businesses do not have a clear CSR strategy, with 48% of business owners saying they need to improve
- Financial considerations (38%) and lack of resources (37%) cited as main barriers to implementing strategic CSR
CSR efforts, whether large or small, say a lot about your business. Studies prove that companies who consistently demonstrate a commitment to protecting and empowering their employees can not only expect loyal staff but can also attract a growing client and consumer base. A three-year study found companies with a good CSR rating have returns 19% higher than those with a poor rating.
As we enter 2022, consumers and employees are looking for transparency and authenticity from companies, with 59% of consumers stating that businesses have a responsibility to social good.
So, what are UK businesses doing to champion CSR? Tyl surveyed UK business owners to find out what Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) means to them and how this translates into business success.
The data reveals that over half of UK businesses (52%) do not have a clear CSR strategy. This was highest among hospitality and leisure businesses at 62%, and Welsh businesses at 64%. However, a third (33%) of UK businesses have incorporated CSR in their businesses and this rose to two thirds (67%) among transport/logistics companies.
Despite this, 36% of UK business owners believe CSR initiatives are very important, with 52% of them stating that it adds value to their business. This rose to 67% among businesses in Greater London, the highest of any region. Tyl’s data supports this, showing that taking CSR seriously can see benefits not only for people and the planet – but for profits too. The top benefits of implementing CSR in businesses were identified as:
- Positive business reputation – 45%
- Increased sales and customer loyalty – 39%
- Better financial performance – 24%
- Better brand recognition – 24%
However, it’s clear that not every UK business is giving back as much as they’d like. Tyl asked business owners what they consider to be the main barriers that prevent them from implementing a CSR strategy. 37% of business owners cited a lack of resources as the main barrier, rising to 54% among hospitality businesses. Other key barriers to implementation identified are:
- Financial considerations (38%)
- Lack of measurement system (17%)
- High regulatory standards (15%)
While the survey shows that many UK businesses want to do more, Tyl did find that some business owners are sceptical about the effectiveness of CSR, with 34% considering CSR ‘not very important’, rising to 47% among media companies.
The pandemic has posed many challenges for UK businesses, but can challenging times be the catalyst for positive change? Research conducted by Pennies found over half of consumers (53%) think the covid-19 pandemic has seen a more caring society that’s mindful of other people’s hardships. Interestingly, almost half (48%) of business owners state that they know they could improve on their current CSR strategy, with 42% pledging their organisation will be more committed to CSR in 2022.
Once a business has the capability to implement a CSR plan, what are the most urgent social issues that need addressing? Across all industries, Health, wellbeing, and equality was cited as the most important societal development by 46% of respondents. This rose to 77% in the manufacturing industry, followed by hospitality (68%) and media (67%). Climate change was also identified as a popular cause, cited by 40% of businesses.
With millions of people now reassessing their work and life priorities in the wake of the pandemic, Tyl’s findings provide UK businesses with an opportunity to reset their relationship with not only their staff, but consumers more widely too.
Mike Elliff, CEO of Tyl comments:
“It is now more important than ever that businesses are invested in CSR – not only are consumers more motivated to purchase from companies who do good, but young professionals are more prone to seek employment with a business that recognises the needs of the community.
We must all play a part in enacting positive social change and that’s why I’m so proud that Tyl by Natwest donates a portion of our revenue to our Giveback Community Fund for every payment we process for our merchants.”
The full details of this research can be found here.