Google has recently announced that they have now achieved a zero carbon footprint, meaning that for the entire life of the business, they are carbon neutral. They are not the only multinational tech firm to aim for this target, with Microsoft and Apple soon to follow. But this is only the start and when you look further into Google, there is much more to them than just being environmentally friendly.
I believe that Google are leading the way for the new generation of socially responsible companies. If you take the four pillars of corporate social responsibility, CSRA, they are definitely breaking the mould of what we would historically think of as core business values.
From an environmental perspective, their message is clear and hopefully they will demonstrate that it doesn’t matter how large the business is, you can still be carbon neutral.
Google have long recognised that their strength is in their staff, by having a diverse recruitment strategy they would be able to attract people from all backgrounds, typified by their approach to recruiting people on the ASD spectrum. Accepting that this group has specific skills and talents, Google set out to work with them and give them opportunities they might not get elsewhere.
Google is in a unique position to work with charities, as the leading search engine in the world they have set up a system whereby not for profit organisations can apply for specific accounts that reduce their ad costs and help make them more efficient. They also have a staff scheme that will pay staff to work for charities for up to six months. These are just a couple of examples of their charitable work.
The final pillar of CSR is the work in the community and Google has long played its part in helping disadvantaged groups get access to knowledge and training that it might not otherwise get. In addition, it also provides grants for local projects, all helping to ensure that it is giving back and helping those groups that need it the most.
Even with the largest businesses it is not possible to support everyone, but firms like Google can use their skills and resources to help many people and in doing so create a profile as a “nice business” one that is socially responsible, that cares about the people and environment surrounding it.
I believe that this is the way forward for businesses of all sizes and whilst it seems that many smaller organisations are embracing social responsibility there are many larger ones who feel that by giving a bit of money to a charity, they are doing their bit.
As we all struggle to find a way out of the pandemic, it is more important to help others and businesses must lead the way. But it comes with benefits and those companies who, like Google, give huge amounts back, will see their profile raised and have very different content to use in their marketing, content that is more engaging and powerful than the hard sell.
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