How and why B2B companies must embrace CSR

Corporate social responsibility efforts such as sustainability and human rights are no longer a mandate solely for consumer-facing enterprises. How is your organization stepping up?

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It’s marketing 101 for consumer companies: What you stand for is as important as what you sell.

One in three consumers choose brands based on their social and environmental impact, a rate that’s probably climbing.

When a consumer company’s values align with its customers’ values, it’s good for business. Patagonia, the quintessential purpose-led success story, declares, “We’re in business to save our home planet.”

When brand values don’t entirely mesh with consumers’ values, a brand can expect to lose sales, or maybe even get boycotted. Ask Chick-fil-A.

Values alignment is a major business responsibility as consumers look into companies’ ethics, actions and financial flows. An entire communications industry has arisen around helping consumer companies practice and showcase the right values: corporate social responsibility.

What’s new and surprising for many companies is that this values imperative is crossing over into the business-to-business (B2B) sector. B2B companies, too, have to declare a purpose beyond profit and prove they are socially and environmentally sustainable. The consumer brands they serve depend on it.

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