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CSR & Sustainability Trends in 2021

Aug 30, 2021 | by Yosy Christy Natalia

CSR & Sustainability trends to watch out for in 2021 

The hallmark of an effective CSR strategy is equilibrium between business goals and value creation for customers, stakeholders, and society. 

Many aspects are significant while designing a CSR strategy and among those is a need to stay relevant. A robust CSR strategy stays flexible and adaptive in face of global changes and trends. 

In some of our previous blogs, we pointed out the necessity to map trends, monitor competition to give a timely and much-needed overhaul to a CSR strategy so that it makes a positive impact and garners engagement from various stakeholders.    

This blog is dedicated to understanding the importance of CSR trends and what to watch out for this year.   

Needless to say, the pandemic brought a new avenue for businesses to pivot their focus on. As business models changed amid lockdowns, so did CSR initiatives. Covid-19 continues to be one of the primary concerns across businesses since the onset of the outbreak last year, however, it is not the sole focal point of CSR activities this year. Here’s exploring CSR trends for 2021. 

Virtual volunteering

The pandemic gave rise to people adjusting and adapting to the new normal – the ‘work from home’ culture. Therefore virtual initiatives & virtual volunteering gained pace. The trend is expected to grow this year and, most likely, in 2022 as well. 

Reporting

We are seeing an increasing trend among the companies to have accurate metrics to support their CSR & sustainability claims. What is paramount here is the growing pressure on companies to stay authentic, especially from the younger generation. Wary of SDG washing &  Greenwashing, the consumers, governmental authorities, and independent ‘watchdog’ like agencies are holding companies accountable to stay authentic and transparent. 

Carbon neutrality 

We aren’t quite there with the ambitious goals that have been set up to be achieved in this field, therefore, this will continue to be among the top trends for corporate social responsibility. Especially, given the recent UN report highlighting the dire situation, the focus on this aspect is expected to grow even further. 

Equity and diversity

Forbes lists equity and diversity among the top areas for CSR activities this year. The center point, here, would be the promotion of racial equity, also among minorities and with respect to pay parity. 

Small businesses   

Supporting small businesses has been in trend for quite some time now and the same is likely to stay in vogue. The pandemic has had a devastating impact on businesses across the world with the local, indigenous enterprises and small-scale entities bearing the maximum brunt. In Indonesia, we have seen many tech companies coming forward to create more impact for SMEs with their CSR & core businesses as well. 

Green energy

For some corporate entities investing in green or renewable energy is almost a must. Countries across the globe are committing to renewable energy goals in the Paris Agreement, and corporate entities have also taken the lead. This will remain a hot CSR trend in all probabilities. 

CSR activities are intrinsic, integral to businesses than ever before. Mapping trends and pitching your CSR strategy accordingly is a tiny step toward ensuring a better, more sustainable world.

Read also:

4 Effects of COVID19 on CSR: How to Cope?

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