When some companies talk about corporate social responsibility they are referring to external initiatives which are completely unrelated to core business activity. This doesn’t mean an initiative is bad but it may mean it’s a superficial “papering over the cracks” exercise that is far outweighed by the negative impact of a firm’s day to day operations.
Modern commentators and theorists are cognisant of this and as a result, the term has largely become a sub-heading under the wider topic of corporate responsibility.
In the new framework, a firm is expected to work with its employees, clients and wider stakeholder networks to enrich lives, provide stability and make a positive global impact. The environmental consequences of its activities should be more than offset by its efforts to maintain ecological equilibrium. In the wake of infamous financial mismanagement cases, firms are also expected to manage financial security in an ethical and transparent manner. Some firms choose to communicate their success under these criteria using the triple bottom line.
These concepts give full credit to businesses for the creation of employment and wealth. Rather than being an extra burden that weakens businesses, the reputational and relational gains they can precipitate actually put them in a stronger position. Neither is it a question of going soft; the triple bottom line is entirely compatible with a challenging working environment.
JP Reis strives to maintain a high level of corporate responsibility and is developing new processes to support the careers of its consultants and independent collaborators. Our Corporate Social Responsibility program continues at pace and although it’s not core business activity we do see it as part of our core identity.
In September our Rocking Wall Street music event raised over $6,000 for Lighthouse International in honour of the little son of one of our industry network in New York. In December we raised another 4 figure sum for Team Rubicon and Rescue Ink, two charities that were fighting to help New York’s people and animals in the aftermath of superstorm Sandy. In April 2013 JP Reis sponsored the largest event we have been involved with when 16,500 watched a rugby benefit match at Leicester, England. The match supported our long term charity partner The Matt Hampson Foundation, which we have championed since its launch. We were thrilled to see the Matt Hampson Legends, captained by former England star Jason Robinson, wearing shirts featuring the JP Reis logo. Our team ran out 41-19 winners against a Leicester Tigers Legends team led by World Cup winning captain Martin Johnson. My JP Reis co-founder, Garry O’Sullivan, had the dubious honour of taking the field for two bone-crushing spells in a match that was enjoyed by all concerned.
All our charitable efforts have been great fun and are just one element of our corporate responsibility program. We welcome your feedback on the way we work and look forward to collaborating with you in 2013. Keep your eyes open for our next benefit event later in the year.