Today, with ever-increasing frequency, companies’ reputations and competitive edge on the market depend on their level of corporate social responsibility. Consumers choose brands that benefit society. Moreover, large organizations are obliged to report on their corporate social responsibility programs. Thus, their participation in environmental protection, charitable activities, the economic life of communities, and the establishment of high labor standards is a must-have.
On the other hand, cutting-edge digital solutions have become an integral part of people’s lives. António Guterres, secretary-general of the United Nations, said in the meeting of the General Assembly that technology advances peace, human rights, and sustainable development for all in many ways. Machine Learning, chatbots, 3D printing, IoT with its sensors and cameras, and new apps contribute to companies’ social and economic welfare. How do these solutions help businesses to implement corporate social responsibility initiatives? Read about it in our article.
Corporate social responsibility software
According to the Adroit Market Research from 2020, the corporate social responsibility software market will grow up to $1,400 million by 2028.
That should come as no surprise, as companies need dedicated systems to manage their social responsibility activities. Thus, they can control their projects from one platform, assign tasks, assess results, create reports, and more.
Forrester, an American market research company, identifies six types of corporate social responsibility software depending on businesses’ demands.
1. Sustainability performance and project management software helps decision-makers to gain greater insight into corporate social responsibility programs and monitor their implementation.
2. Carbon and energy management software for enterprises enables organizations to control their greenhouse gas emissions and optimize resource consumption.
3. Sustainable product development software serves those companies that want to follow the principles of eco-friendliness while producing their goods.
4. Collaboration and communications software enhances the interaction between departments and optimizes their workflows.
5. Smart infrastructure management software helps businesses to manage constructions and transport and utilize them.
6. Sustainability knowledge and learning management software contributes to the training and education of employees.
Whatever the case, good software provides its users with the ability to manage requests, projects, assess performance, and score activities based on KPIs. The platform must adapt to the processes of an organization. That’s why a custom system is the best option. Additionally, it should be affordable, so we would recommend cloud-based services.
Solutions for the transparency of corporate social responsibility initiatives
Although non-financial reporting remains optional for most companies, its results influence their reputation and may even serve as a criterion for their funding from the state. At the same time, the government can check whether organizations are following corporate social responsibility principles not only based on the data they disclose. Digital solutions can now make information about certain activities of firms available to the public.
For example, Nike developed the Making app that evaluates the materials it uses for production according to the Materials Sustainability Index (MSI). Thus, designers and customers make informed decisions and contribute to environmental care and better resource usage. Companies can use analogous solutions to make their adherence to corporate social responsibility practices transparent to their consumers and partners.
Arabesque S-Ray, a global information provider, leverages AI, Machine Learning, and Big Data to assess companies’ sustainability. It gathers facts from articles, reports, social media posts, etc. This allows investors to make financing decisions prioritizing socially responsible organizations.
AI-based tools for corporate social responsibility
At the World Economic Forum in 2019, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff called AI a new human right. Thus, the access of companies to AI-based technology is by itself one of the forms of corporate social responsibility.
Predictive Analytics is an AI-driven solution. It enables stakeholders to evaluate the corporate social responsibility projects in terms of their time frames, cost, and impact on society. Such a tool allows companies to measure carbon emissions, water pollution, etc. and evaluate their influence on climate change.
AI-powered chatbots contribute to the improved communication of organizations with their customers. This technology analyzes a vast amount of data and offers consumers professional consultations. Additionally, automation of repetitive tasks frees managers so that they can dedicate more time to strategic planning and development of new products.
IoT and blockchain
IoT, with its detectors and built-in sensors, allows enterprises to have control over their HVAC systems. Patagonia, an American clothing company that is known for its corporate social responsibility initiatives, leverages this technology. The organization uses IoT and AI to run its indoor and outdoor lighting, ventilation, irrigation, etc. That helps the company ensure high standards of occupational safety and health.
Blockchain belongs to corporate social responsibility solutions as well. It provides firms with better visibility of the supply chain. This tool helps organizations trace the way of products from suppliers through manufacturers and retailers to the end customers. For example, IBM Food Trust uses blockchain so that all the participants of the food supply chain had clear real-time information about each other’s activities. This platform reduces food waste, helps companies to deliver fresh products to consumers, and thus, enhances their satisfaction.
FreShip leverages blockchain together with IoT and ML during food transportation to monitor its freshness. The system redirects products along the supply chain based on the collected information. Such technology minimizes food waste and saves costs for both manufacturers and retailers.
The above IT solutions are among the latest corporate social responsibility trends. They help companies plan and implement their social responsibility initiatives, as well as report on them. Global leaders such as Walmart, Microsoft, Nike, and many other enterprises are already leveraging this technology.
Andersen helps businesses, large and small, to develop IT solutions that boost the effectiveness of their social responsibility projects. Contact us to learn more about the best digital opportunities for your organization.