SHOULD BRANDS STILL CONSIDER CSR IN UNCERTAIN TIMES AND IN FRAGILE ENVIRONMENTS?

YES!

As Nigeria gets closer to 2023, the election year, businesses’ natural precaution response is to reduce costs.

What was experienced in 2020 was more drastic stress in economic activity. However, in times where we anticipate seasonal mayhem and disruptions, what do we expect to see in CSR and how can brands keep their commitments aligned in the most strategic ways by staying on the sustainability radar without ruining their past track record of commitments?

These are some of the top 3 approaches!

Have a strategy meeting with the sustainability and communications team: In times of extremely stressful and uncertain environments, it is a logical strategy to stick to publicizing past achievements. Throwbacks refresh the past and show the public track record of likely insight to come. This also gives the opportunity to make pronouncements that feature events on the same timeline while bringing public attention to past climate mitigation CSR.

Look at the ESG framework and align the brand: Although refreshing past climate mitigation CSR activity is great and may be a good adaptative means of staying on track, this strategy may not work for companies that are known to be major perpetual emitters across all three scopes involved. For this, we recommend incremental approaches to climate mitigation CSR. Costs could go to maintenance, adding an extra hand or gadget to the CSR team. Decisions that would cause an overhaul of past programs should be put on hold. Remember, in troubling times, the likelihood of loss is high and returns are dicey. Also, when simultaneous events take place, it is easy for a brand’s commitment and the core purpose of climate mitigation CSR to get lost in the mix of events. Therefore, the team has to align, look at the Climate Mitigation Objectives, and draft a priority list of what could be maintained, added to, removed, reduced, or repaired until there’s a fair level of calmness and safety observed.

Multi-facet Climate mitigation partnerships, with incentives: The best source of eco-credentials security in a chaotic timeline is from forming new business relationships targeted specifically at climate mitigation with climate incentives attached, which is what Eko Carbon & Commodity Exchange does. This relationship ensures the environment is studied up to the point that specialized climate mitigation programs are designed and value points generated from every effort. This, therefore, creates a multi-facet of benefit from climate mitigation CSR without halting the goal race.

A CSR that targets creating a pool of climate innovators in a time of uncertainty could also be an opportunity to scout net-zero emissions gadgets. It could also mean an opportunity to build capacity for farmers in understanding climate finance while making sure they partake in their role of ensuring food security through advanced agriculture practices.

It could also mean creating a community for kids to have an early learning experience in sustainability while giving them an opportunity to network and have school supplies in an otherwise difficult year.

Programs such as these cut across the climate mitigation efforts and go on to education, infrastructure, food security, and other SDGs. This is what collaboration should look like in an otherwise uncertain timeline.

So, what are your brand’s sustainability, CSR, and ESG goals for the year 2022?

How far has your team advanced on these goals?

ECCX TEAM