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Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a term that refers to the actions that businesses take to contribute to the social, environmental, and economic well-being of their stakeholders and society at large. CSR can take various forms, such as philanthropy, volunteering, ethical sourcing, environmental sustainability, diversity and inclusion, and more.

FMCG brands, or fast-moving consumer goods brands, are those that produce and sell products that are consumed frequently and have a short shelf life, such as food, beverages, cosmetics, and household items. These brands face many challenges in today’s competitive and dynamic market, such as changing consumer preferences, regulatory pressures, environmental issues, and social expectations.

One way that FMCG brands can overcome these challenges and gain a competitive edge is by implementing effective CSR programs that align with their core values and business goals. CSR programs can help FMCG brands in several ways, such as:

  1. Enhancing their reputation and brand image
    Consumers are increasingly aware of and concerned about the social and environmental impacts of their purchases. They tend to favor brands that demonstrate a commitment to social causes and ethical practices. According to a 2020 report by Accenture, 62% of consumers said they have stopped doing business with companies that do not align with their values. By engaging in CSR activities, FMCG brands can build trust and loyalty among their customers and stakeholders, as well as attract new ones.
  2. Improving their operational efficiency and profitability
    CSR programs can also help FMCG brands reduce costs and increase revenues by optimizing their processes and resources. For example, by adopting sustainable packaging and production methods, FMCG brands can reduce their environmental footprint, save energy and water, and minimize waste. By supporting local communities and suppliers, FMCG brands can create positive social impacts, strengthen their supply chains, and access new markets.
  3. Innovating their products and services
    CSR programs can also inspire FMCG brands to develop new products and services that meet the needs and expectations of their customers and society. For example, by incorporating organic, natural, or fair-trade ingredients into their products, FMCG brands can cater to the growing demand for health-conscious and socially responsible consumers. By offering low-cost or free products or services to underprivileged or marginalized groups, FMCG brands can create social value and differentiate themselves from their competitors.

An example of an FMCG brand that has successfully implemented CSR programs is Unilever, one of the world’s largest consumer goods companies. Unilever has the vision to make sustainable living commonplace and has set ambitious targets for its social and environmental performance. Some of its CSR initiatives include:

  1. The Unilever Sustainable Living Plan: This is a comprehensive strategy that aims to improve the health and well-being of 1 billion people, reduce the environmental impact of its products by half, and enhance the livelihoods of millions of people by 2030.
  2. The Dove Self-Esteem Project: This is a global campaign that aims to empower young people to have a positive body image and self-confidence. The project has reached over 60 million young people through educational programs, media campaigns, and partnerships with NGOs.
  3. The Ben & Jerry’s Foundation: This is a philanthropic arm of the ice cream brand that supports grassroots organizations that work on social justice, environmental protection, and community development issues. The foundation has donated over $30 million since its inception in 1985.

These examples show how FMCG brands can leverage their CSR programs to create positive impacts for themselves and society. By doing so, they can not only fulfill their ethical obligations but also enhance their competitive advantage and long-term success.

But that is Unilever, a mega-corporation with billions in its belt for marketing. What about SMEs?

SME can also still reaps the benefit of doing good by doing CSR and publicized the effort to their customer in a smart way by using smart tool weaved into their marketing. Tool such as Gratitude. Gratitude enables businesses to become transparent by being powered by blockchain technology, with easy-to-use tools to record their supply chain, narrate the story, verify on blockchain and present the data in a beautiful landing page that can be issued via Gratitude’s QR Code or URL that can be placed on a physical product or embedded on digital marketing campaign or label. With this QR code, brands can put in place localized material or descriptions of their product so that the product can quickly hit the shelves while the full localization in progress. Customers can then simply scan the QR codes placed on the product or click the link on a digital campaign and clearly see the product’s journey, verify sustainability claims, or even company and brand stories that the company wants to reveal to the customer in language that they are familiar with.

Begin your business’ true transparency journey by implementing Gratitude to unlock the hidden value of your supply chain data. Talk to our representatives via the following channels for support or assistance in implementation:

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