Will green initiatives/CSR Survive a Down Economy? I ask my Magic 8 Ball for today’s outlook and it says: Not likely. If I ask for the future it says: Probable. This is common sense, right? But in actuality, a recent poll of corporate travel managers in the U.S. and Europe for The Wire ... from AirPlus shows that 41% have increased their commitment and/or awareness during this down economy. And another 56.8% feel that a corporate commitment to CSR/green initiatives will increase a company’s brand perception either overall or per industry. I found all of this encouraging, but I didn’t trust it. The results seemed too optimistic to be true, and don’t really match other study findings.
So, I called a few friends in the industry to gauge their perceptions. One corporate travel manager for a large multinational said their company hadn’t halted any plans in progress. They’ve installed TelePresence centers in 24 offices around the globe to stay green and to find cost savings initiatives and offset their traveler’s carbon emissions, as well. They’re even launching a “Green Board” on Earth Day (April 22nd). This will show each employee their individual carbon footprint by taking into account their travel time, office space, etc ...
Ok, but what about other CSR efforts, charitable activities? This particular company has an employee “matching” program for charity. Each company employee receives $500 in matching funds for their individual charitable donation. So, this program must be on the back burner, right? Nope ... it’s still on and employee contributions are still being matched. Incredibly encouraging!
I know you’ve heard me say CSR is an integral part of the corporate culture at AirPlus. Visit my video blog at YouTube to see what we’ve been up to. And let us know by commenting here or our online community on the interesting green/CSR initiatives your company is promoting even in this economy.