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CSR Efforts Shift To Social Media and Data Driven Reporting

Social media is increasingly viewed as an effective way of reporting corporate social responsiblity (CSR) with an estimated 300 global companies already using some form of dedicated social media sustainability efforts and significant growth in social media sustainability reporting expected to continue according to a report by non-profit support platform Front Stream. The focus for B2B marketers showcasing a brands philanthropic work will be increasingly found in the realm of data, social media channels and even mandatory reporting, according to the report.

Data driven philanthropy is also on the rise with companies reporting real-time information about online, social and mobile giving. Tools like the Giving Tuesday dashboard, created by Front Stream, can enable companies to showcase its giving as it happens. Additionally, areas like supply chain management as a route for CSR is growing. A good example includes a local coffee shop using supplies from farms and factories that practice sustainability, or a large corporation implementing a zero-deforestation policy throughout its supply chain.

Accountability plays a huge role in not only solving social issues of today, but it is fast becoming 'expected' of companies as mandated CSR reporting is on the horizon for U.S. Companies. In fact, publicly traded U.S. companies with more than 500 employees operating in the EU and trading on any of the global exchanges are required to complete mandatory CSR reporting, the report said.

Getting in front of the coming regulations is key, but corporate social responsibility is also good for the bottom line.

Shari Arison, owner of Arison Investments works at researching and implementing social values and practices that companies can implement.

""Business leaders that create the most impact empower champions on the ground, from mid-management top down and employees bottom-up. It's all about connecting to meaning, rather than execution," she said during a recent presentation. "For example, at Arison Investments employees on all levels voluntarily participate in cross-organizational forums that serve as incubators for values-based entrepreneurship."

For example, Arison Group introduced the Small Businesses Initiative to Bank Hapoiam in Israel by offering financial freedom initiatives and hands-on education for investing and smarter banking to their customers. In turn, the share price appreciated with a compounded annual growth rate of 13.5 per cent. Further, it has been ranked number one in peer group among the most actively traded stocks on Tel Aviv Stock Exchange.

At Shikun & Binui, a global infrastructure and real estate company, Arison Group says the company is known for its focus on 100 per cent sustainable building projects. Its share price appreciated 28 per cent in the last five years, with a revenue growth of six per cent and a cumulative cash dividend of $454m.

"Success should be driven by people identifying with the company's backbone of values. This will give employees on all levels the opportunity and go-ahead to innovate, which is an intrinsic compensation built into doing something you are passionate about," Arison said.

Laurie Fullerton

Laurie Fullerton is a writer based in Boston, MA with a background in business, sports, community, medical and travel writing. She has been a newspaper editor in the Boston-area, a sports writer covering yacht racing and a community reporter. She has been reporting for The Drum since October 2015.

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