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Corporate social responsibility consulting (CSRC) is a process designed to aid businesses in evaluating the current nature of their corporate culture, including the stated goals and mission statement of the businesses, with an eye toward prompting the company to become more socially responsible in how goods and services are made and marketed, and what type of footprint the businesses leave on the environment. The general idea behind this type of consulting is to aid companies in becoming more responsible corporate citizens while still enjoying a business model that is sustainable over the long term. In order to accomplish these goals, the process of corporate social responsibility consulting will often be structured to fit the individual circumstances surrounding the client, although a few basic strategies are usually included.
One of the first steps in effective corporate social responsibility consulting is to accurately assess where a company is today in terms of how it is structured, the type of products offered, and how the business goes about creating the goods and services that are ultimately sold to consumers. By understanding how and why certain policies and procedures were developed, the consultant can develop a snapshot of how the company functions today and use that information as the foundation for suggesting changes that lead the business to being a more responsible corporate citizen.
After assessing where the company is today, the process of corporate social responsibility can move on to developing ideas of where the business wants to move in the future. For example, a business may have the goal of reducing emissions in order to decrease its footprint on the local environment. With this general goal in mind, the consultant can work with business owners to identify changes in the plant operations which can help in achieving those goals. At the same time, the consultant may make other suggestions that include changes in the materials used in production, combining departments and functions to streamline costs and reduce the energy necessary to maintain production quotas, and in general develop ideas on how to change the company’s culture and enhance the operation.
Corporate social responsibility consulting typically does not end after assessing the business and making suggestions for change. In many instances, the consultant will be actively involved in scheduling and overseeing the implementation of those changes. During this phase, he or she will continue to work closely with owners and other key personnel to make sure the changes are having the desired impact, refine those changes when necessary, and in general keep the effort on track. The amount of time required to successfully offer corporate social responsibility consulting and see the process through to full implementation will depend a great deal on the goals established with the client, the range of changes that must be implemented, and the time needed to manage those changes. This means that the consultant may be able to complete the project in a matter of weeks or may find it necessary to devote months or even years to achieving the desired outcome.