Corporate responsibility consulting is a service provided to corporations who want outside assistance with the development, implementation, and maintenance of a responsibility program. Beyond adherence to regulatory standards, companies may be concerned with their public image, and can use corporate responsibility to improve their behavior and set accountability standards for their internal benefit. Members of the public can access a company's records on accountability and responsibility to determine if the company is one they wish to support, and companies can also promote particular campaigns to create a positive image.
Consultants can start by reviewing a company thoroughly. This can include examining any corporate responsibility documentation that may already exist, meeting with employees and managers, and evaluating the way the company is perceived by members of the public. This information can be used in a report to highlight areas where the company may have an image problem, and to identify issues the company may want to consider addressing with corporate responsibility consulting.
Corporate responsibility consulting can look at issues like labor ethics, environmental sustainability, foreign relations, and business practices to help a company improve. A company that wants to be a good corporate citizen might want more controls in its labor force to limit exploitation, for example, or could commit to the use of more recycled material to protect the environment. Companies might also refuse to do business with certain nations in times of war or conflict.
The goal of corporate responsibility consulting is usually to develop a clear framework of measures a company can implement to meet stated goals, like behaving in an environmentally responsible way. The consultant can also help the company be more accountable by setting standards for the company to meet, or helping it enroll in a program that provides third party monitoring services. Consultants can provide employee training and other support to help all personnel at a company with the responsibility program.
Companies with an interest in corporate responsibility consulting can work with a variety of services with focuses on different types of responsibility and sustainability. Companies seeking consultants may want to meet with several firms to learn more about their options. It can also help to turn to records of good or notable public responsibility campaigns and find out which consulting services are behind them. If a campaign captures attention and appears to improve the image of a business, the consultant may be able to design a similar plan to help another company develop a reputation as a responsible, accountable member of the business community.