All players in society must be engaged to create a better future. Companies in any industrial sector, as an essential part of the productive system, should contribute to addressing critical social issues in the local and global community through their positive impact on the environment.
What is the social impact for business?
Social impact is a concept that explains how the actions of organizations transform and modify a community or society as a whole. This influence can be positive or negative depending on the rational, but also emotional or symbolic effect that the programme has on public opinion and its possible repercussions.
Sustainability is a short- and long-term investment that any company should make to ensure its future and livelihood, thinking only in individual terms.
If approached collectively, for a company to sell its products or goods to its customers over the competition, it needs a brand positioning that makes it credible and memorable. Is there a better positioning than the common good?
Types of impact according to the company's mission
Each company works in a particular sector of the industrial spectrum with certain needs and a distinctive target audience. Likewise, according to its mission, vision and values, which define its framework for action, its role in society will be established.
We could group the different types of impact into 3 main frameworks for action:
Reducing the inequality that affects millions of people around the world is one of the fundamental objectives for a fairer world.
Many companies try to reverse this situation by helping through plans that support the social fabric, especially children, the most vulnerable group of all. These collaborations take place both at a local level, where the company is committed to its surrounding community, and at a global level.
It should not be forgotten that industries in certain territories keep bringing suffering and poverty along with a worsening of the lives of many peoples.
The implementation of new corporate social responsibility strategies that improve the quality of life of workers and their working conditions can have a direct impact on society.
Also, businesses related to the new green deal within the 2030 Agenda can generate massive job creation. On the other hand, corporate policies based on corruption and lobbying have a huge negative impact.
Therefore, any action to increase the transparency of its accounts is key, because the ultimate way to know the real intentions of a company is through its budget.
We are increasingly aware of the planet's limited resources. Companies that have developed this awareness have implemented measures to reduce or even zero their environmental footprint.
This is because large-scale production such as the extraction of fossil fuels or mining –the derivatives of which are used in practically every industry– leads to the deterioration and degradation of the environment and species.
Fostering social change
The social footprint is becoming increasingly important. Its weight can be measured in the perception of consumers who want to support companies that show up for the community in meaningful ways.
The common good –positive social impact– is a roadmap that should guide a company's growth and decision-making all the way.