What are the main resources you need for your brewery to operate daily? Cash, employees, equipment, grains, water, customers and that’s just to name a few. Once you have developed the processes for obtaining these – purchasing, growing, marketing, hiring – the question is: How can you make these processes more efficient in the future? One option is with corporate social responsibility (CSR), which you are most likely doing already, whether knowingly or unknowingly. CSR is more than just doing good for the environment or giving money to charity – it is looking ahead to the future resources you need to operate. Let’s take a look at exactly what CSR is and how you can organize activities to make your brewery more efficient.
Step one: What does CSR mean?
The first part to starting or reorganizing your CSR is knowing what CSR entails. The term CSR has a few different variations, but essentially encompasses three functions that focus on how your brewery makes an impact:
- Environmental sustainability – This is your brewery’s impact on the environment. Think of your brewery’s usage of all the materials it takes to make, distribute and serve the beer such as water, gasoline, grains and glass. The goal of sustainability practices is to limit your brewery’s imprint on the earth by creating more efficient processes to limit resources needed or finding ways to replace resources.
- Community engagement – This is your brewery’s impact on the community. Think of your brewery’s interactions with the community such as paying taxes, providing jobs, fulfilling a demand (craft beer) and donating to schools/charity. It also includes negative impacts typical with alcohol such as alcohol poisoning, underage drinking and drunk drivers. The goal of community engagement practices are to limit the negative impacts through education, services, corporate giving/philanthropy and volunteering.
- Employee engagement – Unlike the first two CSR practices, this is the impact on the people in the organization. Think of your human resource issues such as turnover, burnout and difficulty in hiring quality talent. The goal of employee engagement is to motivate and retain your team by connecting them to the positive impact your brewery makes in the community. Examples are volunteer programs, employee donation matching programs, or joining a board of directors for a charity.
Essentially, each of these three CSR pillars involve the resources the brewery requires to operate, and all of these resources involve the community to some degree. This is the concept of shared-value and the interdependence between the community and the organization.
Also, do not just think of your nearby community – anywhere you pull materials from or distribute to become communities that you are involved with.