Why is CSR Video So Important for a Company After COP26?

Molly Howe
 

The five warmest years since records began have occurred since 2015, unless we heed the warnings of scientists, the world will be brought to its knees as the distressing effects of the climate crisis take hold. 

Desperate measures have been brought in to curb the impact of rising temperatures across the globe. As part of the 2015 Paris Agreement, enshrined at COP21, a total of 192 ‘parties’ agreed to fulfill its long-term goals. 

The Agreement carries the commitments from these countries to reduce their emissions and work in tandem to overcome, perhaps even reverse the deadly impacts of global heating. It marked the beginning of a shift to the possibility of a net-zero emissions planet. 

The recent COP26 in Glasgow made headlines around the world as leaders were once again brought together to accelerate the delivery of promises made under the Paris Agreement. A few of the further commitments made in Glasgow were:

  • Over 20 governments and financial institutions agreed to stop funding new overseas fossil fuel projects with public money by 2023
  • Many countries including the UK and US enhanced their 2030 Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) – their commitments to reducing national emissions. 
  • Nature-based solutions (NBS) recognised as a crucial solution for climate action.
  • The proportion of climate finance, specifically for adaptation, has been doubled.
  • $2 billion was pledged by world leaders to restore 100 million hectares of land in Africa, to help with projects such as the Great Green Wall initiative. 

What does this mean for businesses?

At COP26, UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak reiterated that the Treasury would require UK-listed companies to release net-zero plans by 2023 to show how they intend to meet the UK’s net-zero 2050 target. Net-zero emissions targets mean businesses, if they have not done so already, must formulate a way to become carbon neutral in the next few decades. The importance of which as an organising principle for businesses cannot be overstated.

 The concept behind these plans, and many more contributing to wider environmental social governance is called CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility). However companies choose to do this, it is essential that their plans are communicated to governments, stakeholders, employees, and the general public effectively, more on this later…

carbon emissions
carbon emissions

So, what exactly is CSR?

Corporate Social Responsibility is a holistic, self-regulatory business model with pro-social objectives. It allows companies to be aware of their economic, social and environmental impact on a local or global scale. CSR requires businesses to positively contribute to today’s society without taking away from future generations, this is often called future-proofing. 

ECONOMIC PROGRESS + SOCIAL JUSTICE + ENVIRONMENTAL PRESERVATION = CSR

Examples of CSR include:

  • Offsetting carbon emissions. 
  • Reducing carbon emissions by using renewable energy sources.
  • Improving the sustainability of products (plastic-free, palm oil-free, meat-free)
  • Stopping unethical practices such as child labour, underpayment and excessively long working hours.
  • Diversity, equality, and inclusion principles. 
  • Working with and raising awareness for charities.
  • Smaller businesses that rely on smaller budgets can contribute to CSR by donating a small percentage of profits to charity or offsetting just 5% of carbon emissions.

Brands that embrace CSR:

  • Google 
  • Microsoft 
  • Lego
  • BMW
  • Patagonia
  • Rolex

Why is CSR important for the success of businesses?

Customers are more likely to do business with companies that they believe to be more socially responsible and ethical. This is especially after COP26 (recently increased media coverage of environmental issues means more of the general public understand the need for CSR)

If customers do not believe a brand is taking CSR seriously they may take their custom elsewhere.

CSR is a performance driver, it encourages innovation, potentially reduces costs, and brings stakeholders, employees, and customers together, drawn in by a meaningful project that all can work towards.

CSR attracts new talent that may contribute to the future growth of the business.

woman protesting
woman protesting

Stats worth considering:

  • 64% of CEOs say that “corporate social responsibility (CSR) is core to their business rather than being a stand-alone program”.
  • 41% percent of millennial investors put a significant amount of effort into understanding a company’s CSR practices, compared to just 27% of Gen X and 16% of baby boomers.
  • 94% of Gen-Z now think companies should address pressing social and environmental issues 
  • 49% of consumers assume that companies who don’t openly speak on social issues don’t care. 
  • 68% of online consumers in the UK and US would or might stop using a brand because of poor or misleading CSR. Nearly half are willing to pay a premium for socially conscious or environmentally friendly brands. 
  • Up to 54% of consumers have stopped buying from a company due to its public position on an issue, while 48% of investors have decided not to invest for that same reason. 38% of investors have gone a step further and sold shares.

CSR Videos, what are they and what do they do?

Videos in general, whether advertisements, visual training, or corporate films, are extremely effective methods for communicating key messages, such as promoting your company’s CSR policy. 

Video is one of the most effective ways to humanise your company, helping to change perceptions that successful businesses are simply money-making machines lacking souls. Let people know you care about social issues, and that you care enough to do something about it, by demonstrating pride in your efforts through video. 

In the wake of COP26, this especially applies to environmental policy. As a consequence of the heavily broadcasted conference, the general public has become overtly aware of the ways in which countries have pledged to support climate justice, and how businesses are being encouraged to follow suit. 

CSR videos can feed the public information relating to your company’s sustainability strategy, whether it is already a success or a promising plan for the near future. 

solar panels
solar panels

Why are CSR videos so important for a company after COP26?

Companies can gain notable credibility for implementing successful CSR plans, however, it is your responsibility to inform the public, customers, and future talent that you intend to, or have done so. The best way to do this is through video.

Companies that put in place convincing environmental policies can distinguish themselves from competitors, and get this across most clearly with video.

Visually demonstrating that your company’s economic growth is beneficial to everyone (employees, customers, local community), and not just those at the top can lead to increased sales and success. People like to invest in concepts that benefit others.

There have been so many unjust exaggerations of CSR policy reported in the past that the public tends to question the quality of such policies. You must demonstrate that CSR is a positive conviction that your business is determined to implement as soon as possible. Through live-action, documentary-style video you can show meaningful examples of your work towards CSR.

documentary
documentary

Types of environmental CSR video

Sustainability policy video

  • Sustainability policy is a strategy that drives long-term corporate growth and profitability by mandating the inclusion of social and environmental issues in the business model.
  • It must uphold the aims of sustainability, this is the proactive and conscious use of processes that do not lead to harm to people, the planet, or business profits.
  • Processes that are used to ensure sustainability policy is achievable must be reliable, measurable, and replicable; any outcomes must aim to be auditable to avoid scrutiny. 
  • Your company’s sustainability policy can be presented in video format to inform those interested in the intentions of the business in relation to CSR.
  • Facts and figures are best conveyed through video, they can get lost on the page when using a written format, especially in long policy documents. 

Sustainability demonstration video

  • Can display how your company undertakes sustainability measures. 
  • Live-action footage of sustainability measures provides proof to shareholders, customers, employees, and future employees, etc.
  • Enables more trust to be put into a company, (see: stats worth considering) which produces a more constructive workforce and happier customers, in turn increasing profitability. 
  • Videos showcasing your business’ sustainability measures exemplify how you are rectifying past mistakes, reducing current problems, and/or building legacies for the future of sustainability.

Live-action or animated, which is right for your CSR video?

Live-action or animated CSR video, which is more suitable for your business? There is no clear-cut right or wrong answer, both have benefits and drawbacks.

Animated 

Animation is ideal for simplifying more complex concepts. Abstract information can be transformed into accessible bitesize chunks. 

This is important, especially when your CSR video contains a lot of data, for instance, graphs or charts. Studies have shown that animated videos increase knowledge retention by 15%

Animated content also has much more longevity in video marketing as styles of animation remain consistent for many years and graphics can be altered much more easily for changes in policy (reshooting live-action can be time-consuming and expensive). 

This being said, animation can be impersonal, if you are promoting the physical work your company is doing to contribute to sustainability then live-action may be better. 

For these reasons, animation is likely to be best for CSR videos on sustainability policy rather than sustainability demonstration videos. 

CSR animation
CSR animation

Live-action 

Live-Action video gives you greater freedom to play on the emotions of your audience, helping them to visualise your company’s applied CSR culture. 

To enhance further faith in your CSR policy, a documentary-style approach can be taken. This will humanise and promote your brand’s values and add credibility to claims. 

Many smaller businesses with lower budgets have utilised mobile phone video to exhibit their work against the climate emergency, exemplifying that live-action CSR video can be created on a high or low budget. 

Live-action CSR video, therefore, is more suited to sustainability demonstrations.  

Why not use both animated and live-action content in your video?

kids
kids

Examples of environmental CSR video 

Kartoffel Films:

We believe in making a positive impact, and for us, corporate social responsibility is an easy choice to make.

In this film, we wanted to share with the audience how simple choices that we all make can add up to make a real difference. Here at Kartoffel Films, we are doing our part to make a better world. This means that we choose to make the most positive impact that we can at every step of the video production process.

We hope that by putting our CSR initiatives in context, audiences will be inspired to perceive us not only as a company that cares but also see the potential difference that they can make too.

 Google:

 

 Chainpoint:

 

Kellogs:

 

 Patagonia:

 

To recap…

It is essential for businesses to develop a confident, effective, and achievable CSR model, especially in the aftermath of the COP26 and the growing global concern for the planet’s environmental wellbeing. 

CSR not only helps to make the world a better place for future generations but it can also be used to promote your company and show how concerned it is about social and environmental issues. This will increase custom, talent, and success.

  • CSR video should be used to visually demonstrate either through animation or live action that your company’s growth is beneficial to everyone, because you are committed to economic progress, social justice, and environmental preservation.
  • Remember: Videos showcasing your business’ sustainability measures exemplify how you are rectifying past mistakes, reducing current problems and/or building legacies for the future of sustainability. This is what CSR is all about.

Video is the finest way to promote your company’s CSR initiatives. It is likely that you may require the assistance of a video production company to be successful in this venture. Luckily you are in the right place! Please contact us for additional information on how we can help to create the ideal CSR video for your business.