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Putting energy into CSR

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is important for any company, but at a time when energy prices are rising and there is global concern over our energy future, it is even more important for organisations within the energy sector to demonstrate CSR.

In the UK, six major energy providers compete to sell electricity and gas to businesses and consumers. Facing an ever-rising number of eco-focused customers, each has developed its own CSR policy to appear more eco-friendly and attract the growing group of environmentally-conscious consumers.

Keen to be green

EDF Energy has its ‘Climate Balance for Business Scheme’, which enables its customers to balance their business energy consumption by supporting a range of sustainable energy projects. Meanwhile, RWE npower sends energy-efficient packs to businesses that switch to them, which include Electrisave monitors.

These strategies are not ‘soft’ additions to the companies’ marketing strategies; they are indispensable components of their business. Evidence from the Goldman Sachs Energy Report (August 2005) suggests that good CSR management not only improves energy companies’ share performance, but also enhances their access to resource opportunities.

CSR is also a key component of corporate reputation, and a good reputation is a valuable asset. A positive brand image differentiates a company from the competition: it helps to attract the right talent; enhances employee engagement; improves retention rates; and it can lead to increased profitability in the long run.