Dragos invited me the other day to write about the Social Responsibility Check for 2008. Being involved in both non profit as well as marketing fields, I decided to accept his invitation and I will thus give my answers to the four topics they are looking into:
What are the three main companies in Romania that you appreciate the most for their social responsibility implication and why?
In my opinion, the three companies that I appreciate the most for their CSR activity in Romania in 2008 are Petrom, Vodafone and UnicreditTiriac Bank. The reasons why I chose these three companies is because of the visibility of their CSR projects last year and also because they targeted projects in areas that were close to my heart (as you can see on my blog, I still support Vodafone’s mobile phone recycling project).
How did the companies in Romania meet your expectations related to their social responsibility implication in 2008?
I did not have specific expectations for companies in Romania and their CSR activity, but based on my observations I can say that still only a small number of the large and well known companies have engaged in CSR activities. Also, the companies that got involved were also active in the past few years as well and I hardly noticed a small number of new companies in this group. I have no data about smaller companies who were involved in CSR projects at local and regional level, but I think that there is a lot of potential in this direction.
What expectations do you have from the companies in Romania in 2009, in terms of social responsibility?
I hope that more and more companies will get involved in CSR activities this year, although the current economic crisis will probably shrink significantly their budgets for this type of activities. However, I still think that there are a lot of things to be done, with smaller budgets but with big hearts.
How do you think that you can personally stimulate these companies, especially those you are buying products and services from, to be more socially responsible in 2009?
Individuals who focus on purchasing organic products because they want a better health, protect the environment and through their eco awareness and activisim support the companies that focus on organic products. By the same token, socially responsible individuals can also buy products and services that come from companies that are socially responsible. In the end, this type of personal behavior is a clear values statement for one’s friends and peers, as well as a strong message for the companies who are attuned to their customer’s needs and desires.