Many companies are now incredibly keen to make sure that their practices, processes, products and procedures are ethical, sustainable and environmentally friendly. In short, they see themselves as having a ‘corporate social responsibility’ (CSR).
This commitment to corporate social responsibility is partly for philanthropic reasons, but an impressive CSR strategy can also enhance a company’s reputation and thus maximise its profitability.
If CSR initiatives are publicised effectively, they can make the company more attractive and reputable in a variety of ways. For instance, they can help the recruitment process by attracting the best candidates, and they can actively reduce outgoings by helping the organisation to cut down on its consumption of valuable resources.
But how can companies make sure that their endeavours have a positive impact on society and the environment? Well, they hire a dedicated corporate social responsibility manager, of course!
Corporate social responsibility managers are responsible for defining and developing the strategies which underpin a company’s CSR objectives. They conduct research, come up with ideas, develop policies, create detailed plans, build relationships with partner organisations, and then implement and coordinate a range of activities and initiatives, which are designed to have a positive impact on the environment and local communities.
A corporate social responsibility manager’s job also tends to involve aspects of marketing and publicity. Indeed, if you enter this line of work, you will act as an internal and external representative for your company’s CSR policies and projects.
You’ll be responsible for raising awareness of your company’s commitment to CSR and generating publicity around your organisation’s altruistic endeavours.
Finally, corporate social responsibility managers are also responsible for recruiting, managing and training junior staff members.
Salary & benefits
Entry-level corporate social responsibility officers tend to earn between £18,000 and £23,000 per annum, while professionals with a few years’ of experience can earn around £30,000 to £35,000 a year.
Senior corporate social responsibility managers can earn annual salaries of anywhere between £60,000 and £80,000.
Corporate social responsibility managers typically work five days a week, nine-to-five. However, extra evening and weekend work may be required from time to time to meet project deadlines.
To enter this line of work, you will need an undergraduate degree or HND in any discipline. However, studying a relevant subject, such as sociology, economics, human rights, international development, international studies, modern languages, marketing, PR, law, politics, business studies, maths, environmental engineering, environmental management or ecology, may boost your chances of securing an entry-level position.
Training & progression
Most people start their CSR careers as an assistant or corporate social responsibility officer and work their way up through the ranks to become a corporate social responsibility manager. CSR teams tend to be quite small, so if you work hard and have plenty of ambition, you can progress quite quickly.
At entry-level, the majority of your training will be done whilst on the job under the supervision of a senior corporate social responsibility manager. You may also be given the opportunity to attend in-house training sessions from time to time.
Once you have established yourself as a corporate social responsibility manager, you will pretty much have reached the top of the career ladder. Consequently, you may have to move to a larger company in search of new challenges and a higher salary. Alternatively, you could go freelance and offer CSR consultancy services to a range of different clients.