While most companies think of corporate social responsibility (CSR) as a strategy involving after-hours volunteer programs, social campaigns, and financial donations, some brands like our friends at Sony are using their CSR values as a way to create new product lines.
Sony’s CSR focus is on the environment, and “striving to achieve a zero environmental footprint,” according to their website. How are they doing this? Through the development of environmental technologies, worldwide environmental activities, and products equipped with environmentally-friendly features.
Through their CSR page, the company writes “At Sony we always endeavor to reduce environmental impact in our wide range of products. These efforts are evident in compact, lightweight, energy-efficient designs that reduce wasted resources and power consumption, and our commitment to using recycled materials.”
These products include the Laser Light Source 3LCD Projector which uses a lamp-free design to eliminate the need for replacing light bulbs and is also mercury-free; the Sony Home Theatre made out of recycled plastic and shipped in compact boxes; and the 4K Handycam which also uses smaller packaging and recycled materials, and is 20% lighter to conserve resources within the unit.
It’s extremely smart of Sony to include product development within its CSR strategy. Not only is the brand committing to its goal of helping the environment, it’s benefitting customers who want to be more earth conscious, and this provides a way for Sony to make greater revenue off of their CSR efforts. These green products, along with Sony’s interest in environmental technologies and their worldwide activities that promote wildlife conservations and carbon-neutral factories, make the device giant a giant in the CSR world as well.
Of course, no brand is perfect. What Sony currently lacks in their CSR strategies is a clear strategic partner to help them achieve all of their environmental goals. Partnering up with a brand dedicated to the same mission could fast-track Sony initiatives, co-brand new products with even better selling features, or provide a new customer base. Not only that, but the natural trading of value between partners is a key component of any strategic partnership, no matter the overarching goal.
Does a specific brand or partnership come to mind when you think of CSR? We’d love to hear it! Let us know in the comments below or through @TACK10Strategy.