Op-Ed: Doing Good Business Shouldn’t be Separated From Businesses Doing Good

More and more, corporate social responsibility is becoming less of an “extra” and more of an expectation. And that’s a good thing.

Companies that succeed do not do so in a vacuum. This isn’t to discount the innovation and hard work that represent the foundation for success, but very often, the communities in which an organization exists plays an integral part its future. Whether that is in the form of customers, employees, local infrastructure or other variables, companies are supported in one way or another by the place it calls home.

So, it is important to return that support.

While I wouldn’t call corporate social responsibility a trend, per se, it is difficult to go a day without seeing a business talk about that very subject. What is undeniable is that corporate social responsibility is more important today than ever before. I am proud to work for a company that has been committed to doing good in local communities for decades. Working toward the greater good is a philosophy I subscribe to, and I firmly believe that acting as a good corporate citizen is critical to the improvement of every community in which Deloitte operates.

For example, Deloitte recently held its annual Impact Day, which is a day where all of our employees are encouraged to take part in philanthropic activities. The idea is to drive and inspire community-powered social impact and to leverage the skills and experience of our people to help make lasting, positive change. One particular area close to my heart is conservation, which was the focus of my Impact Day activity.

Most agree that being a good environmental steward is an important social issue today, and with that in mind, I was very proud that our Silicon Valley office chose to support San Jose’s Guadalupe River Park Conservancy through both financial means and hands-on volunteerism as part of Impact Day.

Guadalupe River Park is an active, iconic, world class central park for Silicon Valley, and it deserves all the support it can get, and I’m so pleased we could shine a bit of a spotlight on the important work the conservancy is doing there.

During the day, we spent time beautifying a section of the Arena Green area across from SAP Center and the park areas across the river. We also worked on litter clean up, plant and tree pruning, and laying chip in the flower beds. In short, we got our hands dirty for a good cause, and it felt great. Then, we had the opportunity to present a donation check to the conservancy from Deloitte.

As mentioned, many other Deloitte offices across the country participated and worked hard donating time, money, and resources to various charities and community-focused initiatives that helped build a new playground, deliver new iPads to students, design a new storytelling circle, and much more. My colleagues made a huge imprint on their local social fabric, and only time will tell how deep of an impact was made.

I thoroughly enjoyed my time volunteering at Guadalupe River Park, but this is only just the beginning. Making an impact that matters is our ultimate goal. Impact Day is the culmination of the work we do 365 days a year and provides the opportunity for us to work toward the collective goal of improving our communities. Why is this? Because it is no longer sufficient for businesses to view their role solely through the performance of their bottom line—businesses that do well, will do good. They must.

Like Deloitte, more organizations than ever are putting in the extra work to supports their communities throughout the year with traditional and skills-based volunteerism, workplace giving, pro bono services, social impact innovation, nonprofit board service, and creating initiatives with the sole purpose of giving back.

We are proud to put our money where our mouth is and dive into community improvement headlong. There is a responsibility for businesses to invest back into their local communities. It is the way forward.

Garrett Herbert is a managing partner at Deloitte Silicon Valley. Opinions in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of San Jose Inside. Send op-ed pitches to [email protected].

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