With great power comes great responsibility…CSR.

The above image is the founding members of the Justice League, an organisation comprised of the world’s most powerful super-heroes dedicated to fighting crime and injustice! Sure super hero stories are aimed at guiding our youth, but they contain the core beliefs and values that make the world a better place.

So what’s the protocol when you work for a business, large or small? Where do we draw the line in the sand so to speak, is your conscience a clear reflection of the business you work in, can a corporation have a social conscience?

CSR – Corporate social responsibility or otherwise known as corporate conscience is a major influence in not only the design industry but the way we operate on a day-to-day basis. In a perfect world corporations would all employ a CSR policy that would not just ‘sugar coat’ business activities to make them look good but would implement effective policies that in turn would influence the way they do business and thus have a positive bearing on todays major issues such as poverty, education, sustainability, ethics, globalisation, governance, responsible finance etc… However this is not a perfect world and profitability is the driving force and ultimate goal of most CEO’s, which is scary considering some organisations hold more power than most governments. They are better synchronised, faster to make decisions, and possess more tools to influence and change the economy and in turn effect all of us, now more than ever before.

We highlighted the importance of good design (previous post – ‘What’s the time Mr Wolf?’) and the ability to incorporate creative thinking to solve a common problem, ‘sustainability’ being the number one priority in the public eye right now, and for good reason. Good design equals a smarter choice, better internal and external support and solid longevity of these decisions being made in the process. For a long time, and speaking very generally here, companies would keep their CSR policies private and feed the masses with propaganda through the media which was in a big part controlled by those exact companies (partly through their advertising budget). Over the last decade or so, the power of the media is slowly filtering back to the individual, people power is on the rise and the ‘little guys’ have a voice through social media where we get to decide on what’s interesting and important. This is making companies take CSR much more seriously, anyone can be a whistleblower and the smallest problem can shoot to the top of the media in hours.

We are in a world that questions company motives, there was a time where the end product was all that mattered, the process was their intellectual property, and over saturation of big brands seemed imminent, Nike was made cool through celebrities (looking for yet another pay cheque), but did we ever question where and how our football boots were made? Some of us maybe but most were just happy to be wearing the same shoes as Michael Jordan. If you’re actually interested in Nikes CSR check out their website, they’ve designed a page dedicated to their efforts on creating a more sustainable brand.

Where do we fit in, BrandCulture that is?  We constantly strive to impart wisdom through our design process, our objective is to add heart, soul and culture into an environment, resulting in the observer to stop, think and understand the importance of the companies identity and their own, building brand values through story telling. BrandCulture has a solid CSR model in place, we understand the importance of having one, we continue to utilize sustainable design when it comes to all of our projects through sharing knowledge, choice in materiality and production processes. We endeavour to instil a better level of social conscience and try to encourage lateral thinking through our work, actively engaging all employees to be a part of the outcome.

One hundred percent sustainability in a business is unattainable, however good design and creative thinking are both valuable tools in the composition of Corporate Social Responsibility, both powerful ingredients in the fight for a more sustainable future. We were humbled by the opportunity to partake in work for the AHRC – Australian Human Rights Commission, the project was titled ‘Every Voice’, a powerful testament to what they do as an organisation. Most of our projects incapsulate these ideals in communicating good brand values to create a better work place and social conscience.

You are responsible for your own actions, don’t abdicate responsibility, you have the ability to create change for the better, small and large. Your voice might is not insignificant but one of many, you can alter our world for the greater good of mankind……