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Winning business by being responsible

At a glance

  • Corporate Responsibility (CR) is playing an increasing role in both consumer and business purchasing decisions
  • 90% of consumers say they would switch to brands that support responsible causes
  • If you missed us at BIBA 2016, find out why CR is important for brokers, and how you can use it to create a market-leading proposition

At this year’s BIBA conference, Richard Coleman, Managing Director of Zurich’s Commercial Broker division, led a discussion on the topic of Corporate Responsibility for insurance brokers.

Accompanied by industry commentators – including Kay Allen OBE, Founding Director of Trading for Good, and John Gibson, Group Insurance and Risk Manager at Next – the discussion considered how brokers can use CR to differentiate their business and create a market-leading proposition.

Corporate Responsibility (CR) is of growing importance for today’s brokers. Customers are increasingly concerned about the social and environmental impact of their purchasing decisions, and businesses are increasingly asked to give evidence of their CR activity.

With Corporate Responsibility continuing to rise up the global agenda, we look at five reasons why it is important for you to establish a meaningful CR strategy, and how it can help to secure and retain business.

1. It matters to customers

According to the latest Global CSR Survey, 90% of consumers say they would switch to brands that support responsible causes, and 71% say they would be willing to pay more for responsible goods and services.

The same study also found that consumers are more likely to trust (90%), and would be more loyal to (88%) businesses that undertake CR.

2. Remain competitive

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With environmental and social impact playing an increasing role in both consumer and business purchasing decisions, having a particularly successful Corporate Responsibility strategy can be a very effective means of differentiating your brand.

With studies showing that 93% of consumers have a more positive perception of brands that undertake CR activities, the potential benefits for securing and retaining business are clear, and brokers may wish to actively publicise their own sustainability efforts.

Additionally, as CR moves up the business agenda, companies will be looking to partner with suppliers who share the same values. Tender documents are, therefore, increasingly asking for evidence of CR activity, and proposals will be partially scored on how well a business is managing its social and environmental impact.

“We are increasingly seeing tenders from our commercial customers that ask for information about CR,” says Sophie Timms, Head of Corporate Responsibility at Zurich.

“In the feedback to these proposals we then see how Zurich’s CR activity has contributed to the procurement decision.”

3. Reduce costs and increase profitability

One of the strongest business cases for CR is its ability to stimulate innovation, identify ways of achieving cost savings and make a positive impact on a company’s bottom line.

Whether it is using less energy, increasing staff wellbeing, or reducing waste, giving more thought to your business’s social and environmental impact can have a significant effect on business performance.

“The more enlightened companies have recognised that it is worth paying attention to this area as, ultimately, it is good for business and has real bottom-line benefits,” says Sophie.

4. Maintain a positive reputation

Conducting business with strict checks on your social and environmental impact can help minimise the potential for negative press, and help to maintain a positive reputation.

Having CR at the core of operations – such as initiatives to safeguard vulnerable customers – can help ensure business is always conducted ethically and sustainably, and in accordance with legal and regulatory guidance.

“Companies know it is the right thing to do,” says Sophie. “But there is also increasing recognition that ‘doing the right thing’ will be reflected in your brand’s reputation, and ultimately your future success.”

5. Attract and retain talent

With 57% of employed adults in the UK feeling they need to change jobs to get a salary increase, recent research shows that employees are more likely to remain with companies that participate in an initiative with social impact goals.

Corporate responsibility is becoming as important a factor in attracting talent as offering competitive benefits and salaries. Young people in particular, are looking to join companies that care about the community around them and are aligned with them, their values and their career goals.

Developing your Corporate Responsibility strategy

As an industry leader in Corporate Responsibility, we are enthusiastic about working with you to share ideas around Zurich’s own CR journey and credentials to help create a distinctive position in the market.

For more information on working together to develop your CR strategy, please contact Sophie Timms, Head of Corporate Responsibility, or speak to your local Zurich contact.

Image © Getty

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