Look, if you really come to think of it most companies which are engaged in corporate social responsibility (CSR) programmes only really do it for their own benefit, be it for tax reduction purposes or purely for the exposure they’ll get (marketing). So whenever a genuinely community development-centred case of a business or company getting into a CSR programme materialises, it captures the hearts and minds of many since it’s really quite a rare occurrence in this profit-first world we’re currently living.
In this specific case I’m talking about water supply and management company, Yorkshire Water, which demonstrates that ultimately it isn’t all about profits. Yes, profits are definitely important for any business, but businesses should never forget the primary reason for which they came into being in the first place, which is to help people make their lives better by providing a product or service that would be delivered much more efficiently if left in the hands of that business instead of the people having to do it all themselves.
I mean can you imagine what life would be like if we didn’t have water companies? We’d all still have to go down to the nearest natural water source and purify the water we fetch ourselves. That’s perhaps where the likes of Yorkshire Water shines as a great example of a company that is centred on the development of the community it serves in that it goes way beyond just providing its mandated service of providing clean water and managing waste water.
You could point to so many different ways through which Yorkshire Water has backed up its intent to better the communities it serves, including a recent £350,000 investment in temporary flood barriers to reduce the risk of water supply and sewerage services being affected when there are some extreme wet weather conditions to have to deal with. Such vision and foresight can definitely be said to be a cost-saving exercise in many respects, but that just creates a knock-on effect as a result of which the savings in costs can be passed on to the end-consumer.
Consequently the water company is able to redirect some funds to other projects aimed purely at developing the community, such as raising funds for the charitable causes of the likes of WaterAid and running campaigns to get the children of the community more active through increased outdoor activities.
This deeply entrenched desire to be a big part of the development of its community isn’t something which just falls from the sky. It stems from a company that is very much a part of the community it serves already, operating at the core of the community’s development. It’s a company that’s part of its community’s heritage and with employees, directors shareholders and other operators who themselves form part of the community the company serves, there simply wouldn’t be any cause for it not to be 100% fully committed to serving that community as best it can and even going beyond the usual business activity to further help develop the community.