CSR in Franchising

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has become an important part of an organisation’s activities and branding. Such activities are for the social, economic and environmental benefit of employees, customers, the wider community and the planet, and are being place higher on the priority list of many franchise executive teams. It is important for brands to be good corporate citizens and engaging in activities which are socially responsible and aligned with the brands values and beliefs is for the benefit of all involved.

Research conducted by YouGov Omnibus found that 87% of Australians strongly supported CSR, and the majority of consumer feel that businesses have a responsibility to ensure that their supply chains are ethical and sustainable. Further, it was found that consumers do take into consideration CSR when choosing a brand, especially actions such as supporting charity.

Throughout the franchise industry, there is no doubt that organisations are taking on the advice and doing their part to reduce their impact on the environment, support struggling communities and local charities.

On the environmental front, Chatime recently announced the ‘Project Happy Turtle’ campaign, part of their goal to be free of single-use plastic by 2020. This campaign is in response to feedback from their consumers, who would like to see brands becoming more environmentally conscious across the board. Chatime started small, swapping out their plastic straws for a paper alternative across their 125 locations. The next step is making the move to compostable cups and lids across their network.

Muffin Break has also taken initiative to reduce the impact of their business on the environment, partnering with Closed Loop through their Simply Cups program to encourage recycling of their disposable coffee cups. The installation of specialised coffee cup recycling bins will help reduce the amount of waste that goes into landfill and is part of their broader efforts to remove all single-use plastics from their stores.

QSR franchise Zambrero have been leading the way in their actions as a good corporate citizen. Their annual Plate 4 Plate day aligns with World Food Day and involves thousands of volunteers packing meals to be sent to schools around the world. The initiative operates year-round and donates one meal to those in need for each meal purchased through the franchise. In 2019 over 450,000 meals were packed during the three-hour event, contributing to Zambrero’s goal to end world hunger by 2030.

Fundraising initiatives also play a large role in the CSR actions of Australian franchises, such as tyre retailers Birdgestone announcing a partnership with the Leukaemia Foundation. The ongoing initiative will see $2 for every Turanza Serenity Plus tyre sold donated to the charity. Plus Fitness has also just donated $70,000 to Beyond Blue, raised during their Lift Yourself Up initiative which saw $0 for ever new member in August donated to the charity.

No matter whether it is a donation of time, money or resources, businesses within the franchise industry are becoming more involved as corporate citizens. Launching initiatives, both one off and ongoing to mitigate their impact on the environment or support communities and groups in need is becoming more and more common.