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Guest Blog - 5 great CSR initiatives that hit the mark

Posted on June 12, 2017

For some, CSR is an acronym that calls to mind the worst kind of business jargon, along with images of suited men planting trees or HR people sending notes to everyone questioning the necessity of occasionally printing off an email.

It may seem to be a rather clunky or outdated term but whether you call it CSR (corporate social responsibility) or, as some companies do, speak of being a ‘good corporate citizen’, it’s never been more important or relevant.  In today’s climate of fake news and alternative facts, it’s critical to success that businesses should behave ethically, always do the right thing, be trusted, transparent and make a positive difference to both local communities and society. Especially when the product contains alcohol.

The notion of ‘purpose’ touches on how a company operates and delivers its social impact and its shared values. It can set them apart from their peers, providing that competitive advantage; make them a more attractive employer, help improve their brand reputation, as well as that of the broader industry.  Of course it’s not just about doing it – it’s about communicating it too.

This year’s Beer & Cider Marketing Awards features a new award focused on this topic – celebrating some of the great work brewers and cider makers do above and beyond their craft. While we look forward to seeing the entries, here are five creative and impactful initiatives from businesses of different sizes that have caught our eye at Fleet Street Communications – and got us thinking differently about their brand.

Harrogate Spring: Incredible Shrinking Bottle

James Cain and Allison Ogden Newton of Harrogate Water


The bottled water manufacturer has teamed up with Keep Britain Tidy to promote greater recycling of plastic water bottles when outdoors. Using the strapline ‘twist it, cap it, recycle it’, the campaign encourages drinkers to avoid disposing bottles in street bins and instead take them home for recycling. The campaign is nudging for behavioural change among consumers as while 95% of people are likely to recycle at home, this falls more than half when they are out and about.

Kellogg’s: Breakfast Club Network

Kids need a decent breakfast – sounds obvious, right? Going to school without one has a direct impact on children’s behaviour and concentration, making it harder for them to develop and succeed. Yet one in seven children in the UK and Ireland go to school without eating breakfast. Kellogg’s launched its long-standing breakfast club programme back in 1998 and helps provide everything from grants and training, to free bowls and food to enable more than 2,500 clubs to open their doors to feed children in the morning.

Carlsberg: Green Fiber Bottle


Carlsberg Green Fiber Bottle

One directly from our industry, and probably the greenest beer bottle around, the Green Fiber Bottle from Danish brewer Carlsberg is a true innovation. Still in commercial development, its fibres will come from responsibly managed sources, with trees replanted at the same rate that they are harvested. While the bottle will degrade into environmentally non-harmful materials if discarded randomly, the intention is that it will form part of a proper waste management system, just like today’s bottles and cans.

Olio: Food Sharing

A free app that connects people with local shops and cafes so that surplus food can be shared, not binned. Users simply snap a picture of their unwanted items and add them to the app. People then receive customised alerts and can request anything that takes their fancy. Pick-up takes place – often the same day – at the home, store or another agreed location. OLIO has so far been used to share almost 200,000 items of food.

Pret A Manger: Rising Stars

Pret focuses its charitable efforts on people who are finding it hard, for whatever reason, to find a job, whether it’s through homelessness or a criminal record. It provides a three-month paid training programme, one-to-one counselling, and monthly creative arts sessions. Graduates of the scheme become fully fledged team members with a permanent contract. Pret then takes some of those graduates through a programme of workshops to give them additional skills to help further climb the career ladder.

Mike Berry is Head of Content at Fleet Street Communications and former Managing Editor of the Morning Advertiser. Fleet Street Communications are our category sponsor for the new Corporate Responsibility Initiative Award.