Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a hot topic in the re/insurance industry and is becoming a standard business practice for good reason. But what does CSR actually mean, and why should re/insurance businesses prioritise their CSR efforts?
CSR is defined as a form of corporate self-regulation that helps a company achieve social accountability. There is a huge amount of wealth being generated in the financial services sector and it is important companies strike a healthy balance between what they generate and what they give back.
Research has found that the benefits of CSR reach far beyond the charities supported. Meaningful projects that reflect the values of the business are proven to attract employees, increase motivation, aid staff retention and improve productivity. Employees who feel their workplace takes its social responsibilities seriously are likely to experience an increased sense of identity with the company they work for.
We have witnessed this first hand since launching the Capsicum Re Foundation in 2016.
The Foundation was established to provide our team with the opportunity to give something back by participating in activities that are not central to our business objective. The cornerstone of our Foundation is to move the dial; we focus on smaller charities for whom our involvement can make a profound difference. We encourage our employees to nominate charities they feel passionate about, ensuring our team are engaged with the Foundation and a wide variety of causes are supported. This means we have been able to support a diverse range of causes including Stacey’s Smiles, The Richard House Children’s Hospice, The Sarah Groves Foundation, St Aidan’s Church in Skelmanthorpe and the John Scurr Primary School.
By 2017, employee engagement with the Foundation had multiplied and 40 members of our team participated in the Race to the Stones ultra-marathon, raising an astonishing sum of £210,000 for the Nepal Youth Foundation, enabling it to build a vocational school in Nepal. More than 600 students have now graduated from the Olgapuri Vocational School, with 95% employability and many earning more than double the national average income.
In the past three years, our team has participated in an array of activities from running ultra-marathons, volunteering at hospices, climbing mountains and planting a sensory garden raising more than £500,000 through donations and sponsorships.
Our most recent venture was the Capsicum Re Foundation Speed Project (#CRFSP), the aim of which was to run, walk, cycle or row 8,500 km as a business in just one month. We smashed our target, reaching a mighty 15,737 km (the equivalent of travelling between our offices in London, Bermuda, New York, Miami, Rio de Janeiro and Santiago) and raising a phenomenal £68,000 in the process. This project had a special focus on Harry’s Giant Pledge following a request from one of our employees. Harry’s Giant Pledge was set up by the parents of the late Harry Shaw, a five-year-old boy who suffered with a rare form of childhood cancer. Members of our Facultative team walked a half marathon to raise awareness of this cause. In less than three years, the Foundation has raised more than half a million pounds through donations and sponsorship, helping to support 12 small charities chosen by our staff. But the positive impact does not end there.
The Foundation has become a fundamental part of our business and reminds us of the bigger picture and the responsibility businesses have to help those less fortunate. Thanks to the nomination format of the Foundation, our employees have the chance to connect with causes close to their heart and encourage their colleagues to do their bit. This has fundamentally altered their experience within the firm, harnessing the power of the Foundation to deliver change while simultaneously creating tangible relationships across our teams.
The Capsicum Re Foundation has become a cornerstone of our culture and a fundamental part of our business, something we are all extremely proud of. The underlying goal of corporate social responsibility is clear – to create a better world in which to live and do business. This is what we are striving to achieve with the Capsicum Re Foundation.