The European Sponsorship Association is committed to Corporate Responsibility. We implement Corporate Responsibility within our operations, support and advise members on good practice and encourage all those engaged in sponsorship to embed Corporate Responsibility throughout their activities.
What is Corporate Responsibility?
Corporate Responsibility is the responsibility, accountability and actions of an organisation to operate ethically and sustainably.
This means that the organisation:
- Accepts responsibility to society beyond compliance with laws and regulations and obligations to shareholders, owners or members
- Operates accountably, transparently, ethically and sustainably
- Contributes positively to the sustainable development and well being of societies and people.
- Identifies and acts on social, ethical and environmental risks and opportunities related to activities.
The Value of Corporate Responsibility
Corporate Responsibility provides a framework for organisations engaged in sponsorship to comply with values and achieve aims, in a way that provides value to the organisation and is sustainable and beneficial for society and the environment. The benefits are described briefly below.
Enhancing reputation: An organisation that is clearly committed to corporate responsibility and shows this by its actions will build credibility and reputation with stakeholders. Sponsorships by their nature are visible and attractive to audiences and can make a valuable contribution to overall reputation for responsibility.
Identifying and mitigating risks: By acting responsibly, an organisation is better placed to identify and prevent risks and to handle issues when they occur. For instance, if the organisation has responsible marketing as a value, then this will enable better management of sponsorships involving vulnerable groups. Other areas of risk where Corporate Responsibility can assist in planning and management include corruption, child labour, environmental and societal impacts of major events. If an incident occurs, then evidence of Corporate Responsibility may assist in mitigating the consequences.
Creating beneficial societal impact and sustainability: Sponsored events or activities can benefit society such as sustainability incorporated in sponsorships, community engagement or lasting benefits from major events. Sponsorship and project management methodology can be beneficial when applied to corporate community investments.
Sponsorship enhancement: A reputation for Corporate Responsibility can enhance the impact of sponsorships by gaining greater acceptance among target audiences and better engagement with the organisations and people upon which the sponsorships’ success depend. A Corporate Responsibility reputation can assist where there are initial concerns about the sponsor’s intent or, where there are controversial products or services, by building trust and allaying concerns.
Innovation: Successful sponsorships are the product of innovation and ideas. Corporate Responsibility can assist in accessing ideas and societal changes.
Motivation: All those involved with a sponsorship are more likely to be positively motivated if they can see that the sponsorship is founded on values originating from a commitment to Corporate Responsibility with intended outcomes of positive impacts for society and sustainability.
Ten questions for your organisation
- Has your organisation committed to Corporate Responsibility values and policies?
- If so, do you incorporate these into your sponsorship policies and activities?
- Do you carry out due diligence on sponsorship partners to assess their compliance with your Corporate Responsibility standards?
- Do your sponsorships incorporate benefits for society?
- Do you require sustainability standards for major sponsorships with which you are involved such as sustainable stadia or carbon neutrality of events?
- Do you require and monitor responsible standards in the supply chain for major sponsorships such as ethical sourcing or labour standards?
- Do you have a policy for responsible marketing such as ensuring sponsorships do not impact adversely on vulnerable groups?
- Do you set requirements for integrity covering aspects such as fair trading, ambush marketing, negotiation, anti-corruption, anti-drugs, accountability and transparency?
- Do you use sponsorship methodology in other areas such as community investment to enhance the benefit for society?
- Do you use sponsorship to promote sustainability or societal causes?