October 2019 Newsletter


October 2019 Newsletter

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives can seem daunting, especially if organisations do not have the resources to formulate strategies and manage implementation. If executed responsibly, CSR projects can positively impact the environment and communities while forming an integral part of brand and business strategy. NSI remains committed to supporting governments and organisations in implementing and managing feasible and sustainable solutions as part of their CSR mandate. Ultimately, supporting organisations in putting effective plans into action that have satisfy the triple bottom line. 


This Newsletter edition explores how recycling can form a part of CSR strategy, with a focus on waste management and Deposit Return Systems. NSI understands waste management concerns and is actively working towards the development and implementation of systems in developing countries. We  also explore the link between successful CSR campaigns and meaningful iniatives,  which ultimately enhances the relationship between brand and consumer.

If your organisation has never been involved in a recycling initiative as part of a CSR campaign, you may want to ask yourself the following:

Deposit-return systems (DRS), also referred to as deposit-refund system, deposit-return scheme or advance deposit fee is an additional cost on an item when purchased and a partial refund when the item is returned. DRS are well received in countries or states that have mandatory recycling legislation, however they can be implemented voluntarily.

Over ten countries in Europe and several states in the US, Canada and Australia have implemented deposit return systems. The incentive to return products also facilitates consumer participation.

DRS can be used on a variety of products, including (plastics, aluminium and glass) and can be implemented in numerous ways and levels. For example, countries in Latin America have seen reverse vending machines (machines that accept empty containers in exchange for money) implemented at a local level, offering incentives to encourage participation (free public transit, coupons for certain retail outlets etc). Reverse vending machines  are placed within the retailers, either participating due to related legislation or through their CSR ethos.

NSI continues to support governments and corporates with the implementation of deposit return systems. We understand the positive impact of deposit return systems and aims to continue to scale the initiative globally.

Meaningful brands, meaningful CSR

CSR initiatives can impact your brand positively,  but what are the factors that make a campaign resonate with its targeted consumers? In contexts such as South Africa, where the government is not viewed as the sole agent for socio-economic change, CSR initiatives face a higher level of scrutiny in terms of delivering social change. It is important for a brand to advocate for a particular social issue however successfully addressing a said issue provides a CSR campaign with meaning.

Local South African brands that have become popular household items have strategised methods of investing in their consumer base, providing solutions to issues through social and community projects, via their CSR campaigns.  When choosing a particular social issue as part of your CSR campaign, consider the following:

Surf School of Shine
The ongoing Surf School of Shine initiative highlights just how involved a brand can be in forming a part of a solution to a social ill. In this case, Surf utilised the high levels of unemployment to as a part of their CSR strategy. Currently, the Surf School of Shine is primarily an online platform dedicated to helping registered members on their career journeys. The platform offers courses ranging from how to create a CV, prepare for interviews as well as career planning.

While Surf chose to take an extensive approach, smaller brands may not be able to be so actively involved in a addressing a socio-economic challenge. It is up to the brand to choose where they fit on the CSR spectrum, noting that smaller, targeted projects can still be meaningful. NSI supports brands engaging in meaningful campaigns as part of their CSR mandate. NSI believes the importance in brand-value alignment and through consultation, supporting brands in formulating CSR strategies suited to their capacity.        
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