You may be aware that our Mission Store is a finalist in the London Chamber of Commerce Business Achievement Awards, in the category of Corporate Social Responsibility. The award winners will be announced in March. It is an honour to be recognized in this way.
While researching Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) I was reminded that CSR is a concept that has been vigorously debated for over 70 years. It began with Nobel Prize winning economist Milton Friedman’s position that the only social responsibility of a business is to maximize profits and has evolved to the more recent position that corporations do have a social responsibility beyond pure profit. As CSR has become more important in our culture, many theories, emphases, and categories have evolved in determining and defining a socially responsible business. One main goal of CSR is simply to align an organization’s social, environmental and economic activities with its purpose and values.
I want to briefly share what CSR means for us. It began with our vision statement – “that all people are accepted, valued and can thrive in a caring community” and was a natural consequence of our striving to live out our vision, mission and values.
The Mission Store’s CSR is a natural consequence of how we wanted “to do business”. Our desire is to be part of an integrated whole, to support and complement the efforts of others, as well as our own. To that end, we care for people by paying a Living Wage, whether they are our employees, or student and work training placements from other organizations. We care for our environment by reducing what goes to landfill. We care for our community by receiving referrals to our Emergency Voucher Program and participate with other agencies in looking after our neighbours. We share responsibility of care for our community’s children through our Warm Hands – Warm Hearts Outreach Program. We strengthen our community by providing employment, employment training and volunteer opportunities. We support our community with reasonable and affordable prices. Our retail sales financially strengthen our ability to provide services in the midst of limited and constrained government support.
We are extremely grateful for the recognition of our CSR. That is truly “icing on the cake”. But we do what we do because of who we are.
Mission Services of London, the Mission Store – caring for our staff, our neighbours, our environment, and our community – loving God, loving others.
Written by Peter Rozeluk, Executive Director