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Corporate Social Responsibility

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is fast becoming a must-have for organisations seeking to increase their contribution to society and the environment. From eco-friendly accommodation to activities that give back, here are four ways to include a CSR initiative in your incentive program.


 

TURTLE REHABILITATION ON THE GREAT BARRIER REEF

For an incentive program that will leave a lasting impact on participants and the local environment, consider a visit to the Cairns Turtle Rehabilitation Centre on the Great Barrier Reef. Small groups of up to 20 can join Jennie Gilbert and her team in their quest to rehabilitate injured turtles and release them back into the wild.

“It’s a hands-on experience that offers a glimpse of the unique animals of the Reef,” says Jennie. “Our half-day experience at Fitzroy Island includes turtle feeding and conservation works, as well as grassroots activities such as painting the centre and cleaning the beach.”

Since launching in 2000 with “two people and one turtle” the Cairns Turtle Rehabilitation Centre has treated more than 170 turtles, and the rehabilitation success rate has risen from around 25 per cent to 85 per cent.

Feast of Merit,
Melbourne, VIC

Food for thought in Melbourne

In Melbourne’s inner-city suburb of Richmond, Feast of Merit restaurant is run by social enterprise venture YGAP, an organisation that provides financial, marketing and mentoring support to grassroots charities. Lined with exposed brick, rustic timber floors and leadlight windows, the function space provides a blank canvas for events of up to 120 guests, with profits supporting charitable works in Australia, Africa, Bangladesh and beyond.

Nearby, in Fitzroy, Mission Australia runs Charcoal Lane restaurant, providing hospitality training and mentoring for vulnerable young people. The menu further strengthens the feel-good factor, showcasing native Australian ingredients that support Indigenous growers across the country.

Stay in eco-friendly accommodation

One simple way to incorporate CSR into an incentive program is to choose environmentally friendly accommodation, such as O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat in the Gold Coast Hinterland.

“Coming to stay with us is an eco-decision in itself,” says Courtney Adamson of O’Reilly’s. “Corporate guests have a choice of adding myriad eco-initiatives to their itinerary, such as guided bushwalks, Australian animal encounters and conservation talks.”

Set within World Heritage–listed rainforest, O’Reilly’s rooms and villas are constructed from recycled materials, and water comes courtesy of a natural spring, promising a conference and incentive setting that delivers “clear air for clear thinking”.

Corporate Challenge Events,
Bikes for Tykes

Team building that gives back

Corporate Challenge Events has witnessed a shift in the kind of activities clients request, says director Dwain Richardson.

“We have seen a growth in companies undertaking team-building events that have a charity focus and a giving outcome,” he says. “Originally we did a lot of work with the charity Camp Quality, and one of the things that came out of those conversations was the fact that because parents were spending so much money on treatments, there was very little left over for gifts, not only for the sick child, but also for siblings.”

And so the idea for Bikes for Tykes was born. Participants compete to build bikes from scratch, not knowing that they will be gifted to kids in need at the end of the day. “The feedback and response is very emotional,” says Dwain. “It’s not only a fun day, there’s also the impact of what they’ve achieved.”

Other tailored events include Charity Chef, where teams take part in a ‘mystery box’ challenge to cook a meal for the needy, and Flat Pack Frenzy, building furniture for charitable organisations. Corporate Challenge Events can be hosted across Australia for groups of all sizes.