Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)

How Businesses Make Positive Social Change

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Corporate Social Responsibility refers to business initiatives and practices that benefit our society. It involves considering social and environmental impacts of all the decisions and activities of a business along with taking additional initiatives to directly contribute to social and environmental development.  In a nutshell, CSR is a business organization’s “Commitment” to operate its business in a “Socially Responsible” way.

Furthermore, it also involves going beyond the interest of the organization and work solely for the development of the society.

Why is CSR Important to Businesses?

All the stakeholders of a business including investors, managers, employees and consumers have begun to understand how economic growth of a business or an industry is linked with environmental and social well-being. Although it is just a voluntary activity by business organizations, it has almost become an integral part of business activities as undertaking social activities can indirectly benefit the organization for the long run. Because when a business operates in an environmentally, socially and economically responsible and transparent manner, it helps the organization succeed, in particular, through social acceptance and shared value.

Types of CSR Tactics or Practices

CSR practices in business organizations can vary as there are a number of different CSR practices, including giving a portion of organization’s proceeds to one or more not-for-profit organizations.

Here are some of the most common broad categories of CSR practices:

Environmental Protection: Environment is always one of the most common focuses of CSR activities among business organizations of all sizes. Businesses typically have a substantial carbon footprint and water footprint, so, any attempt or initiative to lessen these footprints of any organization can be beneficial for both the business and the society as a whole.

In addition, efforts to recycle or divert waste or strive for Zero Waste.

Philanthropic: Perhaps the most common CSR practice is donating a substantial amount of money to local and national charities. Such activities greatly help local and community programs and also promote the charitable activates.

Ethical Practices within the Organization: Businesses can demonstrate their intention to contribute to society by simply treating employees ethically and fairly. Strictly follow the international labor law can ensure the employees of an organization get fair and ethical treatment from the organization.

Leading Examples of CSR

There are a countless number of companies that spend hundreds and thousands of dollars every year for CSR activities. These days, there are hardly any renowned multi-national companies that do not have yearly CSR budget. Forbes almost every year publishes a list of top companies with best CSR reputations. Microsoft, Google, the Walt Disney Company, BMW, Apple, Daimler, Volkswagen, Sony and Colgate are most of the time in the list. Google Green is one of the most popular CSR initiatives by Google. It is Google’s corporate efforts to support renewable power and uses resources efficiently.

 

Latest CSR Trends

As CSR has become an integral part of most businesses, it is now the new norm instead of just an optional activity. These days, different communications technologies and rich data enable companies to solve social and environmental problems and issues more efficiently. The presence of people from diverse backgrounds and experience help companies to effectively identify and solve social, environmental and economic challenges. Another top trend in CSR is that companies are more active and vocal in ensuring a certain level of human rights both domestically and globally. Empowering women too has gained a huge reputation among companies and is one of the top CSR trends of recent years. But the most important focus of multi-million dollar companies in their CSR activities is climate change and possible ways to protect the environment.