The Complete Beginner's Guide to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)

What is CSR? Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) refers to policies developed and practices voluntarily lived by companies and are expected to contribute to sustainable development.

Typs of CSR

According to Carroll [1], CSR can be divided into four responsibilities. These are:

  • Economic responsibility: Economic responsibility states that companies should at least cover their costs..
  • Legal responsibility: The law must always be obeyed. It can be understood as the rules of the game of social and economic interaction.
  • Ethical responsibility: Ethical responsibility is about taking care of employees by creating and securing fair labour practices for your employees and the employees of your suppliers.
  • Philanthropic responsibility: Philanthropic responsibility implies thinking about the whole of humanity. Attention is paid to the well-being of under-privileged or poor individuals, who require support to live on this planet. Companies can make a commitment to society through foundations and donations, for example.

These four responsibilities can be expanded to include the environmental responsibility.

  • Environmental responsibility:  Here, the focus lies on protecting the environment as well as reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Companies are bound to take fundamental steps to save our planet and protect it for the future generation.

 

Benefits of CSR for your company

  • Employee engagement: Employees that feel respected and valued by their organization are more motivated, productive, and committed and remain loyal to the company over a longer period of time.
  • Customer loyalty: Users think deliberately around the goods and services they purchase. Consumers will be more faithful towards your company if your values match with theirs.
  • External impact: Progressive CSR marks your organization as a pioneer within the community and an example for others to follow. Moreover, companies standing out for the good work they’re doing within the community are recognized by the media. 
  • Savings potential: After initial investments (especially in the area of ecological responsibility such as energy-saving measures or waste reduction), CSR can reduce production costs and increase profits.
  • Legal framework: Qualitative CSR mechanisms (such as a sustainability strategy or a sustainability report) meet existing as well as expected legal requirements.
  • Control mechanisms: Regulatory authorities often overlook companies that do not practice CSR more closely than companies that do.
  • Investor attraction: The company may receive foreign investment in the form of FDI. In some cases, the country's government might also show its willingness to invest in the company.

 

Summary

     
 

The concept of corporate social responsibility is firmly settled on the world market. With  CSR practices, additional efforts are taken that go beyond legal requirements.

Even though CSR is most commonly practiced by bigger organizations, smaller enterprises are also taking interest in CSR through their best capable scale (e.g., supporting local charities and events).

To conclude, CSR is not a rule, which needs to be followed by a company, but a responsibility, that should be taken by everyone.

 
     

 

Feel free to get a personalized consultation regarding CSR issues from us. You can find out more about our sustainability consulting here.   

 

Author: Shashank Goyal

 


[1] Archie B. Carroll (1991): The Pyramid of Corporate Social Responsibility: Toward the Moral Management of Organizational Stakeholders, https://www.researchgate.net/publication/4883660_The_Pyramid_of_Corporate_Social_Responsibility_Toward_the_Moral_Management_of_Organizational_Stakeholders.

Shashank Goyal

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Shashank Goyal

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