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Corporate Social Responsibility: Definition, Concept, Process, Scopes

Corporate social responsibility is traditionally shattered down into four categories: environmental, philanthropic, ethical, and economic responsibility. Businesses have a responsibility to respect the laws of the country and pay taxes regularly and honestly. Social responsibility also includes companies engaging in environmental preservation efforts, ethical labour practices, philanthropy, and promoting diversity and inclusion.



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Definitions


CSR is a concept that captures the responsibility of business to the environment, its stakeholders and to the broader society – Blowfield

 

Corporate Social Responsibility is a commitment to improving community well-being through discretionary business practices and corporate resources. – Philip Kotler, Nancy Lee, Wiley

 

Bowen says that “the obligations of businessmen to pursue those policies, to make those decisions, or to follow those lines of action that are desirable in terms of the objectives and values of our society.”

 

Koestoer tell that the ways of companies in addressing various social issues in their operating areas, individually or collectively, are known as Corporate Social Responsibility.

 

Corporate accountability units that financial performance should not be a company’s only important goal. And that shareholders are not the only people to whom businesses are accountable. So CSR is a type of self-regulation that shows a business accountability and loyalty for the society.

CSR consists of business relations and impact relations, meshed with legal responsibilities. Effective stakeholder arrangement is necessary to build relationships with stakeholders in order to better understand their perspectives and needs.


Businesses have a social responsibility to produce value for all stakeholders. It includes customers, suppliers, employees, communities, and financiers.

History of CSR

With a long and wide history, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has witnessed significant evolution. Today, CSR is considered an important concept for modern businesses.

CSR has evolved over time from a simple idea of firms merely accepting responsibility for their environmental and social impact to a more complete approach of taking responsibility for governance as well.

Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) elements have emerged as a result of the push toward more holistic approaches to corporate responsibility.

ESG factors consider a broader range of criteria, including corporate governance, human rights, and environmental impact, among others. As a result, companies that understand and embrace the concept of CSR. It positioned itself for improved efficiency and profitability.

A variety of variables have influenced the evolution of CSR, including social, environmental, and economic issues. The concept of the social contract between corporations and society was developed in the 1970s. It presented the idea that enterprises exist due to public approval and must, thus, act responsibly.

Basically, over the time, CSR has become increasingly important as stakeholders, including employees/customers and investors. It have placed greater emphasis on corporate responsibility.


So basically, the concept of CSR has developed over time, reflecting the increasing importance placed on corporate responsibility. Companies that understand and embrace the concept of CSR are positioning themselves for improved efficiency and profitability.

So the evolution from CSR to ESG is a reflection of the increasing importance placed on corporate responsibility. And the broader range of criteria that must be considered to meet stakeholder expectations.



Key Takeaways

    1. CSR is a way for businesses to improve the community around them
    2. There are four main types of CSR: environmental, philanthropic, ethical, and economic
    3. CSR is a commitment by businesses to improve community well-being through discretionary business practices and corporate resources
    4. Companies have a responsibility to respect the laws of the country and pay taxes regularly and honestly
    5. Social responsibility also includes companies engaging in environmental preservation efforts, ethical labour practices, philanthropy, and promoting diversity and inclusion




Process of implementing CSR


Process of implementing CSR definepedi



Establishing a CSR program is a step-by-step process, So basically it includes the following steps:


Appreciate the benefits of social responsibility

The first step in implementing CSR is to understand the benefits of social responsibility. These benefits can include stronger brand recognition, a better reputation, increased employee loyalty, and improved community relations.


Get project approval

Once you have identified the benefits of CSR, you need to gain project approval from your organization’s leadership. This will involve creating a proposal that outlines the goals, costs, and benefits of your CSR program.



Set project goals

Next, you need to set clear and measurable goals for your CSR program. These goals should be align with your organization’s mission and values. And it should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.



Run a current CSR analysis

Before you start implementing your CSR program, you need to assess your organization’s current CSR performance. So this analysis will help you identify areas where your organization is doing well and areas where it needs to improve.

For example, if your organization is already reducing its carbon footprint, you may want to focus on reducing waste in your supply chain.



Research your CSR initiatives

Once you have identified the areas for improvement, then you need to research potential CSR initiatives. It can help you to achieve your goals. For example, if you want to reduce the waste in your supply chain. So for that you may want to explore/find initiatives such as recycling, composting, or reusable packaging.



Launch your CSR campaign

Once you have identified your CSR initiatives, you need to launch your campaign. This will involve creating a communication plan to inform your stakeholders about your CSR program and its goals. You may also want to involve your employees in the launch of your CSR program to build support and momentum.



Manage your program to success

Lastly, you must manage your CSR program to verify that it is meeting its objectives. This will involve tracking your progress, making modifications as appropriate, and reporting your findings.

By constantly developing your CSR program, you may foster a culture of social responsibility that will aid in your long-term success.



For example, Lego is committed to sustainability and has implemented a CSR program that aligns with its brand values. One of their initiatives is to reduce their carbon footprint by using renewable energy sources in their manufacturing processes. They have also committed to using sustainable materials in their products and packaging. By implementing these initiatives, So Lego has improved their reputation as a socially responsible company. It has helped them build stronger relationships with their customers and employees.




Scopes of CSR


Scopes of CSR definepedia



The scope of CSR is diverse and includes various areas, such as:




Human Resources

CSR is concerned with the impact of organizational activities on the people who constitute the Human Resources or assets of the organization. The emphasis is on treating employees fairly and equally, and their well-being is value.

Activities in this area include training programs, recruitment practices, stability of the workforce, promotion policies, diversity and inclusion initiatives, and health and safety practices.


Fair Business Practices

CSR is concerned with the relationship of the company to special interest groups, including minorities, women, and other marginalized communities. This area also deals with socially responsible practices abroad.

Such as fair labor practices and ethical sourcing. Companies are also expected to support minority-owned businesses and engage in philanthropic activities.


Supply Chain

CSR in the supply chain is crucial, as it affects the reputation of companies. Companies need to ensure that their suppliers have appropriate CSR policies, ethical trading, elimination of pollution and non-recycled packaging, and elimination of exploitative labor practices amongst contractors.

Environmental Sustainability

Environmental sustainability is a critical aspect of CSR, and companies are expect to minimize their environmental impact.

Reduced greenhouse gas emissions, conservation of natural resources, and use of renewable energy sources. And implementation of sustainable waste management methods are all part of this.



Employee Volunteering

CSR also involves encouraging employees to participate in volunteering activities for social and environmental causes.

Employee volunteering is a powerful tool for promoting personal and professional growth, building team spirit, and contributing to the community. Companies can organize volunteering programs or provide paid time off to employees. To volunteer for causes they care about.

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