Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is when an organisation takes responsibility for the impact of its decisions and operations on society and the environment. It is when an organisation achieves a balance between economic, environmental and social imperatives, and the expectations of stakeholders for the long term.

In This Report

  1. What is corporate social responsibility?
  2. Which organisations have received recognition for corporate social responsibility?
  3. How have organisations reached high levels of corporate social responsibility?
  4. What research has been undertaken in corporate social responsibility?
  5. What tools and methods are used to achieve high levels of success in corporate social responsibility?
  6. How can corporate social responsibility be measured?
  7. What do business leaders say about corporate social responsibility?
  8. Conclusion

The Stage

When implementing activities relating to its CSR, an organisation has three fundamental responsibilities: environmental, societal and economic. The organisation should also be aiming to make decisions that are sustainable, i.e. that meet present needs without compromising long-term economic success or having a negative impact on the environment.

Research shows that approaches to CSR tend to adopt many multi-faceted approaches rather than a single approach. Some organisations pursue philanthropy or aim to protect the environment; others choose to share common values, and integrate business goals with a societal need. And there are organisations that develop a stand-alone CSR programme rather than integrating CSR into their core business goals and values.

Many organisations have excellent CSR initiatives – and some have found a way for CSR to boost bottom-line figures as a result of the community and stakeholder support they receive or an associated streamlining of resources. However, research also shows that many organisations could do better with their CSR initiatives – particularly through improved alignment with day-to-day operations and higher levels of active engagement from leaders.

Environmental sustainability has long been a concern and is now a monumental challenge. Climate change, global warming, deforestation, natural resource depletion, waste management and transportation challenges are key areas in which organisations can make a difference. Yes, more should be done by all orders of government; however, business leaders can do much to help shape a global response by integrating CSR standards such as ISO 26000 on social responsibility and ISO 14001 on environmental management.

As CSR becomes an accepted and expected practice, organisations have to find ways to balance and align their short-term needs with long-term sustainability.

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