What is CSR?
The concept of Corporate Social Responsibility arose since organizations have an obligation to keep the best interests of customers, employees, shareholders, communities, and ecological considerations, on the way to development. This extends beyond their statutory compliances.
It is a continuous process of policies, programs, education, and practices encompassing corporate operations throughout its existence.
Importance of CSR
It could be a vital factor affecting a company’s success. Organizations relate to communities. Corporate decisions and operations can impact communities and communities can influence a corporation’s success with employees, customers, and image.
Hence, it is increasingly important for a company to be involved in CSR activities.
Components and Core Principles of CSR
CSR caters to the core principles of:
● Regards to all stakeholders
● Ethical Functioning
● Respect towards workers’ rights and welfare
● Human rights
● Environmental factors
● Social and Economic development of communities.
Relationship between CSR and SDG
CSR is an integral part of Sustainable Development. Corporate Citizenship implies they should be involved in activities with goals beyond financial benefits and indulge in acts that have a positive impact on the environment and communities.
Corporate Citizenship is a responsibility entrusted to ensure Corporates do not misuse the power of a large corporation to cause damage to the environment and communities. In fact, many firms have voluntarily taken up causes of Sustainable Development.
Adidas is well known for using 90 percent recycled polyester in its products, along with streamlining operations to minimize the usage of water, energy chemicals, and materials. Decarbonization is one of their prime goals.
KPMG International has a matrix assigned for the achievement of each of the 17 SDGs.
Microsoft has committed itself to four specific SDGs through CSR and makes contributions towards the remaining thirteen.
Shell Global has deployed the most energy-efficient operations to extract oil and gas.
The popularity of CSR in relation to SDGs has increased in the 2000s, hence expectations of the public on any corporate entity revolves around safety, sustainability, and contribution towards the community. Startups across the globe have been playing a substantial role in giving Sustainability new momentum.
Mereka, a Malaysian startup is empowering youth through an alternate education platform. Massira Technologies, Ghana, is focused on providing solutions for women’s mental, sexual and reproductive health through community building.
Sheroes, an Indian startup is exclusively built on the idea of gender equality. They empower women through a safe community App and educate them about finances and opportunities.
BothofUs, a Swedish Startup, enables companies in SDG localization in alignment with the UN Framework. Kay Nag, Founder, BothofUs explains:” We have seen that very few tech companies are dedicated to this space, hence we are here to empower them through innovation and Technology. We have partnered with the UN to impart this mission to students at various Universities across the globe”
Individuals in various locations too have been contributing their bit to Sustainability through relentless efforts. For instance, Ms. Kalpana Ramesh from Hyderabad, Telangana State, India has won appreciation from the Prime Minister himself for the “Restoration of Water Bodies” Project she took up. Her team restored centuries-old stairwells and lakes which are now full of fresh potable water.
Somy Ali, a former actress, was moved by the plight of abuse victims. She is a Miami-based social worker who operates through her organization “No more tears” in the rescue, counseling and rehabilitation of survivors in the community.
What started as CSR has now seeped into the minds of individuals, thanks to the highlight of digital media. It’s the need of the hour to have everyone working towards Sustainability in their own way.
Schools, Corporations, and Associations can be more active in spreading awareness toward building a better world.
For guidance towards SDGs, please connect with the author.
The author, Dr. Sailaja, hails from Hyderabad, India, and is a seasoned HR Leader, Guest Speaker, and Sustainable Practices enthusiast.