What is Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)?
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) refers to strategies that companies put into action as part of corporate governance designed to ensure the company’s operations are ethical and beneficial for society.
Here are the reasons why corporate social responsibility matters in today’s society according to our friend corporatefinanceinstitute.com
Categories of CSR
Although corporate social responsibility is a comprehensive concept that is understood and implemented differently by each firm, the underlying idea of CSR is to operate in an economically, socially, and environmentally sustainable manner.
Generally, corporate social responsibility initiatives are categorized as follows:
1. Environmental responsibility
Environmental responsibility initiatives aimed at reducing pollution and greenhouse gas emissions and the sustainable use of natural resources.
2. Human rights responsibility
Human rights responsibility initiatives involve providing fair labor practices (e.g., equal pay for equal work) and fair trade practices and disavowing child labor.
3. Philanthropic responsibility
Philanthropic responsibility can include funding educational programs, supporting health initiatives, donating to causes, and supporting community beautification projects.
4. Economic responsibility
Economic responsibility initiatives involve improving the firm’s business operation while participating in sustainable practices – for example, using a new manufacturing process to minimize wastage.
Business Benefits of CSR
In a way, corporate social responsibility can be seen as a public relations effort. However, it goes beyond that, as corporate social responsibility can also boost a firm’s competitiveness. The business benefits of corporate social responsibility include the following:
1. Stronger brand image, recognition, and reputation
CSR adds value to firms by establishing and maintaining a good corporate reputation and/or brand equity.
2. Increased customer loyalty and sales
Customers of a firm that practices CSR feel that they are helping the firm support good causes.
3. Operational cost savings
Investing in operational efficiencies results in operational cost savings as well as reduced environmental impact.
4. Retaining key and talented employees
Employees often stay longer and are more committed to their firm, knowing that they are working for a business that practices CSR.
5. Easier access to funding
Many investors are more willing to support a business that practices CSR.
6. Reduced regulatory burden
Strong relationships with regulatory bodies can help to reduce a firm’s regulatory burden.
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“The business of business should not be about money. It should be about responsibility. It should be about public good, not private greed”
“The emphasis placed by more and more companies on corporate social responsibility symbolizes the recognition that prosperity is best achieved in an inclusive society”
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