Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in today’s World
CSR refers to the level of responsibility that corporations have and the consequences of their decisions, from economical through to social and environmental.
CSR describes corporate initiatives and their accountability and sustainability of a variety of factors that may be cultural, environmental, and even legal frameworks. As society becomes progressively knowledgeable and educated in important actions that must take place for both the planet and its people, corporate activity has become closely linked to Human rights and the social aspects of Corporate Social Responsibility.
Proactive CSR management highlights a company’s value for global care and philanthropy. Companies with effective CSR implement policies as well as practices to influence the world in positive degrees. Nguyen & Nguyen found that SMEs (Small and Medium Sized Enterprises) in Vietnam have very limited resources to properly implement CSR as part of their business models. SMEs willing to engage CSR initiatives will be able to grow their businesses quicker to gain the benefits of CSR and building a positive reputation for their business.
What is CSR?
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is an incredibly broad business model that deems companies accountable to itself, investors and to the public. CSR, also known as Corporate Citizenship, brands companies and represents how conscious a company of its business’s impact is to society. CSR heavily brands a corporation’s influence on its demographic, with up to 75% of respondents agreeing that CEOs are in a position of leadership to create change, instead of acquiring social change from the government.
Responsible CSR values operational methods and corporate decision making that enhances and contributes positively to both society and to the environment. A corporation with a clear purpose for social responsibility has a 50% increased potential to expand successfully into a new market.
Corporations vary in their CSR depending on the size of their company, budget, and resources. Common CSR initiatives include:
- Charity donations: A prime example to 2020’s most recent statistics includes Gilead Sciences donating up to $388 million to charities, a particularly crucial year to pose such a positive reputation as the company continues to seek out antiviral treatments for the global-wide COVID-19 pandemic.
- Environmentally conscious policies: Minimizing environmental externalities that are not harmful to an industry’s ecological footprint (use of natural resources, minimal cause of pollution, actions taken to reduce fuel transmissions)
- Employee volunteering – Promoting company volunteerism amongst employees and partners. A study conducted by Harvard Business School Professor, Michael Norton, found that employees who are provided with opportunities to be charitable within the workplace are much happier than those who do not. This increases both company morale and productivity within the workplace.
- Disaster response initiatives – business sectors can play an impressive leadership role to influence and stimulate action for both disaster relief and disaster destruction in the world. An essay shared through the Benfield Greig Hazard Research Center from the University College of London has highlighted the importance of developed and developing countries working together to share lessons in disaster reduction.
- Cause Marketing: corporate marketing that seeks to increase revenue to better support society through corporate social responsibility. Renowned Starbucks’s “LGBT+ What’s Your Name Campaign” illustrated a powerful Cause Marketing experience for its viewers. The Starbucks advertisement was the 2019 “Winner of the Diversity in Advertising Award”.
What are the benefits of a CSR approach?
Although a CSR approach is commonly known to exist amongst large corporations, small businesses are also able to participate through smaller-scale programs. Local businesses engage with sponsoring local events and charities. Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) account for up to 90% of businesses in the world, therefore possessing great influencing power to create change. Research conducted by Linnaeus University (Sweden) primary purpose of CSR is to produce long-term efforts and to be responsible in how to incorporate social demands through ethical solutions.
The study has identified a variety of benefits as a result of effective CSR including but not limited to:
- Creating a good and positive reputation of the company brand through social dimensions such as volunteer work
- Maintaining a competitive edge amongst other industry contenders for business expansion and customer engagement
- Improvement of stakeholder relationships
- Having an organizational work culture that values social responsibility in a company environment
- Awareness of a functioning business working in accordance to the law and within legal regulations of its industry
- Focus on company economical dimensions in relation to employee benefits more than financial benefits to the company itself
Although the concept of CSR does not have a globally refined set of guidelines, the holistic perception is that CSR does not solely benefit the company and must benefit society.
Why is Certification important to the CSR process?
Certification is crucial so that consumers and company stakeholders are aware of the policies and procedures that a business abides by. Registered certifications indicate the legitimacy of companies in their ethical practices. Tencati et al found that companies in Vietnam that pursue CSR engage mostly due to a focus on following the law, financial benefits for the company and for economic development for the industry. Certification ensures transparency.
Certification is important to the CSR process because it ensures that a company’s mission revolves around social responsibility at its core, not simply for its reputation. Sustainable companies such as Bk-bags that can verify the legitimacy of their environmentally conscious practices are reliable and trustworthy. According to a Unilever study, 80% of consumers prefer products that are certifiably sustainable.
Both society and company investors across all industries are placing an immense amount of pressure upon businesses to report their CSR programs and disclose their transparent CSR practices. Companies are often audited and assessed for their deliverance of sustainable and environmental policies. Corporations that are certified also verify how they manage social issues such as workplace diversity, leadership, and overall working conditions).
Bk-bags‘ CSR Approach
Iso (2010) has shared that CSR engagement should ideally contribute to the sustainable development of the whole planet, rather than primary focus on the development of the business. Bk-bags is proactive in its CSR approach, placing great value in its ethical working frameworks. From a social dimension, Bk-bags is certified by:
- The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)
- Business Social Compliance Initiative (BSCI)
- Supplier Ethical Data Exchange (SEDEX)
- Initiative and Compliance for Sustainability (ICS)
- International Organization for Standardization (ISO)
The above updated certifications attest to Bk-bags’ commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility. It allows the company to operate with awareness knowing that the policies and procedures Bk-bags practice (from workplace through to production and selling) follows an international standard of ethical excellence.
To learn more, check out the Tontoton Plastic Neutralization Program which is a perfect example of CSR measure to implement. You can also follow the Facebook page to keep up to date with the latest facts, regulations, and actions about sustainable and environmentally friendly solutions.