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The issue areas of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in companies

CSR is a great value for companies and communities. It is significant to raise the awareness of this responsibility and help creating good conditions to implement this approach. We can only benefit from it. These are the main four issue areas of CSR:

Marketplace

Marketplace issues concern the social responsibility of a company in terms of the way it makes its money. To be more specific, it says about how much value a company creates by its goods or service, how much it costs society or whether the selling process is carried out with integrity and honesty. Moreover, it provides the information if a company is fair and punctual in payments for suppliers and if the suppliers share the CSR values. It is all about trust – the mutual trust between business and its clients, employees, suppliers etc. Looking at only your own benefit is not well seen not only in the case of business. It is just not right, generally.

Environment

This area concerns the good environmental practice of companies. It has become extremely important for companies to reduce their bad impact on the environment. It is not only about bringing profit for the world, but also for the companies who gain more, thanks to higher efficiency. Lower carbon emission, responsible use of valuable materials and responsible exploitation are the most urgent issues now. The important question in this area is whether companies can be successful in making people’s lives better without making them want more and more things, which costs our environment just too much. And also, can companies make consumers follow them in their CSR approach?

Workplace

What impact can your company have on society in this area? Of course, it is creating jobs, providing people with money, paying taxes etc. But this good impact can become a bad one very quickly since there is only a thin line between them. You can exploit people, treat them as your personal workforce and destroy their lives. Here you must admit that people are your great asset, you must invest in it if you want to see returns.

For all businesses, talent counts. Recruiting the right people for the right places is one thing, and providing them with a chance to develop is another. How do you motivate your, large or small, group of employees? Do you discriminate them? These are very important questions for those considered socially responsible.

Community

The place where your business operates is a very important factor which decides about your success. Your employees and customers must have proper and healthy conditions to live and have their families. Then, you cannot be seen as an intruder. It is important for businesses to support their communities, become a “friendly” neighbor and unite somehow with the people around. Ask yourself whether you would like to have your business as a neighbor. And how about your employees’ opinion – do they see you as a community member who contributes to the common welfare? Do you engage them in supporting the community?

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What are the profits of Corporate Social Responsibility?

Implementing the Corporate Social Responsibility approach in a company is believed to be beneficial for both the company and the society. As it usually is with theories, also this one seems to be so powerful and true in words, but you may wonder how it actually is in practice? You may have some doubts whether this attitude is mostly beneficial for the others, not for your business. Is it really worth the effort? Having localized such doubts in the hearts of people, we decided to make the case clear. We have just gathered the opinions in the topic expressed by those who really have the knowledge we need from their own experience. So what are the profits of CSR according to business people?

Garratt Hasenstab


– (Director of Sustainability at the Verdigris Group, a real estate development and consulting firm) admits that his Verdigris Group puts a strong pressure on becoming a leader in the corporate social responsibility area. The company has already taken serious CSR action by implementing a set of sustainable initiatives in which its employees actively take part. What is more, since 2007 the firm has been working as a certified carbon-neutral business. As Hasenstab explains, the core of Verdigris Group’s success is the social and environmental awareness of its clients and partners since for such a group of recipients the possibility to cooperate with CSR company is a great opportunity. CSR is the centre of the whole company’s activity now and it is planned to be in the future. This policy’s advantages are: incentive for clients who appreciate the company’s CSR-related efforts, more efficient work, saving money, being an inspiration for the others and setting a good example.

John G. Taft


– (a great-grandson of President Taft and CEO of RBC Wealth Management-USA) has decided to focus his CSR actions on protecting water. His company’s initiative – The RBC Blue Water Project – has been created to provide financial support to organizations which take care of watersheds and access to drinking water. In his opinion, the main advantage of CSR is the employees and clients’ respect towards the company which is gained by engaging in the socially responsible actions.

Lisa Dewey


– (Pro Bono Partner at DLA Piper – a huge law firm) informs that DLA Piper takes corporate cesponsible actions by pro bono service, community engagement, diversity and environmental sustainability. The company encourages its employees to take part in the CSR projects according to their own preferences. They can choose the matters which are important for them and just do something they believe in to improve the world. As Dewey admits, the work they do as pro bono workers or volunteers is very impressive. When it comes to the direct benefits the company has from such actions, its first of all, changing lives of people around the world and apart from this, improving lives of DLA lawyers which contributes positively to the whole company at the same time. And finally, thanks to CSR, the relationships with clients have been strengthen and many precious ties with various communities have been created.

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Do you know what Corporate Social Responsibility is?

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is an attribute of a business, which positively influences society in some ways. It can be shown in a form of for example, charity donations or turning to the green energy sources. There are various ways of building such a CSR business, depending on the category of social responsibility that one wants to choose. The categories are:

  • Care for the environment – it obviously means that a business feels responsible for environment’s good condition. Taking care of lower carbon emission, choosing alternative sources of energy etc. will definitely help both the company and society.
  • Helping those in need – donating to charities is the best form of showing company’s CSR in this category .
  • Ethical employmentt – establishing the right and fair employment rules in a company (both locally and abroad) is also a perfect way of showing the firm’s CSR.
  • Volunteering – volunteer events are good occasions to demonstrate a company’s interest in society matters.

Why is CSR a good strategy for companies?

People’s awareness of world’s serious problems is continuously growing. Taking care of the others and the surrounding has become a very desirable attitude, also in the world of business. Businesses which are known for unfair treatment and making use of its employees or damaging environment risk a lot. These days it is not difficult to widespread the information in public, which next becomes a huge deterrent and discourages customers from using the unfortunate company’s service or buying its products in favour of CSR businesses. Taking responsibility for the world’s problems counts, and clients appreciate such an attitude. Clawing one’s way is no longer well seen and profitable. Not only customers choose CSR companies, but also good employees are more and more picky and look for socially responsible employers to work with.

Examples of corporate social responsible businesses

Ben and Jerry’s – it has a sustainability program for dairy farms in Vermont (its home state) and it accepts only fair trade ingredients.

Starbucks – it works according to their own C.A.F.E Practices guidelines which has been created in order to make sure the products used by the company are sustainably grown. In its coffee production process it takes account of the important economic, social and environmental aspects.

Tom’s Shoes – it distributes a free pair of shoes to a poor child every time someone buys its shoes.

Is it really worth the effort?

Corporate social responsibility attitude will help your business not only build a good showcase and gain positive public interest, it will also make you a contributor to the world’s wellbeing and will give you the satisfaction and sense of what you are doing. Both these aspects create perfect conditions for achieving success. However, there is one condition: you must involve your employees in the CSR process so as to make your approach transparent and seen for the public. Otherwise, many people may just accuse you of hypocrisy. Public trust is one of the keys for all businesses’ success. Finally, our world’s wellbeing is definitely our corporate interest and we all should feel responsible for it at as high as possible level.