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  2. Corporate social responsibility (CSR) | Current issues
  3. What Is Corporate Social Responsibility?
  4. History of Corporate Social Responsibility

Numerous organizations have created guidelines for ethical behavior for companies, regardless of the size of the business. A key part of ethical responsible business is finding ways to minimize any negative social impacts along the entire supply chain of your operations. This may mean sourcing materials to avoid goods associated with egregious harm, such as diamonds mined by brutal warlords, clothing made in unsafe sweatshops or soccer balls stitched by year old children.

You can work with suppliers that take a conscientious approach to procuring goods; buying goods that have third-party certifications or avoid products identified as questionable , or by visiting supply facilities directly to assure yourself that they are operating in a responsible fashion. Ethical responsibility also entails protecting the environment, both locally and globally. Set goals for reducing your greenhouse gas footprint, avoid using toxic chemicals whenever possible, and learn where your materials come from and how they are produced.


If you serve coffee, for example, does the coffee from clear-cut farms that destroyed precious rain forest lands, or was it grown sustainably in a manner that protects local forests, birds and wildlife? Consider the entire lifecycle of the products you sell: Can your products easily be recycled at the end of their useful life, or will they end up in a landfill? Your own operations and those of your supply chain should adhere to high standards in the workplace, and in the surrounding community.

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Workers should be safe from occupational hazards, and should be afforded dignity and opportunities for advancement, and also should be paid a living wage. Your facilities, and those of your suppliers, should be mindful of local communities in terms of culture and customs, noise and visual blight, and concerns such as traffic, pollution and other interactions.

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Corporate social responsibility (CSR) | Current issues

Visit emeraldpublishing. Abstract Reviews the development of the corporate social responsibility CSR concept and its four components: economic, legal, ethical and altruistic duties.

Building a socially responsible business

Please note you might not have access to this content. You may be able to access this content by login via Shibboleth, Open Athens or with your Emerald account. CSR can often result in short-term costs which do not lead to immediate economic gain for the company, however instead support and prioritise social and environmental progress. The focus of corporate social responsibility is to boost shareholder trust and increase long-term profits in a sustainable and ethical way by taking ownership of corporate decisions and improving them.

Because of this, CSR initiatives are often defined as initiatives that place social improvement before the often short term interests of business financial performance. Corporate social responsibility can take shape in many ways, with common examples including donating money to charities and implementing environmental schemes in the workplace. There are several different forms of corporate social responsibility, all of which address individual issues. However, the three main types of CSR are environmental , ethical , philanthropic. One of the most common forms of corporate social responsibility, a number of companies focus their CSR efforts towards reducing their impact on the environment.

Whilst some UK businesses are now obliged by law to report on their greenhouse gas emissions, many others that are not required to are also beginning to address cutting their carbon footprint. Though harmful effects on the environment were once dismissed as a necessary and unavoidable cost of doing business, pollution and excessive consumption of resources now also pose a social and political concern on a global level. For this reason, environmental CSR has taken off, with many companies now prioritising the impact that their business has on the environment.

Broadly, environmental CSR tends to focus on a business cutting down its greenhouse gas emissions and waste. One example of a business focusing on environmental responsibility in their CSR strategy is Unilever. In addressing everything from the product design phase to shipping, Unilever have cut their costs in addition to their impact on the environment.

The social responsibility of business - Alex Edmans - TEDxLondonBusinessSchool

Ethical corporate social responsibility programmes focus on ensuring that all stakeholders in a business receive fair treatment, from employees to customers. Ethical responsibilities are self enforced initiatives that a company puts in place because they believe it is the morally correct thing to do rather than out of any obligation. Businesses consider how stakeholders will be affected by their activity and work to have the most positive impact.

Whilst economic and legal responsibilities are the primary concerns of a company, after addressing these fundamental requirements businesses can then begin to focus on their ethical responsibilities. Ethical CSR initiatives are intended to enforce fairer treatment for all employees, with common examples including paying higher wages, offering jobs to those who might otherwise struggle to find work, ensuring that decent standards are maintained in factories and refusing to partner in business with unscrupulous businesses or oppressive countries. Ethical CSR considers every level of the supply chain, including employees who may not be directly working for the business.

For example, CSR programmes might be in place to ensure that people producing clothes for a company receive fair treatment, or to prevent small scale farmers from being exploited by offering fair payment for their crops. Though sometimes difficult to enforce, these programmes are intended to help ensure that employees, customers, shareholders and all other stakeholders get the fairest deal possible.

What Is Corporate Social Responsibility?

Cosmetics company Lush is known for its global campaigning against animal testing and strong ethical initiatives. Alongside the annual Lush Prize which fuels innovation of anti-testing methods, Lush has been dedicated to operating fair and direct trade. Doing so also allows the company to ensure they source the safest and most suitable raw materials for their products, ensuring that consumers receive the best quality cosmetics.

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  6. The company also insists that their suppliers do not support child labour. If their producers become aware of any child labour, they are expected to support the child back into education through a training and transition programme. Placing ethics above profits, the company has continued to partner with sustainable suppliers, working with them from the ground up to establish solid long-term relationships.

    source Philanthropic social responsibilities go beyond simply operating as ethically as possible and involve actively bettering society. This type of corporate social responsibility is frequently associated with donating money to charities, with many businesses supporting particular charities that are relevant to their business in some way. However, philanthropic CSR does not only refer to charity donations.

    History of Corporate Social Responsibility

    Other common philanthropic responsibilities include investing in the community or participating in local projects. The main intention is to support a community in some way that goes beyond just hiring. By investing in the community, the business encourages loyalty from employees whilst benefiting from an improved support system. Google is well known for its corporate philanthropy, running multiple charity programmes through Google. The company carries out a volunteer programme which allows employees to dedicate up to 20 hours of work time to volunteering in their communities each year.

    However, beyond these programs, Google has carried out numerous initiatives focusing on improving particular regions.