Corporate social responsibility
Corporate social responsibility (CSR, also called corporate conscience, corporate citizenship, social performance, or sustainable responsible business/ Responsible Business) is a form of corporate self-regulation integrated into a business model.
CSR policy functions as a built-in, self-regulating mechanism whereby a business monitors and ensures its active compliance with the spirit of the law, ethical standards, and international norms. In some models, a firm’s implementation of CSR goes beyond compliance and engages in “actions that appear to further some social good, beyond the interests of the firm and that which is required by law.”
CSR is a process with the aim to embrace responsibility for the company’s actions and encourage a positive impact through its activities on the environment, consumers, employees, communities, stakeholders and all other members of the public sphere who may also be considered as stakeholders.
The term “corporate social responsibility” became popular in the 1960s and has remained a term used indiscriminately by many to cover legal and moral responsibility more narrowly construed.
Some commentators have identified a difference between the Canadian (Montreal school of CSR), the Continental European and the Anglo-Saxon approaches to CSR.
A more common approach to CSR is corporate philanthropy. This includes monetary donations and aid given to local and non-local nonprofit organizations and communities, including donations in areas such as the arts, education, housing, health, social welfare, and the environment, among others, but excluding political contributions and commercial sponsorship of events.
Some organizations do not like a philanthropy-based approach as it might not help build on the skills of local populations, whereas community-based development generally leads to more sustainable development.
Another approach to CSR is to incorporate the CSR strategy directly into the business strategy of an organization.
Another approach is garnering increasing corporate responsibility interest. This is called Creating Shared Value, or CSV. The shared value model is based on the idea that corporate success and social welfare are interdependent. A business needs a healthy, educated workforce, sustainable resources and adept government to compete effectively. For society to thrive, profitable and competitive businesses must be developed and supported to create income, wealth, tax revenues, and opportunities for philanthropy.
Social accounting, auditing, and reporting
For a business to take responsibility for its actions, that business must be fully accountable.
Social accounting, a concept describing the communication of social and environmental effects of a company’s economic actions to particular interest groups within society and to society at large, is thus an important element of CSR.
Social accounting emphasizes the notion of corporate accountability. D. Crowther defines social accounting in this sense as “an approach to reporting a firm’s activities which stresses the need for the identification of socially relevant behavior, the determination of those to whom the company is accountable for its social performance and the development of appropriate measures and reporting techniques.”
A number of reporting guidelines or standards have been developed to serve as frameworks for social accounting, auditing and reporting including:
- AccountAbility’s AA1000 standard, based on John Elkington’s triple bottom line (3BL) reporting
- The Prince’s Accounting for Sustainability Project’s Connected Reporting Framework
- The Fair Labor Association conducts audits based on its Workplace Code of Conduct and posts audit results on the FLA website.
- The Fair Wear Foundation takes a unique approach to verifying labour conditions in companies’ supply chains, using interdisciplinary auditing teams.
- Global Reporting Initiative’s Sustainability Reporting Guidelines
- Economy for the Common Good’s Common Good Balance Sheet
- Good Corporation’s Standard developed in association with the Institute of Business Ethics
- Synergy Codethic 26000 Social Responsibility and Sustainability Commitment Management System (SRSCMS) Requirements — Ethical Business Best Practices of Organizations – the necessary management system elements to obtain a certifiable ethical commitment management system. The standard scheme has been build around ISO 26000 and UNCTAD Guidance on Good Practices in Corporate Governance.The standard is applicable by any type of organization.;
- Earthcheck http://www.earthcheck.org Certification / Standard
- Social Accountability International’s SA8000 standard
- Standard Ethics Aei guidelines
- The ISO 14000 environmental management standard
- The United Nations Global Compact requires companies to communicate on their progress (or to produce a Communication on Progress, COP), and to describe the company’s implementation of the Compact’s ten universal principles. This information should be fully integrated in the participant’s main medium of stakeholder communications, for example a corporate responsibility or sustainability report and/or an integrated financial and sustainability report. If a company does not publish formal reports, a COP can be created as a stand-alone document.
- The United Nations Intergovernmental Working Group of Experts on International Standards of Accounting and Reporting (ISAR) provides voluntary technical guidance on eco-efficiency indicators, corporate responsibility reporting, and corporate governance disclosure.
The FTSE Group publishes the FTSE4Good Index, an evaluation of CSR performance of companies.
In some nations, legal requirements for social accounting, auditing and reporting exist (e.g. in the French bilan social), though international or national agreement on meaningful measurements of social and environmental performance is difficult.
Many companies now produce externally audited annual reports that cover Sustainable Development and CSR issues (“Triple Bottom Line Reports”), but the reports vary widely in format, style, and evaluation methodology (even within the same industry).
Critics dismiss these reports as lip service, citing examples such as Enron’s yearly “Corporate Responsibility Annual Report” and tobacco corporations’ social reports.
In South Africa, as of June 2010, all companies listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) were required to produce an integrated report in place of an annual financial report and sustainability report.
ISO 26000 – Social responsibility
Business and organizations do not operate in a vacuum. Their relationship to the society and environment in which they operate is a critical factor in their ability to continue to operate effectively. It is also increasingly being used as a measure of their overall performance.
ISO 26000 provides guidance on how businesses and organizations can operate in a socially responsible way. This means acting in an ethical and transparent way that contributes to the health and welfare of society.
Video: ISO and social responsibility
Social responsibility is needed to safeguard our future. ISO 26000 can help us make a positive difference.
Category: Nonprofits & Activism
License: Standard YouTube License
ISO 26000:2010 provides guidance rather than requirements, so it cannot be certified to unlike some other well-known ISO standards. Instead, it helps clarify what social responsibility is, helps businesses and organizations translate principles into effective actions and shares best practices relating to social responsibility, globally. It is aimed at all types of organizations regardless of their activity, size or location.
The standard was launched in 2010 following five years of negotiations between many different stakeholders across the world. Representatives from government, NGOs, industry, consumer groups and labour organizations around the world were involved in its development, which means it represents an international consensus.
SKK MIGAS extends appreciation to contractors for their social investment
Jakarta– The Special Task Force for Upstream Oil and Gas Business Activities (SKK Migas) extended deep appreciation to Contractors of Cooperation Contract (KKKS) who have made community social investment surrounding their operation area. This was conveyed by Head of SKK Migas Public Relations Division, Elan Biantoro in the donation handover ceremony from ExxonMobil Affiliate in Indonesia to Leuser International Foundation in Jakarta, Friday (16/3).
“”Bright & Green” is the slogan of social responsibility upstream oil and gas industry”
Photo Courtesy: SKKMigas (http://www.skkmigas.go.id/home-slideshow)
- Corporate social responsibility (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corporate_social_responsibility)
- ISO 26000 – Social responsibility (http://www.iso.org/iso/home/standards/iso26000.htm)
- SKK MIGAS EXTENDS APPRECIATION TO CONTRACTORS FOR THEIR SOCIAL INVESTMENT (http://www.skkmigas.go.id/en/skk-migas-apresiasi-investasi-sosial-kontraktor-kks)