Should We Measure CSR
Three Steps to Making CSR Count
CSR, when conducted in good faith, is beneficial to corporations and their stakeholders. This is especially true for stakeholders that have typically been given low priority and little voice, such as the natural environment and community members who live near corporate sites and manufacturing facilities. CSR in its ideal form focuses managers on demonstrating the social good of their new products and endeavors. It can be framed as a response to the backlash corporations face for a long track record of harming environments and communities in their efforts to be more efficient and profitable.
Pushback is not new. Charles Dickens wrote about the effects of the coal economy on nineteenth-century England and shaped the way we think about the early industrial revolution. The twentieth-century writer Chinua Achebe, among many others, wrote about colonization and its transformative and often painful effect on African cultures. Stakeholder communities left out of or directly harmed by the economic revolution have demanded that they be able to influence corporate and governmental economic practices to benefit more directly from corporate growth as well as entrepreneurship opportunities.
The trend to adopt CSR may represent an opportunity for greater engagement and involvement by groups mostly ignored until now by the wave of corporate economic growth reshaping the industrialized world. Corporations have responded to stakeholder concerns about the environment and sustainability. In , Dow Jones began publishing an annual list of companies for which sustainability was important.
Sustainability is the practice of preserving resources and operating in a way that is ecologically responsible in the long term. There is a growing awareness that human actions can, and do, harm the environment. Destruction of the environment can ultimately lead to reduction of resources, declining business opportunities, and lowered quality of life. Enlightened business stakeholders realize that profit is only one positive effect of business operations.
In addition to safeguarding the environment, other ethical contributions that stakeholders could lobby corporate management to make include establishing schools and health clinics in impoverished neighborhoods and endowing worthwhile philanthropies in the communities where companies have a presence. Other stakeholders, such as state governments, NGOs, citizen groups, and political action committees in the United States apply social and legal pressure on businesses to improve their environmental practices. For example, the state of California in enacted a set of laws, referred to as the California Transparency in Supply Chains Act, which requires firms to report on the working conditions of the employees of their suppliers.
The law requires only disclosures, but the added transparency is a step toward holding U. As instances of this type of pressure on corporations increase around the world, stakeholder groups become simultaneously less isolated and more powerful. Firms need customers.
Customers need employment, and the state needs taxes just as firms need resources. All stakeholders exist in an interdependent network of relationships, and what is most needed is a sustainable system that enables all types of key stakeholders to establish and apply influence. How can corporations and their stakeholders measure some of the effects of CSR programs?
The triple bottom line TBL offers a way.
Comments & Questions:
Are they making a profit, staying solvent, or falling into debt? That is the customary bottom line, but Elkington suggests that businesses need to consider not just one but rather three measures of their true bottom line: the economic and also the social and environmental results of their actions.
The social and environmental impacts of doing business, called people and planet in the TBL, are the externalities of their operations that companies must take into account. If increasing wealth damages the environment or makes people sick, society demands that the corporation revise its methods or leave the community.
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) – Business Ethics
Society, businesses, and governments have realized that all stakeholders have to work for the common good. When they are successful at acting in a socially responsible way, corporations will and should claim credit. In acting according to the TBL model and promoting such acts, many corporations have reinvested their efforts and their profits in ways that can ultimately lead to the development of a sustainable economic system.
On the other hand, for some, CSR is nothing more than an opportunity for publicity as a firm tries to look good through various environmentally or socially friendly initiatives without making systemic changes that will have long-term positive effects. Carrying out superficial CSR efforts that merely cover up systemic ethics problems in this inauthentic way especially as it applies to the environment , and acting simply for the sake of public relations is called greenwashing. The company grew quickly and is now a global brand owned by Unilever, an international consumer goods company co-headquartered in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, and London, United Kingdom.
Our Economic Mission asks us to manage our Company for sustainable financial growth. Our Social Mission compels us to use our Company in innovative ways to make the world a better place.
CAFOs have been condemned by animal-rights activists as harmful to the well-being of the animals. Consumer activists also claim that CAFOs contribute significantly to pollution because they release heavy concentrations of animal waste into the ground, water sources, and air.
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Coca-Cola provides another example of practices some would identify as greenwashing. Collect, select and manage all your projects in one single tool. Grant Management Sponsorship Management. About us Join us Contact us. Hit enter to search or ESC to close.
How to measure CSR impact? By bolliana binyakob October 31, Social Investment. No Comments 0. Most popular posts. Categories Grant management Social Investment Sponsorship management.
Focusing CSR choices: Guiding principles
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