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What is Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)?

Updated: Apr 10

The term 'Social Responsibility', in the world of business, is an expectation that businesses will try to benefit society. Being socially responsible means that businesses keep in mind issues relating to the environment and the community as they make decisions for the business.

Many businesses have adopted a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) policy. It is positioned at the heart of their business and is built into their mission statement. The CSR policy covers areas such as monitoring the impact the business has on the well-being of:

  • the local and global environment

  • consumers

  • employees

  • stakeholders (people who have an interest in the business)

  • sustainability

  • supporting the local community

  • reducing the business's carbon footprint

  • encouraging the use of and distribution of local products

The CSR policy is monitored and evaluated often.

Why do businesses bother trying to be socially responsible?

Businesses being socially responsible means they can:

- enhance their reputation by building a caring and socially aware corporate image that fosters trust amongst its stakeholders.

- save money by reusing, reducing and recycling.

- encourage prospective employees, who have an interest in taking care of the environment, to apply for jobs at the business.

- keep existing employees who like how the business they work for is socially responsible.

- enhance employees' self-esteem as they feel good working for a business that takes social responsibility seriously.

- attract more customers and increase profits as consumers may be more likely to buy goods from companies that are socially responsible.

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