The current workplace buzzword these days is of corporate social responsibility or abbreviated to CSR. This initiative is a company's commitment to manage the social, environmental and economic effects of its operations responsibly and in line with public expectations. CSR activities may include company policies that insist on working with partners who follow ethical business practices and benefits that sustainable and ethical practices can bring to your organisation.
Generally, corporate social responsibility initiatives are namely broken down to the following elements: -
Environmental responsibility - is for humans to be more aware of the environmental impact and counteract their pollution / carbon footprint on the world’s natural resources. The main factors are to reduce carbon footprint and carbon emissions.
Human rights responsibility - the corporate responsibility for human rights includes the “Do no harm” principle that makes it necessary to carry out due diligence in identifying and addressing the human rights impacts of business practices. Companies need to take all necessary and reasonable precautions to prevent harm to staff and in the work place.
Ethical responsibility - Examples of ethical behaviours in the workplace includes; obeying the company's rules, effective communication, taking responsibility, accountability, professionalism, trust and mutual respect for your colleagues at work. These examples of ethical behaviours ensure maximum productivity output at work whilst maintaining a conducive and happy working environment.
Philanthropic responsibility – this category is the voluntary responsibilities of the enterprise, such activities can include donations of goods and services, volunteering activity, the involvement of the enterprise or of its employees in the community or of the stakeholders.
Economic responsibility - is an interconnected field that focuses to strike a balance between business, environmental, and philanthropic practices. Economic responsibility abides by, the set standards of ethical and moral regulations. One example of economic responsibility in the workplace is when a company modifies its manufacturing processes to include recycled products, which could benefit the company by potentially lowering the cost of materials and also benefit society by consuming fewer resources.
Should you be interested in a career in this rather new and growing field of industry there is a professional course which is a 3 month qualification leading to a certificate which qualifies you as a ‘Certified CSR Professional’. The qualification has been designed to develop an understanding of the fundamental landscape of CSR policies, activities, governance and audit. The role of a CSR professional is to assist organisations in developing CSR policies in the workplace and environment.
An excellent example of CSR would be by global giant Johnson & Johnson. They have focused on reducing their impact on the planet for three decades. Their initiatives range from leveraging the power of the wind to providing safe water to communities around the world.
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