Business today is about more than just making a profit. As climate change, economic inequality, and other major problems impact communities worldwide, companies are increasingly expected to be purpose-driven and contribute to the greater good. Majority of business leaders believes, companies are not just employers, but stewards of society & are planning to take stronger stances on large-scale issues in the coming year and devote significant resources to socially responsible initiatives.
The corporate social responsibility (CSR) has been debated since the 1950s. The definition of CSR has been changing in meaning and practice. The classical view of CSR was narrowly limited to philanthropy and then shifted to the emphasis on business-society relations particularly referring to the contribution that a corporation or firm provided for solving social problems.
CSR is similar to another concept known as environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) principals. ESG is a measurement that analysts can use to objectively compare the effectiveness of different corporate efforts to address environmental, social, and corporate governance issues.
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a company’s commitment to manage the social, environmental and economic effects of its operations responsibly and in line with public expectations. CSR is voluntary and there’s no one way to incorporate social responsibility into business. As long as the actions aim to benefit environmental, social, and economic sustainability and are guided by solid ethics and transparency, that’s perfectly alright.
CSR is viewed as different from philanthropy. When properly implemented, it should become ingrained in the values and culture of a company, and positively affect the way the company does business.
Non- Governmental organization (NGO‟s) are private voluntary organizations, not for profits that function as “Moral Entrepreneurs” selling ethical ideals and standards. They have played major role in solving social and environmental issues from driving inter government negotiations, to regulation of hazards waste and elimination of slavery. With Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) being made mandatory, corporates have now begun to recognize CSR as a core activity, and are looking to find innovative ways to effectively utilize their CSR fund.
This has brought to the fore the role that NGOs and other implementing agencies can jointly play along with corporates in order to achieve what is known as collective impact. The process of choosing an NGO partner typically involves a screening process. This can include a credibility test, a field visit, and background checks.
Increasing the role employees play in CSR efforts will ingrain the value of social responsibility in the company rather than it being treated as a separate unit. It will also allow for an exchange of skills between corporates and NGOs. Working with each other’s strengths and fostering a sense of shared responsibility can shift the focus to outcome rather than output.