Published on: Jun 08, 2009
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is about how businesses align their values and behaviour with the expectations and needs of stakeholders - not just customers and investors, but also employees, suppliers, communities, regulators, special interest groups and society as a whole. CSR describes a company's commitment to be accountable to its stakeholders.
CSR demands that businesses manage the economic, social and environmental impacts of their operations to maximise the benefits and minimise the downsides.
Key CSR issues include governance, environmental management, stakeholder engagement, labour standards, employee and community relations, social equity, responsible sourcing and human rights.
CSR is not only about fulfilling a duty to society; it should also bring competitive advantage. Through an effective CSR programme, companies can:
- improve access to capital
- sharpen decision-making and reduce risk
- enhance brand image
- uncover previously hidden commercial opportunities, including new markets
- reduce costs
attract, retain and motivate employees.
This content was first written in 2004 by csrnetwork, one of Two Tomorrows' two predecessor companies. For a more up-to-date view from Two Tomorrows, read What is sustainability?