What is #Corporate Social Responsibility?
High performance is generally measured against key business imperatives including #competitive advantage, #sales, #talent management, #operational efficiency, #return on investment and profitability. It is no longer adequate for a corporation to revel in economic prosperity in isolation from those agents impacted by its actions. Today, a new element of leadership is making an intense difference in weighing business performance: Corporate Social Responsibility.
The late 1990s and the early 2000s saw an uptake in businesses giving proceeds or providing volunteers to causes related to their brands. Some called it “corporate social responsibility”; others called it “corporate #philanthropy” or “#corporate citizenship.” Regardless of its title, it was a way for business to increase visibility while raising funds for good.
The spotlight is on both increasing the firm’s bottom line and being a good corporate citizen. Keeping abreast of global trends and remaining committed to financial obligations to deliver both private and public benefits have compelled organizations to restructure their frameworks, rules, and business models.
Where does the roots of CSR lie?
Although the #roots of CSR lie in altruistic activities (such as donations, charity, relief work, etc.) of corporations, globally, the concept of CSR has evolved and now embraces all allied concepts such as triple bottom line, corporate citizenship, philanthropy, #strategic philanthropy, #shared value, #corporate sustainability and business responsibility.
You might be wondering what is “Triple bottom line?” (abbreviated as TBL or 3BL) – The term coined by John Elkington in 1994, incorporates the notion of sustainability into business decisions. The TBL is an #accounting framework with three dimensions: social, environmental (or ecological) and financial.
“A plethora of research points to a majority of stakeholders agreeing that CSR is a ‘must do’,” and 67% of consumers say they are more likely to buy products and services from a company if they know it supported good causes.
As a key component in business #strategy and execution, CSR is playing a crucial role in helping organizations to be seen as leaders. Smart corporations are allocating increasing internal resources to CSR investments that include clear objectives and furnish measurable social outcomes.
India is a country of multitude contradictions. On the one hand, it has grown to be one of the major economies in the world, and an increasingly important player in the emerging global order, on the other hand, it is still home to the largest number of people living in absolute poverty (even if the proportion of poor people has decreased) and the largest number of malnourished children. This is the sad state of uneven distribution of the benefits of growth which many believe, is the root cause of social unrest.
Companies too have been the target of those disconcerted by this lop-sided development and as a result, their contributions to society are under severe scrutiny. Many companies have been astute to sense this development, and have responded proactively while others have done so only when advocated.