CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY CSR: Components, Types, and examples

corporate responsibility
Image source: USCIB

Today, customers, employees, and other stakeholders judge a firm based on how its activities affect the community, economy, environment, and society. Corporate social responsibility practices are one approach to convey the take of your business or company on the issue. This article will explain corporate social responsibility(CSR) with appropriate examples. You’ll also learn how a good CSR report and strategy can help ensure that your company’s corporate social responsibility initiatives are successful.

What Is Corporate Responsibility?

Corporate responsibility (CR), often known as corporate social responsibility (CSR) or business sustainability, is concerned with the principles that guide an organization’s operations and how it runs to ensure long-term viability. These two variables are inextricably related because a corporation that harms the systems on which it relies will eventually fail.

CR begins with recognizing that an organization’s activities impact society, the environment, and the economy, as well as its workforce. Value creation is more than just a financial consideration. Indeed, the traditional shareholder value approach to business, and the short-termism that often goes with it, are significant causes of the global economic crisis, as well as several environmental and other ethical corporate disasters.

What Are The 4 Types Of Corporate Social Responsibility?

Although corporate social responsibility is a broad concept that each company interprets and applies differently, the basic premise of CSR is to operate in an economically, socially, and environmentally sustainable manner.

Corporate social responsibility projects are broadly classified as follows:

#1. Environmental stewardship

Initiatives for environmental responsibility seek to reduce pollution and greenhouse gas emissions while promoting the sustainable use of natural resources.

#2. Responsibility for human rights

Initiatives for human rights responsibilities include offering fair labor practices (e.g., equal pay for equal work), fair trade practices, and opposing child labor.

#3. Philanthropic accountability

Philanthropic responsibilities might include funding educational programs, supporting health initiatives, donating to charities, and assisting with community beautification projects.

#4. Financial accountability

Economic responsibility projects entail enhancing a company’s business operations while engaging in sustainable activities, such as employing a new manufacturing process to reduce waste.

What Are The 7 Principles Of CSR?

The 7 principles of CSR are:

  • Accountability.
  • Transparency.
  • Ethical behavior.
  • Respect for stakeholder interests.
  • Respect for the rule of law.
  • Respect for the international norms of behavior.
  • Respect for human rights.

Why is Corporate Responsibility Important?

People care about CR because they care about larger societal issues. Organizations will reap benefits from brand promotion and reputation to staff engagement by ‘doing the right thing’ by their stakeholders and sharing the same values. As a result, operating sustainably makes good business sense.

Advantages Of Corporate Responsibility In Business 

Corporate social responsibility can be viewed as a form of public relations. However, it goes beyond that, as corporate social responsibility can improve a company’s competitiveness. The following are some of the business advantages of corporate social responsibility:

#1. Improved brand awareness, recognition, and reputation

Corporate responsibility brings value to a business by building and sustaining a positive company reputation and/or brand equity.

#2. Improved customer retention and sales

Customers of a company that practices CR believe they are assisting the company in supporting worthy causes.

#3. Cost savings in operations

Investing in operational efficiencies results in lower operational costs and a lower environmental impact.

#4. Keeping crucial and exceptional staff on board

Employees frequently remain longer and are more devoted to their company when they know they work for a company that implements CR.

#5. Easier funding access

Many investors are more ready to back a company that practices CSR.

#6. Reduction in regulatory burden

Strong ties with regulatory organizations can aid in the reduction of a company’s regulatory burden.

Examples of Corporate Social Responsibility

Corporate social responsibility can take many different shapes. Making a tiny donation to a local food bank can significantly influence social change. Among the most common examples of corporate responsibility are:

  • Carbon footprint reduction
  • Enhancing labor policies
  • Fairtrade participation
  • Inclusion, equity, and diversity
  • Global charitable giving
  • Volunteering in the community and online
  • Environment-friendly corporate policies
  • Environmentally and socially aware investing

Examples Of Brands That Implement Corporate Responsibility

#1. Johnson & Johnson 

Johnson & Johnson, a pioneer in big pharma, is a good example of corporate responsibility on the front. For three decades, they have worked to reduce their environmental impact. Their projects span from harnessing the power of the wind to delivering clean water to people worldwide. With the purchase of a privately owned energy supplier in the Texas Panhandle, the company was able to reduce pollution while also providing a renewable, cost-effective alternative to electricity. The company is still looking for renewable energy choices, intending to meet 100% of its energy needs with renewables by 2025.

#2. Google

Google is also among the many examples of brands that implement corporate responsibility. The brand is trusted not only because of its environmental measures but also because of its outspoken CEO, Sundar Pichai. He speaks against social concerns, including President Donald Trump’s anti-Muslim remarks. Google also received the highest CSR 2018 score from the Reputation Institute, largely thanks to its data centers using 50% less energy than others around the world. They have also contributed over $1 billion to renewable energy projects and provide services like Gmail to help other businesses decrease their environmental footprint.

#3. Coca-Cola 

Coca-Cola, as a brand, places a strong emphasis on sustainability. Climate, packaging, agriculture, water stewardship, and product quality are significant issues. Their mission is ‘a world without waste,’ and they intend to collect and recycle every bottle, make their packaging 100% recyclable, and return all water used to produce their drinks to the environment to maintain water security. They hope to have reduced their carbon footprint by 25% by 2030.

#4. Ford Motor Company

Ford has ambitious aspirations for CSR. Their purpose is to ‘create a better society, where everyone is free to move and follow their aspirations’. They have boosted their investment in electrification to $22 billion (up from $11 billion) and aim to have carbon-neutral vehicles by 2050.

#5. Netflix 

Netflix provides both birth and non-birth parents with 52 weeks of paid parental leave (which includes adopted children). This can be done at any time, whether it is during the child’s first year of life or at another period that meets their needs. This is in comparison to a median of 18 weeks at other major tech firms.

Spotify has a similar policy, albeit for a shorter period of time (24 weeks of paid vacation). The organization believes that the launch of this program resulted in an increase in external job applications that hasn’t subsided.

These brands use their social media platforms to show support for movements such as Pride Month, environmental sustainability, and Black Lives Matter..

#6. Pfizer

When a tragedy strikes, immediate medical help is critical. Pfizer has a three-pronged approach to assisting in these circumstances: product contributions, grants, and access solutions.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew and the worldwide refugee crisis in Europe and the Middle East, grants have been made available to nations such as Haiti. This money is offered in collaboration with non-governmental organizations in order to reach as many people as possible.

During the COVID-19 epidemic, Pfizer gave $5 million through its Global Medical Grants program to help enhance patient recognition, diagnosis, treatment, and management. Grants were also made available to clinics, medical centers, and hospitals in order to improve the management and outcomes of COVID-19 patients.

#7. Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo provides up to 1.5% of its sales to philanthropic causes each year to over 14,500 NGOs such as food banks and incubators (plant science and renewable energy) to help start-ups get to market faster.

The corporation gave $6.25 million to help a domestic and global response to the COVID-19 epidemic. This includes $1 million for the CDC Foundation, $250,000 for the International Medical Corps in 30 countries, and $5 million for community-based programs.

What Is A Corporate Responsibility Strategy?

A corporate social responsibility strategy (CSR) is a comprehensive plan that a company uses to develop, implement, and optimize its social responsibility efforts.

Seeing there are four sorts of corporate responsibility categories, a CSR strategy may help you determine which one is ideal for your company, how to apply it, and how to track the results of your efforts.

A solid corporate responsibility strategy develops a business case for how your chosen areas of CSR can be integrated into your company’s growth strategy, and ensures that your project stays on track, reaching every KPI along the way.

Why Is A Corporate Responsibility Strategy Important?

A CSR strategy is required to ensure that your company’s corporate social responsibility initiatives are successful. Having a CSR strategy allows your company to be goal-driven for CSR and understand what success looks like for your activities.

Your corporate responsibility strategy can be integrated into your business expansion strategy. When you develop a CSR strategy, you integrate CSR with other business objectives, such as increasing employee engagement, expanding investor appeal, and cementing your brand reputation. CSR can have an indirect (positive) impact on various ROI-focused initiatives.

Corporate Responsibility Strategy Best Practices

A few recommended practices to follow while developing your corporate social responsibility strategy to make the process go more smoothly and efficiently.

#1. Determine your WHY

Your corporate social responsibility strategy must have a purpose. Align on the strategy’s purpose and vision from the start. It will assist specify each phase of its production.

#2. Create a fantastic team

Top expertise is required to get effective CSR projects off the ground. Assemble an internal team from several departments to assist you in developing this approach. Employees who are socially responsible are the foundation of a socially responsible company.

#3. Request feedback

Feedback is required for CSR programs to be successful. Your workers provide this. Ask employees what they want to see from possible CSR programs, and learn about the social or environmental issues that they are passionate about.

#4. Plan and benchmark

It is time to seek direction from socially responsible businesses. Every great CSR leader had to start somewhere. Examine ethical business practices that are successful for similar organizations, learn about their successful CSR activities, and compare your own corporate strategy to them.

#5. Soft launch

A strategic corporate social responsibility launch should be done in stages. Arrange for your internal CSR leaders to be on the launch calendar, and begin with a soft launch. This serves as market feedback research and allows your team to change your plan as needed.

#6. Start with a bang

It’s time to join the ranks of the socially responsible businesses that are paving the way. If you followed our processes and best practices, your CSR strategy should give your company a competitive advantage over other companies, and you can begin to experience social or environmental benefits, which will eventually show up in your financial performance.

What Is A Corporate Responsibility Report?

A corporate social responsibility (CSR) report is a document that corporations use to explain CSR initiatives and their impact on the environment and community, both internally and externally.

In some countries, firms are required to publish annual CSR reports. Although not now mandatory of US-based enterprises, others believe that it will be in the not-too-distant future.

There is currently no unified set of CSR reporting criteria in the United States. This allows firms to report on CSR initiatives in whatever format they want and to highlight whatever information they want. However, a lack of standards might make comparing data across firms problematic. It also allows businesses to exclude places where their efforts have failed or have damaged people or the environment.

CSR reports are often provided digitally for ease of distribution, but they can also be printed and given in person to stakeholders. The layout of a corporate responsibility report might range from a simple text document to a planned, visually engaging packet.

Examples Of A Corporate Responsibility Report

Here are a few examples of recent corporate responsibility reports from well-known corporations to help you visualize what your organization’s CSR report might look like:

  • The Walt Disney Company’s 2019 Corporate Social Responsibility Update 
  • Cisco’s 2020 Corporate Social Responsibility Impact Report 
  • General Motors’ 2019 Sustainability Report 
  • IBM’s 2019 Corporate Responsibility Report 
  • Warby Parker’s 2018 Impact Report 

Each sample opens with a letter from a company executive, such as the president, chief executive officer, or chief sustainability officer, is visually appealing, and has a table of contents. These samples range in length from 42 pages to over 180 pages, demonstrating the adaptability of CSR reporting standards.

Each CSR report is unique and emphasizes the company’s strengths, goals, and plans. Examine each example to discover what elements you could include in your company’s report.

Why Is A Corporate Responsibility Report Important?

CSR reports enable organizations to convey their mission, activities, and outcomes to external and internal stakeholders. Customers, the local community, society at large, staff, decision-makers, and shareholders, are included.

If a company’s CSR efforts have been bold and effective, the release of its CSR report serves as a communication tool as well as a marketing and public relations event. Because there are no obligatory criteria, you can use these reports to promote your organization’s accomplishments and incorporate social responsibility into your brand’s identity.

An annual CSR report can also help to increase accountability. For example, suppose your firm announces its aim of becoming carbon neutral by 2025 in its 2021 CSR report. In that case, employees are likely to feel motivated to achieve that objective so that it can be mentioned in the 2025 report. Suppose a target is not met within the time limit specified. In that case, the CSR reporting process might spark an investigation into how the project got off track and what can be done to realign and achieve the goal within a reasonable timeframe.

In Conclusion,

Corporate social responsibility shows the impact of a business or organization on society. Moreso, implementing a CSR strategy is critical to guaranteeing the success of any Corporate Social Responsibility program. A successful CSR plan is much more than that, it must be supported by statistics, crisis management, and a larger plan to benefit the business.

  1. CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility): Definition, Types & Examples
  2. What Is CSR: 2022 Best Practices and Detailed Guide
  3. Social Audit: Features, Types, and Limitations (+ Detailed Guide)
  4. Business Ethics Definition: pros and cons to managers [case study]
  5. Corporate Accounting: Job Description and Salary


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like