Corporate Social Responsibility: A Progressive Approach

“Business has a responsibility beyond its basic responsibility to its shareholders; a responsibility to a broader constituency that includes its key stakeholders: customers, employee, NGOs, government – the people of the communities in which it operates.” – Courtney Pratt, Former CEO Toronto Hydro.

I. What is Corporate Social Responsibility?

corporate social responsibility

Corporate social responsibility is a concept where by companies integrate social and environmental concerns in their business operations and in their interactions with their stakeholders on a voluntary basis.

While there is no particular definition of corporate social responsibility, it generally refers to transparent business practices that are based on ethical values, agreement with legal requirements, and respect for people, communities, and the environment. Corporate social responsibility is not only making profits but also being responsible for their impact on people and the planet. People include the company’s stakeholders, its employees, customers, business partners, investors, suppliers and vendors, the government, and the community.

corporate social responsibility definition

II. What are the advantages of Corporate Social Responsibility?

Many of the companies want to be productive, competitive, and also socially responsible in the present changing business world to become leaders. To compete with the changes in the corporate environment, companies want to increase their ability to manage their profits and risks, and to protect the reputation of their brands. Globalization has created major competition for skilled employees, investors and consumer loyalty. A company networking with its workers, rivals and competitors can greatly contribute to the sustainability of its business success.

advantages of corporate social responsibility

Advantages of CSR are as follows:

• Capacity to attract new customers
• A greater value for the shareholders
• An increased profitability
• Better capacity to manage the risks
• Products and processes of better quality
• Capacity to recruit first choice employees

CSR benefits to the company:

• Improved financial performance
• Lower operating costs
• Enhanced brand image and reputation
• Increased sales and customer loyalty
• Greater productivity and quality
• More ability to attract and retain employees
• Reduced regulatory oversight
• Access to capital
• Workforce diversity
• Product safety and decreased liability
• Benefits to the community and the General Public
• Charitable contributions
• Employee volunteer programs
• Corporate involvement in community education, employment and homelessness programs
• Product safety and quality

Environmental Benefits

• Greater material recyclability
• Better product durability and functionality
• Greater use of renewable resources
• Integration of environmental management tools into business plans, including life-cycle assessment and costing, environmental management standards, and eco-labeling

III. What are the CSR initiatives of various companies?

Corporate social responsibility is a collective word for big, small and medium sized companies. Now all the companies are spending some annual amount on corporate social responsibility. In developing countries such as India, Indonesia, Brazil, Egypt, and the Philippines, business associations dedicated to CSR exist.

1. Infosys

Infosys is a multinational company headquartered in Bangalore, India. It is the second largest company in India with 105,453 IT professionals operating from 22 countries and development centers in India, China, Australia, UK, Canada and Japan. In 1996, Infosys established Infosys foundation in Karnataka, operating in various areas like health care, social rehabilitation, rural uplift, education, arts and culture. This foundation is spread in various countries like Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Punjab and Orissa. Since 2004, Infosys has embarked on a series of initiatives to consolidate and formalize its academic relationships worldwide under the umbrella of a program called AcE- Academic Entente. Through case study writing, participation in academic conferences and university events, research collaborations, hosting study trips to Infosys development centers and running the instep global internship program, the company communicates with important stakeholders in the academia.

2. ITC

ITC is India’s one of the private sector companies with diversified portfolios. The company has been introduced several initiatives as a part of its corporate social responsibility.

ITC business provides livelihood opportunities to more than 5 million people

• E-choupal initiative is recognized as the world’s largest rural digital infrastructure benefitting 4 million farmers.
• ITC’s sustainable community development initiatives include women’s empowerment, supplementary education and integrated animal husbandry.
• ITC’s watershed development programmes bring precious water to more than 46,000 hectares of dry lands and moisture stressed areas.
• ITC’s businesses generate employment opportunities to more than 5 million people.

3. Indian Oil Corporation

Indian Oil Corporation is ranked as the highest ranked Indian company in the latest Fortune ‘Global 500’ listings and it is also occupied as the best place to work award. As a part of social responsibility Indian Oil Corporation established a non-profit foundation called the Indian Oil foundation with the mission of preserve ecological balance and heritage. It is exclusively funded by initial corpus of 25 crore and annual contribution of 10 crore to save at least one monument in each state and Union territory. Monuments identified in the first phase include Qutab Minar in Delhi, Konark Sun Temple in Orissa, Khajuraho temples of Madhya Pradesh, Kanheri Caves in Maharashtra, Hampi complex in Karnataka, and Warangal fort in Andhra Pradesh. Indian Oil Corporation also sponsors awards to 2600 scholarships to meritorious students under the Indian Oil scholarships scheme.

4. PepsiCo

PepsiCo is country’s largest selling food and Beverages Company. PepsiCo portfolio includes refreshment beverages like Pepsi, 7 UP, Mirinda, Mountain Dew and low calorie food options like Diet Pepsi, Aquafina drinking water, Isotonic sports drinks, Gatorade, Tropicana fruit juices, Tropicana Twister and Slice.

PepsiCo’s CSR policies routed to:

– Human sustainability policies

• Quality & food safety programs
• Responsible marketing
• Healthcare reform

– Environmental sustainability polices

• PepsiCo’s environmental policy
• Sustainable agriculture policy
• Sustainable packaging policy

5. Oil And Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC)

Oil and natural gas corporation (ONGC) is a fortune global company and it contributes 77% of India’s crude oil production and 81% of Indian natural gas production. ONGC focus on the CSR areas like:

• Education courses
• Health care
• Entrepreneurship schemes
• Infrastructure support
• Environmental protection, ecological conservation, promotion
• Protection of heritage sites and monuments
• Promotion of artisans, craftsman, musicians and artists etc. for preservation of heritage and culture
• Women empowerment, girl child development and gender sensitivity projects
• Promoting sports activities
• Water management systems
• Initiatives of physically and mentally challenged
• Sponsorship of seminars, workshops and conferences etc.

6. Forbes Marshall

Forbes Marshall was setup in Pune in 1958. The company offered its first jobs to relatives of the farmers who were trained for operation and machining skills. Most of the corporate social responsibility initiatives were taken place in three geographical areas of Pune and adjacent areas.

Corporate social responsibility of the Forbes was undertaken in below areas:

• Education
• Medicare
• Women empowerment.

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