Social responsibility in business, or how to build CSR

CSR stands for corporate social responsibility, or corporate social responsibility. It is the idea that businesses link their activities and organizational policies with environmental protection, social interests and various stakeholder groups. The goal of business is not just profit, but to act for the common good beyond the needs of the organization itself. CSR plays an increasingly important role in brand building and influences how others perceive it. Companies are becoming more attractive and credible in the business and labor markets thanks to their declared activities.

The origins of interest in the concept of responsible business conduct cannot be clearly identified. Since the dawn of time, people have been reflecting on the ethical aspects of operating in the market. Over the centuries, on the other hand, both approaches and concepts relating to the moral principles of wealth accumulation have constantly evolved. And how does the situation look today?

Fashion to warm up the company's image

Corporate social responsibility activities are becoming increasingly popular. Companies are "bragging" about carrying out such practices because they are in good taste. However, some of them, aside from saying so, have nothing to do with it. None of their actions confirm that they are actively carrying out activities in the field of CSR. Often the basis of CSR is the establishment of a foundation that carries out social actions on behalf of the company. An example is the foundation of the TVN television station "You are not alone" and the Polsat Foundation. The latter supported one of the most popular and best-received CRS actions in Poland - "Share a meal", initiated by the "Danon" company.

What helps build CSR?

The list of tools used to manage social responsibility is long and closely integrated with the company's organizational culture and area of operation. CSR can be built through: social campaigns (conduct aimed at changing attitudes) or the behavior of a specific group of stakeholders (using the media as a vehicle for the message). CRM (cause related marketing) can also help us strengthen our company's responsibility. Socially engaged marketing is the combination of a company's economic goals and social goals in an initiative. Obtaining as much trust and good relations with consumers as possible, improving the company's appearance in the marketplace and increasing sales are goals that every company wants to achieve. Through CRM, corporations significantly improve their image, see an increase in sales and, most importantly, gain brand loyalty. Social reporting is the disclosure of non-financial data, that is, issues in the environmental, social and corporate governance areas. A social report presents a concise picture of the responsible conduct of a company. Examples of standards by which organizations report on non-financial data include ISO 26000 and the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI). The ISO 26000 standard is designed to organize knowledge about CSR- provides a useful guide to the principles of responsible business. It distinguishes the following areas:

  • organizational governance,
  • human rights,
  • labor relations,
  • environment,
  • fair market practices,
  • consumer relations,
  • community involvement.

Being EKO, that is, optimizing production, transportation and logistics processes, helps reduce waste and pollution emissions. Implementing environmental policies or environmental education for employees and consumers is also a tactic that is well received by the public. CSR improves employee performance An organization operating in a responsible manner can significantly improve its HR (human resources) performance. Activities in the area of CSR strengthen employees' identification with the company, which significantly improves their performance at work. Programs for employees to improve their skills and help them with continuous personal development is one of the key determinants in choosing a future employer - it is worth investing in people, as such activities improve their performance. Some companies also take an active part in charity actions, supporting NGOs or other institutions specified by law. Volunteer employees provide various types of work for the benefit of those in need, and are supported financially and organizationally by the employer. Thanks to this type of endeavor, companies easily improve their image in the labor market.

Be on top of things

By being proactive in the area of corporate social responsibility, a company can quickly begin to stand out from the competition. It would seem that business and philanthropy don't go together, but when you learn that one of your favorite companies helps others or is environmentally friendly, a smile immediately appears on your face. CSR is not only a fashionable addition to the company's business profile, but also an effective way to promote the company.

Marlena Kubaczyk

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