Do your favorite companies promote great initiatives that make you interested in giving back and serving the public good?
Do they sound like this?
"One pair of shoes sold equals one pair donated!"
"We’re giving back to the community!"
"We’re working to be carbon-neutral!"
These are all examples of corporate social responsibility programs or CSRs.
What are CSR initiatives and why do companies participate in them?
Corporate social responsibility is a way that companies give back to improve society. These programs also create a positive association with their brand and can often raise workplace morale.
Corporate social responsibility generally falls into 4 categories:
1. Environmental Responsiblity
As environmental awareness has increased, many corporations are taking steps to reduce their negative impact on the environment.
This can include decreasing company-generated pollution, seeking more environmentally-friendly energy sources, and initiating positive environmental initiatives, like planting trees.
One company with an environmental corporate social responsibiliy program is Lego.
To reduce its negative impact, Lego uses renewable energy to reduce its carbon emissions and is working toward a zero waste goal.
2. Philanthropic Responsibility
Some businesses utilize their resources to benefit charities or non-profit organizations.
This can include a monetary contribution or a donation of time and services.
3. Ethical Responsibility
A company’s ethical corporate social responsibility program entails the fair treatment of all the people within the organization’s sphere. This includes their stakeholders, employees, and customers.
Businesses can ensure livable wages, and their products are made from ethical sources.
Kraft Heinz has published a policy that details its efforts to ensure ethical practices throughout its production.
This includes fair labor practices and protection against discrimination.
4. Economic Responsibility
Corporate social responsibility initiatives cost money, and so the final type of CSR is economic responsibility to ensure the budget for the organization's programs.
Funds can be used for research for other CSR programs, training employees on various topics, or expensive processes that support the organization's CSR initiatives.
Coca-Cola created the Coca-Cola Foundation and allocates a percentage of its profits for grants and other economic endeavors that support its company goals, like empowering women and enhancing scholars.
At the end of the day, corporate social responsibility is a great opportunity for companies to show off their values by putting money and resources toward what is important to them.
You can do some research to see how your favorite companies’ CSR programs are giving back to society.
Jamie was just hired at a new company that spends three days each year working in their community. They help build houses, volunteer at food banks, and clean up public places.
What type of corporate social responsibility is this an example of?
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