Are you part of the 77% of consumers who are motivated to purchase from companies committed to making the world a better place?

Woman sprinting through a store with a shopping cart.

If so, you probably believe corporate social responsibility (CSR) is important!

Corporate responsibility is the way a company takes responsibility for its actions and their impact on employees, stakeholders and communities. It includes the way your company conducts its business, how it manages its impact on the environment, how it treats its employees and how it supports community activities that aim to solve social problems such as poverty or discrimination.

What are the 7 Principles of Corporate Social Responsibility?

Looking up at the sky past skyscrapers. Corporate social responsibility. Photo by Sean Pollock on Unsplash

The International Organization for Standardization defines the 7 Principles of Corporate Social Responsibility as:

  1. Accountability

  2. Transparency

  3. Ethical behavior

  4. Respect for stakeholder interests

  5. Respect for the rule of law

  6. Respect for the international norms of behavior

  7. Respect for Human Rights

    Illustration of corporate social responsibility: A Mac desktop screen that says,

What Does Each Principle Mean?

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1. Accountability: An organization is accountable for the effects of its actions on society and the environment.

Example: Making socially and environmentally conscious investments. 🎯

corporate social responsibility and accountability.

2. Transparency: A transparent company offers information so that the engaged stakeholders can comprehend the problems that are important to them.

Example: Publishing an annual Corporate Social Responsibility Report to inform stakeholders about company goals and progress towards them. 🎯

corporate social responsibility and transparency.

3. Ethical Behavior: Fair treatment of all stakeholders, including the leadership team, investors, employees, suppliers, and customers, is how organizations demonstrate ethical behavior.

Example: Participating in fair trade. 🎯

corporate social responsibility and ethical behavior.

4. Respect for Stakeholder Interests: Owners, members, consumers, and constituents, are a few examples of the stakeholders whose rights and interests need to be considered.

Example: Community volunteering and corporate policies that benefit the environment. 🎯

corporate social responsibility and respect for rule of the law.

5. Respect for Rule of the Law: An organization must abide by all applicable laws and regulations.

Example: Following environmental laws and regulations. 🎯

corporate social responsibility and respect for international norms of behaviour. 6. Respect for International Norms of Behavior: It is unacceptable for a company to ignore or profit from wrongdoing.

Example: Instituting ethical business practices in the corporation's home country and overseas. 🎯

corporate social responsibility and respect for human rights 7. Respect for Human Rights: An organization should address the negative effects they cause and ensure they do not violate the rights of others (as described in the International Bill of Human Rights).

Example: Improving labor policies within the organization. 🎯


Select all examples of corporate social responsibility:

Examples of Corporate Social Responsibility


A spinning Starbucks cup changes from a blended green drink to pink to brown, all topped with whipped cream.

In its 2020 Global Social Impact Report, Starbucks reported:

  • almost 100% of coffee was ethically sourced

  • beginning to use green building throughout its stores

  • contributing millions of hours of community service

  • creating a college program for its employees

Home Depot A male employee, wearing an orange Home Depot apron, dancing in a crowded aisle.

In its 2022 ESG Report, Home Depot reported:

  • increasing the representation of female and underrepresented minority groups across the managers and above in the U.S. during 2021

  • operating more sustainably, reducing electricity consumption in U.S. stores by about 11% year-over-year

  • approximately 14,000 associates volunteered in communities across 150 cities nationwide

Take Action

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) means a company is aware of its impact on the environment, culture, and society. If these things are important to you, look into the CSR initiatives of your favorite corporations.

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