Development Cooperation Handbook/Stories/Corporate Social Responsibility
Corporate Social Responsibility
In the global economic village, corporations are the biggest economic players. Many international corporations now have a greater turnover than the Gross Domestic Product of most countries. (see STWR key facts).
Corporations compete in global markets but they have started realising that antagonism alone leads to a zero-sum game where finally all stand to lose.
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is the policy adopted by some corporations to take on responsibility for the environmental impact of business decisions and promote human development.
The Indian civilization traditionally upheld public welfare as the responsibility of the business caste. In modern India, economic growth is not being accompanied by social progress. And a vast segment of the Indian population is still victim to food insecurity and does not have access to basic health services and primacy education. Now, Indian corporations are increasingly called upon to re-balance development and promote fairer relationship amongst different communities.
The most vibrant and visionary companies have responded positively to this call and are now driving the change in taking up social responsibility.
The Azim Premji Foundation is the corporate social responsibility arm of the WIPRO group of high-tech companies in India.
We went to visit a school near Bangalore, the dynamic city where WIPRO has its head office, to see how the Azim Premji Foundation works for the education of the underprivileged.
On YouTube ⇒ Corporate Social Responsibility - playlist
Other Testimonials about Corporate Social Responsability
⇒ Rajendra K. Pachauri "There is a very good economic reason for working on longer time horizons. If you work only for short term profits you may be clearly making wrong choices If you make a house which is not energy efficient and in 40-50 years the price of energy goes very high, then you will incur high expenses. But if you invest a little more today for a more energy efficient house, then you will be benefiting in the future. Companies have to lift their vision and not focus only on short term profits. We have seen what happened with the economic downturn. That was driven only by short term profits. If they had long-term vision then we would not have had the problem. And it used to be so in the past but unfortunately in recent years the pressure from the stock market and only look at the profits you make in the next quarter has had a major impact on making decision making only short term, and that is harmful."
⇒ JM Balamorugan "Corporate, private sectors, also cannot see themselves as different and excluded from this process, because they also have to serve the society, ultimately. That is why you see now more and more corporate giving social service much beyond their business operations. So unless all these three agencies collaborate with each other the human well-being will not be comprehensibly addressed. It should be built as part of the system itself in the organization, that a person gets to spend a certain period of time in a sector with which he is connected. Like if I am a computer company which is giving solution to municipal bodies, this person should spend some time with the municipal bodies and understand how the whole thing works; so that whatever he designs as system is more closer to reality. Organizations should have a flexibility to provide this kind of facility for their staff."
⇒ Julian Parr - Regional Manager, South East Asia for Oxfam GB "Where i'm more interested in companies is around their supply chain. You can buy a bottle of Coca-Cola in evry corner of India. Now if I could use their supply chain for public health messages... For an example, getting banks to put HIV safe sex messages on each of their bank and pay slips... there is where i find companies and private sectors can really make a difference. You are here getting an access which organizations like mine or even governmets can never reach. I am more interested in using companies for dissemination rather than couse related marketing."
- European policy on Corporate Social Responsibility
- A renewed EU strategy 2011-14 for Corporate Social Responsibility
⇒ The 10 principles of the UN Global Compact
⇒ The UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights
⇒ The ILO Tri-partite Declaration of Principles on Multinational Enterprises and Social Policy
⇒ The ISO 26000 Guidance Standard on Social Responsibility