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Corporate Social Responsibilty

Corporate Social Responsibilty

CSR - definition

CSR stands for Corporate Social Responsibilty. It is most often translated as corporate social responsibility. The term brings together all the activities of an organization that affect employees, stakeholders and communities of places where the company operates. CSR can also be understood as a strategy whose main goal is to have a positive impact on society and the environment.

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) refers to the activities of companies to achieve a positive impact on society, the environment and the economy. It is an approach in which companies voluntarily integrate social and environmental goals into their business operations and interactions with stakeholders.

CSR can be divided into different types based on various criteria. One division is the inclusion of areas of responsibility:

- Environmental includes the company's efforts to reduce its negative impact on the environment, such as by reducing CO2 emissions, recycling, reducing water consumption or promoting green energy.

- Social focuses on relations with employees and the community. This can include training programs, providing decent working conditions, supporting local initiatives or education efforts.

- Economic involves conducting business with integrity, promoting financial transparency, countering corruption and investing in sustainable development.

Another division is based on levels of involvement:

- Philanthropy is traditional charitable activities, such as support for non-profit organizations or local initiatives.

- Integration with business strategy means that CSR activities are closely integrated with a company's core operations and strategy. A clothing company, for example, may use only eco-friendly materials and fair labor.

- Business transformation is the most advanced level of engagement, in which a company transforms its entire business model to achieve positive social and environmental impact.

Examples of CSR

Corporate social responsibility takes different forms depending on the industry, company size and area of operation. Here are some examples of CSR activities that have been undertaken by various companies around the world:

- Unilever - has pledged to halve its environmental footprint by 2030 and to balance resource use throughout its supply chain

- IKEA - is investing in renewable energy sources and aims to have its products made from 100% renewable or recycled materials by 2030

- Adidas - has introduced a program to monitor its supply chain to ensure that the brand's products are not produced under conditions of human rights violations

- Microsoft - through its “YouthSpark” program invests in educating young people about technology, giving them the tools they need to succeed in the digital world

- Google - through its “Grow with Google” initiative, offers free training and tools to individuals and small businesses to increase their digital skills

CSR vs. employer branding

CSR and employer branding are having an increasing impact on modern business. CSR focuses on companies' voluntary efforts to benefit society and the environment, exceeding minimum legal requirements. Employer branding, on the other hand, is the process of building and promoting a company's image as an attractive employer to attract, engage and retain the best talent in the market.

The current generation of employees, especially younger ones, often seek workplaces that have clear values and missions. According to the survey, 93% of employees believe that companies should have an overarching purpose and improve the world in which they operate, and 70% of people would not want to work for an organization without an overarching purpose.  CSR activities can prove to them that a company truly cares about society and the environment, which can be a key factor in attracting talent. In turn, CSR activities themselves, such as volunteering, can increase employee engagement, giving them a sense of pride in their ability to affect positive change in society.

Companies with a strong CSR profile can be seen as more attractive to potential employees, which can give them a competitive advantage in the labor market. However, it is worth remembering that employer branding must be authentic to be effective. Empty CSR promises can be quickly detected by employees and potential candidates, which can damage a company's image as an employer. CSR and employer branding departments should work together on communications to convey a consistent image of the company both externally and internally.


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