Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) also known as corporate citizenship or sustainable responsible business has changed the way companies are seen and judged today. CSR is policy functions as a built-in, self-regulating mechanism whereby a business monitors and ensures its active compliance with the spirit of the law, ethical standards, and international norms. Large corporations around the world have engaged in responsible behavior by making sure that all their activities are meet ethical standards, and are not harming society. This range from a variety of activities. For example Walmart has shown its citizenship responsibility by making sure that it’s reducing both the environmental impact and the cost of waste by working with (i.e. mandating) its vendors to reduce packaging. Sustainability at Walmart is defines who they are as a business and their values as well as meet the expectations of society of how they should operate.
Since the 70’s when CSR started to become popular, we have seen a great change happening in the business world. Things like Walmart or McDonald’s making sure their activities are not harming the environment and engaging themselves to become more sustainable businesses, Microsoft committing itself to helping nonprofits doing work within communities etc. are a great example of the change that CSR has brought.
However, every time I think about CSR, I always ask myself the question if those companies that are committing themselves to the greater good of the communities are just doing it for the sake of social change or just as a new new of gaining publicity? It is hard to tell if all those actions come from a genuine place. But I came across an article form Forbes and I realized that one way to look at the intentions of companies when they claim to be socially responsible is to look at the idea of social change.
I believe that social change is greater than just being socially responsible by making sure that a business’s activities meet ethics expectations of the people. Being ethically correct is not something a company should brag about because that’s the normal thing to do. So when a company want to brag about its CSR report, it should look at the change it’s making within the communities. The way to do this is to start by engaging employees in the so-called CSR activities. Employees have to understand why their company is doing so and so and what the impact that those actions will have in the society. once employees understand the reasoning behind all of this, they will commit themselves not to the company, but to make sure that every thing they do at their job is bringing a positive change for them and their communities in every possible way.
If the companies that claim their citizenship responsibility don’t consider social change as the core of their CSR activities, then everything they claim to do for our communities or for the environment is just a new way to gain publicity. If they are in it just for publicity or for looking good, then they should go back to the traditional ways of gaining publicity. And if they are in it for the greater good of society, then CSR is the best thing that ever happened to businesses