Definition of Corporate Social Responsibility

What Is Corporate Social Responsibility?


Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is known by many names, including corporate sustainability, corporate citizenship, corporate conscience, responsible business, and/or corporate social performance. Corporate social responsibility involves self-regulation for the purpose of operating within a set of non-economic social values:

  • Human resources and child labor
  • Fair trade principles
  • Environmental sustainability
  • Human health and wellbeing
  • Financial ethics

To put it in simple terms, corporate social responsibility is about business management that results in an overall positive impact on the world at large. Corporations are becoming increasingly more aware that in today’s socially aware culture they need to be more “socially responsible” and not just be in business to make money.

In many cases, businesses have begun to take corporate responsibility seriously because of government legislations that force them to do so. But there are many businesses that now see the other benefits of operating under an internal policy structure that has positive impacts on society as a whole. Here are a few:

  • Happier, healthier, more productive employees
  • Better management of risk
  • Increased competitiveness
  • Opening of new markets
  • Brand differentiation

In most cases, a strong corporate social responsibility policy will result in a more profitable business, which makes both consumers and shareholders happy.

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