How to get started in CSR

March 6, 2007 at 12:00 pm Leave a comment

CSR frameworkProfessor Eric Tsui of Hong Kong PolyTechnic University sent me an article last week from the South China Morning Post about how Hong Kong firms were falling behind in corporate social responsibility despite realising that CSR can translate into increased profits. Of around 100 companies surveyed, while 70% said they were committed to CSR and saw the benefits in terms of retaining and attracting staff; stakeholder satisfaction; good corporate image etc – only 40% had set aside a budget for CSR; and just over 50% had a CSR policy in place.

The article led me to this very practical guide entitled Getting Started in Corporate Social Responsibility and released by Community Business, a Hong Kong based charity.

Rather like knowledge management, sustainability has many definitions but essentially it’s about the process an organisation follows to pursue commercial success in harmony with the community it exists in; its people; and natural capital (or environment).

The guide offers a 4 step process to CSR:

  1. Provide leadership: leadership must drive the CSR agenda both internally and externally. Corporate leaders need to use their positions of influence in chambers of commerce; Government etc.
  2. Integrate CSR into strategy & operations: identify CSR issues and business drivers; prioritise; take action; measure and learn.
  3. Engage stakeholders: stakeholders include employees; the community; the environment. All voices should be heard and needs met.
  4. Communicate CSR: internal & external CSR communication and reporting.

Entry filed under: Corporate Social Responsibility, Sustainability.

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