As CSR, we mean the ethics a business uses for its relations with society. More specifically, this includes the responsible activities of its management in its relations with other stakeholders.
Due to the complex character of the meaning there is not a commonly accepted term, though CSR is widely used globally.
Several organizations have expressed their own term.
The differentiation of terms is linked with the different culture, the different level of development of each country, the different priorities that exist in different regions.
We quote some of these which to our opinion represent the variety of approaches
“CSR is the voluntary commitment of businesses to also include in their business practices, social and environmental activities beyond their legal obligations and are related to those that directly or indirectly are affected by their operations”.
“CSR is a concept whereby companies integrate social and environmental concerns in their business operations and in their interaction with their stakeholders on a voluntary basis”.
(European Commission , Green Paper , 2001)
“CSR is the continuous commitment of businesses for ethic behavior and contribution to economic development with simultaneous improvement of the quality of life of both their human recourses and their families and the local communities and the society as a whole ”
(WBCSD Stakeholder Dialogue on CSR, The Netherlands, 1998)
“The concept of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is linked to companies' implementation of sustainable development. CSR entails that a company should not only worry about profitability and growth, but also about its impact on people, society and the environment. Along these lines, a company is expected to heed to the concerns of its stakeholders, such as employees, shareholders, customers, suppliers and civil society”.
Despite of the different terms there are three points on which there is consent.
- The one is the voluntary character of CSR. It includes all activities that businesses implement beyond legislation.
- The second is its close relation to the concept of sustainable development, and
- The third is that it should be strategic choice of the company and not simply a secondary temporary one.