The implementation areas of CSR programs can be defined to those that refer to the internal environment of a company and to those that refer to its external environment.
Hereunder, these areas are listed and short explanations for each one of them are given.
The Mission of a company must convey to people its unique character.
The backbone of the mission and the support of the company values characterise a brand. Many managers believe that they cannot lead an organisation if its scope and values are not expressed with explicit and inspired way. Socially responsible businesses plan their values and visions together with their stakeholders and incorporate them in their everyday operational practices.
- Working conditions
- Equal opportunities
- Training and professional development
- Rewards and benefits
Given that the term “work place” is general, four specific areas are used for the description of CSR in this: work environment, rewards and benefits, equal opportunities, and employability issues.
Work environment covers traditional concerns about health and safety, welfare programmes, balance between work and family life, injuries in the work place, coersion and harassment.
Training and professional development is about activities aiming to retain the level of skills of the employees like training, development of professional carrier, empowerment and programmes supporting technological and organisational changes, which contribute to the improvement of the overall professional development and the participation of the employees to life-long learning.
The term “rewards and benefits” covers employment processes, wage packages,
systems of reward, services and accommodations to employees and their families, which are offered over and above those foreseen by the law and contribute to the improvement of the quality of life of employees.
- Relationships with the employee representatives
- Management of change in the enterprise
With the term “Social dialogue” is stated the degree of recognition and practical implementation of the work and industrial rights of the employees at a collective level. Compliance with the laws but also voluntary action activate the social dialogue in all levels, which can be expressed through the operation of Work Councils, consultations with social partners etc.
- Inside the work place
- Outside the work place
- Child Labour / Forced Labour
The definition of this term is reflected in the Human Rights Declaration of the UN, which is widely known and has been adopted globally.
It includes human rights in both “inside” and “outside” the work place.
The first is related to the respect of the internationally agreed terms of work like the prohibition of any form of discrimination and the undertaking of positive action for this purpose, as well as the liberty to join a trade union.
The second is related to the wider impact of enterprises in society and deals with the social exclusion, poverty, the right to education, nutrition, liberty and generally with the right for better life and not simply survival.
“Child Labour / Forced Labour refers to the implementation of measures against child and forced labour.
Involvement in local communities
- Collaboration with local communities
- Donations and sponsorships
- Participation of employees
The term “Collaboration with local communities” refers to activities and initiatives developed by the enterprise and the local community, perhaps in collaboration with other organisations for a common cause. Enterprises collaborate with the community and invest resources to support issues that are of interest to it.
The term “Donations and sponsorships” refers to donations in money, kind and sponsorship of specific activities.
The last category “Participation of employees” refers either to the contribution of employees in supporting young people during their education or the support and empowerment of employees towards voluntarism.
Development of local economies
- Creation of jobs
- Programmes for the young
The term “Creation of jobs” refers to business initiatives for the creation of new jobs and support for the development of small enterprises.
The term “Employability” refers to activities and initiatives for the increase of employability, through improvement of skills and life-long learning.
The last category refers to the support of younger generations through educational activities.
- Sustainable development
- Green activities
- Effluent management
- Pollution prevention
The term “Sustainable Development” was introduced for the first time in 1987 in the Brundland Report. It covers the way in which organisations seek today economic development by protecting at the same time resources for the development of tomorrow. This is an issue of increasing significance and questioning for responsible organisations. Today, businesses take into account their impact on the environment in all their business plans, management and profitability measurements.
“Sustainability” refers to the activities of an enterprise to reduce its negative impact. For example, use of management systems aiming at the decrease of emissions and the effective use of natural resources.
Green activities refer to activities that an enterprise develops inside or outside its structure to enhance the knowledge on environmental issues.
- Relationships with the supply chain
- Product management
- Research and development
- Responsible investment
“Relationships with the supply chain” and “Product Management” is the way in which CSR affects the market. The first requires responsible commitments by and towards the suppliers and contractors and the definition of quality standards in supply and production. Among others, the second term refers to issues like relationships with customers, health and safety in the production processes, packaging, handling etc.
“Research and development”: research for opportunities in developing new products and services that serve social needs etc.
“Marketing” includes the fair and ethical marketing and advertisement.
- Bribery and corruption
- Conflict of interest
- Fair trade
- Code of conduct
Compliance with legislation is necessary but is not enough any more.
Activities beyond compliance with legislation is today the way to obtain competitive advantage.
“Ethics” includes company values and activities that support democratic principles, tax payments, fair trade, human rights, with the parallel avoidance of any form of bribery, money laundering, and collaboration with tyrannical regimes.