Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) or also called corporate conscience, corporate citizenship, social performance or sustainable and responsible business is a form of contemporary corporate self-regulation integrated into a business model that is more and more applied with time by the companies no matter of their size and field of operation. Today’s business leaders understand that the sustainable social responsible practices are the main element in achieving a successful corporate management and effective leadership.
The broad range of areas in which CSR is categorized include:
Above all, corporate social responsibility is a philosophy that we at the BBLF believe every true business leader has to share.
The intensive process of globalization, the growing social and public requirements, as well as the unprecedented climate changes set new type of challenges for the companies that can be overcome only through responsible and transparent management and by having in mind the economic, social and ecological impact of their work.
The term "corporate social responsibility" came into common use in the late 1960s and early 1970s when various civil rights movements and environmental organizations alter the concept of the society for business. Guided by the common understanding that the ones having the greatest power and resources should also carry the greatest responsibility, these organizations call to the corporations to diminish their negative social and ecological impact and to become active participants in the solution of the social and ecological problems.
The essence and the scope of the activities related to CSR went through quite a development throughout the years of use of the term. Indicator for this evolution is the new definition of CSR and the additional explanations, presented on 25.10.2011 by the European Commission in the European strategy for Corporate Social Responsibility 2011-2014 as follows: “the responsibility of the enterprises about their impact on society”. A prerequisite for meeting this responsibility is the observance of the legislation and the group contracts between the social partners. In order to be able to fulfill their CSR, the companies have to implement processes for integration of the social, ecological and ethical issues, as well as issues related to human rights and consumers, in their business activities and overall strategy. Moreover, the companies have to work in close cooperation with the interested parties aiming to:
Although there isn’t a common definition, CSR can be defined as a business practice that stimulates sustainable development. The various definitions to some extent cover to the understanding that CSR is the contribution of the business for the ecological, social and financial sustainability and is part of a bigger managerial approach which aims to create additional value not only for the organization but for all stakeholders. With relation to that it is very important to make a difference between CSR, as a strategic business model, and charity, sponsorship and philanthropy. Although the latter also contribute to the struggle against poverty, help in the creation of the corporate image and establish the position of the brand, the essence of CSR is a lot more than just “donation of money”.
Key elements of CSR are the transparency and accountancy. A good and responsible corporate management cannot be achieved without setting of clear goals and their accounting. The social requirements to the companies to be more open, responsible, to share information about the application of the social responsible practices with the public and to generate reports on sustainable development are ever growing. The reports on sustainable development present information about the economic, social and ecological impact of the company’s activities. The term Sustainable Development, itself, is defined as: “development with which the present needs are satisfied in a way that no compromise is made with the possibility of the future generations to satisfy their needs”, and its basic components are: stable economy, stable environment and stable social relations. In the advanced economies these reports are very popular and the companies have the understanding and responsibility that this is the only right approach leading to sustainable development and for the overall performance of their CSR policy.