What is CSR?
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is the term used to describe companies' initiatives to integrate social and environmental considerations into their business activities and their interactions with stakeholders.
Companies demonstrate social responsibility and create value for both themselves and society by handling social, environmental and ethical challenges in dialogue with their stakeholders and in accordance with internationally recognised principles for CSR (the Danish Council for Corporate Responsibility, 2010).
In October 2011, the European Commission published a new policy for corporate social responsibility. Here, social responsibility is defined as: “the responsibility of enterprises for their impacts on society”. To fully meet their social responsibility, enterprises “should have in place a process to integrate social, environmental, ethical human rights and consumer concerns into their business operations and core strategy in close collaboration with their stakeholders”.
CSR activities are the activities that the company should undertake in order to respect internationally recognised CSR principles. This is in particular due to the increased globalisation whereby Danish companies increasingly conduct activities in countries where local legislation is not at the level of internationally recognised CSR principles, or is not adequately enforced. There is thus a need for companies themselves to be able to document, communicate and, not least, systematise the measures that can be taken to avoid adverse impacts on CSR principles, including human rights and labour rights, environmental issues and anti-corruption.
These measures might include:
- Imposing demands on suppliers to comply with human rights and labour rights
- Collaborating with suppliers to improve social and environmental conditions
- Working systematically to ensure environmental and climate management
- Working to improve employee conditions and health and safety within the company
- Developing new products or services with a social or environmental dimension.
Social responsibility can help to drive a company’s competitiveness and earnings potential. A company will derive greatest benefit when its CSR activities are business-driven and thereby supplement its core business. Business-driven CSR means that the company designs its activities to be in line with its strategies, challenges and market relations.
You can read more about business-driven CSR at www.csrgov.dk