Even though corporate responsibility for increasing the wealth of stockholders is well recognized, other social responsibilities are only beginning to be accepted. Below is a brief list of the many areas in which corporations have acknowledged their social responsibility and established programs to deal with them.
- Responsibility for protecting the natural environment includes judicious use of natural resources, energy conservation, limiting polluting emissions, and waste management.
- Responsibility toward consumers: includes creating safe products and packages, educating consumers on product use and disposal, being truthful in advertising, and establishing a procedure for dealing with consumer complaints.
- Responsibility toward employee welfare: includes providing fair compensation and benefits and safe work environments, eliminating discrimination, providing opportunities for personal and professional development, and having progressive human resource policies.
- Responsibilities toward local, state, and federal government agencies: include fulfilling obligations under regulations and statures of these agencies, cooperating in planning and investigations, and coordinating administrative activities with these agencies.
- Responsibilities to the public or communities where the corporation has operations: include providing economic stability, safeguarding public safety, protecting the environment, and aiding in the development of social and cultural resources of the community through corporate philanthropy.
- Responsibilities toward the media: include being cooperative and truthful about issues that affect public welfare.
One way to deal with these responsibilities is to establish internal procedures for forecasting strategic social issues. The company may then institutionalize social responsibility as a regular organizational function and develop socially responsible strategies.