Areas of Social Responsibility

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 pack ­ages, 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, pro ­viding 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.

Examples of CSR Activities by Global Organizations

There are a lot of companies that adopt CSR in their strategy and also a lot of ways to integrate CSR into the company both in process and after process such as donation, producing green products, improvement of human resource and protection an environment.

  1. In 1987, Merck, the second-largest pharmaceutical company in the world and a global leader in consumer products and animal care, lunched the Merck MECTIZAN ® Donation Program (MDP) which is the largest on-going medical donation program. The MDP provides MECTIZAN for the treatment of river blindness in endemic countries. Since 1987, the MDP has approved more than 530 million treatments of MECTIZAN. With only one annual dose, MECTIZAN is well suited for distribution in isolated areas and the only well-tolerated drug known to halt the development of a disease. The company hoped that transmission of river blindness will be interrupted and the disease will be virtually eliminated by the continued use of MECTIZAN.
  2. Marks & Spencer (M&S) is one of the UK’s leading retailers of clothing, food and general merchandise such as women’s clothing, menswear, lingerie, beauty and home. The founders of M&S believed that building good relationships with employees, suppliers and wider society was the best guarantee of long-term success so they implement CSR in all business unit that have own CSR strategy. Their CSR strategies based around the brand value of trust and balanced with customer needs and all stakeholder expectations and are grouped into three areas which are people products and community. In 2004, M&S launched The Marks & Start community program focusing in preparing people ready for work. Target groups are the young unemployed, disabled people, parents returning to work and school students. The program provided individuals a taste of life in a working atmosphere and the confidence and ability to achieve employment. M&S allocate their employees as a ‘buddy’. The program has improved staff morale and contributed to make M&S as a great place to work and they felt that they had increased their skills. The philosophy of M&S is ‘helping others to help themselves’ so M&S provide knowledge and experience in order to let them stay in the world buy themselves.
  3. In 2008, Exxon Mobil Corporation, the U.S.-based energy giant, provided a combined $189.1 million in cash, goods and services worldwide. Rex W. Tillerson, Chairman and CEO of Exxon Mobil, said that “the goal of our Corporate Citizenship Report in 2008 is to detail our performance and commitment in our most significant citizenship areas: corporate governance, safety and health, environmental performance, managing climate change risks, economic development, and human rights and security”. The company pays attention to many social responsibilities such as education, environment, health, women’s economic opportunity initiative and worldwide giving. Exxon Mobil received Malaria Award from Global Business Coalition in 2008. Malaria is one of the successful projects. It has fight with Malaria in Africa where the firm operates for more than eight years. The company recognized through their employees in Africa what an impact of malaria on their lives and the economic development. So Exxon Mobil decided to fight against malaria through the company’s Africa Health Initiative.
  4. Nestle UK has provided assistance to improve farmers’ livelihoods through productivity and quality improvements including setting up an eco-friendly, post-harvest treatment. Nestle is currently helping over 3,500 of the poorest coffee farmers in El Salvador and Ethiopia where has benefited of fair premium prices in trade for high quality Arabica coffee beans. The Partners’ Blend project helps farmers grow higher quality coffee, develop communities, increase yield and achieve a higher standard of life. With this program, Nestle applies sustainable approach to particularly poor producing communities in those areas. After successful in the UK, Ireland and Sweden have followed up that will be launching fair-trade certified coffee products. A long term commitment of Nestle is developing sustainable agricultural practices in order to help relieve hardship and poverty for poor farmers. Supporting their farmers also helps Nestle to assure continuous supply high quality of coffee beans. This program increases a good reputation and brand of Nestle in social responsibility area.

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