Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is a concept whereby organizations consider the wellbeing of the public by taking responsibility for the effect of their actions on all stakeholders; customers, employees, shareholders, communities and the environment in every aspect of their operations. This responsibility is seen to extend beyond the statutory obligation to comply with legislation and sees organizations willingly undertaking additional steps to improve the quality of life for employees and their families as well as for the local community and society at large.
The role of CSR has become dramatically increased over a number of years due to an influx of social awareness by the general pubic and also by government. The demand for more ethical business processes and actions, known as ethicism, is increasing. Simultaneously, pressure is applied on industry to improve business ethics through new public initiatives and laws. The recent trend has seen an increase in the number of CSR reports being submitted from 2002 – 2005. In 2005 52% of G250 and 22% of N100 companies issued reports.
The practice of CSR is area under much discussion and criticism. Some people argue that there is a strong business case for CSR, in that corporations gain an advantage in multiple ways by operating with a broader perspective than just making an immediate, short-term profit. However critics argue that CSR can distract from the basic economic function of businesses, others dispute that it is nothing more than superficial window-dressing.
One of the most major recent trends in CSR is the move towards Fairtrade. The Fairtrade Foundation was established in 1992 by CAFOD, Christian Aid, Oxfam, Traidcraft and the World Development Movement, The Foundation’s aims to work with businesses, community groups and individuals to improve the trading position of producer... [continues]
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