Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), also known as corporate responsibility, corporate accountability, corporate ethics, corporate citizenship, sustainability, and responsible business, can be defined as the continuing commitment by business to behave ethically and contribute to economic development while improving the quality of life of the workforce and their families as well as of that of the local community and society at large. It’s about responsible production processes, socially responsible employee relations, community involvement, and sustainability. It’s about doing things right. (eSourcing Wiki)
Furthermore, it comes with a plethora of benefits that include risk management, reputation management, talent retention, ROI, operational cost savings, innovation, and eased investor and government relations when done right. It’s the way of tomorrow, you realize it today, and you want to know what to do next.
It’s simple. Conduct an assessment to figure out where you are today, define your strategy, foster a corporate culture to get buy-in, make some commitments, implement those commitments, measure your progress, and regularly evaluate your progress and identify paths to improvement.
A good assessment will determine who’s currently in charge of corporate donations, whether or not all donations made can be defended, whether or not thorough standards for transparency were applied to current philanthropy programs, identify the firm’s values and ethics, internal and external CSR drivers, key issues that are (potentially) affecting the firm, key stakeholders whose input will need to be gathered in strategy formulation, current inadequacies in relevant decision making processes, the human resources available, and relevant budgetary initiatives.
A good strategy will define the overall direction the corporation is taking with respect to CSR, outline the basic approach, focus on key areas, and detail the next steps. The identification will involve asking, and answering, a lot of hard-hitting questions, including those summarized in the wiki-paper.
For more information on the process used to define specific commitments, implement those commitments, measure progress, and identify improvements, please refer to the new wiki-paper over on the eSourcingWiki and the bibliography.