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What Is Corporate Social Responsibility?

By Darren Finkelstein
By Darren Finkelstein

The Accountability Guy®

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What Is Corporate Social Responsibility?

Corporate social responsibility or CSR is, in essence, a management and strategic concept used by companies and organizations worldwide. While it is often used to improve overall customer satisfaction, boost sales and profits, better the brand image, and reduce costs, it gets integrated into the very function of SMEs and big corporations over time.

Through CSR, companies give back to the economy, environment, culture and uphold their social and public responsibility.

Understanding CSR in its entirety requires us to reflect on how CSR benefits the world and the community and the very corporations that use it.

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Table of Contents

Corporate Social Responsibility:

Corporate Social Responsibility, or CSR as it is commonly known, is the regulating model or set of strategies. Businesses, organizations, and companies all overtake it up in their bid to give back to the world. It is not a set of strict rules or guidelines but differs from company to company depending on their practices.

An SME would not be able to give back in the magnitude a big corporation or business would.

Businesses employ sustainable practices, automated business models and integrate CSR as a management concept into their operations and inner workings. CSR integration also reflects in their interactions with all their stakeholders and shareholders and, in a manner, publicizes their methods of upholding their social responsibility.

While Corporate Social Responsibility isn’t upheld by laws and regulations, it is no longer something organizations can skip on if they desire a better company image and public relations.

CSC manifests in the form of environmental awareness actions and volunteer works, charities, and fundraisers, and even in the form of your company’s practices towards upholding equality and equity. This is done by making sure their labour practices are sound and that the organization is ensuring diversity in the sexual orientations, races, cultures, and ethnicities.

These CSR operations often begin with the subtle but firm external pressure from society, consumers, and competitions. However, they carry on due to their increased relevance and positive effects on the organization and its employees.

Ways Corporate Social Responsibility Works

When integrated into an organization’s functions, corporate social responsibility can drive results that benefit not only their community but also the organization. This happens when by giving back to society in the form of charities, volunteer work, reducing environmental footprint, the companies gain benefits.

These benefits include better PR value, brand image, employee and customer satisfaction, and even a reduction in the staff turnover rate.

The workings of corporate social responsibility within corporations and businesses can generally be divided into four parts.

Environmental Preservation

A big part of CSR drives from corporations include volunteer work towards environmental conservation. Companies not only do it by volunteering their staff but also by using renewable sources of energy, green cleaning and recycling methods, and more. Companies use initiatives to reduce their carbon footprints and contribute to pollution.

Not only does this help them positively impact the environment, but they also end up cutting their costs of electricity effectively by large margins as well. Your average consumer is politically, socially, and environmentally aware, so such initiatives by the companies often result in better public branding and customer satisfaction.

Ethical and Diverse Labour Practices

Companies that do not offer diversity in the workplace garner negative connections to their labour practices. Including a diverse range of staff from different ethnicities, racial backgrounds, cultures, sexual orientations and deploying training programs for disenfranchised groups helps companies hold the correct human resource responsibilities.

Other than diversity, fair trade practices, equality in pay, and labour laws should also be upheld by the organizations when implementing CSR concepts.

Charitable Practices

This is one of the most focused areas of corporate social responsibilities practised by companies and businesses—practices like charitable drives and philanthropic efforts towards impacting the underprivileged. Fundraises and scholarships are often the means through which charitable and philanthropic practices are carried out for CSR purposes.

Sometimes, companies even directly give to nonprofits or local food banks and shelters. When receiving support for such practices, businesses often garner attention and improve their overall public image, helping them be displayed in a positive light. Donations of goods, services, and funds are also ways companies implement CSR.

Volunteer Efforts

Another way the business often encourages their employees and staff to contribute towards the companies CSR is by volunteering for services. This not only helps the company but also brings together the staff and helps them bond over the works.

It also creates a positive environment and improves productivity, worker satisfaction, risk management, and increases efficiency in the human resource bases. It is the time when all departments from a company can come together for a common purpose.


Corporate social responsibility is a great way for financial corporations that are often viewed as environmentally destructive to positively impact. Corporate social responsibility often becomes a medium through which industries, companies, and businesses can make the society, community, and broadly the world a better place to live.

With CSR, not only do the companies increase their values, but on an individual level, the staff, people around them, and the society also find inner satisfaction that’s only found when giving back to the world.

Updated: 23/12/23