Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)

The term "corporate social responsibility" can be defined as  "A company’s sense of responsibility towards the community and environment (both ecological and social) in which it operates. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)

Companies can express this citizenship 

  1. through their waste and pollution reduction processes, 
  2. by contributing educational and social programs and 
  3. by earning adequate returns on the employed resources.


CSR is a concept with many definitions and practices. The way it is understood and implemented differs greatly for each company and country. Moreover, CSR is a very broad concept that addresses many and various topics such as human rights, corporate governance, health and safety, environmental effects, working conditions and contribution to economic development. Whatever the definition is, the purpose of CSR is to drive change towards sustainability.

Although some companies may achieve remarkable efforts with unique CSR initiatives, it is difficult to be on the forefront on all aspects of CSR. 

Emphasis on social environmental and economic sustainability has become a focus of many CSR efforts. Sustainability was originally viewed in terms of preserving the earth’s resources. In 1987, the World Commission on Environment and Development published “Our Common Future”, a landmark action plan for environmental sustainability. The commission defined sustainability as “meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.” Companies are now challenged by stakeholders including customers, employees, investors and activists to develop a blueprint for how they will sustain economic prosperity while taking care of their employees and the environment.


Example of SAP CSR

SAP recognizes and embraces its commitment to the communities in which we operate. We believe the private sector plays a vital role in creating a level playing field, driving innovation and building an environment that enhances education and entrepreneurship to foster economic growth.

Our social investment strategy is based on our vision to help the world run better and improving people's lives.

Our approach is driven by four core principles:

Create social impact. Make strategic social investments that have a lasting benefit on society.

Leverage our core expertise. Utilize our technology and talent to help find solutions to social issues.

Generate lasting impact on SAP. Align approach to support our market and people strategy.

Engage multiple stakeholders. Drive innovation through a multi-faceted dialogue with internal and external stakeholders.


Example of Unilver

Unilever is a multinational corporation, in the food and beverage sector, with a comprehensive CSR strategy. The company has been ranked ‘Food Industry leader’ in the Dow Jones Sustainability World Indexes for the 11 consecutive years and ranked 7th in the ‘Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World’.

One of the major and unique initiatives is the ‘sustainable tea’ programme.  On a partnership-based model with the Rainforest Alliance (an NGO), Unilever aims to source all of its Lipton and PG Tips tea bags from Rainforest Alliance Certified™ farms by 2015.  The Rainforest Alliance Certification offers farms a way to differentiate their products as being socially, economically and environmentally sustainable.

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