Corporate social responsibility (CSR)
What are we talking about?
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is the management that companies make of their activity in a socially responsible way. For this, organizations address the possible impacts in all their areas and with all their interlocutors, from employees to society.
As indicated by the Observatory of Corporate Social Responsibility , CSR is governed by five principles:
- Comply with national and international legislation.
- Global and transversal scope in the organization.
- Obligation of the objective ethical commitments assumed.
- CSR is manifested in the impacts generated by business activity in the social, environmental and economic spheres.
- CSR is aimed at satisfying and reporting the expectations and needs of stakeholders.
Main areas of CSR
- Ethics and corporate governance:
It refers to decision making in the company, conditioned by principles and strategy objectives, by the mission, value and philosophy of the organization. In this area, respect for Human Rights stands out.
- Quality of life and work practices :
They are the set of policies and practices in the work of the company and in related environments, such as subcontractors.
- Active participation in the community :
It includes initiatives that maximize the social impact of contributions, to improve the quality of life and development of the community.
- Environment :
The companies are committed to caring for the environment, together with the permanent evaluation of the impacts of their production cycle.
Value chain :
The value chain includes all activities that give or receive value, whether they are products or services. We talk about marketing policies, prices, fair competition, etc.
Commitment to society
CSR favors the creation of differential value, competitiveness and trust. For this reason, more and more organizations integrate the values and commitments of CSR into their management and decisions.
Socially responsible organizations bring benefits for society through the execution of the commitments assumed such as sustainability, responsible taxation, the fight against the underground economy, transparency, quality employment or facilitating family and work conciliation, among others.
Good governance in organizations
Internally, the boards of directors play a relevant role in CSR. In fact, the National Securities Market Commission published, in 2015, its recommendations for the corporate governance of listed companies, which included the innovative code of good governance for such boards on CSR .
The governing bodies of organizations that want to be CSR must integrate these strategic axes:
- Governance :
A solid governance goes through the clear delimitation of functions and responsibilities, together with a decision-making process according to the effectiveness and the values or commitments assumed.
- Transparency :
The management must report periodically on the situation of the company. This implies any situation of risk or conflict, with which transparency will be the means to inform and generate the necessary trust.
- Unit :
There should be no divergent messages or measures between the different management bodies. The vision and mission must be clear and unanimous.
- Efficiency :
The governing bodies are in charge of clearly determining priorities and objectives, promoting efficiency throughout the organization’s value chain.
- Diversity :
Taking into account the relevance to a diverse society, this diversity should be transferred to the organization, and also to the governing bodies, including members of different gender, age, experience, culture or competence.