Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR): Characteristics, Review, Definition

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR): Characteristics, Review, Definition


The act of fusing environmental and social concerns with a company’s planning and operations is known as corporate social responsibility (CSR). The idea behind these projects is that businesses can lessen their negative effects on society and the environment.

 Corporate Social Responsibility: Definition and Examples.

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a way of doing business that aims to increase a company’s social impact while still meeting business objectives like growth and revenue.

It can also refer to any effort to reduce a company’s carbon footprint or environmental impact. CSR efforts can be done on their own or as a part of a bigger campaign.

 “CSR stands for “Corporate Social Responsibility.”

Corporate citizenship is another name for it.

An excellent example of Corporate Social responsibility is Starbucks’ commitment to human rights. This commitment is spelled out in the company’s official corporate policy, which includes compliance requirements for all of the company’s divisions. Following this social mission affects all levels of Starbucks’ operations, from hiring to supply chain to how the company works with its business partners. 

 The Process of Corporate Social Responsibility

Companies may develop CSR programs that touch every aspect of their operations, and they frequently have dedicated CSR staff and resources.

The scope of CSR programs varies, but here are a few examples:

  • Volunteering or making monetary donations to nonprofit organizations such as local food banks
  • Providing job training for those who are unemployed
  • pledging to ensure that the workforce is diverse.
  • increasing the efficiency of the company’s supply chain in order to reduce the company’s carbon footprint.

Even though CSR programs are often started because of pressure from the community, research shows that once they are in place, they often have wide support from within the company.

 According to one study, in 2020, 92 percent of the S & P 500 and Russell 1000 companies will have published CSR and sustainability reports.

In 2011, the percentage was less than 20%.

Many large corporations have demonstrated their commitment to CSR during natural disasters. For example, Walmart and its foundation contributed nearly $20 million to Hurricane Harvey relief efforts in Texas in 2017. 5. T-Mobile gave $1.3 million in in-kind donations in the aftermath of Hurricane Zeta and the California forest fires in 2020, as part of a total donation of $100 million in cash and goods and services.

 There’s little doubt that every company should have a CSR program. Companies that have strong CSR programs have better public relations and happier customers. Improved company profits are usually the result, which pleases stakeholders.

 In some cases, the financial benefits of CSR are obvious. A shift to renewable energy sources, such as solar panels on corporate campuses, could, for example, result in lower electricity costs over time.

 A Babson College report reviewed hundreds of CSR program studies. According to the reviewers, the programs can have a significant impact on a company’s market value and brand, as well as reduce risk. 7. According to the findings of the report, CSR programs have the potential to

  • Increase the value of your home by up to 6%.
  • Systemic risk can be reduced by as much as 4%.
  • Reduce the cost of debt by at least 40%.
  • increase the price premium by up to 20%.
  • Staff turnover can be reduced by up to 50%.



  • Program success is measured from the inside out.
  • A business can use it to improve its social impact.


  • Program success is evaluated from the outside.
  • Investment firms use it to make decisions.

Environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) principles are similar to CSR. The biggest difference is that CSR is an internal function and ESG is an external one.

 It is up to those on the inside of the company to assess the success of CSR programs. They choose which programs to keep and which to rework if they aren’t performing well. 

ESG, on the other hand, is a metric that outside analysts can use to compare how different companies deal with environmental and social problems.

 Many investment organizations evaluate companies based on their commitment to incorporating ESG criteria. Institutional investors and mutual fund companies may talk about how they use ESG guidelines in their philosophies in their annual reports.

 The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), a private standards body that seeks to standardize corporate sustainability reporting, created the framework for ESG reporting. Since the late 1990s, it has been working toward this goal. 

 The UN launched the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) in 2006, a program that allows institutional investors to incorporate ESG values into their decision-making process.

 More than 3,000 investors and organizations have pledged to follow the PRI’s six principles:

  • ESG issues will be factored into our investment analysis and decision-making.
  • We will be active owners who incorporate environmental, social, and governance (ESG) considerations into our ownership policies and practices.
  • We will demand appropriate ESG disclosure from the companies in which we invest.
  • Within the investment industry, we will promote acceptance and implementation of the principles.
  • We will collaborate to improve our ability to implement the principles.
  • We’ll each give an update on our activities and progress toward putting the principles into practice.

Individual investors may desire investments that reflect their personal values. They can invest in mutual funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) that are categorized according to their CSR commitment. The iShares MSCI KLD 400 Social ETF (DSI) and the SPDR SSGA Gender Diversity Index Fund are two examples (SHE).

 Important Points to Remember

  • Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is what a company does to make the world a better place and help its customers.
  • There is evidence that a commitment to CSR can help a company’s bottom line.
  • CSR is similar to ESG, a process in which investors make investment decisions based on a company’s CSR programs and impact.

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