Corporate Social Responsibility: Present Trend and Benefits
Moa Temsu, Asst. Professor, Dept. of Business Administration
Business Organisation exists and thrives within the society. The workers and consumers which constitute the society enable the business to earn profits and sustain it. In the process of its existence and operation, a business organisation, irrespective of its size or nature of business, adversely affects the environment directly or indirectly. Thus, it is essential for the business organisation to contribute toward the interest of the society. They are also required to preserve and enhance the quality of environment in which they operate. Corporate Social Responsibility is one such approach or practice adopted by Companies toward this end.
According to the World Bank Council for sustainable Development defined Corporate Social Responsibility “as the continuing commitment by business to contribute to economic development while improving the quality of life of the workforce and their families as well as of the community and the society at large”. Corporate Social Responsibility is a concept whereby companies integrate social and environmental concerns into their business operations and in their interaction with their stakeholders (employees, customers, shareholders, investors, local communities, government), on a voluntary basis.
Today, many Multinational Corporations like IBM, Dell, Verizon, Deloitte, Cisco, PG&E LinkedIn, Toms etc are engaged in Corporate Social Responsibility activities through contributions and donations towards charities; employees’ volunteer in environmental efforts; initiating community development programs in education, health care, literacy; providing relief assistance to communities affected by natural disaster etc.
Even in India, Corporate like Reliance Industries, ONGC, SAIL, BHEL, Indian Airlines Coca- Cola Company, Mahindra & Mahindra, GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals, Bajaj Electricals Ltd and many others are involved in serving the community in various ways.
The Reliance Industries’s CSR projects focus on health, education and environment. Its CSR activities includes “Project- Drishti” initiated to bring back the eyesight of visually challenged Indians from the economically weaker sections of the society; Running medical facility center and providing free health checkups; building school at the site for the children of the Project Affected Families and the children of the villages around the sites; provide free school bus facility for the students, stipend to every child who attends school, free uniforms; organise study tours for children; provide teaching aids to the teachers, training of teachers, as well as night schools for uneducated adults etc.
ONGC’ s CSR projects emphasise on higher education, grant of scholarship and aid to deserving young pupils of less privileged sections of society, facilities for constructing schools etc.
SAIL’s focal areas of CSR activities are environmental conservation, health and medical care, education, women upliftment and providing drinking water.
BHEL & Indian Airlines focus on disaster management and adopts 56 villages having nearly 80,000 inhabitants.
Coca-Cola initiated 5by20 to empowerment of 5 million women entrepreneurs across the Coca-Cola value chain by 2020.
Mahindra & Mahindra launched a unique kind of ESOPs- Employee Social Option in order to enable Mahindra employees to involve themselves in socially responsible activities.
GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals’ CSR programs primarily focus on health and healthy living. Provide medical check-up and treatment, health camps and health awareness programs at tribal areas. Donate money, medicines and equipment to non-profit organizations that work towards improving health and education in under-served communities.
Bajaj Electricals Ltd. corporate social responsibility activities include Education, Rural Development & Environment.
Corporate Social Responsibility programs can be very beneficial to the company, the community and the environment in which the business operates. The benefits accrued to the company can be felt through improved financial performance; Lower operating costs; Enhanced brand image and reputation; Increased sales and customer loyalty; Greater productivity and quality; More ability to attract and retain employees; Reduced regulatory oversight; Access to finance, capital and resources ; Workforce diversity; Product safety and decreased liability. The community and the general public enjoy benefits in the form of increased in charitable contributions; employees’ volunteer programmes; corporate involvement in community education and employment programmes. Environmental benefits derived from CSR are greater material recyclability, better product durability and functionality and greater use of renewable resources.
No matter the size of an organisation or the level of its involvement with Corporate Social Responsibility every contribution is important and provides a number of benefits to both the community and business. Contributing to and supporting Corporate Social Responsibility does not have to be costly or time consuming. Thus, the business organisation in Nagaland can also initiate programs and activities that would make a difference in the society and improve the overall quality of life.