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What is Corporate Social Responsibility, or CSR?

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Businesses in the United States, and Central Florida in particular, are poised and eager to incorporate corporate social responsibility (CSR) into the important work they do. They believe business can be a force for good and are implementing CSR programs aligning their values with their daily operations.

But what is it?

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is a business approach that contributes to positive business outcomes by delivering economic, environmental and social benefits for all stakeholders. It is sometimes referred to as corporate citizenship, community investment or sustainability. The semantics, however, aren’t as important as what a company is trying to achieve. It’s about a company’s responsibility to invest in the community in which it serves. It’s about companies not just caring about the bottom line, but about what they do with the bottom line.

Our manager of corporate citizenship Kecia Carroll frequently does CSR TALKs for business groups in our community. If you’ve been to one of her presentations, you may have seen this chart which outlines additional ways companies define CSR in their own organizations.

Corporate social responsibility, done strategically and with intent, can generate great results for a company. And as more companies strive to create a corporate culture that is compelling to today’s diverse and socially conscious workforce, the need to define CSR within the context of a specific company will expand as well.

In MBA courses at the Crummer Graduate School of Business at Rollins College, faculty and students discuss CSR in terms of creating shared value which is defined as creating economic value in a way that also creates value for society by addressing its needs and challenges. They examine the concept of triple bottom line which can be looked at as the:

  • 3 P’s = Profit, planet, people
  • 3 E’s = Economy, (social) equity, environment
  • 3 R’s = risk, responsibility, reward

In each of these scenarios, we begin to see how the definition of CSR continues to evolve and how corporations need to think beyond creating positive social impact because it’s “the right thing”, but because it can drive a company’s bottom line.

If your company needs help starting a CSR program, assistance focusing an existing one, or coaching in a specific area of CSR, we can design a program that fits your needs and a roadmap to meet your goals. For more information or to get started, please contact our office at 407-975-6414 or by e-mail at csrhub@rollins.edu.

Tags:  corporate social responsibility 

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