Q: Why do companies engage in corporate social responsibility (CSR)?
A: CSR concept is to operate business in a way that take into account sustainability of economy, society and environment. Business doing CSR will have responsibility for shareholders in generating profits and have to be accepted by the public as well as promote business expansion in a sustainable society and community.
Q: Who would benefit from CSR?
A: Benefits from doing CSR will results in all related parties, for example, higher value of shares for shareholders, happiness and proud in joining the CSR-oriented organization. In the meantime, business gains recognition from the public, resulting in an ability to create income and increase market share. Moreover, doing CSR will help reduce expense on energy by using renewable energy.
Q: Does CSR help increase income or profits?
A: CSR may be considered a “cost" for business, however, business will gain good reputation and image as organization that cares for society and environment. The customers would be impressed and buy business' products. Doing CSR is an investment that may not give short-term direct return but it will build strong foundation for business aiming for sustainability.
Q: Is donation considered CSR?
A: Donation can be considered a type of CSR, however, it may not lead to sustainability development as monetary and gifts donation may not help receiver in long-term, for example, giving money to the poor may temporarily help them but teaching community how to earn a living will help them in long-term and create sustainable development. Recently, the term “strategic donation" becomes popular, which is the concept that integrates social and economic benefits under the four principles:
Q: How do businesses start CSR?
A: Business can start CSR by following these steps:
Step1: Analyzing stakeholders
- Internal stakeholders, e.g. shareholders, employees
- Directly relevant parties, e.g. customer, suppliers, competitors
- Indirectly relevant parties, e.g., government, community
Step 2: Addressing the issue related to each group of stakeholders
- Human rights, welfare for employees
- Product safety, fair treatment
- Legal compliance, social development
Step 3: Selecting the appropriate issues to undertake CSR, factors to be considered in the selection process are:
- Type of business
- Readiness of company's resources, e.g. financial status, human resources
Q: Can CSR beginner follow CSR model of other companies?
A: The beginner may study CSR model of other companies but should adjust the program to match the type of business and company's resources. In some cases, the company may participate in CSR activities of other companies if possible.
Q: Should small business or business that has not yet gained profits do CSR?
A: There are many form of CSR and some do not require money or are about internal process that is normally operated such as employee's health and safety welfare, training, responsibility to customers. Moreover, doing CSR may involve company's human resources, e.g. community and society development.
Q: If the company undertakes service business, how to implement CSR program?
A: CSR is not only about having responsibility for the environment. Company undertaking service business can integrate CSR concept into business processes.
(1) Undertaking CSR that can reduce business' expenses, e.g. adjusting production line or distribution process that creates more effectiveness and reduce losses
(2) Undertaking CSR that create more income, e.g. inviting customers to bur products/services and allocating money for donation, or organizing activities for human resources to undertake CSR.
Q: How much influence does company's executives have on company's CSR?
A: Company's executives have significant role in driving organization's CSR, as executives will have to understand, accept and establish CSR policy as well as give approval and support CSR. Executives' role in driving CSR will encourage and support employees.
Q: Can a company publicize company's past CSR activities?
A: Publicizing CSR activities is merely a support of CSR practices, not the key objective of doing CSR. CSR publicity can be made internally to communicate and encourage employees to participate in the activities. External publicity aims to build awareness among public and encourage participation in CSR activities.
Q: What is CSR report? Is it necessary to do the report?
A: CSR report or Sustainability Report aims to promote the company's commitment to CSR. Investors can use such information to make investment decision. CSR report may be part of Annual Report or publish separately. Company may make report in accordance with current international standards “Global Reporting Initiative" (GRI).