Types of Corporate Social Reporting

06/05/2021 1 By indiafreenotes
  1. Environmental Corporate Social Responsibility

One of the most common forms of corporate social responsibility, a number of companies focus their CSR efforts towards reducing their impact on the environment.

Whilst some UK businesses are now obliged by law to report on their greenhouse gas emissions, many others that are not required to are also beginning to address cutting their carbon footprint.

Though harmful effects on the environment were once dismissed as a necessary and unavoidable cost of doing business, pollution and excessive consumption of resources now also pose a social and political concern on a global level.

For this reason, environmental CSR has taken off, with many companies now prioritising the impact that their business has on the environment.

Broadly, environmental CSR tends to focus on a business cutting down its greenhouse gas emissions and waste. This involves re-evaluation of a business’s production processes in order to identify wasteful acts and cut these from the company’s business plan.

Example of Environmental Corporate Social Responsibility

One example of a business focusing on environmental responsibility in their CSR strategy is Unilever.

The UK’s largest deodorant manufacturer, in 2014 Unilever began compressing the cans of their deodorants, cutting the carbon footprint of each aerosol spray by 25% per can.

The business achieved this by using 50% less propellant gas and 25% less aluminium. The deodorants still last the same length of time as the older designs, however are half the size, meaning that 53% more cans fit into pallets and therefore fewer lorries are required, meaning a cut in transport emissions too.

In addressing everything from the product design phase to shipping, Unilever have cut their costs in addition to their impact on the environment.

  1. Ethical Corporate Social Responsibility

Ethical corporate social responsibility programmes focus on ensuring that all stakeholders in a business receive fair treatment, from employees to customers.

Ethical responsibilities are self enforced initiatives that a company puts in place because they believe it is the morally correct thing to do rather than out of any obligation. Businesses consider how stakeholders will be affected by their activity and work to have the most positive impact.

Whilst economic and legal responsibilities are the primary concerns of a company, after addressing these fundamental requirements businesses can then begin to focus on their ethical responsibilities.

Ethical CSR initiatives are intended to enforce fairer treatment for all employees, with common examples including paying higher wages, offering jobs to those who might otherwise struggle to find work, ensuring that decent standards are maintained in factories and refusing to partner in business with unscrupulous businesses or oppressive countries.

Ethical CSR considers every level of the supply chain, including employees who may not be directly working for the business. For example, CSR programmes might be in place to ensure that people producing clothes for a company receive fair treatment, or to prevent small scale farmers from being exploited by offering fair payment for their crops.

Though sometimes difficult to enforce, these programmes are intended to help ensure that employees, customers, shareholders and all other stakeholders get the fairest deal possible.

Ethical CSR Company Example:

Cosmetics company Lush is known for its global campaigning against animal testing and strong ethical initiatives. Alongside the annual Lush Prize which fuels innovation of anti-testing methods, Lush has been dedicated to operating fair and direct trade.

The company consistently sources ingredients from producers directly, allowing them to ensure that their suppliers’ working conditions are dignified and they receive fair prices for their products.

Doing so also allows the company to ensure they source the safest and most suitable raw materials for their products, ensuring that consumers receive the best quality cosmetics.

The company also insists that their suppliers do not support child labour. If their producers become aware of any child labour, they are expected to support the child back into education through a training and transition programme.

Placing ethics above profits, the company has continued to partner with sustainable suppliers, working with them from the ground up to establish solid long-term relationships.

  1. Philanthropic Corporate Social Responsibility

Philanthropic social responsibilities go beyond simply operating as ethically as possible and involve actively bettering society. This type of corporate social responsibility is frequently associated with donating money to charities, with many businesses supporting particular charities that are relevant to their business in some way.

However, philanthropic CSR does not only refer to charity donations. Other common philanthropic responsibilities include investing in the community or participating in local projects. The main intention is to support a community in some way that goes beyond just hiring.

By investing in the community, the business encourages loyalty from employees whilst benefiting from an improved support system. Corporate philanthropy also serves as a way of representing a company’s commitment to society, demonstrating that they value the community beyond simply providing a workforce or source of revenue.

For example, businesses might offer their employees the opportunity to volunteer with local charities during working hours or through matching gift programmes where workers’ donations to charities are matched by the company.

Philanthropic CSR Company Example:

Google is well known for its corporate philanthropy, running multiple charity programmes through Google.org that have provided over $100 million in grants and investments.

The company carries out a volunteer programme which allows employees to dedicate up to 20 hours of work time to volunteering in their communities each year.

In addition, Google has a matching gift programme in place where donations made by employees that are between $50 and $12,000 are matched at a 1:1 ratio.

However, beyond these programs, Google has carried out numerous initiatives focusing on improving particular regions. One such example of this is their work with Learning Equality towards making digital content accessible online in order to allow students without the internet to have better access to learning resources.

By making materials available through a cloud library, Google hopes to help contribute to reducing the gap between disadvantaged communities in India, Latin America and Africa and countries with better access to technology.

With the company’s motto being ‘You can make money without doing evil’, it makes sense that Google is known for its philanthropy, having a track record of meeting the interests of its stakeholders and their communities.