Corporate Social Responsibility

Fair Trade

GIVE BACK: One way to get involved in improving the state of the world is to support or expand your company’s corporate social responsibility activities. Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is the deliberate inclusion of public interest into corporate decision-making, and the honoring of a triple bottom line: People, Planet, Profit. This may include voluntarily eliminating practices that harm the environment or proactively promoting activities that support community growth and development. It takes into account a variety of stakeholders from employees and consumers to its surrounding community and the public at large. Starbucks, for example, has a program called Shared Planet which focuses on ethical sourcing, environmental stewardship and community involvement.

Honoring a triple bottom line: People, Planet, Profit.

When I worked at VH1, we started VH1 Save the Music to provide new musical instruments to American public schools in order to restore music education, and raise awareness about the importance of music as part of each child’s complete education. Since 1997, the initiative has provided $49.5 million worth of new musical instruments to more than 1,850 public schools in more than 192 school districts in the U.S., impacting the lives of more than 2.1 million people.

The following resources may help you with your CSR intiatives:

  • Business for Social Responsibility -BSR works with its global network of more than 250 member companies to develop sustainable business strategies and solutions through consulting, research, and cross-sector collaboration.
  • Business Ethics – Founded in 1987, Business Ethics works at the intersection of business and society. It reports on the fields of business ethics and corporate governance, tracking major regulatory changes and their impact on corporate behavior. It also examines the broader social role of companies and their accountability to multiple stakeholders – shareholders, employees, customers and the communities where companies do business.
  • Corporate Social Responsibility Newswire – CSR Newsire is a source of corporate social responsibility and sustainability news, reports, events and information.
  • Social Venture Network – SVN brings together the pioneers of socially-conscious business to collaborate and connect in order to transform the way the world does business. The members – such as Greyston Bakery, Stonyfield Farm and Eileen Fisher – provide good models for sustainable business practices and corporate social responsibility.
  • Business & Human Rights Resource Centre – The Centre tracks the positive and negative impacts of 4000 companies worldwide. It encourages companies to respect human rights, avoid harm to people, and maximize their positive contribution.
  • CSR Europe -Founded in 1995, CSR Europe provides news and publications on various topics concerning social responsibility. It connects companies to share best practice on CSR with around 75 multinational corporations and 27 national partner organisations as members.

    Other ways to get involved are by volunteering, donating or making a micro-loan, or starting your own social enterprise.

    Contributed by Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy, Ph.D., MBA. Part of the Power Living® Empowerment Series.

    SHARE YOUR VOICE: Do you have other ideas for how people can get involved in making a difference in this world? Do you have a story about expanding your company’s corporate responsibility initiative? Do you know of other good resources for CSR activities? Share it here and inspire others to become a New World PWR Broker!

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