SMEs and CSR
What is CSR?
Corporate Social Responsibility, or CSR, is defined as ‘the responsibility of enterprises for their impact on society’. CSR is about running a business in a responsible and sustainable manner, and contributing to the local community.
Multinational companies tend to have policies, managers and even whole departments dedicated to CSR. However, SMEs are just as ethical and charitable as their larger counterparts, they just tend to spend less time quantifying and publicising it.
CSR is about treating your staff and customers well, being environmentally friendly and working to improve the local community.
ISME CSR Publications:
What is being done to promote CSR?
The Government has launched a National Plan on CSR called ‘Good for Business, Good for the Community’ which is aimed at making Ireland a centre of excellence for responsible and sustainable business practice.
Why should I care about CSR?
Research has shown that a business can benefit from CSR. It tends to increase productivity and motivation levels, improves customer satisfaction and loyalty, strengthens the company reputation and can lead to good publicity. CSR policies are also increasingly becoming important in public procurement tendering.
How can my company engage in CSR?
It’s likely that you already are conducting many elements of CSR such as being environmentally friendly, offering staff extra training, sponsoring local teams, donating to charities, raffles and schools, volunteering your own time and allowing staff to volunteer on company time.
If you are not active in CSR, or you want to expand your work in this area, ISME encourages you to think local and utilise the experience and skills of your business. Choose a partner charity or project and decide what resources and time you can give. Get staff involved and make it a team effort.
Your CSR programme should promote and strengthen your business, as well as making a genuine contribution to the community.
CSR News and Research:
What Happens When CEOs Have Daughters
In an analysis of S&P 500 companies, researchers found that when a firm was led by a CEO with at least one daughter, it scored 11.9% higher on CSR metrics – ranging from 13.7% more on diversity and 1% more on human rights – than the median. These companies also spent and spent 13.4% more of their net income on CSR. Why? In an interview on HBR.org, Henrik Cronqvist from the University of Miami notes that "literature in economics, psychology, and sociology suggests that women tend to care more about the well-being of other people and of society than men do, and that female children can increase those sympathies in their parent."