Qu’What is CSR: Corporate Social Responsibility ?
Corporate social responsibility is one of the pledges they must make in order to be a sustainable business. In other words, industrialists, businesses and companies must make a SRI (a socially responsible investment).
Definition of Corporate Social Responsibility
The corporate social responsibility or CSR concerns the consideration of environmental and social concerns in their activities. It is a commitment that they must make as a sustainable business, even in the course of interaction with stakeholders. That is, with any individual who is connected in some way to the company.
It also implies the realization of a SRI or socially responsible investment.
Otherwise, it is the ESG criteria (environmental and social governance). These allow to confirm the ethical and sustainable impact of a company’s investments.
The social and environmental concerns of the company must therefore to be integrated into the company’s universe. All their operational activities are linked to this objective. This is reflected in many ways.
A company can honor its CSR by caring about the well-being of its employees or by improving its ecological footprint.
This notion of CSR first appeared in 1960 in the Anglo-American literature. This awareness is due to the demands of various humanitarian and ecological associations. The objective of the latter was to integrate the consideration of environmental and social impacts into all company activities.
With the critical situation in which the planet finds itself, SRI and CSR help to balance the life of a company. On the one hand, there is the need to make profit and on the other hand, there is the need to respect the planet and the well-being of employees.
What does CSR involve? ?
At its core, Corporate Social Responsibility is an act of voluntary. But over time, the approach has come to be governed by the law. Since then, several legislative texts dealing with the subject have been put in place.
However, the obligation of all companies is not the same depending on their legal status.
With the law of May 15, 2001, the companies listed on the stock exchange are subject to various obligations. Among other things, they must carry out an annual report demonstrating the exercise of ESG criteria within their activities. The latter must contain a series of indications that attest to their social and environmental actions during the exercise of their activities.
Since the adoption of this law, several other texts have been put in place. With the same objective of developing the actions carried out by companies in terms of socially responsible investment. This is the case of the ordinance that requires companies to publish all their non-financial information.
Companies must therefore make a extra-financial reporting. A statement that includes, for example, the impact of their actions on the environment or their actions against discrimination in hiring. Corporate Social Responsibility obliges.
Why do CSR? ?
If CSR is intended to reduce the environmental impact of each company, it also allows tooptimizing the global operation of the latter. A result that can be obtained provided that the ESG criteria (similar to CSR) be properly implemented.
The benefits of CSR for a company
Indeed, a good practice of CSR allows a company to be a good corporate citizen more agile, more resilient and more effective. It is often considered by professionals as a lever to gain in financial performance and productivity.
A study has been set up by France Stratégie. It reveals that companies that establish a good strategy for their Corporate Social Responsibility are 13% more successful. Currently, it is this observation that is pushing more and more SMEs to take into account CSR as a vector of profitability.
Other studies conducted on the same subject have shown that companies that consider their CSRs to be “good” are more likely to be “good” than those that do not more successful. They have an easier time to gain market share. The other advantage of this approach is that it allows to reduce various costs related to the company.
Among other things, it reduces the consumption of working resources. It also causes a considerable decrease in energy consumption. It is then that gradually, it becomes a tool for risk management.
When you want to project a good brand image, you engage in Corporate Social Responsibility. Any company working in this direction is categorized as a reliable partner. This operating mode seduces even large companies.
Their specifications require compliance with certain CSR obligations or labels (ISO 14001, ISO 9001).
Finally, it is proven that CSR and ESG criteria improve theemployee engagement. The improvement of the working conditions of the latter is part of one of its components. Institutions with a consistent CSR policy are more attractive to the new generation.
The principle encourages them to be more productive and more committed to their companies.
The CSR platform for recommendations to the State
The CSR platform is a way for parties concerned with SRI and its issues to debate on the subject. They do so through a framework of thematic working groups such as the CSR label, transparency or the value chain.
The dialogue space formed by this platform is intended for the building consensus with stakeholders. That is, with all stakeholders who play a role in the life of a sustainable company. The CSR platform is attached to the Prime Minister.
The forty or so members that make up the association are divided into 5 areas. There are economic, trade union, civil society, academic and public.
The working group that deals with the sustainable development of SMEs and VSEs recommends to put forward the financing and the support of CSR issues. It highlights the importance of a link between competitiveness and CSR. The importance of labelling is also part of their recommendation.
An approach that is recognized by the State.
The transparency, the one that manages the governance part, has submitted several improvement levers in accordance with the Grenelle law. Devices that are an integral part of ESG criteria. In other words, it recommends improving corporate governance and transparency.
Whether it is for investors, local authorities and portfolio management companies.
Other incentives have been presented by other poles such as the implementation of international texts related to CSR.