What’is CSR: Corporate Social Responsibility ?
Corporate social responsibility is one of the guarantees that companies must meet in order to be a good investor sustainable business. In other words, industrialists, businesses and companies must make a SRI (socially responsible investment).
Definition of Corporate Social Responsibility
The corporate social responsibility or CSR is about taking environmental and social concerns into account in their activities. It is a commitment they must make as sustainable companies, even when interacting with stakeholders. That is, with everyone who is connected in some way to the company.
This also implies the realization of a SRI or socially responsible investment.
Otherwise, it is about 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 be integrated into the company’s universe. All their operational activities are linked to this objective. This translates 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 appeared for the first time 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 in all the activities of companies.
With the critical situation in which the planet finds itself, SRI and CSR make it possible to balance the life of a company. On the one hand, there is the need to make a profit and on the other, 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 volunteering. But over time, the approach has come to be governed by 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 actions taken by companies in terms of socially responsible investment. This is the case of the ordinance that obliges 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 hiring discrimination. Corporate Social Responsibility requires.
Why do CSR? ?
While CSR is intended to reduce the environmental impact of each company, it also makes it possible tooptimize the global operation of the latter. A result that can be achieved provided that the ESG criteria (similar to those of CSR) be implemented correctly.
The benefits of CSR for a company
Indeed, a good practice of CSR allows a company to be more agile, more resilient and more efficient. 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 efficient. Currently, it is this observation that is pushing more and more SMEs to take CSR into account as a vector of profitability.
Other studies conducted on the same subject have shown that companies that consider their CSR to be more efficient. They have an easier time gain market share. The other asset of this approach is that it allows to reduce various costs related to the company.
Among others, it reduces the consumption of work resources. It also leads to a considerable decrease in energy consumption. It is then that it gradually becomes a risk management tool.
When you want to project a good brand image, you engage in Corporate Social Responsibility. Any company working in this direction is categorized as an reliable partner. This method of operation even appeals to large companies.
Their specifications impose the respect of certain obligations or labels of the CSR (ISO 14001, ISO 9001).
Finally, it is proven that CSR and ESG criteria improve theemployee commitment. Improving their working conditions is one of its components. Companies 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 means for the parties concerned by SRI and its challenges to discuss the topic. They do this 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 to say, with all the 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 who make up the platform are divided into 5 poles. 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 support of CSR issues. It emphasizes the importance of a link between competitiveness and CSR. The importance of labeling is also part of their recommendation.
An approach that is recognized by the State.
The transparency pole, the one that manages the governance part, has submitted several levers for improvement in accordance with the Grenelle law. Devices that are an integral part of the ESG criteria. In other words, it recommends improving the governance and transparency of companies. Whether for investors, local authorities or portfolio management companies.
Other incentives have been presented by other poles such as the implementation of international texts related to CSR.