Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) refers to companies taking responsibility for their impact on society. As evidence suggests, CSR is increasingly important to the competitiveness of enterprises. It can bring benefits in terms of risk management, cost savings, access to capital, customer relationships, human resource management, and innovation capacity.
European Commission Strategy
CSR is defined by the European Commission as "the responsibility of enterprises for their impacts on society" (COM (2011) 681 ). The Commission encourages that enterprises "should have in place a process to integrate social, environmental, ethical human rights and consumer concerns into their business operations and core strategy in close collaboration with their stakeholders".
The Commission’s CSR agenda for action is:
- Enhancing the visibility of CSR and disseminating good practices
- Improving and tracking levels of trust in business
- Improving self- and co-regulation processes
- Enhancing market reward for CSR
- Improving company disclosure of social and environmental information
- Further integrating CSR into education, training and research
- Emphasising the importance of national and sub-national CSR policies
- Better aligning European and global approaches to CSR.
A detailed table showing progress in implementation of this agenda is available here [127 KB] .
Guidelines and Principles that the Commission’s CSR strategy is built upon:
- United Nations Global Compact
- United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights IMPACT study
- ISO 26000 Guidance Standard on Social Responsibility
- International Labour Organization Tripartite Declaration of Principles concerning Multinational Enterprises on Social Policy
- OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises