CSR – Mandatory Positive Impact on the Community

The European Union redefines CSR. The highlights are mine. Here is the source.

The European Commission has released a new statement on CSR policy. The EC emphasises, among other things, the double profitability of adopting social responsibility strategies for companies: “by helping the community, companies help themselves”. In the new statement, the EC is rejuvenating and expanding the concept of CSR. Corporate social responsibility was until now officially defined at the EU level as “a concept through which companies voluntarily integrate their social and environmental concerns into their economic activities and into their interaction with stakeholders”. The new definition emphasises how companies’ CSR actions must be impactful, or how the companies must at least think about the impact they have. Impact that, according to the new definition, an ethical company with a clear vision of CSR should have on the society as a whole, at any level, balancing the interests of both the investors and the people. Moreover, the responsibility that companies have, as expressed in the statement, does not only mean to offer and to have a positive impact in the community, but also to identify, prevent or diminish everything that could harm that given community.

In free translation, in the EU’s view, CSR is not a campaign, but a continuous beneficial operation, which tackles prevention and involvement. Therefore, CSR activities should no longer be regarded as promotional tools; therefore, they no longer have anything to do with PR and marketing budgets, and should be budgeted normally, in terms of expenditures. Or maybe investments!? I would even venture to say that such operations are in fact short-term, medium- and long-term investments. No one can stop individuals from advertising these ongoing campaigns and showing how positively they have impacted the community, in order for them to become part of the tangible attributes of the company or brand; but the notion of a “CSR campaign” in the current context seems to distort the goals and operations of real social responsibility.

Here is all you need to know about CSR.