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Yes, We Can !
Corporate Social Responsibility in the time of recession?
It’s the season to bring about sweeping change. And this column was meant to me a deep analysis of the state of CSR activities in India. There is unfortunately, precious little data available on this very important aspect of doing business.
So here’s a quick question to all you organisations out there: what is the one thing you can do today that can change the world? What is your definition of CSR activities? Or is that too heavy a question before breakfast in these troubled recession time ?
This brings me to the point I am trying to make, with a little thought and focus we can really transform the world we live in. Yes we can!
So, what does constitute CSR activities? There is the standard definition of triple PPP, which essentially means People, Planet and Profit. A balance of all these factors would mean a good CSR policy, you make your profit but in a way that protects natural resources and the people you work with .
It also means that the measures you take to implement your CSR policy should be transparent, involve all the stakeholders and be open to independent verification.
Many companies like to have such policies in place as it means a good reputation for them, especially of they are listed on the stock exchange. It can also lead to opportunities for business in the shape of public –private partnerships .
Many companies have this as part of a ethics or good business practices public documents.
Here’s my take , it’s imperative for every company to have a CSR policy. The world is changing and a lack of responsibility to the eco-system we operate in will very soon be unacceptable
It’s therefore good to make a start right now and be ahead of the curve and make a start with some CSR activity. Companies have even made a start by ensuring that vendors in their supply chain are well looked after with good pension and insurance policies for them or by saying no to child labour.
This land of ours is land of many challenges and needs. In the same household sometimes there are different living standards and opportunities. These create devastating social inequities which keep those at the bottom of the ladder pinned there, without much of a chance to step off the bottom of the ladder.
Think about that when you go about your work and think about the opportunities one can create through CSR to improve our world. Besides its good karma.
Next Week: Ensuring a wealth creation mindset, challenging our belief systems about making money.