What is Corporate Social Responsibility?
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has been defined by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development as "the continuing commitment by companies to behave ethically and to contribute to economic development, while improving the quality of life of the workforce and their families, as well as the local community and society at large."
Sounds important? But what does this actually mean for companies and the community?
Put simply, being a good corporate citizen is about a company making a lasting commitment to giving something back to the community. This principle obligates a company to integrate social and environmental concerns, as well as economic concerns, into its operations and decision-making. A company is required to look out for more than just the interests of its shareholders-it must look after the interests of all people who affect, or are affected by, the business. Employees, customers, suppliers, community organizations and local neighborhoods all come under this category.
By balancing the social, environmental and economic obligations of a company, CSR aims to make sure that business operations and development are 'sustainable.' This means that the company meets the needs of the present generation, without interfering with the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
What does this involve?
Because the characteristics and circumstances of individual companies are different, the way CSR is put into practical action varies from company to company. Some examples of how this commitment may be undertaken include:
• investing in community projects
• adopting environmentally friendly practices, or
• drafting and applying a code of ethics to company operations
When CSR was first created, it primarily focused on the environment. Over the years it has come to recognize the importance of society as a whole. CSR is now addressing the social aspects that will positively contribute to healthier communities and stable economies.
How does this govern our actions?
Simply put, it guides our policies and actions. We will endeavour to operate in a responsible manner which is co-operative in regards to citizenship, sustainability, ethics, health and safety. We are committed to giving back to the community and supporting initiatives and organizations that do the same. Home Purchase Assistance Canada attributes great value on our corporate responsibility to contribute to both environmental and social factors.
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