Tag Archives: Csr

Promoting corporate social responsibility

Promoting corporate social responsibility

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Promoting corporate social responsibility

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Research and innovation > Research in support of other policies

Promoting corporate social responsibility

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission of 22 March 2006 to the European Parliament, the Council and the European Economic and Social Committee – Implementing the partnership for growth and jobs: making Europe a pole of excellence on corporate social responsibility [COM(2006) 136 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) refers to the voluntary integration of social and environmental objectives into the commercial activities of enterprises and into their relationships with their partners.

CSR meets the objectives of the European Union’s (EU) social policy and the Strategy for Sustainable Development. This practice can also be of benefit to innovation, competitiveness and job creation.

Contributing to sustainable growth and employment

In the context of increased global competition and an ageing population, the EU must stimulate the production of enterprises which respect their social responsibilities. CSR may contribute to:

  • the inclusion of disadvantaged groups in the labour market;
  • an increase in investment in skills development, lifelong learning and the employability of employees;
  • improvements in public health, for example by means of voluntary labeling of foodstuffs and non-toxic chemicals;
  • innovation on social and environmental matters;
  • reduced levels of pollution and a more rational use of natural resources (obtaining the European Ecolabel scheme and investments in eco-innovation, etc.);
  • the respect for European values and standards on human rights, environmental protection and employment;
  • the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

European alliance for CSR

The Commission supports the establishment of an alliance to act as an umbrella for CSR initiatives. The Commission encourages the sharing of experience and good practice between enterprises, communicating the results to the public and the development of resources dedicated to CSR.

The new instrument is open to European enterprises of all sizes, on a voluntary basis. Their level of participation is flexible as no formal requirements are imposed.

Actions for promoting CSR

The development of CSR practice must involve a wide range of actors, including trade unions, investors, consumers and non-governmental organisations (NGOs). In this context, the Commission focuses on the following aspects in particular:

  • establishing a strengthened partnership that is broader than the alliance, including not only businesses but also all relevant stakeholders and national and regional authorities (particularly in Member States where CSR is a less well-known concept, as well as in acceding and candidate countries);
  • supporting multi-stakeholder initiatives, involving social partners and NGOs at sectoral level;
  • cooperating with Member States within the Group of High-Level National Representatives on CSR in order to mobilise the national and regional instruments;
  • raising consumer awareness of the impact of their choices;
  • incorporating CSR in the curricula of business schools and other education institutions;
  • promoting CSR among small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs);
  • respecting international benchmarks, such as the MDGs and the Global Compact for businesses.


Another Normative about Promoting corporate social responsibility

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic

Employment and social policy > Employment rights and work organisation

Promoting corporate social responsibility

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission of 22 March 2006 to the European Parliament, the Council and the European Economic and Social Committee – Implementing the partnership for growth and jobs: making Europe a pole of excellence on corporate social responsibility [COM(2006) 136 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) refers to the voluntary integration of social and environmental objectives into the commercial activities of enterprises and into their relationships with their partners.

CSR meets the objectives of the European Union’s (EU) social policy and the Strategy for Sustainable Development. This practice can also be of benefit to innovation, competitiveness and job creation.

Contributing to sustainable growth and employment

In the context of increased global competition and an ageing population, the EU must stimulate the production of enterprises which respect their social responsibilities. CSR may contribute to:

  • the inclusion of disadvantaged groups in the labour market;
  • an increase in investment in skills development, lifelong learning and the employability of employees;
  • improvements in public health, for example by means of voluntary labeling of foodstuffs and non-toxic chemicals;
  • innovation on social and environmental matters;
  • reduced levels of pollution and a more rational use of natural resources (obtaining the European Ecolabel scheme and investments in eco-innovation, etc.);
  • the respect for European values and standards on human rights, environmental protection and employment;
  • the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

European alliance for CSR

The Commission supports the establishment of an alliance to act as an umbrella for CSR initiatives. The Commission encourages the sharing of experience and good practice between enterprises, communicating the results to the public and the development of resources dedicated to CSR.

The new instrument is open to European enterprises of all sizes, on a voluntary basis. Their level of participation is flexible as no formal requirements are imposed.

Actions for promoting CSR

The development of CSR practice must involve a wide range of actors, including trade unions, investors, consumers and non-governmental organisations (NGOs). In this context, the Commission focuses on the following aspects in particular:

  • establishing a strengthened partnership that is broader than the alliance, including not only businesses but also all relevant stakeholders and national and regional authorities (particularly in Member States where CSR is a less well-known concept, as well as in acceding and candidate countries);
  • supporting multi-stakeholder initiatives, involving social partners and NGOs at sectoral level;
  • cooperating with Member States within the Group of High-Level National Representatives on CSR in order to mobilise the national and regional instruments;
  • raising consumer awareness of the impact of their choices;
  • incorporating CSR in the curricula of business schools and other education institutions;
  • promoting CSR among small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs);
  • respecting international benchmarks, such as the MDGs and the Global Compact for businesses.

Corporate social responsibility: a business contribution to sustainable development.

Corporate social responsibility: a business contribution to sustainable development.

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Corporate social responsibility: a business contribution to sustainable development.

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Employment and social policy > Employment rights and work organisation

Corporate social responsibility: a business contribution to sustainable development.

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the European Commission of 2 July 2002 concerning Corporate Social Responsibility: A business contribution to Sustainable Development [COM (2002) 347 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

The Commission presents a European strategy to promote corporate social responsibility (CSR). CSR involves companies integrating social and environmental objectives in their business operations and in their interaction with the actors concerned.

The Commission emphasises that the CSR programmes contribute to the sustainable development of the European Union (EU). In addition, they have a positive impact on the management and competitiveness of enterprises, considering in particular:

  • the globalisation of trade, which means that enterprises have activities and responsibilities abroad, including in developing countries;
  • consumer awareness regarding the image and reputation of enterprises;
  • financial institutions and investors taking into account the CSR activities of enterprises in order to evaluate the success and risk factors inherent in a company;
  • the possibility of using CSR activities to develop the skills of employees.

Principles of the European strategy

The strategy to promote CSR proposed by the Commission is based on a series of principles:

  • the voluntary, transparent and credible nature of CSR activities;
  • the identification of areas where European action will add value;
  • a balance between the actions taken in the economic, social and environmental spheres and in relation to consumers’ interests;
  • attention to the specific needs of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs);
  • compatibility with existing international agreements and instruments (particularly those of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)).

Key actions of the European strategy

Firstly, the Commission encourages developing knowledge on the impact of CSR on the economic performance of enterprises. It therefore proposes to launch studies into activities to raise awareness and disseminate information.

The exchange of good practice between businesses and between Member States must also be encouraged through the networking and coordination of actors.

The skills in enterprises must be supported, in particular by using European funding to train employees. In addition, the principles of CSR must be integrated into management training programmes in enterprises.

SME’s capacity for action must be strengthened by taking into account their specific characteristics and their limited resources. The Commission therefore encourages the exchange and dissemination of good practice, SME associations, cooperation between large companies and SMEs, and awareness-raising campaigns.

The transparency of CSR practices and tools must be guaranteed. The Commission therefore encourages the adoption of:

  • codes of conduct (concerning workers’ rights, human rights, protection of the environment, etc.);
  • management standards (in order to integrate social and environmental aspects into the day-to-day activities of enterprises);
  • instruments for measuring performance (such as internal evaluation reports);
  • labels on products;
  • standards for Socially Responsible Investment (SRI), in order to direct investors towards enterprises in the light of their CSR results.

The creation of a European forum could be of benefit to all the parties involved in CSR activities. It should be a place for exchanging experiences, cooperation and identifying areas where European action is required. In the first instance, the Commission invites the forum to look at:

  • the link between CSR and the competitiveness of enterprises;
  • the contribution of CSR to sustainable development, including in third countries;
  • issues specific to SMEs;
  • the effectiveness of existing codes of conduct;
  • guidelines and common criteria for evaluating CSR activities;
  • labelling programmes;
  • the dissemination of information on Socially Responsible Investment policies.

Lastly, the Commission proposes to integrate the objectives of CSR into all European policies. In accordance with its strategy to promote sustainable development, the EU has undertaken to integrate economic, social and environmental considerations into its policies. In addition, the CSR principles are particularly relevant in the following European policies:

  • employment and social affairs policy, particularly in the fields of education, training, equal opportunities and the integration of people with disabilities, the anticipation of industrial change and the restructuring of enterprises;
  • environmental policy, through evaluating environmental results, ecotechnology, and the environmental effectiveness of products (i.e. the link between the quantity of products and their impact on the environment);
  • consumer policy, in particular with regard to raising consumer awareness of social and environmental standards;
  • public procurement policy, in order to include social and environmental criteria in public procurement procedures;
  • external trade, external relations, and development policies, including with respect to multi-national enterprises;
  • public administration policy, given that the European institutions are also committed to implementing the CSR principles.

Context

This Communication follows on from the Green Paper on CSR published in 2001.


Another Normative about Corporate social responsibility: a business contribution to sustainable development.

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic

Enterprise > Business environment

Corporate social responsibility: a business contribution to sustainable development.

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the European Commission of 2 July 2002 concerning Corporate Social Responsibility: A business contribution to Sustainable Development [COM (2002) 347 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

The Commission presents a European strategy to promote corporate social responsibility (CSR). CSR involves companies integrating social and environmental objectives in their business operations and in their interaction with the actors concerned.

The Commission emphasises that the CSR programmes contribute to the sustainable development of the European Union (EU). In addition, they have a positive impact on the management and competitiveness of enterprises, considering in particular:

  • the globalisation of trade, which means that enterprises have activities and responsibilities abroad, including in developing countries;
  • consumer awareness regarding the image and reputation of enterprises;
  • financial institutions and investors taking into account the CSR activities of enterprises in order to evaluate the success and risk factors inherent in a company;
  • the possibility of using CSR activities to develop the skills of employees.

Principles of the European strategy

The strategy to promote CSR proposed by the Commission is based on a series of principles:

  • the voluntary, transparent and credible nature of CSR activities;
  • the identification of areas where European action will add value;
  • a balance between the actions taken in the economic, social and environmental spheres and in relation to consumers’ interests;
  • attention to the specific needs of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs);
  • compatibility with existing international agreements and instruments (particularly those of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)).

Key actions of the European strategy

Firstly, the Commission encourages developing knowledge on the impact of CSR on the economic performance of enterprises. It therefore proposes to launch studies into activities to raise awareness and disseminate information.

The exchange of good practice between businesses and between Member States must also be encouraged through the networking and coordination of actors.

The skills in enterprises must be supported, in particular by using European funding to train employees. In addition, the principles of CSR must be integrated into management training programmes in enterprises.

SME’s capacity for action must be strengthened by taking into account their specific characteristics and their limited resources. The Commission therefore encourages the exchange and dissemination of good practice, SME associations, cooperation between large companies and SMEs, and awareness-raising campaigns.

The transparency of CSR practices and tools must be guaranteed. The Commission therefore encourages the adoption of:

  • codes of conduct (concerning workers’ rights, human rights, protection of the environment, etc.);
  • management standards (in order to integrate social and environmental aspects into the day-to-day activities of enterprises);
  • instruments for measuring performance (such as internal evaluation reports);
  • labels on products;
  • standards for Socially Responsible Investment (SRI), in order to direct investors towards enterprises in the light of their CSR results.

The creation of a European forum could be of benefit to all the parties involved in CSR activities. It should be a place for exchanging experiences, cooperation and identifying areas where European action is required. In the first instance, the Commission invites the forum to look at:

  • the link between CSR and the competitiveness of enterprises;
  • the contribution of CSR to sustainable development, including in third countries;
  • issues specific to SMEs;
  • the effectiveness of existing codes of conduct;
  • guidelines and common criteria for evaluating CSR activities;
  • labelling programmes;
  • the dissemination of information on Socially Responsible Investment policies.

Lastly, the Commission proposes to integrate the objectives of CSR into all European policies. In accordance with its strategy to promote sustainable development, the EU has undertaken to integrate economic, social and environmental considerations into its policies. In addition, the CSR principles are particularly relevant in the following European policies:

  • employment and social affairs policy, particularly in the fields of education, training, equal opportunities and the integration of people with disabilities, the anticipation of industrial change and the restructuring of enterprises;
  • environmental policy, through evaluating environmental results, ecotechnology, and the environmental effectiveness of products (i.e. the link between the quantity of products and their impact on the environment);
  • consumer policy, in particular with regard to raising consumer awareness of social and environmental standards;
  • public procurement policy, in order to include social and environmental criteria in public procurement procedures;
  • external trade, external relations, and development policies, including with respect to multi-national enterprises;
  • public administration policy, given that the European institutions are also committed to implementing the CSR principles.

Context

This Communication follows on from the Green Paper on CSR published in 2001.