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Social Responsibility Facts and Links

Social Responsibility is Growing in Popularity
Social Responsibility and International Standards
Measuring Social Responsibility
Managing Social Responsibility
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Social Responsibility is Growing in Popularity Back to TopTo Top
The terms Social Responsibility and Sustainability are closely related as they both cover economic, environmental, and social aspects. Companies that report results of their activities in these three areas use various names for their reports, such as: Corporate Responsibility Report, Social Responsibility Report, Business Sustainability Report, Sustainable Development Report, Global Citizenship Report and the like. GRI-Reports
The number of companies that produce such reports is growing exponentially. The graph below shows the growth of reports which were produced in accordance with GRI [Global Reporting Initiative] Guidelines and registered on the GRI website.
While the list of corporate responsibility assessment tools and implementation guidelines is large and diverse, there are seven areas which are common for most of the tools which are listed below.
  • Organizational Governance
  • Human Rights
  • Labor Practices
  • The Environment
  • Fair Operations
  • Consumer Issues
  • Community Involvement
Based on a survey conducted by KPMG in 2011, 95% of the 250 largest companies in the world established SR programs and report on these annually.  Large companies are leaders in corporate social responsibility. 
KPMG Corporate Responsibiltiy Reporting survey, 2011; Percentaage of companies that conduct SR activities
Companies that conduct SR activities see these activities as a driver of financial value that comes from two sources. The first source is direct cost saving through more efficient use of energy, water, and other resources. The second source of financial value is enhanced reputation of an organization that attracts more customers, investors, talented employees, and other stakeholders.
The chart below illustrates SR drivers of financial value as identified by the survey conducted by KPMG in 2011.
KPMG International Corporate Reporting survey, 2011
Social Responsibility and International Standards Back to TopTo Top
The concepts of sustainability and social responsibility also influenced the development of international standards. ISO Standards
For instance, in 2005-2010 a strategic plan of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) was named “Horizon 2010: Standards for a Sustainable World”. In a strategic plan 2010-2015 Solutions to Global Challenges, ISO declared that “ISO’s portfolio of over 18 500 standards provides business, government and society with practical tools for all three dimensions of sustainable development: economic, environmental and social.”
Here are just some examples of international standards in economic, environmental and social areas:
Measuring Social Responsibility Back to TopTo Top
A number of universal tools have been created to evaluate social responsibility and business sustainability of an organization. Here are the most popular ones:
Environment
The following aspects are covered by this core subject of SR:
  • Prevention of pollution
  • Sustainable resource use
  • Greenhouse gas emissions and energy efficiency
  Fair operations
Some countries and industries created their own assessment tools and set of guidelines. Here are some examples
The following aspects are covered by this core subject of SR:
  • Anti–corruption
  • Responsible political involvement
  • Fair competition
  • Promoting social responsibility
 
Some assessment tools and recommendations are focused on specific aspects of corporate responsibility, for example: Ecology
The following aspects are covered by this core subject of SR:
  •  Fair marketing, information and contractual practices
  • Protecting consumers’ health and safety
  • Product and service labeling
  • Consumer data protection and privacy
Managing Social Responsibility Back to TopTo Top
SR programs are based on the same key processes and principles as any other management system including the following: policy development, process definition, internal and external audits, management reviews, and continual improvements.

ISO management systems standards, especially ISO 9001 quality management systems can serve as a perfect platform for the establishment and maintenance of SR programs.

Evaluate-manage-report, EcoVadis Sustainability Rating, Global Compact Assessment, The Jantzi social index
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More Social Responsiblity facts and practical case studies in our Social Responsibility and ISO 26000:2010 training course.
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