What a question to ponder,especially if you are not really sure what it is.

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is receiving more attention than ever.  For many of us we may not know exactly what it really means; but we are seeing and living it daily.  As I sit at my desk, I do not have to look far. Through recycled material in a new dress I bought, sending more emails and documents – instead of printing them, motionsensor water faucets and lights.  To an afterschool program sponsored by a hospital that I have read about in my local news this morning.  These are just a few examples. This is CSR.  Near and far, this is an impact that is changing you, me and the world in a way of thinking and acting.

- CSR -the Game Changer

This title could not be more fitting.  Every game has it rules and way of playing. We have been playing by the same rules with some games (Monopoly, poker, basketball) for years and we know the rules by heart. Same game, same rules, like a routine.   BUT THEN, a new card is dealt or a new addition or rule has been made – and we are thrown off. We wake up and pay attention. That is what CSR has done.  Businessses, NGOs and others have gone along with the same way of business and life and then CSR has been thrown in.  Companies are having to rethink their business strategy.  We, as stakeholders,  have to rethink our strategy as well. We are the game changers.

To understand this game changer, CSR, let us take a moment and look into what it is.

What is CSR?

There are many definitions that are taken into use for Corporate Social Responsibility. As defined by the United Nations, CSR is a self-regulating business model that helps a company be socially accountable – to itself, it’s stakeholders, and the public.  By practicing CSR, also called corporate citizenship, companies can be conscious of the kind of impact they are having on all aspects of society.  A model to support social initiatives, environmental sustainability and support economic endevours.

The development has been going on for over 100 years.  From the push of responsible organizations in the 1800’s, corporate social stewardship in the 1940s-1950’s, social responsiveness in the 1960’s-1970’s and to the present day global citizenship.  This has all formed and pushed for change in corporate and governmental responsibility.  This has shaped the movement for stakeholder partnership, sustainability, social entrepreneurship and the business style in an era of climate change.   It has also led to programs and laws set in place to provide support, guidance and regulations to make a change for now and the future.  Yes, there are challenges to CSR.  No, it cannot be put in place overnight.  Will it solve all problems?  No,but it is making a difference.

Between 1991-2000, the number of times sustainability was mentioned in publications was around 3,304.Between 2011-2020, the number increased to 80,148.

Your Challenge

As mentioned earlier, CSR is a game changer.  It challenges us to rethink and redo our plan. Webster dictionary has several definitions of challenge.  To confront, to invite into competition, to arouse or stimulate especially by being presented with difficulties. CSR is challenging companies to make a change.  A change that will affect people, prosperity, peace, partnership and the planet.

That is what CSR is doing and I am wanting you to do the same.

I challenge you to learn more about CSR.

I challenge you to find out what your company, NGO, or organization is doing to be responsible.

I challenge you to also look at yourself in what you are doing and what you could do. As you sit and read this blog, take a moment and look around and see where CSR is taking place and where it could take place.

My Challenge

My challenge is to continue to educate and inspire my students to become more aware and active.   The research I do through NextGen, allows me to expand and explore my knowledge and commitment into CSR.

We are the game changers.  We are the ones who can make a difference.  Take the time and learn more about what is happening in the world of CSR.  Then challenge another.

Coming Soon

To help you meet this challenge, I will periodically provide additional Blog articles in the area of CSR (research, what is new in the field, and CSR in our local area).

For more information on CSR check out the UN website.