CSR: Why You Should Do It

Saturday, March 3, 2007 4:22
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Following last week’s post Why I Do It, comes the second installment… why you should do it.  Of course, it is up to each individual to find the motivation, to get started, and to make a difference, and so I also recognize there are a hundred reasons why people do not.

As with many thing in life, it is all about timing:

  • for some who saw Al Gore’s An Inconvenient truth, the felt it was time
  • For some who saw someone sleeping on a sidewalk, they felt it was time
  • For a buyer who witnessed the poor environment of factory workers, they felt it was time
  • for a government official who was concerned about graft in the health care system, they thought it was time.

In America, saying you are involved in CSR often is taken as one volunteers their time for a cause (volunteers at a soup kitchen, cleans a beach, etc.), but CSR is much more than that, and it is much more than volunteering.

As shown in the post found here, there are four areas of CSR that the American chamber of Commerce in Shanghai classifies as areas of concern within their CSR committee: environment, EH&S, corporate governance, and corporate outreach.

CSR is putting in place corporate policies to promote sustainable growth, it is about minimizing one’s “carbon footprint”, it is about providing safe working conditions for workers, and it is about reaching out to the local community and giving back.  It can be on a corporate level, or it can be on an individual level.

When I say “I do it because I can and I should”, that is because I know that I have the power to make decisions within those four areas, and it is my responsibility to myself and others to make those decisions.

So why should you do it?

Because you can and you should.

  • If you are in compliance, you can enforce codes of conduct.. and you should
  • If you have a lot of free time on your hands, you can be a big brother or big sister to a kid in need… and you should
  • If you have a child, you can discuss with them about how to reduce their “carbon footprint”… and you should
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