Thursday, April 18, 2024

Putting Corporate Social Responsibility at the Heart of Business

Teenage environmentalist Greta Thunberg has donated her recent one-million-euro prize for winning the inaugural Gulbenkian Prize for Humanity to various environmental groups. The well-known campaigner is staying true to her aims and doing everything she can to help the cause she believes in. 

But, while it might seem like the most natural thing in the world for Thunberg to donate such a considerable sum to the cause she has become so well-known for, it’s not always so easy for businesses to make the right choices in their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) choices.

Help is at hand for CSR policy development

The idea of a social conscience comes across as relatively new in the world of business. Still, it’s been around for longer than you might think. Some few firms took a stance on social responsibility in the 1970s. Then, from the 1990s more firms began to feel the pull of giving back, until the present day where awards are given for well developed and executed CSR policies and global forums discuss how big business can do more.

While Euromoney’s annual awards now commend financial institutions who have worthy CSR’s, Forbes runs philanthropy in business summit every year. Although the 2020 event took place online due to Covid-19 restrictions, it remained a hotbed of ideas on how firms could move ahead with their social responsibilities, including different communities who would benefit from some targeted support.

Аccording to IBTimes, international business investor and Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the Finstar Financial Group, Oleg Boyko, was among the 200 invited philanthropist attendees of the recent Forbes 400 summit.

Oleg Boyko is well-known for his shrewd investment decisions and also, for his philanthropic tendencies. The investor founded the Parasport Foundation in 2006 and through it, provides financial assistance for the physical rehabilitation, social adaptation and equal opportunities for para-athletes and non-athletes suffering from physical and sensory impairments.

Businessman Boyko’s passion for CSR through his foundation has not faded. In 2020, 14 years after beginning the foundation, he helped provide much-needed support for over 2,000 para-athletes, representing 28 different sports, during the Covid-19 pandemic. Though the Parasport Foundation, Boyko provided medical-grade masks and gloves along with other forms of targeted assistance for those in need across 35 regions of Russia.

“The idea of giving back to communities in need has always appealed to me and as soon as I was in a position to do that I founded the Parasport Foundation and have continued supporting it for over a decade,” Oleg Boyko said. “I am pleased to see more and more companies and business leaders are also taking steps into developing real CSR programs which will bring many benefits to communities around the world.”

Growing appetite for CSR among big businesses

Since 2006, there have been a lot of businesses around the world who have understood the need to give back and acted upon it. In 2015, BNP Paribas rebooted its CSR policy and embedded the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals across its business. That’s something that was recognized in the 2020 Euromoney awards for excellence.

Meanwhile, tech giant Apple has a wide-ranging approach to CSR. It has been supporting education initiatives for almost 20 years while also regularly upgrading its environmental targets including recently working towards becoming a carbon-neutral business by 2023 – and also helping and encouraging its entire supply chain to do the same.

For businesses who often think about developing their CSR policies but don’t feel as though they can do enough to help just yet, stop putting it off. There are so many communities who need help and support and a plethora of ways to give it to them. Seize the day and take that first step. The communities you choose to help will benefit, as will your business.  

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