BHAGWATH BIRADAR 11M089 CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITYWith businesses focusing on generating profits, sustainability was not a popular concernamong companies up until recently. Now, in an era of globalization, multinationalcorporations and local businesses are no longer able to conduct destructive andunethical practices, such as polluting the environment, without attracting negativefeedback from the general public. With increased media attention, pressure from non-governmental organizations, and rapid global information sharing, there is a surgingdemand from civil society, consumers, governments, and others for corporations toconduct sustainable business practices. In addition, in order to attract and retainemployees and customers, companies are beginning to realize the importance of beingethical while running their daily operations. The corporate response has often meant anadoption of a new consciousness, and this has been known as Corporate SocialResponsibility (CSR).As stated by the department of Trade and Industry in the United Kingdom, CSRrepresents "the integrity with which a company governs itself, fulfills its mission, lives byits values, engages with its stakeholders, measures its impact and reports on itsactivities". Although most people appreciate the recent advancement of CSR, someargue that corporations are still not doing enough or are only acting in self interest.These people say that multinational corporations are acting ethically in areas that arehighly regulated, such as North America, but at the same time, they are acting in anopposite manner in other parts of the world (such as using cheap or child labour). Inaddition, while corporations must have good CSR policies in order to maintain theirreputation, they are also expected to maximize profits for stakeholders such asshareholders, employees, and customers.Therefore, people argue that businesses do not put in a sufficient amount of resourcesto achieve what they have promised in their CSR policies.
In any case, companies are now expected to perform well in non-financial areas suchas human rights, business ethics, environmental policies, corporate contributions,community development, corporate governance, and workplace issues. Some examplesof CSR are safe working conditions for employees, environmental stewardship, andcontributions to community groups and charities. The problem is that many companiesthat claim to be socially responsibleoften do not live up to such a standard. Because CSR is becoming more commonplaceamong corporations, there are concerns that some companies promote an image ofCSR whether or not they have a true strategy in place and the results to show for.Accountability and transparency are key to conducting business in a responsiblemanner.The 2010 CSR Index shows the following companies in the top 25 positions: 1. Johnson & Johnson 2. The Walt Disney Company 3. Kraft Foods Inc. 4. Microsoft 5. PepsiCo 6. Apple 7. Hershey Company 8. SC Johnson 9. Kellogg 10. Google 11. Caterpillar 12. Intel 13. Publix Super Markets Inc. 14. JC Penney 15. Green Mountain Coffee Roasters 16. Campbell Soup Company 17. Marriott International 18. Anheuser-Busch InBev 19. UPS 20. Adobe
21. AmerisourceBergen 22. General Mills 23. Clorox 24. Eastman Kodak 25. Fidelity InvestmentsCompanies with the largest year-over-year gains in the Index’s top 50 companiesincluded Johnson & Johnson, Apple, Caterpillar, Intel, Adobe, Dell, AMD, Unilever,Goodyear, Dunkin’ Brands, Texas Instruments and Starbucks.“Looking at the rankings by industry sectors, it appears the public has positive attitudesabout companies that provide them with creature comforts,” with the beverage,consumer products and food manufacturing industries topping the rankings, the Indexreport said. Companies that fell most in the Index ratings “were in industries plaguedwith larger reputation challenges” such as automotive and financial services, accordingto the report.The report said that many of the companies in the leading industry sectors “are alsosuccessful communicators of their CSR efforts and link those efforts with their brand.Communicating about corporate citizenship efforts becomes even more important in anage of skepticism when only two in 10 consumers trust what companies say in theiradvertising.”