Agreeing on a solid foundation
CSR programmes come in all shapes and sizes. How a business' CSR programme looks will be largely shaped by it business does and the industry that it belongs to. Given this, it can often be hard to define what a CSR programme actually involves. At Step Changers, we broadly define a CSR programme as:
“a tangible business initiative that ultimately ensures that a business fulfils its responsibilities to its stakeholders. This initiative is driven and actioned from within the organisation, and is carried out with the expectation that the business's shareholders. It comprises of both internal business practices and external community and community partnerships.”
Internal business practices
Breaking that down a bit further; internal practices may involve things such as looking at ways a business can limit its consumption of goods or ensuring that its procurement process prioritises ethical producers, along with the business, in its capacity as the employer, fulfilling its minimum duties to provide a safe workplace.
transparent supply chains.
Accessibility and inclusion
External community partnerships
External community and charitable partnerships are probably the most well recognised part of CSR programmes, as it will likely involve a substance philanthropic aspect. These sorts of partnerships essentially involve a business forming partnerships with community and/or charitable organisations that enable the business to offer time or resources to that organisation. Examples may include things such as a tree planting day, financial donations to allowing employees the opportunity to volunteer with that particular organisation.
Broadly, when we consider this definition, we think businesses should be looking at the following areas when building their CSR programmes…