A4.3.1 Corporate Social Responsibility


The European Commission has previously defined Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) as “a concept whereby companies integrate social and environmental concerns in their business operations and in their interaction with their stakeholders on a voluntary basis”.

Corporate social responsibility concerns actions by companies over and above their legal obligations towards society and the environment. At a fundamental level, CSR involves going beyond looking solely at how to make the most money, to include a wider commitment to building a better society.

This can either be through their actual business practices, or through “extracurricular” activities such as charitable donations, or staff volunteering projects.

CSR is generally considered to cover:

  • Human rights.
  • Labour and employment practices:
    • Training.
    • Diversity.
    • Gender equality.
    • Employee health and well-being.
    • Environmental issues:
      • Biodiversity
      • Climate change
      • Resource efficiency.
      • Life-cycle assessment.
      • Pollution prevention.
      • Combating bribery and corruption.