Corporate Social Responsibility

by Tom Okurut and Mike Bryson
(April 2011)

Corporate social responsibility is about how companies manage their business processes to produce an overall positive impact on society. Many corporations have gotten involved in CSR efforts such as environmental stewardship, donation to charities like the Global Aids Fund to help suffering communities, and other activities. These initiatives produce positive impacts on members of society who are disadvantaged. Such help fosters sustainability in the sense that people who benefit from these programs can become productive for themselves and for the communities in which they live.

Global warming is today’s watchword, as carbon dioxide levels rise and the protective upper ozone layer degrades from the greenhouse gasses being emitted everyday into the atmosphere. Because of land degradation, the environment has become a victim — and as a result of poor land ethics, the negative impacts have bounced back to us as we witness many floods and severe storms occur worldwide. Resource-intensive agricultural practices have also resulted in famine in many parts of the world because land is not properly used and conserved. CSR is only one of many public and private efforts that must be undertaken to address these immense challenges posed by climate change and other environmental problems. But it is one practical way that businesses can engage in more ethical and environmentally-sound practices as a way of helping meet some of these challenges.

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Banner photo credit: The Schaumburg IKEA, as viewed from Roosevelt University’s Campus (M. Bryson)