Corporate Social Responsibility
The CSR concept has two combined characteristics:
It is relatively new and constantly evolving.
To be able to understand and follow the dynamics of CSR, and Greece to be at the forefront of developments in this area, we must do a review of the CSR concept and its evolution through the various definitions which have been given at times.
Especially, CSR has been defined as:
– ” a form of corporate self-commitment built-in a business model” (Wood, 1991).
– ” constant commitment of businesses to contribute to the economic development while improving the quality of workers and their families lives as well as of their communities and society at large” (World Business Council for Sustainable Development, 1998) .
– ” the voluntary commitment, in a responsible manner, of companies to their business management ” (International Chamber of Commerce, 2002).
– “ the concept whereby companies on a voluntary basis integrate social and environmental concerns in their business operations and transactions with their stakeholders ” (European Commission, 2001) .
– ” the corporate responsibility for the impact they have on society ” (European Commission, 2011).
Through the above definitions one identifies the key features of the concept of CSR:
– It is self-commitment,
– it is constant,
– it refers to social , environmental and finally economic issues,
– it address both to internal and external environment of the enterprise,
– it is part of a strategic business model and
– aims to sustainable growth at optimum long term cost.
The definition of CSR adopted under this current National Strategy takes into account the international definition and the specific characteristics of Greek entrepreneurship. The main aspects of the CSR concept in Greece are the following:
– CSR is a voluntary self-commitment of companies and organizations and aims to responsible operation and management of their activities.
– As voluntary self-commitment, CSR preassumes taking initiatives and activities, in addition to the minimum compliance with the relevant legislation.
– Based on the above characteristics, the concept of CSR is an integrated set of policies and actions adopted by each company, defining its relationship with society and neither limited to social / environmental labeling products and services nor in a progress review (reporting) of actions and initiatives.
In summary, the CSR concept includes the responsibility of each company or organization towards people, society and the environment in a way that affects the application of any entrepreneurial activity.
CSR is a dynamic concept whose principles and values are constantly evolving and follow the concerns and challenges that society is facing. Today, these challenges require immediate solution, but also forward-looking perspective. This future perspective closely links the concepts of CSR and Sustainability in a set that integrates the assurance of sustainability in the present, while caring for the welfare of future generations and it is the basis of our vision.
CSR applies to all those affected by the businesses of enterprises and organizations. These may include:
– Customers / Consumers
– Citizens / Society.