Corporate social responsibility (CSR) goes beyond being a mere responsibility; it entails understanding the importance of supporting causes for the betterment of society and future generations. The concept of CSR encompasses various meanings, as the motivations behind engaging in it can differ from individual, social, and corporate perspectives. However, there is a universal definition that underlies CSR.
What is Corporate Social Responsibility?
According to the BDC Corporate Social Responsibility is an idea that a corporate organization should play a positive role in the community and consider the environmental and social impact of business decisions. In doing so, they allocate a certain percentage of their revenue to supporting causes that might align with their mission and vision.
In 2019, a group of my friends (Daniel Nkurunziza, Shanthan Reddy, Ashley Birungi, and Achol Mach) and I run a social project with a school. Our motivation was not solely driven by a sense of responsibility, but rather by our recognition of a pressing social issue and the desire to support it using our available resources and personal commitment. Over the past four years, our organization, known as The Young Eye Foundation, has experienced remarkable growth and has been dedicated to improving the lives of children in Uganda, with a specific focus on marginalized youth and early childhood development.
Work done in CSR
As I reflect upon the work we have accomplished and the impact it has had on the individuals around us, my attention shifts towards sustainability. The Young Eye Foundation initially originated as a school project within the International Baccalaureate (IB) program, fulfilling a requirement. However, witnessing the profound transformation in the lives of the children and teachers involved allowed me to develop a deeper appreciation for our work, elevating its significance beyond mere responsibility.
I recommend reading my blog on why you should do the IB program? It explores why it is a program creating noble citizens for the future.
The transition from looking at corporate social responsibility as just a responsibility allows you to appreciate the work you do in a way that takes into account the fact that you are not supporting a certain cause because I can or feel responsible to do so.
Furthermore, CSR initiatives also yield financial benefits for organizations. While the primary objective of CSR is to create positive social impact, it is not uncommon for organizations to realize tangible business benefits as well. For instance, by investing in sustainable practices, companies can reduce costs associated with energy consumption and waste management. Engaging in CSR can enhance a company’s reputation, attracting investors and fostering stronger relationships with stakeholders.
In my opinion, this perspective is open to debate. As the opening line suggests, the definition and motivations behind engaging in CSR are subjective and depend on the individual’s intentions and what they seek to gain, whether it be personal fulfillment, emotional gratification, mental satisfaction, or even financial rewards.