“Again, the greatest use of a human was to be useful. Not to consume, not to watch, but to do something for someone else that improved their life, even for a few minutes.”
These words by Dave Eggers evoke excitement as we acknowledge how CSR has come a long way. From responsive projects to sustainable initiatives, corporate entities have unquestionably displayed their capacity to make a vital difference to the society and enhance the overall quality of life. Productive partnerships among foundations, industry leaders, NGOs and the government are likely to put India’s social improvement on the fast track.
The last decade of the twentieth century witnessed a transformation in focus, from charity and traditional humanitarianism to direct engagement of industry in mainstream progression, and a concern for disadvantaged groups in society.
In India, there is an increasing realization that businesses cannot thrive in solitude, and that social growth is essential for an increase in sustainability. An ideal CSR system has both moral and profound dimensions—especially in India, where there exists a wide gap between segments of people in terms of benefits and standards, as well socio-economic status.
So what’s been happening in the face of CSR in 2016? Read on to explore some of the most prominent trends that have emerged this year.
Mandatory CSR Reporting
CSR-related reporting details have always been required. However, countries such as India and China have made CSR recording compulsory. There are now compulsory annual CSR reports where companies are required to donate 2% of their income to CSR activities. When asked to contribute a quantum of capital as huge as 2 percent of their annual profits, companies make it top priority to ensure they create an impact that can be seen and talked about.
In 2016, CSR was reported in roughly 6,000 companies. Many companies already are involved in sustainability reporting.
United We Stand
With CSR reports for the first year now out, and with discussion and buzz being formed around the strategies, methods, and capabilities of various companies, there seems to be a strong alliance among the companies with each other’s perception and priorities.
They see the power that’s in collaborative endeavours and wish to leverage it to create a combined and sustained impact.
An increased number of companies are understanding that collaborations with local and city agencies initiate bigger influence on community issues.
This change is taking place in small and large businesses alike. Picture this: a local coffee store not only ensures proper working conditions and privileges for resident employees, but also the ability to source supplies from farms and factories that follow sustainability and responsibility.
With answerability becoming more of a driving force behind consumer action, many businesses are going past internal corporate agreement and are expanding their responsibility prospects to third-party vendors. Or, it might take the appearance of mega multinationals making a public pledge to implement a zero-deforestation policy throughout their supply chains. This break of accountability has the potential to strike a huge role in resolving some of the society’s most grave issues.
What was observed earlier as a notable trend in the services division, has now begun to expand to the manufacturing division as well. Companies are placing a bigger emphasis on employee opinion to plan the issues they address and the associates that they choose.
Companies grant their employees permission to “champion” an NGO they are enthusiastic about to compete for funding.
This approach is aligned with research such as Deloitte’s Millennial Poll 2015, which indicates that millennials decide employment possibilities based on a feeling of purpose and believe that corporate directors should place a high priority on contributing to local identities and wider society. With an expanding proportion of millennials across divisions, employee-influenced tactics within CSR is likely to grow.
Green Is The New Deal
This year has presented an opportunity for organizations to join efforts around inter-governmental ambitions.
In December 2015, the annual Conference COP21, AKA the Paris Climate Conference, aimed to build on 20 years of UN discussions with the goal of reaching a legally obligatory and universal agreement on climate, with the intention of keeping global warming under 2°C. More than just entering their CO₂ emission reduction aims, companies will need to adopt carbon reduction as an operating strategy.
We’ve seen more transparent broadcasting on the climate consequence of growing, processing, manufacturing, and using products. Companies are looking strictly at their own methods and their supply-chain comrades, and continue to try and close the loop on post-consumer waste.
So as you step into another year, think higher, move quicker, and associate with as many organizations as possible; the world depends on you.
Our Point Of View
At Vardaan, our motto – ‘Right Actions for Right Reasons’ is in line with our work. Over the last few years, we have been promoting education, literacy, livelihood, healthcare, skill development and nutrition in challenged areas Vardaan believes there is always a better way of doing Good. The goodness bar can be raised many notches.