Steps to Effective Corporate Social Responsibility

Steps to Effective Corporate Social Responsibility

January 9, 2013 by Akira Hirai


Define your messaging. Don’t strike blindly at different goals, such as preserving rainforests one quarter and then investing in a community project the next. Come up with causes that resonate with your business culture, research the kind of support they need, then pick one and stick with it. One is enough for a small business – and don’t feel pressured to donate more funding or assistance than you can afford.


Involve your customers. If you haven’t picked a cause yet, come up with a list of alternatives and ask your web site visitors and Facebook fans to vote on which one they would like to see you support. Or actively seek their assistance, such as bringing old but usable technology into your store so that you can donate them to students in underfunded schools. Make sure you offer a potential reward, such as holding a raffle for all participants.


Create a scorecard. Make sure it features achievable and measureable goals and keep it visible on your site, tracking your progress. Be honest about any setbacks – you want the tone to be authentic, not promotional.


Use social media. Don’t just tell your customers what you’re doing; solicit their ideas, experiences and concerns to get them invested in your projects. Make sure you use multiple digital platforms – such as blogs, Facebook, Twitter, and a YouTube channel – to reach people with different media preferences.


Partner with a third party. Forming an alliance with a non-profit will not only lend credibility to your efforts, but let you benefit from the non-profit’s greater experience in fundraising and philanthropy. The alliance will also offer an opportunity to blend customers and networks.


Seek publicity. If you’ve never sought media coverage for your business before, this might be the time to start. Send out a press release about any contests, events or fundraising drives – and reach out to media outlets that present on green topics as they’ll be apt to give you positive coverage


Repurpose your CSR reports. Using charts, stories, and photos in your annual reports and newsletters will appeal to stakeholders and shareholders alike.

Benefits of having CSR in the Company

 1. Risk mitigation: core business functions are supported or protected – in this case the construction of the PVDC mine and its future gold production.

2. Local community development: the communities will be left better off as a result of the business operations. This is listed as a benefit to business because I felt there was sufficient evidence that this is a genuine high-level objective of corporate leadership.

3. Enhanced corporate reputation: the reputation of the company as a good corporate citizen will be strengthened. This is critical since future contracts, financing, and the ability to operate without resistance are at least partially dependent on their local and international reputation.


Corporate Social Responsibility in Four Easy Steps

Corporate Responsibility Framework

The Framework hinges on the following elements, which also serve as criteria in assessing the company’s CSR programs and processes.


The PBSP points out that business leaders “play a central role in championing corporate citizenship in behaving in ways that are consistent with the company’s principles, values, and purposes, and are responsive to the expectations of its various stakeholders. “They must be able to convince their internal publics –owners, shareholders, and employees– that the company’s viability “goes hand in hand with the social and environmental benefits it owes to the communities where it operates.


Written policy statements are necessary to define the company’s behavior and guide the internal stakeholders’ decision-making process for the practice of CSR.


CSR programs must be well defined and based on the shareholder expectations and business needs. A match between community needs and the company’s corporate social agenda ensures effective collaboration and program sustainability. Internal CSR means taking care of employees and making sure that their processes does not pollute the environment.


Once CSR becomes an integral part of business operations, appropriate management systems and procedures should be put in place to equip an organization with the infrastructure that enables people to carry out the company’s CSR agenda. Enabling technologies include an organizational structure, unit, or personnel explicitly charged to develop and coordinate the CSR function such as communicating the  company’s CSR agenda among employees and the public.


With the growing popularity of CSR, NGOs, communities, and investors alike demand that they be informed on what the companies are doing and to support their claims of success with clear and verifiable measures. Thus the company must adopt a measurement and reporting mechanism.

SOURCE: Corporate Citizenship: How companies can do good while doing well. Business World Special Feature. 14 February 2005

Milestones in CSR

CSR Timeline of the Philippines
Date and Milestone

  • 1970 Philippines Business for Social Progress started.
  • 1991 Philippines Business for Social Progress established the Center for Corporate Citizenship
  • 1992 Philippine Business for the Environment established.
  • 1996 League of Corporate Foundations, Inc. founded.
  • 2001 Philippines Central Bank issued two circulars imposing minimum requirements for the qualifications of bank directors, and outlining the duties and responsibilities of the board.
  • 2007 Asian Institute of Management Ramon V. del Rosario Sr. Center for Corporate Social Responsibility conducted a survey346 entitled “State of Corporate Citizenship in the Philippines.”
  • 2007 League of Corporate Foundations established the Corporate Social Responsibility Institute.
  • 2009 Study of Corporate Governance Trends in the 100 Largest Publicly Listed
  • Companies in the Philippines released.

SM Investments Corporation on their Health Advocacy

In the Philippines, SM Investments Corporation as part of its health advocacy portfolio under its CSR programme provides mobile medical and dental services to low-income, marginalized, and remote communities. The Foundation goes to such areas fully equipped with its two mobile clinics, a complement of volunteer doctors, dentists, nurses, and aides to perform laboratory and diagnostic procedures. Aside from the free medical and dental check-up, diagnosis, and treatment, patient-beneficiaries are also given prescription medicines donated by SM Foundation’s supporters. To ensure a wider reach, the foundation partners with government and NGOs.


BPI and the Overseas Filipino Community

The Bank of the Philippines Islands (BPI) targets the overseas Filipino community and bundles remittance services with products that are relevant for their needs, such as financial education and micro-entrepreneurship programmes. The focus on consumer education has been very successful with BPI named the Top Commercial Bank for Overseas Filipino Remittances for three consecutive years.