According to Wikipedia, corporate social responsibility (CSR, also called corporate conscience, corporate citizenship, social performance, or sustainable responsible business/ Responsible Business) is a form of corporate self-regulation integrated into a business model. Therefore, CSR cannot be a single charity action, but a process with the aim to embrace responsibility for the company's actions and encourage a positive impact through its activities on the environment, consumers, employees, communities, stakeholders and all other members of the public sphere. In simple words, this is not a process going in parallel with the company’s business. But this is a way of doing business itself.
Generally CSR may have few levels:
1.Basic level of CSR may surprise some people by its simplicity. It consists of following responsibilities:
2.Second level of CSR covers not only adequate level of work for employees, but also high level of their living standards: investments in employees’ professional development, social package, language courses etc. This level of CSR is commonly named as “corporate responsibility”
3.Third level is the highest one, and it includes charity actions, environmental protection, sponsorship of events etc. This level is all about caring of actions influencing not only company, but also society.
Why does the company need CSR at all?
According to the Net Impact study, 53% of employees said that in order to be happy they need work where they "can do something important." The same opinion was expressed by 72% of students about their desired job.
A survey conducted by Millennial Cause group has revealed that 80% of 1800 respondents aged 13-25 years want to work in a company which cares about its impact on society. More than a half said that they would refuse to work in an irresponsible corporation. Corporate social responsibility is important not only for attraction of new employees, but also to raise the engagement of the current ones. According to the general statistics, socially engaged employees are happier and therefore more effective than non-engaged ones. IBM company has started a program for company's employees to live and work in one of the countries with emerging markets: Brazil, Ghana, India, Malaysia, etc., where employees use their skills in project management, strategic planning and marketing for local business development. Thus, IBM promotes formation of global thinking, global leadership position for their employees.
Softengi’s CSR has started few years ago from a simple environmental protection action, namely collection of waste paper in the office. At certain point the company understood that it cannot be a PR action, but a way of doing responsible business. In the end the company has developed a simple, but effective CSR structure of the highest level, including engagement in the development of IT field in Ukraine, development of ecological solutions and investments in startups. Because if people care, then how can a corporation be careless?