Planting Corporate Seeds For Social Good: Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) And Social Work
What is CSR?
A company’s way of managing business processes to produce a positive impact on society and to give back to the people and communities that support it.
CSR is also known as:
Sustainable Responsible Business
A progress report, published by auditing firm KPMG and The Economist in 2011, finds that nearly 50 percent of executives surveyed believe that sustainability programs will contribute to their bottom lines.
Example: Starbucks and the Ethos Water Fund
Every time Starbucks customers purchase a bottle of Ethos Water, a 5-cent contribution is made to the Ethos Water Fund, which supports water, sanitation and hygiene education programs in water-stressed countries.
CSR expands a corporation’s accountability to include not just shareholders, but stakeholders.
Stakeholders can include:
CSR can include efforts related to:
Social Workers In Business Environments
Social Workers have unique opportunities in business settings:
Assisting individual workers with issues of stress, mental health, addiction and caregiving roles at home.
Implementing wellness and stress management programs.
Advocating on behalf of employees within the corporation regarding personal issues, trauma, work-life balance or concerns like downsizing layoffs.
Developing philanthropic, community development and volunteer programs for corporations to engage their community.
Implementing diversity programs at the workplace.
Social Workers Duties In Traditional Settings
Identify those who need help
Develop programs to improve clients’ wellbeing
Advocate for clients
Assist clients in connecting with resources
Follow up with clients to gauge improvement
Social Workers Duties In Business Settings
Target efforts at those who would most benefit (e.g. identifying water-stressed communities for the Ethos Water Fund)
Create strategies to engage communities, work with nonprofits to support important causes or support employee well-being
Advocate for employees of corporation
Connect employees to better resources
Measure success of corporate campaigns (e.g. number of people helped)
Issues Frequently Addressed By Both Social Workers And CSR Efforts
Physical and mental health care and addiction support
Child abuse and neglect
CSR In Action
Programs Started By Corporations
Target’s Bullseye Gives program
$3 million in donations
Used voting via Facebook to allocate funds to 10 non-profits, including Feeding America, the Salvation Army and the Parent Teacher Association
Spread awareness through social media
Pepsi’s Refresh project
$20 million in grants
Crowdsourced projects related to health, the environment, education and more
Allowed consumers to vote on which received funding
Friends of Toms
Non-profit subsidiary of TOMS, the retail shoe, clothing and eyewear company
Donates one pair of shoes for each pair sold
Donates partial profits from eyewear sales to save or restore the vision of people in developing countries
Nonprofit Organizations Sponsored By Corporations
Habitat For Humanity
Dedicated to building and repairing homes for those who lack adequate shelter
Key Corporate Partners:
Bank of America
The Dow Chemical Company
Thrivent Financial for Lutherans
The Home Depot Foundation
No Kid Hungry
Dedicated to connecting children with nutritious food and educating families on healthy cooking