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The term CSR is an abbreviation of the words corporate social responsibility. In short the term covers the idea that companies have social responsibilities. CSR-initiatives are activities aimed at creating value for society in general as well as company stakeholders. These initiatives may include the efforts that companies undertake in relation to employees’ working conditions, social conditions, economic challenges in society, the climate or the environment.
Since 2009 all the largest Danish companies have been legally obliged to present statements on their CSR-activities in their annual reports. The legal requirements only apply to the largest Danish companies belonging to accounting classes C and D. Small companies, in other words, are not legally obliged to present statements regarding their CSR in their annual reports.
Only the largest Danish companies are legally obliged to present statements on their work in connection with CSR in their annual reports. This does not mean that small companies should not work with CSR at all. In spite of small companies not being legally obliged to take social responsibilities they still choose to do so.
Many Danish companies do not consider working with CSR a special branch of their business. Instead they incorporate these activities in a way that complements their day-to-day activities, business strategies and core competencies. In this way value is added to the stakeholders of the company, and at the same time the revenue and the competitive position are improved.
It is possible to work with CSR in a variety of ways. For example a company may choose to support one or more initiatives that are in line with its other CSR-activities. If you want a green profile, choosing to work with CSR may also be beneficial to you and your company. More specifically you could support a number of different climate projects in pursuit of a green profile. Many charity organisations have established a number of partnerships. By giving an annual fee, you can become a partner yourself. E.g. you can choose to support Save the Children, Red Cross or UNICEF.
As depicted above there is a load of possibilities, if you want to support charity. All these organisations have one thing in common: As a partner, you receive a lot of material that you can use as part of your own marketing and branding activities.
Are you in pursuit of a green company profile? Feel free to contact the Danish Company Vitapus. Specialising in CO2-neutral activities, Vitapus can help you transform projects that emit a lot of CO2 into CO2 neutral projects. Their key to reduce CO2 emission is to participate in wide a range of climate projects with the aim of reducing CO2. A common denominator of the project in question is that they all have been verified by a Gold Standard, originally founded by the WWF. Let us imagine that you want to make your transport or your use of energy CO2 neutral. In these cases, Vitapus can help you. As a participant supporting the climate projects that Vitapus are supporting, you will receive some branding and marketing materials that you can use in connection with your own CSR-activities.
Before making the choice of making your activities CO2 neutral, you can make an attempt at reducing the environmental impact of your company by introducing environmental management in your day-day activities. How to work with this in the best way possible is a question of your other activities and your CSR-strategy in general.
When a company decides to work with CSR there is a number of possible ways to do so. Corporate Social Responsibility is a concept well suited for all sizes and types of companies. In other words, there is no golden rules when it comes to working with CSR.
If you want to focus your CSR on social conditions of a specific group of people, you may choose to follow a company policy stating that you and your company only conduct business with companies that comply with a variety of ethical principles.
Hiring people with special needs is also a form of CSR.
Have you ever kept strict accounts of how many cups of coffee and tea your employees drink, and do you know where the beans and tea leaves were harvested? These questions are important to ask, because not all farmers enjoy high standards of living. By choosing to buy Fair Trade coffee and tea you and your company contribute to raising the living standards of numerous farmers around the world.
Focusing on your own employees is also a form of CSR. For example you can improve their working environment by taking steps to reduce the amount of working related accidents and illnesses.
Terms of employment might also be improved by introducing different kind of benefits such as flextime or regular staff events.