CSR for Larger Companies
Increasingly, good CSR practices are distinguishing the best companies from those which have less concern for sustainable practices, employee relations and community engagement. Customers and prospective employees are more conscious than ever of the ethical record of companies, how they source their products and the contribution they make to the local or national community.
In this context, CSR practices that are embedded as a genuine part of a company’s values and operations can help enhance the company’s profile and competitiveness. For larger companies CSR has become a critical part of how they do business as it is a core mechanism by which they can ensure their business is sustainable. It can act as a risk management tool, and aids transparency in particular through non financial reporting. Sustainability reporting has become more and more commonplace for larger companies and the Non Financial Reporting Directive places an obligation on certain large companies to report on non financial information.
Many larger companies have dedicated CSR or Sustainability Managers and have a programme of CSR activities. For larger companies starting on their CSR journey there is advice available from business representative organisations such as Chambers Ireland and IBEC, who are members of the CSR Stakeholder Forum.
A key organisation that can help larger companies on their sustainability journey is Business in the Community Ireland (BITCI). BITCI is is a non-profit body which organises a network of companies involved in CSR activities and operates the “Business Working Responsibly” quality mark. The Mark provides comprehensive guidance for organisations on Corporate Social Responsibility. BITCI also operate a number of individual schemes in which enterprises participate to support societal needs, such as the EPIC programme and the Ready for Work programme for disadvantaged groups, and the Schools Business Partnership programme.
Larger companies with well established sustainable business practices may as a further step in the evolution of their CSR, wish to model or benchmark their CSR activities using internationally recognised CSR guidelines and principles such as: ·