Corporate Social Responsibility: What Is It, Why Pay Attention to It, and How to Figure Out How an Organization Ranks

What is corporate social responsibility?

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is when private organizations contribute to making their communities, environment, and economy better by doing the right thing. Business News Daily writes, that there are four types of CSR:

  • Environmental initiatives: reducing the carbon footprint
  • Philanthropic efforts: donating to nonprofits
  • Ethical labor practices: fair treatment of employees
  • Volunteering: participating in the community for the social good

Why pay attention to it?

Consumers pay attention! Founder of Erica Mattison Coaching & Consulting LLC and former BU Director of Strategic Communication, University Sustainability stated, “Historically, it was commonplace for businesses to only pay attention to the bottom line. Over the course of decades, as awareness about environmental responsibility and the climate crisis increased, more and more businesses started realizing that profit wasn’t the only measure that mattered. Increasingly, it’s common for companies to pay attention to their environmental and social practices, and track and report on them. These practices can enable them to comply with laws and industry standards, serve their customers, attract and retain talent, develop a competitive edge, and be better neighbors and global citizens.” Movements toward equality and social justice such as the responses to the killing of George Floyd and Roe vs. Wade are topics that impact businesses in how they will respond to these issues.

How to determine where organizations rank?

You can determine how organizations rank in CSR by researching reputable sources such as Newsweek. Since 2020 Newsweek has been ranking companies for corporate social responsibility. Here are a few that made the top of the list in 2022:

  • HP
  • Illumina
  • Applied Materials
  • Whirlpool Corporation
  • Jacoba

You can also reach out to your social network on BU Connects and LinkedIn to find out from alums what their organizations do with respect to CSR.

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