CSR / Corporate Social Responsibility
"We need business to give practical meaning and reach to the values and principles that connect cultures and people everywhere", Ban Ki-Moon, UN Secretary General.
According to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) any organization, whether public or private, has a very high regard for the interests of society as a whole, taking responsibility for the impact that their activities, and those of their customers, suppliers and collaborators, may have on the environment and on the local community.
Companies that adhere to the CSR model and philosophy set themselves social and environmental objectives, but they also aim to make profits, interpreting CSR also in the context of strategic investment. We might think, for example, of public procurement by tender, where it's now the normal practice that more points will be obtained if it can be demonstrated that CSR principles (Green Public Procurement) are being followed.
Even though CSR is a voluntary model of socially just and ecologically sustainable management, this does not mean that it is not subject to strict, precise parameters. This is where the fundamental element of certifications comes in (see BS8901 Standard), which allow internationally established minimum criteria to be strictly applied.
Some useful tools for the application or certification of an ethical code of conduct:
In the Green Paper "Promoting a European framework for corporate social responsibility" presented in 2001 by the EU Commission, we can find a full description of the CSR's basic principles and the European Union's commitment to promoting it.
Pictures by ECM - Marie Kuklova