Categories of Corporate Social Responsibility

July 17, 2019
Callie Easley

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has become expected of today’s companies. In fact, more than half of employees state they believe employers should offer charitable opportunities for those who work for them (America’s Charities Snapshot). But, never fear! There are more ways than ever for your company to get involved and have a positive impact on the world.

While CSR options seem endless, there are generally 4 (broad) categories that most campaigns fall under one way or another: Philanthropic, Environmental, Ethical and Economic.

Philanthropic responsibility

One of the most common forms of CSR today are philanthropic campaigns. This category focuses on campaigns to help humanity whether it be locally, nationally or internationally.

Companies campaign to help others through donating time, money and other resources to those in need.

As you can imagine, there are many different ways today’s companies contribute philanthropically. Some examples include: donating to human rights campaigns, volunteering at local charities, or raising money for disaster relief organizations.

Environmental responsibility

As society becomes more and more environmentally aware, the push (and pressure) for companies to be responsible and work to improve the potentially negative effects they may have on the environment continues to grow. For this reason, CSR concerning environmental issues is more popular than ever.

Companies campaign to reduce the impact they have on the environment and work toward a cleaner, healthier world.

Today, CSR in this area focuses primarily on decreasing greenhouse gases and general land, water and air pollution. However, many companies also make commitments to “go green” and begin using more recyclable/sustainable products.

Ethical Business responsibility

Unlike the two before, this category focuses primarily on the happenings INSIDE of a company. Think of it as an “inside-out” approach, improving the inner-workings of a business in an effort to carry over to the outside world.

Companies campaign to improve their own business ethics, which in turn has a positive impact on society as a whole. 

 Many focus on fair labor practices for employees (as well as any/all outside workers who contribute to the company’s success) with campaigns to end workplace discrimination, aim for equal pay and ensure fair labor practices in all business interactions.

Economic responsibility

Economic responsibility generally strikes a balance between business, environmental and philanthropic practices. The main goal is long-term growth for the business, through the use of ethical, responsible and sustainable practices.

Companies campaign to promote business growth and generate profits through contributing to their community and society.

 We see many companies take this path today through incorporating recyclable products into their day-to-day routine. This not only aids a company’s brand and image, but also potentially decreases production costs, all the while improving society by using sustainable resources.

 Corporate Social Responsibility appears in many different shapes and sizes, but they all have one thing in common: the pursuit of a better world. Find which CSR form(s) works best for your company and get involved to begin making a difference!