TEST CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
WINTER SEMESTER 20111/2012
TEST CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
WINTER SEMESTER 20111/2012
Business ethics defines how a company integrates core values - such as honesty, trust, respect, and fairness -- into its policies, practices, and decision making. Business ethics also involves a company's compliance with legal standards and adherence to internal rules and regulations. As recently as a decade ago, business ethics consisted primarily of compliance-based, legally-driven codes and training that outlined in detail what employees could or could not do with regard to areas such as conflict of interest or improper use of company assets. Today, a growing number of companies are designing values-based, globally consistent programs that give employees a level of ethical understanding that allows them to make appropriate decisions, even when faced with new challenges. At the same time, the scope of business ethics has expanded to encompass a company's actions with regard not only to how it treats its employees and obeys the law, but to the nature and quality of the relationships it wishes to have with stakeholders including shareholders, customers, business partners, suppliers, the community, the environment, indigenous peoples, and even future generations. European companies especially have embraced this expanded definition of ethics. Among the most important business ethics issues faced by companies are: conflicts of interest, financial and accounting integrity, corruption and bribery, consumer and employee privacy, ethical advertising and bioethics.
The World Business Council for Sustainable Development in its publication "Making Good Business Sense" by Lord Holme and Richard Watts, used the following definition. "Corporate Social Responsibility is the continuing commitment by business to behave ethically and contribute to economic development while improving the quality of life of the workforce and their families as well as of the local community and society at large"
Although "corporate governance" has received a great deal of media attention lately, the term is still relatively new. The term first emerged in the mid-eighties and referred to the role of Board audit committees. Currently, the term corporate governance is used to refer to a much broader range of rules, regulations, policies and practices that boards of directors use to manage themselves and fulfill their responsibilities to investors and other stakeholders. Recent events have illuminated how integral good governance is to profitability, sustainability and sound business operations. Corporations that ignore issues of governance can find themselves in crises, and quickly be damaged, either through legal action or through the loss of investor confidence. Corporations that build good governance infrastructure, however, may be able to provide higher returns and solidify their reputation as highly valued members of society.
Workplace issues cover a wide and expanding array of topics. Included under the rubric of “workplace” issues are the traditional human resource areas -- such as personnel policies and practices, benefits, compensation, hiring, and training -- as well as a variety of new and emerging topics. Among them are work-life benefits, diversity, sexual harassment, employee privacy, downsizing, the use of temporary workers, and organizational development issues related to overall workplace culture and work processes.
In this week you can find interesting materials dealing with the issue of the work safety and occupational health.
As part of an ongoing effort to invest in the well-being of employees and maximize their productivity, many businesses are developing and expanding health and wellness programs. In the past, such programs focused primarily on providing medical insurance and first aid, and on reducing the incidence of disease transmission within the workplace. Today, companies are expanding their definition of health to encompass a broader definition of physical and mental wellness and increasingly focusing on prevention of health problems.
Effective workplace health and wellness programs range widely, from building awareness about disease prevention and healthy lifestyles to helping individuals cope with specific issues related to health and well-being. Successful programs are well-integrated into the business and are comprised of several components, including benefits, health promotion, disability management, health screening, counseling, employee advocacy, and other services that provide education and assistance. These programs often yield quantifiable bottom-line benefits to companies by boosting productivity, reducing absenteeism, cutting healthcare and worker compensation costs, and improving employee recruitment and retention.
Corporate Social Responsibility - National public policies in the European Union
In Europe, CSR activities and initiatives gained momentum from the year 2000. A milestone in this respect was the European Council in March 2000, when the EU set a new strategic goal for 2010 through the Lisbon strategy. The European Council made a special appeal to companies' corporate sense of social responsibility. Since the 2005 mid-term review of the Lisbon strategy, the consensus remains that in the long term economic growth, social cohesion and sustainable development go hand in hand.
There is a broad consensus in Europe about the definition of CSR, although its precise nature and characteristics vary between different national and cultural contexts. This compendium illustrates both similarities and diversities. It shows how the role of the Member States is crucial. A decentralized approach allows identification of best practices.
The contributions of the 15 have been for the most part updated in 2006. The contributions of the 10 "new" members are particularly important, as they are assembled here for the first time. All contain numerous examples of public initiatives on CSR. This compilation shows that public policies on this issue evolve rapidly, as CSR is an innovative and flexible means to address some of the current challenges facing European societies.
Beyond the diversity, the objectives of these different policies are similar: promoting stakeholder dialogue and public private partnerships; enhancing transparency and credibility of CSR practices and instruments; raising awareness, increasing knowledge, disseminating and awarding best practices; and ensuring a more solid and consistent link between sustainable development objectives and public policies. In its Communication adopted in March 2006, the Commission proposes actions to promote further take up of CSR practices. In this respect, it emphasizes cooperation with Member States and acceding countries. The Commission has convened a group of high level national representatives on CSR on a regular basis since 2000. The exchanges and analysis of national CSR policy developments and goods practices within this group have deepened. The value added of different approaches can be assessed through a mutual learning process.
Please note that the following national profiles were published under the sole¨responsibility of the relevant national authorities.
CR reporting uncludes:
Company Issued Reports