Corporate Social Responsibility: The Commercial Advantages of Being Ethical

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Corporate Social Responsibility: The Commercial Advantages of Being Ethical


Being socially responsible is not only the right thing to do but helps the company to stand out in a globalised talent market.

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) concerns the thought process that a company’s leadership engages in when they think about their responsibility to the people they employ, the markets in which they operate and the communities with which they engage.

It includes creating a congenial workplace and having a diverse and inclusive approach to fostering innovation, while being a great employer and business partner.

What is the key objective of CSR?

The aim of CSR is to provide the business with a global management perspective, based on the triple bottom line of social, environmental and financial. This framework is also known as the three Ps: people, planet and profit. Managing this mix requires professionals with multidisciplinary skills.

Responsible management helps in preventing issues affecting corporate reputation, in anticipating regulatory risks and in meeting the demands of specialist interest groups. This, in turn, ultimately reduces costs.

Responsible, transparent leaders inspire confidence in employees, customers, investors and partners alike. Within the workforce, employee loyalty improves, productivity increases and it becomes easier to attract top talent.


How has CSR evolved and at what point do companies recognise it as important?

CSR has advanced over the past ten years. Companies are already sensitised to the issue and have taken steps to comply with their responsibilities. CSR mainly originated in the US as an important item on the corporate agenda for companies wanting to demonstrate their social and societal responsibilities.

While fundraising for societal issues is a fundamental pillar in Anglo-Saxon cultures, this is less so in other areas of the world.

However, the CSR landscape is changing. Globally, organisations are gradually demonstrating their commitment to social initiatives through their CSR programmes, working more and more actively on areas such as diversity and inclusion, and sponsoring directly rather than funding indirectly.

CSR has not only ceased to be questioned: it is well understood by senior management today as an integral part of the corporate culture and contributes to the company strategy.

Furthermore, CSR is an opportunity for value creation. CSR policies generate new opportunities and business lines. In short, they allow companies to differentiate themselves and become more competitive.


Key takeaways

  • Simply put, CSR means focusing on the ‘3 Ps’ of people, planet and profit
  • A commitment to CSR can help companies to differentiate themselves on the world stage
  • Responsible, transparent leaders inspire confidence in external and internal stakeholders
  • CSR is now widely accepted as an integral element in corporate culture and strategy