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What is corporate social responsibility (CSR)? 


The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) 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."

Other terms for CSR include corporate responsibility, corporate citizenship, responsible business and corporate social opportunity.


The role of business

"Our commitment to sustainable development has little weight unless our employees are on board. Chronos is an excellent tool for communicating sustainable development goals throughout the company."

Lise Kingo, Executive Vice President Stakeholder Relations, Novo Nordisk

CSR can be seen as the business contribution to sustainable development. It is about how business takes account of its economic, social and environmental impacts in the way it operates – maximising the benefits and minimising the downsides.


Specifically, CSR is the voluntary actions that business can take, over and above compliance with minimum legal requirements, to address both its own competitive interests and the interests of wider society.


Society now expects businesses to be responsible corporate citizens, and to be part of the solution to issues like poverty alleviation, environmental protection, health and security. And business leaders increasingly recognise that their company’s future success depends on how well they address these challenges. Understanding sustainable development is essential to protecting, improving and growing businesses in the 21st century and many companies today publish a report on corporate social responsibility or sustainable development. But even committed and forward-thinking companies risk failing to grasp these opportunities if they do not integrate awareness of sustainability issues into everyday thinking across their organisation.


Read how Chronos can help your company learn about CSR and sustainable development.