Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a type of corporate self-regulation where businesses monitor and ensure their compliance with ethical standards. The goal of CSR is to promote the continuous improvement of a company’s sustainable development performance concerning social, environmental, and economic impacts.
There are many different ways in which businesses can implement CSR programs. Common examples include improving working conditions, investing in employee training and development, charitable donations and sponsorships, targeted campaigns to reduce environmental impact, and ethical sourcing initiatives.
Critics argue that CSR activities are often little more than ‘greenwashing’ – efforts by companies to improve their public image without actually doing anything meaningful to address social or environmental problems.
Some people might say that one of the best examples of a company taking on corporate social responsibility is when Walmart announced that it would be raising the minimum wage for its employees to $9 an hour and providing them with health insurance.
Others might say that when Bank of America announced in 2011 that it would be donating $20 million to help low-income families, this was an excellent example of a company taking on corporate social responsibility.