CSI Overview

In order for companies to build long term and effective CSI strategies it is important to track
current and emerging issues.

The information therefore provides insight into CSI and how businesses can respond through
engaging these issues in a proactive manor that will leverage trust and respect from
stakeholders, who are influential in the field of Corporate Social Responsibility.

The information serves to enhance company’s reputations and brand whilst assisting in
developing effective and comprehensive business strategies.  

CSR is an evolving concept and is no longer random charity or philanthropy. It is now looked
upon as a key to business operations, sustainability and development.

Businesses have an intrinsic relationship with a large segment of the population through
employment provision and labour markets, service provision, commodity markets,
environment and resource use. The complex problems of today’s poor cannot be solved by
the state, civil society and international development organizations alone.

The business sector has emerged as a key player and needs to accept responsibility and work
in collaboration with these entities to address social issues

Climate change

Climate change remains the key concern of expert stakeholders. Companies are seen to be
allocating more resources to this issue. The climate change agenda is now rapidly shifting
from strategies for mitigation to a new emphasis on adaptation.

Companies are going to have to demonstrate that they are reducing regarding their own carbon
impacts as well as working in partnerships with others on adapting to climate change.The new
emphasis on energy efficiency and green building practise enhances this commitment.

Corporate governance

There has been significant increased concerns over the way that companies are governed and
the way that decisions are made. The future is seen as one where companies will have to be
increasingly transparent and accountable. New corporate governance structures are seen as
being at the heart of new models of economic sustainability.

Those governance structures will be more inclusive and will better represent the views of a
wide range of stakeholders. Pressure from a new breed of socially responsible investors will
increase the pressure on businesses to behave in an ethical way.

Labour and human resources

The treatment of workers within organisations and down supply chains is likely to remain of
high concern for theyears to come. Concerns over appropriate wages levels, discrimination,
workplace conditions and child labour are of utmost importance. A new emphasis on decent
work in a context of protecting human rights is emerging.

Supply chain rationalisation and new CSI strategies by first-tier suppliers will reduce the need
for traditional auditing. Within organisations work-life balance will be increasingly important
and companies will increasingly recognise the benefits associated with diversity and inclusion

Environmental Integrity

The way that businesses impact on the environment is likely to come under much closer scrutiny.
Environmental performance will increasingly be part of company’s reputation and brand.
A particularly worrying aspect of environmental change concerns the availability of clean
and safe water.

Loss of biodiversity and changing land-use are also increasingly going to be hot topics.
Sourcing activities will integrate environmental concerns.New infrastructure developments
are likely to have to take into account a broader set of environmental concerns.

Alliances with stakeholders

Stakeholder engagement will increasingly develop into meaningful partnerships between the
private sector and those able to tackle local and global challenges. This will see increased
collaboration with both government and local communities. Businesses will have to demonstrate
how they are working with others to tackle the sustainable development agenda through
innovative community investment strategies. New innovative models of partnership based on
social enterprise andsocial entrepreneurship will emerge.

Leadership & regulation from governments

The current trend to embrace environmental issues including labour  and provisions of new
requirements for CSI reporting have been intensified to further this agenda.
Regulations in place in Europe covering mandatory reporting and disclosure are likely to be
replicated in Asia, Africa and the rest of the globe. Other regulatory pressure is likely to come
from stock exchanges, securities regulators and institutionstasked with tackling health and safety.

Community investment and pro-poor development

Companies will have to demonstrate that they have positive impacts on the communities
where they operate. In the least developed parts of the region businesses will be increasingly
involved with pro-poor community investment projects, micro-finance initiatives and
programmes to encourage entrepreneurship. Community investment strategies will increasingly
involve climate change adaptation and responses to environmental challenges.

There will be a new emphasis on community education initiatives. Contributing to poverty
alleviation and community health initiatives will be seen as an important part of the wider
agenda for business who will increasingly have to measure their community impacts.

Product responsibility

Concerns over product quality, product safety and health concerns over product use are
increasing. Companies are likely to have to take more measure to ensure a range of safety and
security processes are in place. Better labelling, including more information on country of
origin, ingredients and carbon impact will emerge.

Boycotts of products and of brands are set to increase with increased sophistication of
consumers and a lack of trust in the power of regulators to protect them.

The era of broader CSI professionalism

The role of CSI managers within organisations will be better recognised. An increase in
professional courses and better quality education on CSI will help to increase the
understanding of what CSI is and the value of having a CSI function within the organisation.

A growth in certification and qualifications around CSI will help to enhance both the
professionalism and the credibility of CSI managers.

Unethical Conduct

In many parts of the world bribery and corruption will continue to reduce the amount of
economic activity and continue to have a negative impact on the marginalised.

However, at the same time  there must bean increase in investigation and reporting of bribery
and unethical conduct, often supported by governments, increasing the risks to companies seen
as complicit in such irregularities. Companies will have to demonstrate a proactive strategy
for dealing these issues.