CSR vs. Charity (local case)

Source: CSR vs. Charity (local case)


CSR vs. Charity (local case)

After a year of coming back to the country, I`m sharing personal observations about general corporate social responsibility (CSR) environment in the country. Now several corporate figures, regulatory bodies, might doubt hearing corporate social responsibility has nothing or very small-scale to do with charity. And the good news Azerbaijan is not the only country in the world having this view. The majority of the countries are in the same boat. To figure it out, let`s review first what CSR is not:

  • Buying furniture, computers, microbuses, and refurbishing
  • Giving merit scholarships to students
  • Funding medical treatment of individuals

The list can be prolonged, but long story short – the funds or goods are allocated for the individual needs and charitable giving without follow up are not at all CSR strategy.

Today corporate social responsibility means much beyond essential charitable activities of the past. It is not solely about making a donation towards good causes but instead, it is an all-year-round responsibility that requires companies switch to serve the community (including internal), its business, workers, customers, and other related stakeholders. CSR should interact with corporate values, culture and the company’s strategy to achieve its future sustainability. It is likely more of “people were starving in the past, people are starving at present, but in lieu of handing out them a bread for today, teach them or help them to eradicate poverty.”

A few weeks ago, the conversation with a fellow lead to the topic of how a big holding failed because of advancing in wrong organizational behavior concept. Later long proper investigation displayed reason of cataclysm deriving from more internal disintegration rather than financial breakdown.

The scale of a company is defined not only by the input but also by its butterfly effect: the impact we make to the world in which we operate, and the contribution we make to continuous professional development, as noted above. It is an ambitious vision that CSR in its modern sense demands a business to engage responsibly taking into account their economic, social and environmental impacts, and to act to address their key sustainable continuous development challenges. In the case where the corporate struggling with organizational behavior, charity can be pointed out as part of the big picture while it would be less important for the long ride strategy.

No doubt that today there are several definitions of CSR worldwide but nowadays they all associate to how business takes account of its economic, social and environmental impacts in the way it functions and maximizes cost reduction. Thinking about how organizations evolve, how adaptation enables “survival of the fittest” is an analogy that has helped business strategists. Increasingly, it is becoming important to measure success through working in partnerships with different stakeholders. Charity can be an important part of CSR, which signifies a corporation’s contribution to the community where it does business.

One source argues dimension of CSR begins where the law ends. This ties down with the notion of citizenship. A good citizen is not merely someone who conducts his or her life without breaking the laws. It is someone who contributes to society in a beneficial way and avoids doing harm. Businesses can be good citizens, provided that they relate ethically to other citizens – and particularly to their stakeholders.

Thanks to the newbie startups coming to the national stage and their origins of changing the game, a fresh glimpse of air has been felt in the existing environment.Startups are diving into for counseling in creating a social responsibility plan and dealing with the emerging issues that engage employees in meaningful causes and still responsible for business practices in operations.

Another concern is Millennials` movement from the country to Multinational Corporations (MNCs) with stronger values. Millennials in one survey also assume businesses are behaving in an increasingly responsible manner. On balance, Millennials still suppose that businesses focus on their own agendas. If no progress will be made in local businesses, not only Millennials` foot will be out of the door, but Generation Y will be part of expatriation movement too.

CSR doc
Deloitte 2016 survey

Notwithstanding, where the problems exist, there is a tremendous opportunity and the other side of coin foresees there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Lean strategy, unity around strong values, full interaction with a different section of stakeholders and the transparent environment can be good for the success to knock the door of corporates.

Without comparing it back to Swiss corporate standards, (although reality does sound as an adjustment from Ferrari to Zaaparozhes), CSR is still going to be figured out by many. However, if corporates efforts are towards sustainable businesses, proper CSR will lead the company to innovation and social impact beyond their glossy reports. In order to form conventional CSR strategy at the local level, there is a need for unique regulation to be set off, improvement and measurement of sustainable performance, fostering awareness, learning, and cooperation.


Gunay Mukhtarova

Please raise your voice if a company you work for carrying different values apart from charity. Share your opinion and let`s have a discussion!

Read other articles here.

Striving for international cooperation in sustainability research

The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) hosts the prestigious ” Green Talents – International Forum for High Potentials in Sustainable Development” to promote the international exchange of innovative green ideas. The award, under the patronage of Minister Professor Johanna Wanka, honours young researchers each year. The winners come from numerous countries and scientific disciplines and are recognised for their outstanding achievements in making our societies more sustainable. Selected by a high-ranking jury of German experts the award-winners are granted unique access to the country’s research elite.

Are you an up-and-coming scientist with innovative ideas and a strong focus on sustainable development? Does your research have the potential to change the world? We challenge you to convince our high-ranking expert jury and become one of the 25 Green Talents 2017!

The award is open to all disciplines as long as it is related to sustainable development. In 2017 the award has a focus on “Sustainable Production and Consumption” and this year’s Science Forum, taking place in October, will integrate sustainability hot spots in Germany related to this theme. Nevertheless, we highly welcome applications from all (not connected) research areas.

For more info, consult with Green Talents.

Young Champions

To the attention of young people between the ages of 18-30!
The United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP) has launched the Young Campions of the Earth global competition for talented people that can showcase technological inventions and innovative business models that improve our planet’s health.Six winners will receive $15,000 each to help bring their big ideas to life. More than just a prize-giving scheme, the winners will also have a unique opportunity to meet with noteworthy environmental experts and policymakers at UN Environment Assembly in Nairobi and UN General Assembly in New York.

We encourage all potential young people out there to apply!

The application period for this year’s competition closes on 18th June. Full details and the application form are available on: www.unep.org/youngchampions

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) was established by the UN General in 1972, enabling cooperation of countries and international organizations towards addressing global, regional and national concerns in the field of environmental protection and sustainable development. e8a63295-634f-4a9b-851b-4290feb9cbd6

Cleantech. A Call To Enter To CLimateLauchPad

Climate-KIC builds opportunities for innovators to tackle the climate change and forms the world’s next economy. One of the primary activities is the Climate-KIC Accelerator, the rock unique program for cleantech start-ups where great ideas develop into great businesses. In its return, green business contributes to the environment, but also gives financial value. Cleantech as an industry term for the cost reduction, environmental protection, energy, water and natural resource consumption reduces services in the sense it is used. In addition to saving millions of its founders and investors, which is the focus of most startups, cleantech solves environmental problems by bringing innovative technologies onto the stage with prospective for big businesses. In fact, cleantech is not only a social responsibility but more likely for the business to facilitate the lives of people, environment and to stand out for the future.

To enter the ClimateLaunchpad program, it is essential to propose an idea, early stage startup or innovation that have the environmental impact. Leads in national levels will help the team fast track the idea into a business and bypass all feasible pitfalls by promising how to get the idea funded and launched.

“Green business” ideas that are interested in this race can find more info about the contesting countries and the stages of the programme via its local partners.bfdb065fa29a0ac8c98c8d998a81412a

Sustainability: Reality or Myth?

Last year was an immense milestone for Sustainable Development Goals 2030 while maintaining the post-2015 agenda that provokes sustainability issues, when climate change lays down in another side of the coin.

But how the issue can be provoked if it aims to assure global growth by bringing inclusive society? On the other hand, is it that bad idea if the new smart investments will be complementing to each other and create growth? In this case, what is going to happen if it challenges more technology involvement where the dramatical size of human labor is anticipated? So many questions. Let`s review this issue in the model of potential smart cities of tomorrow.

Sustainability brings a new way of thinking, starting from a small environmentally-friendly action till reaching to the level of funding that respects and meets “People Profit and Planet” triangle concept. To bring it down to the Earth and make it more tangible, one sustainable city can be a good model of this huge yet ambitious universal agenda. Even if it could seem a way far from the reality, some cities in the world such as London, San-Diego, Singapore, Barcelona and many more you name already achieved to build this sort of urban development model.

What is a Sustainable city and what is it about?

To simplify, it is a city that considered as liveable when it unites on its territory recycling, sanitation, health, and water system.This is not only a technically highly infrastructure city but also an interactive society and complementary SMEs are promised.

Turning back to the answer of why we need cities that are economical, socially and environmentally sustainable are the lessons learned from the past and ideas for the future that we want to have.The last twenty years, the development of cities was already important, but it is going to be exponential in the near future. According to the forecast by 2050, our planet will have 6.4 billion urban residents, that means 70% of the world population will live in the cities. Like all ecosystems, cities have balance and complex operations in a context of increasing demand. That is why it is essential to building a successful city that is also environmentally responsible.

Creating smart city is possible, but how?

A sustainable city is a harmonious city, open to the world, that enhances economic dynamics, bringing new ideas and design thinking tools into their community. It is also a city which manages resources in a sustainable way, not wasting any essential product (water, energy, mobility, health, education etc.), control and avoid different types of pollution it generates. Finally, it is a city that sees its citizens as active players. And most importantly, it ensures that the city is resistant and able to cope with risks.

However, many challenges remain to build new smart cities: Cities should continue to create opportunities for developing jobs and wealth, while not straining land and resources. In this case, common city challenges are congestion, shortage of resources to provide basic services, lack of adequate housing and declining infrastructure and the challenge of what if growing new Agile technology smoothly replaces humans and features only high-skilled labor in the job market.

But these challenges can be overcome in particular ways that allow cities to continue to thrive and grow while developing the use of resources and decreasing pollution, step-by-stop poverty and the network can be implemented with the strong national urban development strategy. The desirable city ensures better services and new opportunities, with access to renewable energy, social housing, mobile transportation… to reach all levels of the society… that will bring more inclusiveness. And importantly, it`s not about to adopt SDGs last year and report the formalities by 2030. Development is a gradual process with gradual actions and later on culmination stage of reaping the harvest comes.

What about the city you live in?

What kind of actions would you take or you think you can make to link the AleemDataPoverty-1400x500physical capital with social one?

Author: Gunay Mukhtarova

Follow me on Twitter