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What is Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)?

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) refers to companies taking responsibility for their impact on society. It is a concept whereby enterprises integrate social and environmental concerns into their mainstream business operations on a voluntary basis.

CSR goes beyond compliance with legislative requirements. It is a voluntary concept, which is led by enterprise. It is a process which maximises the creation of shared value through collaboration with all stakeholders and ensures that the interests of enterprises and the interests of wider society are mutually supportive.

Government can play a supporting role in encouraging sustainable business practices through a smart mix of voluntary policy measures and, where necessary, complementary regulation.

CSR is important for the sustainability, competitiveness, and innovation capability of enterprises and the economy. It brings benefits for risk management, cost savings, access to capital, customer relationships, and human resource management.

CSR has been practised by companies, large and small, throughout Ireland for many years. The breadth of CSR activity in Ireland is widespread and is recognised through programmes such as Business in the Community Ireland’s “Business Working Responsibly Mark” and Chambers Ireland’s Sustainable Business Impact Awards.