By Andrea Montes, member of the Baud team.
According to the Observatory of Corporate Social Responsibility, this is defined as "a way of running companies based on managing the impacts that their activity generates on their clients, employees, shareholders, local communities, the environment and on society in general" .
Corporate Social Responsibility conceives and proposes another, new and comprehensive way of understanding business.
However, his foray into the business world has been relegated to a much less ambitious and relevant background. Historically, Corporate Social Responsibility has been considered a department, an internal silo whose area of action and impact was rather small
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. Becoming, in many cases, a collage of specific actions aimed at making up the corporate image and not an honest and transversal commitment.
In recent years, we are observing the consolidation of a more conscientious consumer, concerned about their social and environmental surroundings and, also, more demanding, who demands more responsible businesses, products and services from the brands. This imbalance between social demand and corporate response has turned 180 degrees in recent months.
During this global health crisis, the consumer has witnessed how companies have become really involved in improving their lives.
Brands, like never before, have committed to the well-being of people, above their own benefit and, thanks to this, they have built very solid emotional bonds with their audiences. Today, CSR has truly led the policies of the vast majority of companies, providing, at each moment of the health crisis, the value that society so badly needed
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Therefore, it is inevitable for us to ask the following question:
What will be the role of Corporate Social Responsibility in companies after this global pandemic? Will they return to the cosmetic practices of before or will a new social conscience emerge that will permeate the entire business?
The answer, for now, is anyone's guess, but if companies are able to answer properly, not only will their relationship with their audiences improve, but their legacy and social impact will be vastly more positive.
Corporate Social Responsibility today is not a static or predefined concept, but rather it is built as a prism of infinite faces that must be integrated into companies and evolve with society. After all, CSR has the potential and the ambition to go as far as each company wishes:
- The essential pillar that defines the corporate roadmap, its products and its services.
- A transversal commitment that permeates the entire professional hierarchy and all business processes.
- The ethical sieve that guides decision-making, from the smallest to the largest.
- A tangible benefit that all audiences of a company perceive directly.
- A more social, plural and responsible perspective on how to deal with business.
The great social power that companies hold has been exposed and it will be difficult for people to forget it.
We have understood that Corporate Social Responsibility is not a distant matter, but rather a business, social and individual commitment. Because CSR is activated by cultivating a certain sense of conscience in each company, in each employee, in each consumer, in each person.
Ultimately, this reflection on the role of CSR in companies could be summed up in the great phrase that Uncle Ben said to Spiderman or, as it actually happened, that Franklin D. Roosevelt delivered in his last speech to citizens: “ with great power comes great responsibility ”.
Image by Youssef Naddam.