Tag Archives: US CSR Policy

Top US Corporate Citizenship Issues

In its latest quarterly magazine the Boston College Centre for Corporate Citizenship (BCCC) has reiterated how community involvement activities can contribute to achieve corporate goals – particularly, when they are aligned with the company’s business context and the interests of its stakeholders. Companies are becoming increasingly adept at tying employee volunteer and corporate giving programmes to their business strategy. Interestingly, BCCC (2015) noted that many businesses have proritised community involvement projects, including; K12 education, youth programmes and health and wellness programmes among others. These social issues have featured as the top priorities for businesses, as evidenced in BCCC’s (2015) Table. In 2009 and 2011 the top issues were more focused on environmental matters.

The inclusion of health in the top three social goals implies that lately there is more concern amongst US citizens regarding the rising cost of health care. In 2015, the U.S. has spent 17% of its gross domestic product on health care. This figure is higher than any other developed nation, and is projected to reach nearly 20 percent by 2024.

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Unsurprisingly, science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education is also an area that is receiving increased investments from business communities. According to BCCC’s (2015) study, nearly 40% of companies are focusing on STEM education in their community involvement programmes. These efforts ensure a future pipeline of talent and skills. In fact, OECD (2014) anticipated that there will be a 17 per cent increase in STEM related jobs between 2014 and 2024 (OECD, 2014).

Arguably, businesses are putting food where their mouth is. As they focus their competences and resources in the areas where they can do the most good, there is potential for them to achieve greater returns on their discretionary investments. At the same time, they close the skill gaps and mismatches in their labour market (Camilleri and Camilleri, 2015).

References:

BCCC (2015). The Corporate Citizen, Issue 14 (Fall 2015) Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship https://bc-ccc.uberflip.com/i/571714-corporatecitizen-issue14

Camilleri, M.A.  and Camilleri, A. (2015). Education and social cohesion for economic growth, International Journal of Leadership in Education, DOI: 10.1080/13603124.2014.995721

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Filed under Corporate Social Responsibility, Corporate Sustainability and Responsibility, CSR, Education

Social responsibility policies in the USA

 

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Corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives and communicating activities within the areas of philanthropy, stewardship, volunteerism and environmental affairs are not treated as a regulatory compliance issue in the United States of America (USA). Therefore, organisations are not obliged to satisfy their numerous stakeholders’ expectations vis-a-vis their corporate sustainability and responsibility practices. CSR practices are voluntary practices encompassing laudable behaviours that go beyond financial reporting requirements. At the same time, it must be recognised that sustainable and responsible practices are increasingly being embedded into core business functions and corporate decisions, such as supply chain, transportation, engineering and marketing. In this light, this chapter sheds light on major US institutional frameworks that have been purposely developed to foster CSR engagement among organisations. Policies, principles and voluntary instruments include formal accreditation systems and soft laws that stimulate business to implement and report their CSR-related activities. Several agencies of the US Government are currently employing CSR programmes that are intended to provide guidance in corporate citizenship and human rights; labour and supply chains; anticorruption; energy and the environment; as well as health and social welfare among other issues.

This contribution looks at the US governmental institutions’ processes and their discretionary investments in responsible behaviours, in terms of financial and human resources. It looks at the establishment of particular standards, procedures and expectations. There is a discussion on how US entities have often interpreted their own view on business ethics and corporate citizenship, within the context of their own organisation. Moreover, it contends that there could still be a lack of an appropriate definition which could encapsulate CSR terminology. Arguably, as corporate responsibility becomes more widely understood, accepted and practiced, there could be positive implications for greater convergence of common activities that could be included in corporate responsibility disclosures. In conclusion, this chapter posits that there are indications that US business, industry and governmental organisations are changing their attitudes on CSR, sustainability reporting and corporate governance. It also identifies the drivers and actors that are raising the CSR agenda in the USA.

Excerpt from: “Camilleri, M.A. (2016) A descriptive overview of social responsibility policies in the United States of America. In Idowu, S.O. & Vertigans, S. (eds) CSR in Challenging Times. Springer (Forthcoming)”.

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Filed under Corporate Sustainability and Responsibility, CSR, Social Cohesion