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Individual and corporate social responsibility

Individual Social Responsibility is a moral belief where we as individuals, have a responsibility toward society. Being “socially responsible” is about all individuals behaving ethically and sensitively towards social, economic, and environmental issues. It is about being accountable for our actions and being conscious of the impact your actions have on others, our communities, and the environment.

By taking an active participation in resolving some of the issues, we as individuals should all strive to set good examples by applying and adhering to socially responsible practices, such as improving the quality of lives for individuals and their families, volunteer energy and time towards improving and benefiting society.

Student social responsibility is the responsibility of every student for their actions. It is morally binding, and suggests that each individual act in such a way that minimizes the adverse effect on those immediately around them.

Corporate social responsibility or CSR has been defined by Lord Holme and Richard Watts in the World Business Council for Sustainable Development’s publication “Making Good Business Sense” as “…the continuing commitment by business to behave ethically and contribute to economic development while improving the quality of life of the workforce and their families as well as the local community and society at large.” CSR is one of the newest management strategies where companies try to create a positive impact on society while doing business. Evidence suggests that CSR taken on voluntarily by companies will be much more effective than CSR mandated by governments.[12] There is no clear-cut definition of what CSR comprises. Every company has different CSR objectives though the main motive is the same. All companies have a two-point agenda—to improve qualitatively (the management of people and processes) and quantitatively (the impact on society). The second is as important as the first and stake holders of every company are increasingly taking an interest in “the outer circle”-the activities of the company and how these are impacting the environment and society.[13] The other motive behind this is that the companies should not be focused only on maximization of profits.

While many corporations include social responsibility in their operations, it is still important for those procuring the goods and services to ensure the products are socially sustainable. Verification tools are available from a multitude of entities internationally,[14] such as the Underwriters Laboratories environmental standards, BIFMA, BioPreferred, and Green Seal. These resources help corporations and their consumers identify potential risks associated with a product’s lifecycle and enable end users to confirm the corporation’s practices adhere to social responsibility.

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