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Corporate Social Responsibility in International companies

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Business
Wordcount: 5404 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is an aspect of business ethics that has assumed significant importance in the age of globalization and expanding markets. The morally-influenced attitudes of consumers in markets have forced many multinational corporations to redefine their definition of social values and rules of their business. There is an increasing realization that corporations are created by the society and that they must give back by serving the society and not merely by making profit from it.

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New age corporate leaders are replacing the business philosophy of 'maximization of profits' with 'optimization of profits' by shifting their business focus from 'accountability to shareholders' to 'accountability to stakeholders' (including employees, customers, communities, etc.). The growing focus on Corporate Social Responsibility mandates that these stakeholders have a right to expect accountability and transparency as well as social and environmental investment from corporations

Ignoring Corporate Social Responsibility would mean endangering business success in the global marketplace. It is unlikely that a company can be ethical while not manifesting a high degree of social and environmental responsibility. Corporate Social Responsibility and responsibility to the environment are themselves large and important issues for any company today.

Corporate Social Responsibility and Shared Value

Corporate Social responsibility as a concept and a part of the business model started evolving from 1960s and in the Indian context companies like TCS have been using their core competency to the benefit of communities. But as more and more businesses start paying lip service to CSR a need for a new model which would broaden their view was much needed.

In an article by Michael E. Porter and Mark R. Kramer in the Harvard Business Review titled "The Big Idea: Creating Shared Value", the authors comment on how companies are widely being perceived to be prospering at the expense of the broader community. They go on to say the more business has begun to embrace corporate responsibility, the more it has been blamed for society's failures. Business is caught in a vicious circle. Companies no longer have a broader view when it comes to value creation as they are focused more on short term profit gains. They have started ignoring the aspects which make them sustainable in the long term. Important issues like customer well being, conservation of natural resources and community well being are being overlooked which is leading to a negative perception in the minds of people. According to the authors of the article

"The solution to this problem lies in the principle of shared value, which involves creating economic value in a way that also creates value for society by addressing its needs and challenges. Businesses must reconnect company success with social progress. Shared value is not social responsibility, philanthropy, or even sustainability, but a new way to achieve economic success. It is not on the margin of what companies do but at the center. We believe that it can give rise to the next major transformation of business thinking"



ITC is well known for its CSR initiatives in India. Its e-Choupal program which was conceived by its agri-business division has helped farmers to come out of the vicious cycle of debt and risk and low productivity. It was launched in June 2000 and some of the achievements of this program are:

Reach out to over 4 million farmers in over 40,000 villages across 10 states through 6500 kiosks.

Choupal Pradarshan khet - an initiative which provides Agri-extension services which provide the knowledge of the best agricultural practices to small and marginal farmers. This initiative covers over 70,000 hectares and 1.6 million farmers

Watershed development schemes which cover 56,951 hectares which are brought under soil and moisture conservation.

Primary education services to 252,329 children through 2,334 Supplementary Learning Centres.

Their social and farm forestry efforts have brought 19,100 hectares of wasteland under social forestry helping more than 20,000 households across 525 villages.

ITC also indirectly followed the shared value business as they linked their paperboards business's wood fibre needs to the farmer's need for income from their produce of the same.

ITC claims it is taking conscious steps towards moving away from their Cigarette business and earning more revenues from their other business as many people were skeptical about ITC's CSR activities as they produce cigarettes and that is a major source of their revenues.

Infosys Technologies Limited

Infosys employees actively participate in the welfare of the local community. Their Development Centers in India make a difference through several Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives. Their employees organize and contribute to welfare programs, especially for underprivileged children. Infosys has pledged to make a difference to society by actively participating in community development. Their 'social contract' inspires more than 100,000 employees to contribute to community welfare, environment sustainability and digital literacy.

In 2009-10, Infosys organized several programs, enabling employees to give back to society:

Volunteering:- A sabbatical policy encourages Infoscions to work for designated Indian Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) on community projects. Employees are paid an allowance by the company for up to a year. Infoscions actively support the mid-day meal program of the Akshaya Patra Foundation. It is the world's largest NGO school meal program blending nutrition with education for more than one million children in rural areas across seven states in India, daily.

Emergency aid:- In 2009, floods in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka caused widespread destruction of life and property. The "Infosys Foundation" and Infoscions donated 30 crore towards rehabilitation and reconstruction of homes. In 2010, Infosys Australia organized a fund-raiser to support Red Cross' disaster relief efforts in the wake of earthquakes in Haiti and Chile. Infosys USA worked with Red Cross to provide Haitians with food and medical care.

Digital empowerment:- Infosys initiates children into Information Technology at a young age through the SPARK program. In 2009-10, Infoscions touched the lives of more than 70,000 students across India by undertaking IT training and mentoring teachers of government-aided schools in rural areas.

Shaping policies:- Members of the board of directors of Infosys serve on global councils and contribute to policy making in corporate governance, education, healthcare, diversity, and the environment. Infosys is partnering with state utilities in India to introduce 'voluntary green tariff', enabling consumers to offset the cost of renewable energy. Infosys hosted the Climate Roadmap Sub-National Workshop at Mysore, a platform to share best practices in environment sustainability.

Promoting education and research:- Infosys is working with more than 400 engineering colleges in India to enhance their curriculum and enrich the talent pool through the Campus Connect program. The Infosys Science Foundation promotes research in pure and applied sciences with an annual prize of 50 lakh for Indian researchers.

Tata Consultancy Services

TCS has always recognized the responsibility Corporates should have towards the wider communities they operate in. Be it girl child education in South Asia in collaboration with UNICEF or adult literacy programs in South India, TCS believes in using IT as an instrument for social development and change. Other TCS' community initiatives have been in areas addressing environmental and civic problems; setting up and maintaining infrastructure for urban beautification, pollution reduction and healthcare; waste management in the office environment, tree plantation and water treatment.

Environment policy:- TCS provides a healthy work environment to all its employees, and conducts environment friendly business at all its offices. To achieve these goals, TCS has published this Environment Policy. In line with its continuous improvement process initiative, TCS will continuously enhance its environment policy, which encompasses air, water, natural resources, people and their interrelation.

Employees:- TCS makes all its employees aware on how work practices affect the environment. For example, wasteful use of electricity or paper at work place depletes natural resources and adds to pollution caused by the generating/manufacturing units. Similarly safe work practices protect the environment by mitigating health risks and accidents. As members of the TATA family, and responsible citizens of the country, TCS employees should observe environment- friendly behaviour, both in and outside the work place.

Management:- TCS management defines health, safety and environment goals and objectives, identifies roles and responsibilities for policy implementation, measures performance, and allocates necessary resources. It integrates resource planning with health, safety and environment concerns. Two-way communication is established with employees, clients and vendors to promote and share health, safety and environment initiatives. The Management will also initiate ISO 14001 certification for different locations in a phased manner.

Work Place:- TCS managers review the work environment and suggest improvements in line with this policy. The policy initiates energy conservation, waste recycling, and paper reduction, in priority areas. The measures and initiatives emerging as a result of this policy get documented as processes. These processes ensure compliance with applicable health, safety, and environment regulations in all offices of TCS.


Apart from being India's leading IT service company, Wipro has made a mark through their CSR activities. Making education a mission At Wipro, the commitment to education is driven by a mission to impart knowledge that helps the young develop holistic skills to address social, economic and environmental issues. Wipro perceives education as a fundamental enabler of sustainable social change.

In this context, Wipro has undertaken educational initiatives that cover school reform and the curriculum. These include:

Wipro Applying Thought in Schools

Focused, long-term initiative in school reform

Initiative based on the thought that every child must be given the opportunity to realize his/her potential

Worked with over 10,500 educators in 1500 schools across 17 states in India

Partnered over 30 social organizations in this endeavor

Mission 10X

A platform for the rapidly growing academic community of educators, learners and innovators

Helps them impart education that enhances the employability skills of fresh engineering graduates in India

Reached the first milestone and has empowered more than 10,000 faculty members across 20 states

Azim Premji Foundation

This is a not-for-profit organization with a vision to contribute to systemic changes in Indian education that facilitates a just, equitable, humane and sustainable society. Operational since 2001, the Foundation has engaged with over 2.5 million children in 20,000 schools across 13 States through a committed workforce of over 250 professionals and hundreds of paid volunteers.

Eco Eye

Wipro's commitment to the ecology around is as strong as their every endeavour. Their believe is that the future lies in sustainable solutions that will never interfere with our environment, an integral part of our social initiatives. With the formation of Eco Eye, Wipro is now a business that incorporates better ecological balance in every project we execute.


Dabur defines CSR as conducting business in ways that provide social, environmental & economic benefits for the communities and geographies where it operates. The greatest value is in making a difference in lives of people. Dabur's CSR initiatives are driven by Sustainable Development Society or SUNDESH, which aims to reach out to the weaker and more vulnerable sections of society. SUNDESH operates in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand addressing children's literacy, improving healthcare services, skill development, and environment

Healthcare: Providing diagnostic facilities like urine and pregnancy test, haemoglobin, blood sugar and Doppler test to the poor rural populace at nominal rates. Reducing infant and maternal mortality rates by promoting and motivating expecting mothers to go in for institutional deliveries. Holding eye care camps at its Health Post and in villages. Organizing workshops on prevention of female foeticide and sensitization to make the community aware about the importance of girl child and improve the girl-boy ratio in the region. An awareness drive on HIV/AIDS was undertaken with CARE India Trust and UP State AIDS Control Society to reduce Sexually Transmitted Infections/HIV transmission among high-risk migrants

Education & Literacy: The educational initiatives of SUNDESH for underprivileged children include non- formal education [6-14 years non-school going], special school for working children [8-13 years], remedial education [6-14 years school-going], besides holding classes for women. SUNDESH holds classes for underprivileged children between 6 and 14 years of age. After completing their basic education, these children, who have never had a chance to see a school from inside or are school dropouts, are then encouraged to get enrolled in formal schools.

Income Generation Programmes: Capability enhancement programmes have been introduced offering vocational training in cutting & tailoring, machine & hand embroidery, bee keeping, mushroom farming, mehandi application and vermi-composting.

Dabur has started the project on medicinal plants in Nepal to provide the modern technology for cultivation of the required medicinal herbs of Himalayas to the farmers.


The pursuit of CSR can take some very strange turns as demonstrated by the Aircel campaign to save the tiger. Aircel is one of the biggest mobile phone providers in India. In 2010, they launched the Save our Tiger campaign represented by a tiger cub called Stripey with whom the country promptly fell in love with. Prime time TV could barely be watched without Stripey and his 'I'm abandoned, please save me' eyes. Now abruptly, he has disappeared and taken his much talked about cuteness with him.

Every TV-watching, net-savvy person in India now knows that only 1411 tigers exist in the wild. We know the company has tied up with WWF to give it some credibility. Some of us wonder if this is an attempt at a badly executed CSR effort.

What seems specifically unclear to me remains the ultimate aim of the campaign. Was it started to: (a) create awareness? or (b) create the impression of corporate responsibility? or (c) give people the impression that Aircel is going to take a lead in saving the tiger? Since Project Tiger, which has been the most successful program in the 70s lost steam; tiger conservation in India has always had its lulls and rises. There has never been a concentrated effort to increase numbers by putting a check on poaching and habitat destruction. More importantly there has not been much transparency, advocacy or public involvement in the process. Every census releases varying numbers regarding tiger population - does Aircel explain how the number 1411 was arrived at?

Aircel's attempt at gathering public sympathy for the fate of India's national animal is admirable. The campaign regardless of whether it is CSR or not, is not strategically clever. It does really explain what the company itself is doing to save the tiger apart from throwing Stripey on the airwaves. The campaign would have infinitely more credibility if they could explain why it is really, truly important to save the tiger along with its habitat. Most unfortunately, the company does not galvanize on the campaign to further its image of CSR. The entire campaign looks like one quick brainstorm session resulting in the words 'tiger' and 'save' put together, how to publicize the issue with as much noise as possible... and then abruptly stop.

Conservation efforts are dependent on rate of biodiversity loss which is tied into economic losses. Stripey no matter how cute and how much celebrity support he garners, will not stir public sympathies for too long unless a holistic picture is provided. I hope someone from Aircel is reading this: more information is needed on their campaign objectives, overall picture of CSR  activities, how they plan on achieving these and where they're getting their tiger numbers from - for starters.

Hindustan Latex Limited

Hindustan Latex Limited, a public sector company established more than three decades ago, came to occupy a premier position in the country's family planning and health care programs. Hindustan Latex Limited ventured into social sector projects aimed at creating a planned social change. It was with this objective that HLL formed the Hindustan Latex Family Planning Promotion Trust, a non-profit organization promoted by HLL, undertaking the conceptualization and implementation of various Social Sector Projects and broad based to focus on reproductive and sexual health.

Distribution of social marketing brands of contraceptives through unemployed, educated and mobile rural youth, supported by a comprehensive local media based IEC programme, thereby contributing to the reduction of Total Fertility Rate (TFR) in the rural areas and

Advancement of family health through the promotion of sanitary napkins and oral rehydration salts (ORS).

Community based distribution of  Contraceptives project - Bihar, Jharkhand and Orissa , Sukha Parivaram is a social marketing programme for the state of Andhra Pradesh and will make available a basket of social marketing goods such as condoms, oral contraceptive pills, iron and folic acid tablets (for pregnant women) and ORS.

Mobile Health Clinic Project to ensure that the health services are able to reach the remote, inaccessible and underserved areas. In combination with reduced education levels this innovative approach will help to take the health infrastructure at the nearest village of the rural populace specially in those villages which are currently not served by any PHC and private clinics.

Hinduja Foundation

It is an important milestone which began with the philanthropic work of Paramanand Deepchand Hinduja (1901 - 1971), founder of the Hinduja Group. This legacy is carried forward under the aegis of the Hinduja Foundation which works in tandem with Hinduja Foundations established in the UK and the USA. Together they form an integral part of the Hinduja Group and strive to achieve their goals by creating socially responsible institutions; working jointly with other institutions of repute and by supporting deserving NGOs working for similar objectives.

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Drawing inspiration from the founder, the Hinduja Foundation believes that philanthropy, a sacred social responsibility of all enterprise, is worthier when it encourages self help and sets an example for the younger generations. Srichand P. Hinduja, Chairman of the Hinduja Group, leads the Foundation. "Our aim," he says, "is to build bridges between India and the world, between the past and the present, between generations that are and generations to come."


The Foundation's core objectives are:



Arts, Culture and Interfaith Understanding

Social Welfare




Coca cola follows corporate social responsibility practices in the following areas - Beverage Benefits, Active healthy living, Community, Energy Efficiency and climate Protection, Sustainable Packaging, Live Positively Program, Water Steward Ship. The following are the salient features of their CSR Activities.

All these programs are collectively known as the 'Live Positively' Program.

Under their Beverage Benefits Program they plan to invest more than $50 million in research by 2015 and aim to have low and no calorie options and smaller portion sizes to be made available in communities where obesity is a significant problem.

Their Active Healthy Living Program aims to support the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation in reducing the total annual calories consumed in the U.S by 1.5 Trillion(by the end of 2015)

By the end of 2015, Coke wants to ensure that it does not directly market their beverages to children less than 12 years of age following ethics in marketing.

Through their Community Development Initiatives coke aims to form 1,300 to 2,000 new Micro Distribution Centers (MDCs) in Africa and by the end of 2020 empower 5 million businesswomen in their global business system.

Coke's Energy Efficiency and Climate protection activities aim to Grow our business but not our system wide carbon emissions from our manufacturing operations through 2015, compared with a 2004 baseline.

Through their sustainable packaging initiatives they plan to improve packaging material efficiency per liter of product sold by 7%, compared with a 2008 baseline.

Through their water stewardship programs coke plans to return to nature and communities the water they use in their beverage production

They also create diverse and healthy workplaces aligned with international human rights principles.


Google developed a separate technological platform called google.org to use its core competency in the area of Information Technology to build products and advocate for policies that address global challenges. They have the following projects which fall under their CSR and philanthropic activities.

Google Crisis Response Project aims at making critical information more accessible during the natural disasters and humanitarian crises. After the massive Earthquake in Japan they used this project to provide emergency information, maps and missing persons resources

Google's Earth Engine enables the analysis of raw satellite imagery data and extraction of meaningful information about the world's forests, such as locations and measurements of deforestation

Google's 'REGoogle Flu trends Project use Google search data to estimate flu activity.

Google Power Meter Project, a free energy monitoring tool helps in saving energy and money. Using energy information provided by utility smart meters and energy monitoring devices, this software enables you to view one's home energy consumption from anywhere online.

Google's Philanthropic efforts in the areas of Engineering Awards and Charitable Giving include supporting universities in their Academic research efforts and giving Google Scholarships which help students especially minorities and women with their Computer science and technology studies.

They also gave out a $20 million donation in 2010 to charities from around the globe in order to help organizations who have been stretched thin by increasing requests for help at a time of lower donations.


Nokia aims to lead in sustainability by taking it into account in everything they do. Over a billion people in the world use a Nokia phone, and Nokia employees are excited about the opportunities this provides for improving people's livelihoods and encouraging them to embrace a more sustainable lifestyle. As a market leader, one of the best ways they can contribute to the global community is to conduct their business in a responsible way. They are committed to drive ethically sound policies and practices that guide us in their work. They have a long track record of taking sustainability into account in all their operations, products and services, but their also look beyond their own operations to use their scale for good. Put simply, sustainability is their way of doing business, and their corporate responsibility agenda is framed around the Nokia values of being very human, engaging everyone, innovation and achieving together.

Mobile communications have played a big role in billions of people's lives. Now that mobile devices are connecting us in many ways beyond calls, Nokia has been leading and encouraging innovation around how to harness this new connectivity to help people solve everyday challenges and connect them to what matters most. New, innovative mobile solutions hold tremendous potential for changing the way the society lives.

Their impacts and commitment:- Maximising the benefits of mobile communication and minimising potentially negative effects requires commitment from governments, civil society, and the business sector. As a market leader with global operations they recognise that their potential impact, and therefore their responsibility, is great.

From a social growth and economic development perspective, they acknowledge their impact and responsibilities throughout their value chain: in their sourcing, product design, manufacturing, logistics, recycling, communications, employee well-being, business partnerships, community involvement and social investments. Through their solutions they respond to various environmental and societal needs. Their overall response to their stakeholders is to produce high-quality, safe products and valuable services for a consumer offerings that has a positive influence on the society and the planet.


Based on their heritage and business, Kellogg's chooses to focus on three major areas:

Helping Children and Youth Reach their Potential 

Improving Opportunities for Minorities and Women

Strengthening Communities

In 2005, Kellogg's contributed more than $8 million in cash and $20 million in product to various charitable organizations around the world.  Half of their corporate giving is based on what is important to the employees - contributions that are part of Kellogg Care-their matching-grant program, and United Way. The food donations primarily are made through America's Second Harvest, a nationwide network of food banks and food rescue organizations that feeds hungry children and families across the country. 

Kellogg's employees make a difference in their local communities by volunteering and participating in wide-ranging charitable activities. Kellogg Company provides a dollar-for-dollar match of employee gifts to qualified educational, cultural and environmental organizations.

Partners and Partnerships : Kellogg's works with organizations and programs with proven results, improving lives around the country and throughout the world including United Way, America's Second Harvest, and HOSTS  Learning - "Help One Student to Succeed."

Wellness and Nutrition: The Kellogg legacy is based on the philosophy that people can improve their health by eating a balanced diet and engaging in regular physical activity.  Living a healthy lifestyle begins with a good understanding of nutrition.  Kellogg's believes in providing high-quality, nutritious food and helping educate consumers about the benefits of a healthy diet.

Ethics and compliance: Through their Global Code of Ethics, Kellogg's employees understand that:

They are firmly committed to the fair and equitable treatment of all our employees and job applicants.

Customers and consumers expect more from Kellogg Company and it is every employee's job to make sure Kellogg meets their expectations.

Investors count on Kellogg to deliver on its commitments, provide accurate information about its affiliates and to make responsible business decisions based on reliable records.

Kellogg believes in doing business with suppliers, contractors, joint venture partners, agents, sales representatives, distributors and consultants who embrace and demonstrate high standards of ethical behavior.

They actively seek opportunities to contribute to the communities in which we do business, and to improve the environment that sustains us all.

Diversity and Inclusion: At Kellogg Company, Individuals are valued for their diverse backgrounds, experiences, styles, approaches and ideas.They actively promote diversity in work force. This diversity inspires the innovation that drives business and helps enhance competitive advantage

Workplace Health and Safety: Employee safety is a value at Kellogg.  They are committed to providing a safe and healthy work environment and preventing accidents.  Employees are accountable for observing the safety and health rules and practices that apply to their jobs and are expected to take precautions necessary to protect them and their co-workers, including immediately reporting accidents, injuries and unsafe practices or conditions. 

Kellogg and the Environment: Promoting and maintaining environmentally responsible practices is beneficial for everyone - our customers, consumers, employees and the communities in which they operate. Kellogg Company conducts business in ways that protect the environment and demonstrate good stewardship of our world's natural resources.  They work closely and cooperatively with local communities, suppliers and contractors, government agencies, and other organizations engaged in improving the environment. Their current focus is on energy use.  While a 10% reduction in the energy used to produce the products has been seen since 1997, the goal is to continue this reduction. The Kellogg's environmental audit program includes periodic and complete evaluations of all our manufacturing practices. Almost all Kellogg cereal cartons are made of 100% recycled fiber, with at least 35% post-consumer material.


The Public Affairs Committee of Citi's Board of Directors oversees overall Citizenship priorities and performance. Its businesses, supported by Director of Corporate Citizenship, implement Citizenship policies and commitments through their daily work. Internal teams specializing in topics such as the environment, public policy, diversity, financial education, community relations and human rights support the businesses.

Citi Foundation: The Citi Foundation is committed to the economic empowerment of individuals and families, particularly those in need, in the communities where we work so they can improve their standard of living. It provides grant support for programs aligned with the Citi Foundation's five strategic funding areas: Microfinance and Microenterprise, Small and Growing Businesses, Financial Capability and Asset Building, College and Careers and Neighborhood Revitalization

The key stakeholders include investors, employees, customers, vendors, suppliers, communities, regulators, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and peer institutions in networks such as the Equator Principles and Carbon Principles. It seeks to engage regularly with both individual stakeholders and institutions to share information, listen to stakeholders' ideas and concerns and, where possible, refine its policies and practices in response.

The Citi Code of Conduct outlines the laws, rules, regulations and Citi policies that govern its activities and sets companywide standards of


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