Why CSR matters to your business?

Why CSR matters to your business?

In the corporate sector, the role of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is as pivotal as some other business speculations or developmental arrangements for the benefaction of an organization. There are plenty of routes by which the organizations could utilize the CSR for their own advantages and advancement. In this competitive society, a substantial portion of the general population like to work for the organizations which are effective, both regarding their high turn-over rate and playing out the essential social responsibilities. Staying forward with the social responsibility exercises helps in alleviating the societal position of the individual organization and in this manner, it eventually pulls in the employees towards it.

As it’s a well-known fact, building a good image in the society requires arduous work. By fulfilling the necessary CSR initiatives, a company gains the required goodwill and popularity, without putting any hassled effort. Most of the companies have started utilizing the CSR initiatives for promoting their brand names in the far-fetched areas of the society. For example, organizations which produce cosmetic items promote their merchandise as being environment friendly, thereby complimenting their central business with the required social duty.

Corporate Social Responsibility

The staff of an organization can also develop their management and administrative abilities through well-planned corporate social responsibility program. This might be as basic as group building work outs, urging your representatives to initiate associations with individuals they would not usually meet (like underprivileged groups). It is in any case, vital that the Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives must be devised mindfully for the business advancement of a company. If this practice is used properly, it will open a horde of new connections and openings. It will end up being a culture which you, your staff and the more extensive group really have confidence in.

Another benefit of doing CSR initiations in numerous thematic areas like environmental sustainability, livelihood development, women empowerment, etc. help in motivating the employees and the corporation towards being more responsible while tackling these present social distresses. It is also important to consider that just providing the agencies with the funds to initiate the CSR activities isn’t enough for a corporation. A wholesome development requires active involvement of both the fund-givers and the implementers.

Taking inspiration from this ideology, SEED CSR has been working arduously in various thematic areas of social development with the help of its partner corporations. It is India’s leading integrated CSR consulting, planning and implementing agency with an absolute authority in strategizing and implementing the Corporate Social Responsibility and Financial inclusion projects across India. It works as a 360 CSR advisor and implementation partner with its clients. It is spread across India’s 20 states with 14 regional offices and it has a staff of over 200 employees.

 

The CSR projects that SEED undertakes benefit both the society and its corporate partners in numerous ways. As it is mentioned above, it helps in the fulfillment of the necessary CSR objectives of their partner corporations, alleviate their social status and strives to achieve the required development within the various social segments. Altogether, we can summarize the role of CSR for your business in the way that it makes financial sense, adds meaning to your work and makes everyone feel good! 

Save Water to Secure Your Future

Save Water to Secure Your Future

About 76 million people in India are without access to clean and safe water. The reasons are numerous out of which some of them are, pollution and over-exploitation, rapid pace of industrialization and greater emphasis on agricultural growth combined with financial and technological constraints and non-enforcement of laws. Accessing drinking water is a problem and assuring it is safe is a challenge by itself.

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As Per the Water Aid’s report on Wild Water- The State of the World’s Water 2017,

without access to clean water, 63 million people are living in rural areas in India. Diseases such as cholera, blinding trachoma, malaria and dengue are expected to become more common and malnutrition more prevalent.

 

 

Climate change is another major factor resulting in water availability. Unpredictable weather patterns are particularly challenging to the water and food supplies of agriculture-reliant rural communities. Longer dry spells result in crop failure and shortages of food and clean drinking water. Flooding can pollute clean water sources and may lead to cholera outbreaks. Climate change is likely to exacerbate these challenges and place an even greater strain on people. Also, water, sanitation and hygiene have a critical role to play in helping poor communities cope.

SEED CSR is a Corporate Social Responsibility advisory and implementation agency. At SEED one of our thematic area is Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH).

To ensure that community members do not develop water-based ailments and to make clean drinking water easily accessible, installation of hand pumps and boring water arrangements is prioritized in all operational areas. Moreover, to create awareness about better sanitation, street campaigns and cleanliness drives are organized.
In one of our projects, toilets Installation that was initiated at Varanasi Ghats where we encouraged the correct way of washing hands and discouraged open defecation. The objective of this activity was to stop the wastage of water and reduce open defecation by tourists, local vendors at Ganga Ghats.

Such activities are done to advocate the practice of good hygiene and sanitation. SEED CSR along with client companies thrives to achieve accessibility of safe drinking water and clean rural India.

Highlights of World Water Day Celebration’s at few project sites:

1. CMA CGM, Uran Mumbai :2

Painting and Essay Writing Competition was organized at ZP Digital School at Jaskhar, Uran, Maharashtra on World Water Day. The Sarpanch of the village was the chief guest for this event and all the VDC Members were present. The themes of competitions were based on water and biodiversity conservation. The winners of the competition were awarded. Also, saplings of endangered plants were given to the guests who pledged to plant those in their respective homes.

2. DHFL Chandarpur3

On world water day the Centre at Chandrapur celebrated World Water day. The event started with understanding the importance of this day in our lives. Later, ways to save and conserve water were discussed. Finally, a ‘Sankalp’ (Pledge) was taken by nearly 300 trainees from different traits like BFSI and Constructional Sector to save the water.

 

 

3. DHFL , Kohlapur :4

On 22nd March 2017, we have organized water awareness drive at Skill Development Centre, Kolhapur where we conducted rally from center to Sasane ground and back. A total of 90 trainees of BFSI and Construction participated in the drive. In front of Sasane ground, Our BFSI trainees did two street plays and spread the message about water conservation, don’t waste water and importance of water and educate people those who were wasting water on road while washing car etc.

 

3.Technip , Suva :5

On the eve of World Water Day , we organized a wide spread Water Awareness Session at Suva Village , Bharuch . The Awareness Session was organized in School to make students aware about importance of Water and how to save water . Secondly another awareness session was organized with Women Self Help Group with an objective to spread the awareness on Save Water. The Objective of both session was to Save Water for Future. At the end of both session a pledge was taken by both Children’s and Women’s to save water from getting wasted through running taps.

ROLE OF SELF-HELP GROUPS (SHGS)

ROLE OF SELF-HELP GROUPS (SHGS)

Self-help Groups (SHGs) is a group of 10-20 members who work independently in order to become self-sufficient. The role of self help groups in community development found its roots in Grameen Bank model, Bangladesh (1970s) and since then the whole concept of SHGs is working in making women more productive in work front at power with men. These SHG are even called by Swayam Sahita Samuh.

Such Self Help Groups have various methods under which it works. For example: inter loaning among members, rules made by the members for proper functioning of the group, proper book keeping of credit and debit etc. Members make small regular savings contributions for few months for the group they are part of until enough capital is stored for the group to begin lending. The most significant feature of such groups is ‘linkage’ with the banks for delivery of micro-credit. In laymen language, micro-credit refers to small loans given by the group members to one another at bad times and to meet credit needs.

They  may be registered or unregistered. It is basically a homogeneous group where members belonging to same backgrounds and interests come together for achieving the sole interest of empowerment and saving little sum of money to meet the emergency needs. They pool their resources to become financially stable, taking loans from their groups and make everybody in that group self-employed. There is strong procedure for repayment among group members.

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This move of forming and promoting Self Help Groups has reduced the gender inequalities prevailing in country. With the central and state Governments, NABARD is extending support for women SHGs as a strategy for women empowerment. Important policy initiatives has been taken in this regard that includes- promotion of groups under Development of Women and Children in rural Areas(DWACRA), South Asian Poverty Alleviation programme(SAPAP) assisted by UNDP under Dhaka declaration.

The SHGs by providing access to financial services and informing the women members about the numerous welfare programmes is truly empowering by involving women in several activities and also making them understand about the market workings. This way it is addressing the gender issues of economic development in India in best way possible. The women involved have learned to manage money and use it in worst situations. Hence, financial empowerment is taking place where women are more aware of financial knowledge and are seen as women entrepreneurs. Thus, the concept of SHGs is being promoted by government and presently, also among rural women.  The status of power and position that was lacking for women since independence have now been covered up and this was possible only with the initiation of the concept self-help groups.

A ROADMAP TO CSR FOR COMPANIES

A ROADMAP TO CSR FOR COMPANIES

CSR, the mandate:

According to World Bank (2002), Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is a process of managing the cost and benefits of business activity to both internal (workers, shareholders, investors) and external (institutions of public governance, community members, civil society groups, other enterprises) stakeholders.

In the year 2013, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) was mandated by the government in the section 135 of Companies Act, 2013 which mentioned that every company having net worth of Rs 500.00 Crore or more during Financial Year or turnover of  Rs 1000.00 Crore or more during financial Year or net profit of Rs 5 Crore or more will carry out CSR activities. An explicit schedule VII has been provided mentioning the areas of interventions.

During the initial years, companies which fall under the mandate focused on compliance. However, presently the aim of companies is to assess the impact of its CSR interventions.

CSR, from the perspective of companies:

One might wonder, why companies are suddenly concerned about social change and development which till few years back was a monopoly of the development sector. Though government and NGOs are taking up the role of CSR implementing agencies, the face of the companies in the form of branding is the most important aspect. With the upcoming awards, recognitions and accolades, companies are increasing competing for socially responsible initiatives. These not only help the companies to present themselves as socially responsible, but also helps them in enhancing their publicity thereby adding to their business. The market values of companies are being impacted by their image in the social sector. For example, people tend to buy products of a particular brand, if that brand advertisers that Re. 1 would be contributed for social cause even if the product price is much higher than its counterparts.

Besides focusing on profit, the social image of a company also enhances its functioning. The history of Indian environmental movements is mostly regarding industrial harms caused to society. Be it a sports company chopping off plants or a soft drinks company draining away the underground water, industries have always been blamed of causing environmental hazards. CSR has given a scope to the companies to cover-up such environmental degradation. For example, a company which causes air or water pollution builds hospitals so that the number of health issues rising from such pollution does not come to the forefront. A clean social image also helps the company to have cooperation from the community.

Companies are also focusing on skill development and education sector in their CSR initiatives so that they can develop a future workforce required in their business model. India’s topmost companies performing best in CSR had education as the most important component of their CSR initiatives in the last few years. TATA, ITC, Aditya Birla are some of these companies, to name a few.

CSR, which initially seemed to be a burden on the companies has eventually come up to be a boon. There can be numerous reasons inspiring companies to enhance its CSR initiatives. Now, it is for the companies to look for their motivation. However, companies have already been motivated enough and they are focusing on impact assessment of their initiatives so that they can present themselves as responsible companies in the reports. Reporting standards have also been enhanced by the global standards.

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Impact assessment as a core of CSR:

In the global scenario, impact assessment and presenting it in reports are important aspects of any intervention. Accordingly, all companies, including the multi-national ones, which have their business outlets in India, are paying attention to impact assessment and reporting standards of their CSR initiatives. International organizations like Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) have set guidelines and standards of reporting. GRI Guidelines apply to multinational organizations, public agencies, smaller and medium enterprises, NGOs, industry groups and others and focus on sustainability. Similarly, CSR initiatives are projected as not only being impactful but also as sustainable.

CSR impact assessment now a days, is mainly focusing on the impact on its stakeholders, optimal use of funds and sustainability of interventions. As discussed earlier, during the initial years, the focus was on compliance, now the focus has shifted to impact assessment. This is simply because, the companies are trying to present that over the last 3 years they have brought about changes in the society and have enhanced social growth and development.

The simple reason behind focusing on CSR impact assessment is to present itself as a responsible company. They are involving third parties for assessment and recruiting experts for writing and presenting reports. This reflects that CSR is being given utmost importance by the top most companies. While companies are focusing on impacts, critiques are of the opinion that such interventions are not adequately in-depth and much areas are yet to be explored by CSR. We can expect to have more responsible CSR interventions in the upcoming years with the companies increasingly realizing the need of CSR for their own benefits.

CSR, the ray of hope :

To sum up, CSR is not only beneficial for the society and stakeholders, but also for the companies. There is still a lot of scope for CSR initiatives. CSR has an immense potential in changing the social scenario since there is ample budget, human resource and expertise. Most importantly, CSR, as a platform provides scope to NGOs, government and companies to work together towards all-round development. With the upcoming expertise in the field of CSR and with increased recognition, we can expect to have more innovative CSR interventions in the years to come.

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