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Corporate Social Responsibilities

(CSR): Examples of International and

national companies


Course name: BUS 101
Section: 2
Submission date: 22/12/10
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is a term that has in recent years increasingly entered into
the language of business. It is a term that means many different things to different people, be
they businessmen themselves, civil society, academia or public in general. It is a term that is
itself subject to variation. To some it is corporate responsibility, to others private voluntary
initiatives, to yet others corporate social opportunity. However, no matter what it is called the
fundamentals remain the same: they are voluntary positive initiatives by business that look to go
beyond legal compliance in a diverse range of social, economic and environmental areas.
Business has always recognized that it has an important role alongside other actors in
Contributing to the development of the communities in which it operates. This understanding has
become part of a developing debate on the role of business in a globalizing World. Globalization
has made the global network of modern business and the efforts of Business to address the
economic, environmental and social development more visible. Corporate Social Responsibility
(CSR) is the name now most commonly applied to the multitude of innovative and positive
initiatives by business in both the marketplace and the wider community. CSR is not just an issue
for large multinational corporations and this paper recognizes that its voluntariness, diversity and
flexibility are vital to allowing all businesses, regardless of size or location, to consider how best
they can respond to the realities of their marketplace.

Corporate social responsibilities are not unfamiliar in the context of Bangladesh. Many
companies are practicing it now. Lots of banks, ngos and telecom service operator companies are
practicing it and practicing it very well. Though a lot of people are not fully satisfied about their
activities but the companies are trying their best. It is not always easy to maintain a balance
between what is right for the company and what is right for the society and environment.
Companies like grammenphone, British American tobacco Bangladesh, HSBC Bangladesh are
pioneers to start practicing CSR in Bangladesh.Grammen a noble peace prize winner company is
also very active in their CSRs. Germany's Otto Group has signed a deal with Grameen Trust to
start a joint venture in textiles in Bangladesh. Under the deal, Grameen and Otto will jointly set
up Grameen Otto Trust and Grameen Otto Textile Company. Grameen Otto Textile Company
will establish a factory in Bangladesh to produce readymade garments for the international
market under "socially and ecologically sustainable conditions”. This proves that Bangladeshi
companies are serious about their CSRs.
CSR is a concept whereby companies integrate social and environmental concerns in their
business operations and in their interactions with their stakeholders on a voluntary basis. Socially
responsibility means not only fulfilling legal expectations, but also going beyond compliance and
investing ‘more’ into human capital, the environment and in rapport-building with stakeholders.
It is relevant in all types of companies and in all sectors of activity, from MSMEs to
Multinational Enterprises (MNEs).“A number of companies with good social and environmental
records indicate that these activities can result in better performance and can generate more profit
and growth. Research has shown that about one half of the above average performance of
socially responsible companies can be attributed to their CSR image while the other half is
explained by their performance. Socially responsible companies are expected to deliver above-
average financial returns.CSR has some internal dimensions such as: human resources
management, health and safety at work, adaptation to change and management of environmental
impact and natural resources. The external dimensions include local communities, business,
partners, suppliers and consumers, human rights and global environmental concerns. Again, CSR
may be as simple as sponsoring social service oriented entertainment events. In essence, ‘CSR is
positive rapport with the society’. In a Bangladesh context, several multinational companies and
local companies practice CSR. While the multinationals are influenced by their own ESRB
disposition, most of the business concerns in Bangladesh do not rate high in practicing CSR
unless being pressured by the foreign buyers in case of export oriented business.

As an international concept companies like SHELL are practicing it. In March 1997,
international oil giant, Shell, published a statement of General Business Principles, translated
into 34 different languages. This statement recognized that the company is accountable to five
types of stakeholder; shareholders, customers, employees, those with whom the company does
business and society. Two significant changes were made to the previous statement of principles.
The first was a commitment to the concept of sustainable development and the second was
recognizing a duty to support the upholding of basic human rights. Thus, the company defines its
responsibilities to the society. In the following lines: ‘to conduct business as responsible
corporate members of society, to observe the laws of the countries in which they operate, to
express support for fundamental human rights in line with the legitimate role of business and to
give proper regard to health, safety and the environment consistent with their commitment to
contribute to sustainable development’. Shell claims to be the first multinational to make such a
commitment to human rights. Then, in March 1998, the group brought out a publication titled,
‘Climate Change – What does Shell think and do about it’. In this, Shell authorities said that they
believed in prudent precautionary measures, and that emissions limits for greenhouse gases set in
Kyoto provided the necessary signals to encourage such measures.1
MICROSOFT is another company which is concerned about their CSRs.Gates and mendila
foundation is one of world’s largest CSR activities. In 2007, Microsoft launched Unlimited
Potential, which brings together the company’s corporate citizenship efforts and many of its
business investments to significantly broaden the reach of technology in underserved
communities. Unlimited Potential aims to deliver the benefits of relevant, accessible and
affordable software to the 5 billion people who today have no access to technology or the
opportunities it affords, with a goal of reaching the next 1 Billion people by 2015.Delivering
innovation in Microsoft products, services and corporate practices is also central to their
citizenship efforts. This includes advanced research; support for intellectual property protections
to stimulate innovation; efforts to strengthen computer security, privacy and Internet safety;
transparency and integrity in our business practices; environmental stewardship; and
humanitarian assistance. All of these efforts are rooted in Microsoft’s mission—to enable people
and businesses throughout the world to realize their full potential. These priorities also reflect
our belief that social improvement and a strong business community go hand in hand. Advances
in digital literacy, innovation and a trusted computing ecosystem help spawn new markets and
increase the ability of individuals and nations to participate and compete globally. This creates a
virtuous cycle of socioeconomic opportunity that is good for people, good for local communities
and good for Microsoft.2

HSBC, the world’s local bank, also practices its csrs in education, environment and community.
In their website they have said,” HSBC invests in educational programs that are sustainable and
add value to our communities through our Community Investment department.HSBC's
Community Investment department focuses on projects and organizations that educate students
aged 3-25, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds or for schools in economically
deprived areas. HSBC provides Corporate assistance that give young people hope, a positive
attitude, opportunities for success, and a better future.HSBC is proud of our signature partnership
with Junior Achievement, the world's largest nonprofit organization dedicated to educating
young people to value free enterprise, business and economics.HSBC's Community Investment
department also provides and supports financial education for adults and youth through the
YourMoneyCounts® financial education platform in order to help people become more
confident in managing their money and making more informed financial decisions. The
cornerstone of the platform is the Web site,, which has experienced
more than 4.4 million visits since 2003. The easy-to-use site has a wealth of information
covering more than fifteen different topics in a straightforward, easy-to-understand manner,
along with the popular, interactive calculators—all designed to help you manage your money,
learn about saving, spending and borrowing. Visitors to will find a
commercial-free site, containing no marketing messages or product pitches.”3
Not only international companies but a lot of Bangladeshi companies are involved in csr
activities. For example RAHIMAFROOZ is doing a lot of csr activities. On July 22, 2008,
Rural Services Foundation (RSF), a social development initiative of Rahimafrooz, organized the
handover ceremony of three complete deep sea fishing boats worth Tk.2,100,000 to 30 SIDR
affected fishermen in PatharghataUpazilla of Barguna district.4

GRAMEENPHONE is also concerned about their csr activities. It is countries leading telecom
Operator Company. They have done different CSR in recent times. For example they have done
Nation-wide blanket and warm clothes distribution, organizing Free Eye Camp at Sirajganj,
Setting up Skill Development Center & CIC at APONGAON, organizing Free Eye Camp at
Gopalganj, and Illustrated Book on Liberation War, sponsoring Street Children’s Party, and
sponsoring 2nd Regional Talent Hunt for Intellectually Challenged Athlete5

BATA, a renowned shoemaking company is doing CSR activities in Bangladesh. Bata

Bangladesh continues to work closely with the Economic Development Unit – CARE through
the Rural Sales Program me (RSP). The objective of the program me is to improve the lives of
rural women and their families. Bata and CARE work together to help increase the income
generating capacity of women and create new job opportunities, through the sale of Bata
products offering door-to-door service in the rural areas of northern & southern Bangladesh.

The RSP started in 2005 as a pilot project in the ‘Natore’ District with 49 saleswomen. These
saleswomen are called ‘Aparajita’, a Bengali word that stands for women who never accept
defeat. They buy from the nearest designated Bata Wholesale Depots via cash through hubs.
Each saleswoman has been provided with a sample bag, shoe catalogue, badge, foot print to
measure the shoe size of their customers, an umbrella & a copy of the regular training program
me produced by BATA.6

BRITISH AMERICAN TOBACCO BANGLADESH also does a lot of CSR activities.IN their
websites they have included the following as their CSRs.”

Ensure the principles of Corporate Social Responsibility are embedded in every function

Develop a comprehensive best practice approach to Social Reporting

Communicate widely that we are a responsible tobacco company

Understand the complex political and regulatory framework in which we operate and to engage
with governments and key bodies for a regulatory environment suitable for business
Build and manage relationships with British American Tobacco Bangladesh’s key stakeholders

Many garment companies and association are doing CSR as well. Some CSR activities are being
carried out in Bangladesh, many of them by companies that are members of textile associations
such as the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) and the
Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA). The Dhaka Chamber
of Commerce and Industry (DDCI), think tanks like the Bangladesh Enterprise Institute (BEI)
and banks (Standard Chartered Bank) are involved in other initiatives.

Banks from Bangladesh are not far behind in CSR. Standard Chartered Bank, Bangladesh in
addition to contributing to economic growth through their core business activities, want to have a
broader positive impact on the communities in our markets; the bank is committed globally to
uphold high standards of Corporate Social Responsibility. There are numerous ways they are
striving to be a force for good; globally as well as in Bangladesh.

Under their ‘Seeing is Believing’ Project, Standard Chartered helps restore eyesight of the
underprivileged. The fourth phase of seeing believes – A New Vision aims to raise USD 20
million to develop comprehensive, sustainable eye care for 20 million people in less advantaged
areas of 20 cities across the world, including Dhaka. In Dhaka, they have committed USD 1
million to Dhaka Urban Comprehensive Eye Care project that will serve over 270,000 visually
impaired people. Standard Chartered Bangladesh has built an Operation Theatre and children’s
Ward at Islamic Eye Hospital and provides for its maintenance since 2003.

Through their ‘Living with HIV’ programme they help educate not only our staff but the youth in
our communities about HIV and its prevention. They have organized eighteen seminars titled
“Confronting AIDS Challenge in the 21st Century” in different universities and cities to spread
awareness about HIV /AIDS amongst the younger generation in Bangladesh.

They have also focused our efforts in the areas of history, culture and art, seeking to make a
difference and surface little known events and artwork. Recent works have included publications
of books such as ‘Dhaka alias Jahangirnagar: 400 years’; ‘Street Traders of Bangladesh’;
‘Ekush’; and “Rare Photographs of East Bengal 1880-1940.” Standard Chartered - The Daily
Star “Celebrating Life” Contest is a platform for new talents across the country to pursue their
artistic and career goals in Film, Photography & Lyrics.8
BRAC bank is another bank which is very serious about CSRs. Corporate Social responsibility
(CSR) is a fundamental part of the way BRAC Bank does business. It’s an opportunity to build
better relationships with all stakeholders by paying closer attention to how they fulfill their
social, economic, environmental and ethical responsibilities. CSR allows them to align their
operations with standards and expectations that are increasingly important to their shareholders,
employees, customers and communities where they operate.
While most of their overall environmental impact is indirect, resulting from their financing and
investment activities, they also have a direct impact on the environment through their day-to-day
business operations. They are working towards reducing waste and the more efficient use of
resources. The second step is reducing their indirect environmental impact by managing their
investing activities.

Paper continues to be the most significant single material input to their business. They use paper
in the office and in the production of customer information documents. A4 paper use is a major
component of their office based paper usage. Reducing the use of paper and recycling it, provide
both an environmental and economic benefit, and some of the initiatives taken by us during the
year are;

They insist on double-sided printouts and photocopies wherever relevant.

Paper communication between the divisions/Customer centers of BRAC Bank has been replaced
with on-line communication where possible, resulting in significant reduction in paper usage.

They have converted selected staff training sessions into their E-learning process, which has
resulted in reduced paper usage on training materials.

The banking sector of Bangladesh has a long history of involvement in benevolent activities like
donations to different charitable organizations, to poor people and religious institutions, city
beautification and patronizing art & culture, etc. Recent trends of these engagement indicates
that banks are gradually organizing these involvements in more structured CSR initiative format,
in line with BB Guidance in DOS circular no. 01 of 2008.The June 2008 BB Guidance circular
suggested that banks could begin reporting their CSR initiatives in a modest way as supplements
to usual annual _financial reports, eventually to develop into full blown comprehensive reports in
GRI format. Information on CSR expenditure available from annual reports of banks, compiled
together, bring up the following picture of sectoral patterns

*TAKA in million.

Table 1: Sectoral pattern of CSR expenditure reported by banks*10

Segments 2007 2008 2009

Disaster relief 127.7 58.6 125.1

Education 14.3 30.5 94.8

Health 68.6 112.1 245.5

Sports 02.7 49.8 1.2

Arts & Culture 0.0 0.8 0.3

Others 13.1 158.9 86.9

Total 226.4 410.7 553.8

In the year 2007, large concentration in the idle of disaster relief, both in participation and
expenditure wise, was observed mainly because of the cyclone ‘Sidr’. Whereas, in the year
2009,the ‘Education’ and ‘Health’ sectors were getting more attention and appeared to be the
most popular area for CSR activities as huge investments are being made by several banks in the
besetments. These shifts point to the responsiveness of the banking community to the changing
need of the society.
NGOs are also doing a lot CSRs. BRAC is one of them. They have done a lot of things like
BRAC signed an agreement with five national NGOs toad in replicating the “Challenging the
Frontiers of Poverty Reduction: Targeting the Ultra Poor (CFPR- TUP)”Programme. The
organization has made a two-year commitment of over Tk 17 lakh in funding the five NGOs for
the replication of the programme.

The Government of Bangladesh and BRAC jointly initiated a pilot programme to improve the
standard of education at selected government and registered non-government primary schools.
The objectives of the pilot programme are to increase attendance, reduce high dropout rates, raise
course completion rates to over 80% and improve overall quality of teaching and learning at
government and registered non-government primary schools in 20 sub-districts of 9 districts.

BRAC built shelters for cyclone SIDR victims’ and helped farmers and fishermen to restart their
lives in affected areas. These include building 17 cyclone shelters and 1182houses,
reconstructing927school building sand 2634 houses, distributing books and supplies for primary
and pre-primary school students, performing long term agricultural rehabilitation work and crop
production, replanting 4 million trees and distributing1.5 million saplings to 163,575 households,
generating short term employment for 1,99,505 people through cash for work projects and giving
disaster preparedness training to BRAC staff for capacity building.

BRAC undertook agricultural rehabilitation program in 30 of the worst SIDR affected sub
districts .BRAC introduced hybrid rice and involved the farmers in borori cecultivation. They
distributed high quality seeds, fertilizer, power tillers and low lift pumps aiming not just to
restore the areas to the riper- SIDR state, but to create a long term impact

BRAC Research and Evaluation Division (RED) and BRAC Water, Sanitation and Hygiene
(WASH) Program collaborated with the Meteorological Department of the Bangladesh Ministry
of Environment and Forest and the Water Development Board to set up a weather station on the
BRAC Feed Mill premises,Gazipur.It is the first government-private sector joint effort weather
station in Bangladesh

A sister concern of BRAC, Aarong has been featured in Vogue Japan’s December 2008 issue.
The article discusses BRAC’s development initiatives and the support structure Aarong provides
to rural women and its role in protecting and nurturing Bengali tradition through crafts
Bangladesh is a developing country. Because of global competitiveness and demand, the CSR
practices and standards are being implemented in Bangladesh. But we are yet go a long way.
There are challenges to implement CSR properly in Bangladesh. Ultimately CSR practices
should be better practiced in Bangladesh for better and enhanced performance. In the publication
“Good Governance and Market-Based Reforms: A Study of Bangladesh, Fara Azmat and Ken
Cog hill relates Good Governance with CSR by discussing the good governance indicators of
regulatory quality, rule of law and control of corruption in the context of Bangladesh and
analyses how lack of good governance indicators affects the success and sustainability of
reforms and contributes to the lack of business ethics and CSR in Bangladesh

The modern concept of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is evolving gradually despite
several hindrances. Driving forces behind this evolution is pressure from various stakeholders
(Importers, Environmentalists) while slow progress is attributed to lack of Good Governance,
absence of strong labor unions, consumer forums and above all lack of understanding by
business houses, specifically non-exporting ones, that CSR is not charity but is rather an
instrumental PR investment.