Corporate Social Responsibility Definition | EcoVadis Skip to content

Corporate Social Responsibility

corporate social responsibility
Main content
Back to Glossary Page

What is Corporate Social Responsibility?

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a self-regulating business practice that measures the impact of an organization’s activities on society and the environment. This is achieved through transparent and ethical behavior that:

  • Contributes to sustainable development, including the health and welfare of society;
  • Acknowledges the expectations of stakeholders and customers;
  • Complies with applicable laws and is consistent with international norms;
  • Applies to the entire organization and is reflected in relationships with external stakeholders.

The Six Core Subjects Identified by ISO 2600:

  • Human rights
  • Labor practices
  • The environment
  • Fair operating practices
  • Consumer issues
  • Community Involvementand development

CSR goes hand in hand with sustainable sourcing and helps:

  • Support and respect the protection of human rights, ensure your business is not complicit with any abuses throughout its operations and seek to eliminate all forms of forced labor;
  • Promote equality and eliminate discrimination in employment;
  • Determine responsibility for the environmental impacts of your business;
  • Implement strict ethical business practices, including anti-corruption measures, responsible marketing and whistle-blower mechanisms;
  • Embrace transparency and report on your company’s CSR progress;
  • Extend this responsibility to your supply chain and ensure these principles are upheld by your suppliers, partners, distributors and other third parties.

CSR Themes and Criteria

EcoVadis defines the scope of corporate social responsibility
as encompassing the following themes:

Learn More About the Criteria in Our Comprehensive Methodology Guide

How to Implement CSR:

  • First, establish a CSR management system by creating the necessary policies, operational action plans and reporting mechanisms for activities that span all CSR themes. It is important that these policies are defined, have adequate resources for implementation, and have relevant KPIs to enable the tracking of progress and reporting of results.
  • Next, gain the support of executive-level management to ensure the policies are communicated throughout the company.
  • After that, task a CSR expert at the decision-making level with managing policy development and implementation.
  • Then, spend time developing relationships with all stakeholders (shareholders, employees, non-governmental organizations, partners, customers, etc.).
  • Lastly, integrate these policies into regular reporting cycles and channels.

Benefits of Successful CSR Implementation:

  • Better anticipation and management of risk;
  • Improved reputation and brand image management;
  • Market positioning, improved innovation, and competitiveness;
  • Operational cost savings;
  • Improved ability to attract and build effective and efficient supply chain relationships;
  • Improved relations with regulators and compliance with environmental and social legislation.

The EcoVadis Assessment and Scorecard will provide your company with a thorough understanding of its management system, strengths and areas for improvement.

Want to receive a free consultation on sustainable procurement?

+Ability Webinar Series: Boost your company’s ability to navigate supply chain sustainability.
Register Now
NEW: Barometer 2024: Transforming Procurement into a Strategic Sustainability & Resilience Partner
View Now