Corporate Social Responsibility-Need Sustainable Approach

By Upendra Sontakke

Now a day’s lot has been said about Corporate Social Responsibility after draft of Company Bill. From the Government side and corporate side those who believe in giving back to the society, this is a one step ahead.  I am surprised with discussions that are focusing on activity or fund based approach rather than the impact approach.

Upendra SontakkeWhen everybody is talking about how much fund to be utilized; one should think on the bench mark for expected project achievements. 

The World Business Council for Sustainable Development states that “Corporate social responsibility is 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 of the local community and society at large.”

Thus, corporate social responsibility (CSR) or ‘Sustainability’ is not just obeying the law. It is not philanthropy.It is much beyond that. It implies serious business where organizations have to be seen as partners in their communities and not just as profit centres promoting the interest of their shareholders but as businesses having obligation towards various ‘stakeholders’.

Every penny planned for CSR activities is important and should be planned properly for effective utilization. From the beginning it-self organizations should identify their core area of intervention based on the needs assessment, & geographical demarcation should be defined. The project should focus on long term impact with creating ownership with community. The time frame and expected impact has to be well defined so that any project will have satisfactory exit from the area, giving the complete process in hands of community.

Very true, that there is need of professionals who can plan the project in sustainable way. When organizations are making profit it is not difficult to continue the funding for the project but what about the organizations in case they make losses during the project time frame, hence it is necessary for organizations to plan how to keep continue the long term projects at the beginning itself. Discontinuing or keeping activities on hold in between project cycle will have adverse impact and the chances of losing trust of people with whom projects are being implemented.

I feel if such parameters are looked in at the early stage of the project, definitely the sustainability of any project will be insured at large.

Upendra Sontakke is a Program Manager- Corporate Social Responsibility at EMCO Limited based in Thane, Mumbai.

Disclaimer:  The views expressed by the author in this article are his own and do not necessarily reflect the views of INDIACSR.