justmeans.com: CSR education and consumer perception

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By Akhila Vijayaraghavan

Today I reaAkhila Vijayaraghavand three possibly unrelated articles about CSR.

One: In Mumbai, India rising interest of businesses in CSR has prompted Bombay University to update their syllabus.

Two: In SoutherAkhila Vijayaraghavann India, Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) has been contributing towards strengthening educations in several villages as part of their CSR.

Three: Two public opinion survCSR education and consumer perceptioneys said that consumers want a rise in CSR activity. In fact, 88% of consumers think companies should try to achieve their business goals while improving society and the environment. 83% of consumers think companies should support charities and nonprofits with financial donations.

Big cheers for CSR all around. Rah! What’s the downside you might ask? It is nothing: today I choose to see the world sunny-side up. So forgive me if this post is a little gushy.

The common thread between the three news articles I read besides it being about CSR is that there is once again evidence that different sectors are stepping up to be more accountable. On the education side of things, this year has seen a major shake-up in college and university curricula of several institutions. More and more business schools are focusing on the importance of CSR and now Mumbai University is introducing the concept of CSR in its social work curriculum.

I can already hear the grumbles of, “but CSR is not social work”. I agree completely, but let us discover what it is through the process of elimination.

BHEL’s CSR initiatives not only promotes education but also supports handicap students and artisans in two Southern Indian districts. Why is this incredible? Only because you don’t often see the words  ‘heavy electricals’ and ‘CSR’ together in the same sentence.

All of this leads to what consumers want. The two Do Well Do Good put forward two public opinion surveys and received astounding results, two of which are stated above. According to their website, “The surveys also serve as a “playbook” for companies already engaged in cause-marketing and corporate social responsibility programs. The Cause-Marketing Survey outlines several program tactics that would make consumers more likely to participate in a cause-marketing effort.

The CSR Survey outlines over 17 different social and environmental initiatives consumers expect of “good companies” and companies that consumers consider leaders.”

Overall the results indicated that men were very supportive of CSR and cause-marketing initiatives but, women were even more so. The mom subset was even more supportive than women in general. Can women usher in the new dawn of CSR? (More on this later)

What I’d like to see is for this survey to be taken globally. Now that would be truly interesting!

About the Akhila Vijayaraghavan
Akhila is a Justmeans staff writer for CSR and ethical consumption. As an IEMA certified CSR practitioner, she hopes to highlight a new way of doing business. She believes that consumers have the immense power to change ‘business as usual’ through their choices. She is a Graduate in Molecular Biology from the University of Glasgow, UK and in Environmental Management and Law. In her free-time she is a voracious reader and enjoys photography, yoga, travelling and the great outdoors. She also writes her own blog: http://thegreenden.blogspot.com

(Sourced from http://www.justmeans.com/CSR-education-consumer-perception/40287.html) , December 17, 2010

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