CSR Guidelines for the Financial Sector - page 56

Develop an integratedCSR decision-making structure
Set out the necessary CSR culture and policies
Set measurable targets and identify performancemeasures
Engage employees and others whom are affected by theCSR approach of the organization
Set out thenecessary CSR cultureandpolicies
Is CSR a culture or a practice?
Unfortunately, there is no practical answer to that question and although the best approach is themiddle path i.e. a
combination of culture and practice, the answer lies in a tailored approach for each organization based on the
organization itself, its values, its size and its already existing culture. Meaning, large organizations would find it
difficult to purely build their CSR on a culture because it would take too long to build a culture of CSR throughout the
organization on the other hand, small andmedium sized organizations would find it difficult to codify their CSR
approach because its an additional layer of policies that they can dowithout.
Organizations that are facing the dilemma of culture versus practice can ask themselves where they standwith
respect toCSR?
Wheredowe stand
with respect to CSR?
CSR is a Value System
CSR is a Practice
CSR as aCompetitive
What isMissing?
Culture Present PracticeMissing
If CSR is a value system that the
organization inherently believes in then
as a culture it should already be part and
parcel of the organization leaving it only
to codify andmanage such a practice to
move forward.
Practice Present CultureMissing
WhereCSR is a practice, it is often
identified as a department whereby all
philanthropic, charitable and social
donations andwork are centered. This
alienates CSR from the organization itself
limiting the potential impact of theCSR
investment undertaken.
CultureandPractice PresentMore
of BothValuable
This is probably themost neutral approach
toCSRwith respect to culture and practice.
CSR is approached as a practice for the
added value it is bringing to the business
and probably handled in a very strategic
manner alignedwith the business needs
and the related stakeholders.
By codifying such a practice this could
mean: setting a clear strategy tomove
forward; integratingCSR values in
already existing policies such as supplier
selection policies, employment policies,
environmental policies etc.; settingCSR
related objectives and targets within each
operation and/or department; and/or
monitoring and evaluating the impact of
CSRwork undertaken.
In this case, an investment into raising
awareness and building amuch-needed
culture throughout the organization is
necessary. This enables CSR to be better
embedded into each department,
facilitating the identification of CSR needs
on every level and not just as a separate
In this case, an investment to increase or
advance the culture is worthwhilemoving
CSR from an activity base approach to a
more sustainability based understanding.
Sustainable initiatives do not only create
a competitive advantage but also enable
attraction of talent andmaximization on
social opportunities that may exist to
benefit the organization even further.
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