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Corporate social responsibility (CSR) refers to business practices involving

initiatives that benefit society. A business's CSR can encompass a wide variety of
tactics, from giving away a portion of a company's proceeds to charity, to
implementing "greener" business operations.
There are a few broad categories of social responsibility that many of today's
businesses are practicing:
1. Environmental efforts: One primary focus of corporate social responsibility
is the environment. Businesses regardless of size have a large carbon
footprint. Any steps they can take to reduce those footprints are considered
both good for the company and society as a whole.
2. Philanthropy: Businesses also practice social responsibility by donating to
national and local charities. Businesses have a lot of resources that can
benefit charities and local community programs.
3. Ethical labor practices: By treating employees fairly and ethically,
companies can also demonstrate their corporate social responsibility. This is
especially true of businesses that operate in international locations with labor
laws that differ from those in the United States.
4. Volunteering: Attending volunteer events says a lot about a company's
sincerity. By doing good deeds without expecting anything in return,
companies are able to express their concern for specific issues and support
for certain organizations.
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) offers a number of direct business benefits.
It helps to build responsible business reputation. Building a reputation as a
responsible business will give you a competitive advantage. Companies often favour
suppliers who have responsible policies. This is because it can have a positive
impact on how they are seen by their customers. Some customers don't just prefer
to deal with responsible companies, but insist on it. Reducing resource use, waste
and emissions doesn't just help the environment - it saves the company money too.
It's not difficult to cut utility bills and waste disposal costs and you can bring
immediate cash benefits.
While some evidence links CSR practices to business performance,
most organizations point to the non-financial benefits of their efforts. Proponents of
CSR argue that socially responsible practices can have a positive impact on the
organization
by
improving
employee recruitment and retention,
managing
environmental risks by reducing harmful accidents, and differentiating brand to
achieve greater consumer loyalty. CSR proponents may also argue for the
recognition of a "triple bottom line" performance that includes not only financial
returns for owners but also social and environmental benefits for the greater society.
Many parties have argued against CSR, stating that a corporation's purpose is
to maximize returns to its shareholders (or shareholder value) and that it does not
have responsibilities to society as a whole. Part of the critics' argument is that
managers should not select social causes on behalf of a diverse set of owners.

Rather, CSR opponents believe that corporations benefit society best by distributing
profits to owners, who can then make charitable donations or take other socially
responsible actions as they see fit.
Other critics, rather than targeting the concept of CSR, point to examples of weak
CSR programs. For example, the term greenwashing refers to instances where
businesses have spent significantly more resources advertising being "green" (that
is, operating with consideration for the environment) than investing in the
environmentally sound practices themselves. Critics view these as misleading, even
cynical, attempts to shape public perception about a company without its actually
having to benefit the environment.