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  • Sandrina Gomes Teixeira

The three pillars of Social and Economic Responsibility

Social and economic responsibility, or CSR, aims to improve the quality of life of employees and have a positive impact on society while ensuring the sustainability of the business.

Since May 22, 2019, the PACTE law requires all companies to implement a CSR approach. A CSR strategy within its company not only helps to improve its image but also to improve the quality of work and life of employees and reduce its environmental impact. There are three pillars in CSR, each of which addresses different issues. The CSR manager must ensure that these pillars are respected by the company.

The economic pillar

The economic pillar shows that CSR contributes to the proper functioning of society at an economic level. The company must be economically viable and generate a turnover in line with the expectations of the manager. It is by selling products or services that the company can make a profit.

The economic pillar also requires businesses to support the local economy. For example, it is possible to use local suppliers. Fair pricing in line with the quality of the services is required. Transparency with investors and timely payment of invoices is also part of the actions to be taken to succeed in the economic pillar.

For example, it is possible to undertake actions such as

  • Responsible purchasing by finding local suppliers who respect the environment

  • Fair pricing

  • A guarantee of the quality of the services

The social pillar

The social pillar advocates respect for human rights. Diversity and equal opportunities are to be taken into account, for example when recruiting a disabled worker. The gender mix is also an important point of the social pillar, which also corresponds to the professional equality index.

Health and safety are very important to offer a healthy and irreproachable quality of life to its employees. Certain approaches such as the QWL (Quality of Life at Work) or the QHSE (Quality, Health, Safety, Environment) policy are implemented in companies. Training and health are also part of the social pillar, which is why it is important to offer health coverage to employees or to connect them with occupational medicine.

To provide support on the social side, one can :

  • implement telecommuting

  • Improve workspaces (plants, comfortable seats...)

  • Motivate your employees

The environmental pillar

All actions implemented by companies have a strong environmental impact. The best they can do is to try to reduce this impact as much as possible. The environmental pillar includes all issues related to the environment. Several actions can be taken to reduce the impact of companies on the environment.

Reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, efficient and sustainable use of natural resources, or partnerships with responsible companies: many actions can be implemented to improve the CSR score of the company and consequently, reduce its environmental impact. The objective is to preserve the environment, biological diversity, and natural resources for a cleaner planet.

The actions that can be implemented include

  • The implementation of recycling within the company

  • The choice of green energy suppliers

  • Offering mobility packages to its employees.

Why do we talk about the 7 pillars of CSR?

We often hear about the seven CSR pillars but in reality, they represent the seven evaluation criteria of the ISO 26000 standard. This is a standard that serves as a basis for evaluating companies' commitment to sustainable development. These seven areas are :

  • Governance of the organization

  • Human rights

  • Environmental responsibility

  • Consumer protection

  • Labor conditions and relations

  • Fair practices

  • Communities and local development.

This standard offers companies a clearly defined structure that can help them implement a comprehensive and qualitative CSR strategy.

Around these three main dimensions, CSR has an ethical objective. To make companies responsible for their environmental and human impact. Implementing a CSR approach has become mandatory for all companies, which is why it is advisable to address the subject quickly when the company begins to grow.

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