Friday, 20 February 2009

Business Govt. Partnership to solve Urban Problems

When we think of CSR, usually we think about rural poor and how CSR policies and programs have transformed rural communities. However, today's increasingly urbanized world, CSR initiatives could be an effective way to tackle the burgeoning urban chaos and pollution. Traffic congestion is one problem that every metro in every part of the world is struggling

It is common knowledge that congested roadways cost billions of dollars annually in form of sheer number of hours lost in waiting for the traffic to clear, and several billions of gallons of wasted fuel and not to mention the increased emissions from the idling vehicles!

Just like the successful partnerships that corporates have forged with NGOs and Govt. sector in rural areas, businesses should join hands with Govt. and NGOs that work on alleviating urban problems. I am yet to come across a CSR initiative that has addressed the urban problem of traffic congestion and the related pollution.

Readers who know of good CSR initiatives targeting urban problems, please share your views.

Friday, 13 February 2009

National Seminar on CSR

Dept. of Social Work, Dr G R Damodaran College of Science, Coimbatore, India is organizing a 2 day National Seminar on Corporate Social Responsibility on 27 and 28th February 2009. Industry and NGO professionals, Social workers are expected to deliberate on CSR evolution and its current status in the Global Economy.

I am glad to note that Professional Socialwork students are taking interest in CSR and hosting this seminar. Corporates need the skills of community development and social work professionals to strategize and implement sustainable development programs. Seminars like this will go a long way in equipping the Social Work students with necessary real world skills. Businesses and Private Enterprises also will benefit from this exchange with academia.

Thursday, 12 February 2009

Business Voluntary Sector Partnership

Partnership between Businesses and Voluntary sector is an accepted model for Sustainable development. Many Indian companies have realized this and have forged successful partnerships. To mention a few, Cisco Systems India and its partnership with Dr. Reddy's Foundation on livelihood systems, IBM India partnership with Bharthi Foundation for their Kidsmart early childhood education programs, Microsoft India and Development Alternatives on IT education etc.

Such Partnerships enable the company to leverage their core competency - mostly technology and managerial skills for the benefit of society at large. Similarly, NGOs with their grassroots experience and knowledge of local communities help the disadvantaged sections of society to benefit from the cutting edge technology that these companies have to offer. This win-win strategy is well documented in the CII Partnership Case Studies.

Sunday, 8 February 2009

IBM CSR Survey - the CSR Value Curve

An IBM CSR Study 2008 covering 250 companies globally, argues that "there is a shift in thinking from CSR as a cost or risk mitigation effort to CSR as a strategic goal that brings in new revenues" Apparently, many companies are growing up this "CSR Value Curve" from the lowest level of CSR seen as a legal compliance to the highest view of considering CSR as a Strategic Goal that brings in new revenues. Now the interesting question is how many Indian companies are there at the lower end of this CSR Value Curve? Please go through the full IBM CSR survey and let me know your views.

Thursday, 5 February 2009

Top 5 CSR focus of Indian Companies

The top 5 sectors of CSR focus of Indian companies as seen in their websites are as follows:

1. Health 2. Education 3. Environment 4. Community Development and 5. Disability / women empowerment