Corporate Social Responsibility is a concept whereby enterprises integrate their social and environmental responsibilities into their mainstream business operations, and business decisions are made with reference to wider sustainability issues.
National Plan on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
In 2014, Ireland published its first national plan on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR):
Good for Business – Good for the Community, Irelands National Plan on Corporate Social Responsibility 2014-2016
The National Plan on Corporate Social Responsibility sets out a vision that “Ireland will be recognised as a Centre of Excellence for responsible and sustainable business practice through the adoption and implementation of best practice in CSR in enterprises and organisations as widely as possible.”
We have produced our first National Plan on CSR in line with EU and international best practice CSR policy.
A key driver of our National Plan is the impact CSR can have as a lever for improving competitiveness and as a means to reduce costs and create new value. However the Plan also recognises the importance of CSR for enterprise and for the communities in which we live. We recognise the value of sustainable business practices in boosting employment, fostering social justice and protecting the environment.
The Department is working collaboratively with the enterprise sector and relevant Government Departments and agencies to progress the objectives of the Plan.
Practical supports to companies to develop CSR are available from a number of business representative bodies, networks and specialists such as Business in the Community Ireland and Chambers Ireland.
CSR Stakeholder Forum
A CSR Stakeholder Forum was established in June 2014 to drive the objectives of the National Plan. The Stakeholder Forum brings together representatives of the business sector, the public sector other key stakeholder and the wider community. The Forum meets on a quarterly basis.
The CSR Stakeholder Forum has developed online resources: www.csrhub.ie and Twitter @CSRHubIrl to bring together key CSR resources and help businesses in Ireland to learn more about sustainable and responsible business practices. The CSR Hub website aims to increase awareness of CSR activity in Ireland and is a central repository of information on CSR, accessible to all.
You can visit the CSR Hub to find out more information on sustainable business practices including links to useful organisations as well as links to best practice case studies and useful guidance tools and standards.
The @CSRHubIrl twitter account shares CSR related news stories, CSR events, announcements, and information on best practice case studies.