CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY PLANNING WITH THE CHANGING TIMES

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The term corporate social responsibility (CSR) is generally taken as a help done by the industries and corporate out of their profits. If we go back to the age of our forefathers, it was the elites, who use to generously donate due to their philanthropic attitude or due to fear of being ostracise. Generous people were more or less naïve then and this desultory made them grant money to those who may or may not require the same. We had moved a long way since then and these days we have CSR experts and institutions, which come up with white papers on the ways to ameliorate finances so that the money can be used for the larger help of the society.

The word philanthropy has its origin from Greece and it has its source from the word:  philanthropia which was used during the year 1600 – 1610 and meant love for mankind. The Greeks in those days use to donate money as one of the educational ideals and also to please Gods. This concept they first embodied in the benevolent God Prometheus, who dared to share divine fire with mortals and suffered Zeus’s wrath.  It was not just the Greeks but also the Romans, who took special interest in Philanthropy. As years passed philanthropy began to mean generosity. In recent years, philanthropy took new form, as helping the less benefitted in the society. Today it’s an idea to effectively fund the have-nots, so as to cope up with their present situations and is a responsibility for organizations. Hence it is now a serious discussion topic in board rooms and finding ways to spend percentage of their profits for the welfare of the society.

Previously corporate used to donate generously towards education sector, making it affordable for all. Now, researches are being done to find ways to make CSR serve causes in the social sector viz. building schools, roads, empowering women, helping institutions for the differently-able people etc. Industries are now investing with a premonition that through development, society will change for better.

Some Industries are however looking into a broader aspect in terms of their CSR. It’s not just about the Social Value Model, where companies are investing only about specific issues for non-economic reasons, but also extending it to business models where Industries are expecting better brand image and higher economics. Board rooms are also discussing on a third model, where the social investment can serve the cause, as well as bring business in a different ways. That model tends to work better as it helps the members of the public to learn from corporate, help their own income as well as help the industry make profits. That keeps all stakeholders in the same boat and it sails quite smoothly.

The question that crop up is what industries should do to make a good CSR plan with effective policies towards its implementation? The plan could be made based on an Industry’s core strength i.e. its product line. Based on the product line, effective planning can be made so as to move forward. For example, if the industry is based on hand washes, kitchen gels, then it’s quite clear that the industry is more focused on sanitation and its benefits. That’s one way of preparing policies towards effective CSR, which will help the masses as well as will improve brand image.

Secondly, CSR not only serves human development, but also it helps to restore development in times of crisis. For example, an area which is struck by a natural disaster needs help during those golden hours. Through CSR industries render relief during those hours of need, helping the tormented and distressed people in their life’s utter crisis. These help the industry to exhibit its social side and also gain trust of a brand as an organization which stood with its consumers during their time of crisis.

Corporate which serve both these purposes are amongst the most respected brand. Interestingly, most of the CSR initiatives are now targeted at community relations. It’s about understanding the community better and their needs and plan CSR according to that. It’s also about helping with your expertise to those who do not have the same skill to move forward. The best part of this strategy is to help and dream together. That’s how a successful CSR policy could be prepared to help for a social cause as well as build a better brand image for effective economic returns.

It is seen that long lasting community development projects does improve the image of the corporation than merely doing charities. It’s a reflection that people need help about solving their problems than getting benefited by money. This sentiment helps in increasing brand image and contributes towards higher trust and superior place in the stock market.  It’s in times of crisis; this reputation becomes an asset which was built over time and pay huge dividends. Hope through CSR one day we can create a more developed world for us as well as for our future generation.

(My Personal View)

Writer:  Mainak Majumdar

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Government Affairs, CSR & Emergency Management

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‘Government Affairs’ is one of the crucial departments in an Industry. An Industry thrives when you do business for profit as well as have a social responsibility and abide by the law of the land. Desultory in any sector encourages loss and the company is sapped of its strength. All  is well till ‘Poseidon’ strikes and the Industry have to look beyond its abilities to control the predicament. Policy Makers start working day and night to control the situation as the law states that everything needed to be alright in a given territory. Amongst all the conundrums the onus falls on the head of the Government Affairs Specialists to come out with effective solutions.

Government Affairs do have a lot of functionality and one of them is to produce its brand as one of the best to media as well as the Government. When you connect with the needs of the Government and the agenda, you may push through your product line and market the same. Policies have always been an area of concern and delight for these specialists. This is justified by the fact that not all policies of Government and Regulatory Bodies go well with the Industry Goal or its product line, which makes the position of a Government Affairs specialist more complex. It’s the networking skills, diplomatic skills and negotiation skills that matters to ameliorate the situation. These experts need to transcendent their skills so as to normalize the situations. An effective ‘Government Affairs’ is just not about policies and media relations, it’s also about responsibility to deliver. When one negotiates and make promises, trust is gained when the organization as a whole delivers.

The situation is more eased when Government Affairs is clubbed with Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). That helps as CSR in itself is a noble task and coupled with good business strategy one can make good breakthroughs. Some may disagree with the statement; however CSR gets added power when Government Affairs also join hands. Any Corporate Social Responsibility gets done by the Corporate, also brings visibility to the brand and people often tends to buy brands based on their ethics. That’s the reason; the World has some respected brands which Government of Countries and masses admire because of their ideologies and ethics. When CSR and Government Affairs are clubbed as one department, its add teeth to the existing forum. CSR deals with the policies related to welfare of the society at large and Government Affairs deals mostly with policies related to products sellable to Government through its projects. Both these departments have one similarity, that is scalability in terms of brand image and brand ethics keeping aside the business strategy. That saves an Industry as well as the corporate from a disaster. 

All through this analysis, it is now being felt by some that Government Affairs together with CSR do provide an interesting and challenging opportunity coupled with roles that help Industries to make a good brand image. Both departments have the ability to initiative projects which may be beneficial for the nation as well as for the Industry. 

(The Above Are My Personal Views)

– Writer:   Mainak Majumdar

GLOBAL WARMING & NEED FOR DISASTER MANAGEMENT

These days it is discussed in some reports that Global Warming may increase the chance of extreme flooding as the warming climate will hold larger quantities of moisture, which will lead to a heavier rainfall.

Report states that Delhi, India faces one of its warmest winter in 114 years. Now the weather experts predicted that the summer of 2016 is going to be more blazing one in this South Asian Continent and the people may face decline in food grains, production leading to vertical food prices, farmer suicides after crop failures, heat wave causalities etc.

No rainfall in the northeast India and sudden floods in ‘barren’ Rajasthan was some incidents which still looms in one mind. Forget it, here are some interesting facts. People are finding hail storms in UAE region and parts of Europe saw a blinding heat wave, which killed many, especially the elderly, since they just don’t know how to cope with these unpredictable extremities.

The irrefutable scientific truth is that there is an evident increase in the average temperature of the earth’s atmosphere and oceans in recent decades. Some states that the warming documented over the last 50 years is due to human activities. The increasing amount of carbon dioxide and other green house gases are the principle reasons behind the human – induced reality of global warming.

Although carbon can be reduced suddenly and naturally into the atmosphere from volcanic activity, it takes many thousands of years for it to be removed permanently by natural processes such as rock weathering. Global warming has assumed serious proportions and is causing the Greenland ice cap to disintegrate far faster than anyone has predicted. A study of the region’s massive ice – sheet, warns that sea levels may as a consequence rise more dramatically than expected. Scientists have found that many Greenland’s huge glaciers are moving at an accelerating rate – dumping twice as much ice into the sea than 5 years ago – indicating that the ice –sheet is undergoing a potentially catastrophic break up.

The term “Weather” refers to the day changes in the state of the atmosphere at a specific location. It includes variables such as temperature, humidity, windiness, cloudiness and precipitation. Climate can be defined as the average weather, but the climate of a given region is also defined by the expected year – to – year variation in the weather variables. That is two regions that have the same mean annual or seasonal temperature, but where one region experiences much greater variation from one year to the next, have different climates. The climate of a given region however depends on much more than just the atmosphere. It rather depends on all the components that interest together to form part of the climatic system.

This climate system consists of the atmosphere, oceans, biosphere, cryoshere (ice and snow) and lithosphere (Earth’s crust). Each of these components influences and is influenced by others, so that they form part of a single system. The Sun in contrast, is not part of the climatic system because the climate cannot affect the Sun. Rather, the Sun is said to be the external forcing. The components of the climatic system are linked by flows of energy and matter. The energy flow occur as solar and infrared radiation, as sensible heat (heat which can be directly felt or sensed) as latent heat (related to evaporation and condensation of water vapour, or freezing and melting of ice) and through the transfer of momentum between the atmosphere and oceans. The major mass flow involves water, carbon, sulphur and nutrients such as phosphorus (P) and nitrate.

The behaviour of the climatic system depends on how these energy and mass flows change as the system changes. Thus any change in the major mass flows will lead to a disturbed climatic system and thus lead to a natural disaster. This is the time, when you can hear strange phenomenon like   “DESERT INTO A SEA…” The increasing size of the ozone hole adds to the problem.

Human made green house gases are being released into the atmosphere are almost ten times faster than it was before. The more we pollute the air, the more music we are going to face.

At last, this simple brain of mine, is just left with one thought: Is it is a HUMAN MADE DISASTER or NATURE’S WRATH?

To end I quote:

We are the birds of

the same nest,

We may wear

Different skins,

We may speak

Different languages,

We may believe in different religions,

We may belong to different cultures,

Yet we share the same

Home – OUR EARTH.

Born on the same planet

Covered by the same skies

Gazing at the same stars

Breathing the same air

We must learn to happily

Progress together

Or miserably perish together,

For human can

Live individually,

But can survive

Only collectively.”

 

(My Personal View)

Writer:

Mainak Majumdar