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Promoting corporate social responsibility in small and medium enterprises in the Caribbean: methodology report

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Promoting corporate social responsibility in small and medium enterprises in the Caribbean: methodology report

Autor institucional: NU. CEPAL-NU. CEPAL. Oficina de Washington-OEA Descripción física: 66 p. : diagrs., tabls. Editorial: ECLAC Fecha: diciembre 2008 Signatura: LC/W.213

Descripción

Over the past decade, a growing number of companies have recognized the business benefits of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) policies and practices. Their experiences are bolstered by a growing body of empirical studies that demonstrates that CSR has a positive impact on business economic performance and is not detrimental to shareholder value. Maximization of profits is perhaps the most important element for ensuring the continuity of the business over the time. However, value creation is also related to social issues such as health and safety, equality and environmental protection, under a triple bottom line approach. In this perspective the social and the environmental levels should be considered as important as the economic-financial level.In developed countries, companies have increasingly been encouraged to adopt or expand CSR efforts due to the result of pressures from governments, customers, suppliers, employees, communities, investors, activist organizations and other stakeholders. As a result, CSR projects have grown dramatically in recent years, with companies of all sizes and sectors developing innovative strategies. Firms have come to realize that CSR is good for businesses, since it increases productivity, contributes to competitiveness and creates a positive corporate image in the eyes of consumers, investors, employees and the community at large. By the same token, socially responsible businesses, with a purpose beyond making profit, can have a positive social, economic, and environmental impact at the country level by helping to improve the working and surrounding conditions, including those of its small business suppliers.Despite growing evidence that CSR practices can strengthen market share and potentially reduce long term costs, there has been reluctance by many companies to adopt these practices for a number of reasons. Among them, many companies do not fully understand what CSR is or howit can be employed to improve their bottom-line and reduce risks and liabilities. Increasingly SMEs that are part of the supply chains of large companies are being required to implement CSR measures. If these firms want to compete in the global marketplace, they must begin making changes and incorporating CSR measures.