Cindy Laquidara is a lawyer based in Jacksonville, Florida. She is Board Certified by the Florida Bar in City, County & Local Government Law.

Social Responsibility in the Modern World: How Corporate Leaders Can And Should Make A Difference Today

CSR with CindyAs the world grows increasingly interconnected with every passing days, leaders in both public and private spaces are embracing the fact that our actions have real and tangible impacts. In the past, these may have been less visible or easier to ignore because perhaps it was not affecting our immediate community. However, one positive result of globalization is that every community is, to some extent or in some way, now much closer and visible to our own. As a result, whether it comes to managing public or corporate affairs, major new trends have been established to improve the way we resolve issues and emphasize the importance of taking responsibility for our moral duty to leave the Earth better than we found it. Corporate social responsibility (CSR) involves some form of voluntary self-regulation that is purposefully folded into a company’s business model. Sometimes, it can be called different names. Whether the organization in question prefers the term CSR, social performance, corporate citizenship, corporate conscience, or anything similar, the goal remains ultimately unchanged. That is to hold itself accountable for its impact on the world around it, regardless of the good or service it provides, and encourage a positive result from its presence in many ways, including in regards to the environments, its employees, consumers, and other stakeholders in the community. This typically involves the enthusiastic and committed observation of not just the law, but also international norms, its own ethical standards, and more. One common tool used to achieve such a goal is socially responsible investing. This is the practice of only seeding money to organizations that meet a predetermined and strict set of criteria in terms of their ability to create a social good. A second tool is sustainability accounting. This involves doing more than just monitoring cash flows. Sustainability accounting demands that companies invest time and resources to track and provide information about the impact of their activities on the world around them, especially from an environmental standpoint. This helps everyone better understand how they manage resources sustainably. Social entrepreneurship involves attacking a social problem with the skillset and principles typically reserved for the business world. This often means organizing and managing a self-sustaining venture with the express purpose of accomplishing a goal for social change. Traditional entrepreneurs measure performance in things like profit or ROI. Social entrepreneurs are also tracking progress in social, cultural, or environmental spheres. Although often lumped in with the not-for-profit sectors, the best social entrepreneurs manage to turn a profit while also making a difference.