CSR and Sustainable Development: Point of Intersection
Over the last few years, the notion of sustainability, especially social, environmental and economic, has acquired much attention of many CSR efforts. Stakeholders expect corporations to take the business model beyond profit-making to a whole new paradigm based on social welfare, environmental conservation, economic performance and stakeholder engagement. CSR is recognized as a means to achieve Sustainable Development.
The SDGs provides a strong framework for business entities to engage in CSR. As per the UN report- “Engaging the Private Sector in the Post-2015 Agenda”, jointly published by the UNIDO and the United Nations Global Compact, “In addition to eliminating poverty, the new framework will need to address the drivers of change, such as economic growth, job creation, reduced inequality and innovation that makes better and more careful use of natural resources. Industry plays a prominent role in advancing all these drivers.”
The private sectors are being brought into action via sustainable development goals to accomplish the common aim of sustainable development. It is done by exploring coordination between stakeholders at a different level for collective synchronized growth. For instance, when an organization determines its CSR contributing area on boosting livelihoods through skill development training for youth, such program is to achieve various SDGs such as zero hunger, quality education, gender equality and decent work, to eliminate poverty and economic growth.
Thus, SDGs can be conceptualized as a vantage point for every corporate house in its business activities through various CSR initiatives such as tree plantation programs, operating health camps, reducing carbon footprint, improving labor policies, increasing welfare, providing scholarships, and other activities related to sustainable development.