Definition & background
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is an integral vision of sustainable business practices. CSR Netherlands' approach to CSR is based on the European Commission’s definition: corporate social responsibility refers to companies taking responsibility for their impact on society.
Companies that engage in socially responsible enterprise consider the social and economic impact of all their decisions, while taking account of the interests of their stakeholders (interested parties). These stakeholders can include employees and clients, or parties such as local residents, suppliers, investors and even society at large.
It is important for companies to engage in discussion with their stakeholders. This is how they learn about how their decisions affect others. It is also important for companies to be transparent about their activities and the social impact of those activities.
- Creates value socially, ecologically and economically. This is referred to as the 3 Ps: People, Planet and Profit.
- Plays a role in all company processes, from purchasing to marketing and from production to HRM. Social issues emerge in every aspect of enterprise.
- Requires companies to weigh the interests of their different stakeholders, including the people involved and other companies and organizations.
- Is different for every company. The measures implemented will depend on the company’s size, sector, corporate culture and business strategy.
- Is a process, not a final destination. Goals may change with time and the decisions a company takes along the way.
Learn more about the Dutch policy on CSR in the official document of the governement: Corporate social responsibility pays off, CSR policy of The Netherlands.