Social Responsibility in Organizations

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  • 0:06 A Brave New World
  • 0:33 What It Means To Be Social
  • 1:44 So Who Does It?
  • 3:05 Going All In
  • 3:53 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Eric Garneau
Watch this video lesson to learn how companies put into practice their social responsibilities. Learn how a socially responsible company helps the environment, people, and employees along with giving freely to society.

A Brave New World

Green - what an interesting word. Back in the day, it was just a color. In some instances, it was associated with envy. Thus, green was a very simple color and did not have a lot of different meanings. However, all that changed with the focus for companies to be socially responsible and minimize their carbon footprint. Now, green means being clean and not hurting the environment, and that is a driving force behind organizations being socially responsible.

What It Means to Be Social

Social responsibility, while around for some time, really kicked into high gear with the advent of social networking sites (Facebook and Twitter for example), and the focus was put on saving the environment. Now companies have to actively take part in making sure they are doing their part to make the world cleaner and/or working to help society. Thus, social responsibility can be defined as a company, person or organization that, during the course of its business dealings, works with the benefit of society as a whole in mind.

Thankfully, many companies have adopted a socially responsible stance when they conduct their business. It can be argued some do it for the positive public relations they receive, but we have to think that a majority of the companies out there are doing it because they generally care about the environment and want to make the world a better place. And while I have spoken a lot so far about environments, being socially responsible also branches out into helping individual people as well. Thus, the term encompasses a wide variety of actions and contributions, all designed to make the world cleaner while also helping individuals or specific causes.

So Who Does It?

There are so many companies involved in being socially responsible that the list can stretch on for miles. It does help, though, to get an understanding of some of the work that is being done out there by companies of varying size. For example, according to Macleans:

  • IBM founded the Green Sigma Coalition, an industry alliance of over ten companies, to provide technological solutions and management for a number of natural resources and greenhouse gases.
  • Kellogg's initiated a unique breakfast-sharing program that aims to provide one million breakfasts in schools in the 2011-2012 school year by engaging consumers to contact the company's website with photos and descriptions of breakfasts.
  • The Body Shop, a subsidiary of L'Oreal, assures that their products are not tested on animals by meeting the standards of the Humane Cosmetics Standard of the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection.
  • At McDonald's, over one-quarter of the company's management positions (vice-president level or above) are filled by women.

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