A CSR assessment is an evaluation of how well a company has integrated the principles of CSR into their business. An assessment program is a first step into an ongoing monitoring process. The objective of the assessment is to get a clear picture of your Corporate Social Responsibility practices (i.e. environment, social, ethics, supply chain). The assessment results will enable you to understand how your company is positioned, but you can also use the assessment results to communicate your CSR commitment to your stakeholders.
The first step is to gather, analyse and examine all relevant and important information about the company’s services, products, activities and decision making processes where the company currently stands in relation to its activities and locate points to apply CSR. A proper CSR assessment should provide the following information about the company assessed in respect to these four themes:
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The CSR Assessment should show the main risks and opportunities and give a thorough analysis of the following: How well is the company’s strategy in responding to emerging opportunities and issues? Where is the company strong and weak in regards to CSR? These are important information which can be used as a selling point to stakeholders.
Most companies conduct these assessments at the request of their clients or stakeholders. When your top management do not have an accurate overview of your corporate social responsibility status and progress. It would be difficult and unlikely for them to make important decisions for the future. Intelligence gathered from the assessment can protect a firm from making an ineffective and uncalculated CSR approach or heading in an unsustainable direction with their business. An assessment will also help identify CSR loopholes and potential opportunities which will improve the decision making process and also as a reminder of legal obligations in business practices.
A basic assessment process is outlined below:
1. Assemble a CSR leadership team
2. Develop a working definition of CSR
3. Identify legal requirements
4. Review corporate documents, processes and activities
5. Identify and engage key stakeholders.
This is not the only way to do an assessment; rather it is one way a firm can review the full range of its operations through a CSR lens. A number of organizations, such as EcoVadis have developed tools and CSR rating methodology to help comapnies perform a CSR assessment on themselves or on their suppliers. Below is a brief explanation of the EcoVadis methodology.
EcoVadis CSR Assessment and Rating methodology: The objective of the EcoVadis CSR rating methodology is to assess the quality of a company’s CSR management system-through its policies, implementation measures and results. The process captures and analyzes information and distills it into a scorecard with a Rating on a 0 to 100 scale. The rating methodology is based on seven founding principles: