What is Corporate Social Responsibility?

Corporate social responsibility is an organization’s responsibility for the impacts of its activities on the society and the environment. That is through transparent and ethical behavior that:

– Contributes to Sustainable Development, including health and the welfare of society
– Takes into account the expectations of stakeholders
– Is in compliance with applicable law and consistent with international norms of behavior
– And is integrated throughout the organization and implemented in its relations.

The 6 core subjects listed by ISO 26000 are
Human rights
Labor practices
The environment
Fair operating practices
Consumer issues
Community involvement and development

*Corporate social responsibility is related to concepts of Responsible or Sustainable Business

corporate social responsibility diagram


Corporate Social Responsibility’s main actions are that businesses should:

  • Support and respect the protection of human rights. Ensure they are not complicit with any abuses in their operations and seek to eliminate of all forms of forced  labour
  • Promote equality and elimination of discrimination in regards to employment
  • Take responsibility for all environmental impacts of the business
  • Adhere to ethical business practices, including anti-corruption measures, whistle-blower mechanisms and responsible marketing.
  • Extend this responsibility to their supply chain, and ensure these principles are upheld by their suppliers, partners, distributors and other third parties.
  • Embrace transparency and report on the company’s progress across Corporate Social Responsibility topics

CSR Themes and Criteria

EcoVadis defines the scope of Corporate social responsibility as encompassing the following themes and criteria:




    Sustainable Procurement


  • Energy Consumption & GHGs
  • Water
  • Biodiversity
  • Local & Accidental Pollution
  • Materials, Chemicals & Waste


  • Product use
  • Product end of life
  • Customer Health & Safety
  • Environmental Services & Advocacy
  Human Resources

  • Employee Health & Safety
  • Working Conditions
  • Social Dialog
  • Career Management & Training

     Human Rights

  • Child Labor, Forced Labor & Human Trafficking
  • Diversity, Discrimination & Harassment
  • External Stakeholder Human Rights
  • Corruption
  • Anti-Competitive Practices
  • Responsible Information Management

  • Supplier Environmental Practices
  • Supplier Social Practices

Learn more about these criteria and the 21 indicators that are integrated into EcoVadis CSR scorecards in the comprehensive guide to our methodology

corporate social responsibility ratings

Download the guide


  • Establish a CSR management system: Create necessary policies, operational action plans, and reporting mechanisms for these activities that spans all CSR themes . Ensure that policies are defined, resources allocated to create and execute action plans to implement the policies, and track and report on KPIs and results.
  • Ensuring top management’s commitment, most especially the CEO is communicated across the whole company.
  • Create a role of CSR expert to at decision making level to manage policy development and implementation.
  • Development of relationships with all stakeholders (Shareholders, employees, NGOs, partners, customers, etc.)
  • Integrate in regular reporting (e.g. annual reports)


  • Better anticipation and management of ever-expanding spectrum of risk
  • Improved reputation and brand image management
  • Improved innovation, competitiveness and market positioning
  • Enhanced operational and cost savings
  • Improved ability to attract and build effective and efficient supply chain relationships
  • Improved relations with regulators, compliance with environmental and social legislations

The EcoVadis Assessment and Scorecard can provide your company, a thorough understanding of it’s management system, strengths and improvement areas.

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