Definition of socially responsible practice

This encompasses programmes and systems that a company can put in place to increase the safety and well-being of individuals.  Companies can seek to establish systems to ensure that human rights are upheld within the supplier network and to help improve the livelihood and welfare of its suppliers.

In addition, companies can also improve the lives of employees by ensuring workplace safety, dealing with work-life balance issues.  Organisations can put socially responsible practices in place to improve customer safety and to educate consumers on how to use the products safely.

Example

Socially responsible practices affect business practices in various ways.  For instance:

Suppliers
Socially responsible practices ensure that suppliers:

  • do not use sweatshops, child and forced labour such as prisoners;
  • pay their workers a living wage (that is above minimum wage).

Employees
In addition to specific safety rules that employees must abide by, worker-focused socially responsible practices include:

  • policies for hiring and retaining women and minorities;
  • ways to employ disabled people into appropriate roles;
  • subsidising gym memberships and meals in the workplace;
  • providing training and funding for education.

Customers
Socially responsible practices include:

  • special packaging to prevent products from being tampered with;
  • methods to educate consumers on proper storage, use and disposal of the product;
  • giving customers the ability to track the product to ensure authenticity,
  • providing contact details or a website for customers to talk to the company if they have any queries.

Community
Finally, a company can invest in the community, in which it operates, to enhance relations. Companies can:

  • sponsor events or sports teams within the community;
  • donate to local charities;
  • encourage employees to engage in activities within the community;
  • encourage staff to be advocates of specific charities and events during paid work time. [1]

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