What is corporate responsibility?

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) – also referred to as corporate citizenship – is how organisations play their part in shaping a better society and world through good and ethical business. It includes aspects like sustainability, equality, and promoting good health and wellbeing.

Why is corporate social responsibility important?

Organisations have a responsibility to ensure that their work impacts positively on communities. Kind and ethical business is crucial to shaping a greener and fairer world, so corporate social responsibility is an important part of any company.

The United Nations (UN) has set out 17 sustainable development global goals, agreed by world leaders, to build a better world by 2030, and everyone in society can play a role in achieving them. These pillars of shared global responsibility are a key place to start when building your organisation’s corporate social responsibility framework.

Not only does corporate social responsibility ensure your company makes a positive mark on the world, but it also makes business sense. It can boost morale and employee engagement, and therefore productivity and profits, as well as build a good brand reputation and increase customer retention.

Is charity collaboration part of corporate responsibility?

Choosing to support a fantastic cause like Teenage Cancer Trust is a meaningful way of working social impact into a corporate responsibility policy. And our charity is aligned with the UN’s global goals which include promoting better health and championing the future of young people.

You can support charity as part of your business’s corporate social responsibility in many different ways. Charity volunteering schemes for employees not only help important causes, but it’s also a brilliant CSR team-building activity. Other ways of supporting charity as an organisation include fundraising days and corporate partnerships.


Other corporate social responsibility examples

Corporate social responsibility can touch all corners of your business, and there are so many different ways to make an impact - both big and small - on the world. Here are some more ways of driving positive change as an organisation.

  • Reducing carbon footprint
  • Forward-thinking diversity and inclusion policies
  • Being environmentally conscious 
  • Social impact investing
  • Charitable volunteering
  • Supporting good causes financially
  • Using fairtrade products and policies
  • Ethical and sustainable investment 

What role does corporate philanthropy have?

Corporate philanthropy is different to corporate social responsibility, which is much wider in scope. But corporate philanthropy - also known as business philanthropy - often forms part of an organisation’s CSR framework. 

While corporate social responsibility covers many elements of good and ethical business, corporate philanthropy is a long-term and focussed way of helping a specific cause, charity or campaign. This can involve donations of time, money and/or skills that make lasting, positive change. It can also fall under a corporate giving programme.

Strategic philanthropy is a step up from this. It’s about making the same kind of meaningful social impact, but in a way that aligns with a business’s overall mission and values. It marries an organisation’s marketing goals to its aspirations to create a better world, and can also be referred to as cause-related marketing or community partnering. The approach is underpinned by a strategy, which includes evidence-based goals and measurement of results.

What are the benefits of corporate philanthropy?

As well as doing lots of good, corporate philanthropy can boost an organisation’s image. It can also increase business exposure, set a company apart from competitors, and, in turn, strengthen both customer and employee loyalty. Involving employees in the philanthropic mission of a business can help to make them more engaged, too. As part of a strong corporate social responsibility framework, corporate philanthropy has the power to benefit society as well as the business. And choosing to support Teenage Cancer Trust means you’ll be providing direct and essential help to young people in need.

More about joining our community of valued philanthropists.


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