Every year as things begin to look up for corporate social responsibility, we just reflect at the past endeavours and come to the conclusion that the things are looking up for the CSR. Not only have the big sharks i.e. Big MNCs’ have incorporated the integrated framework of CSR in their modus operandi but even the small and middle level enterprises did not shy away from the integral aspect of sustainable development.
How do we ensure an effective CSR, more so how to identify the topics we really need to address? The issues that needs attention and will shape the future of the industry.
- CLIMATE CHANGE
‘Glacial Melt’, ‘increase in the level of seawater’ are some of the phrases reminiscent of the drastic climatic changes as a result of the global footprints. It can be hard to take action on climate change when the impact seems so far away. But the fact of the matter, climate change isn’t something that we’ll have to confront in the future. It’s happening right now, right here.
What is climate Change?
Global climate is the average climate over the entire planet. And the reason scientists and folks are concerned is that Earth’s global climate is changing. The planet is warming up-faster than at any time scientists know about from their studies of Earth’s entire history. Increased heat, drought and insect outbreaks, all linked to climate change, have increased wildfires. Declining water supplies, reduced agricultural yields, health impacts in cities due to heat, and flooding and erosion in coastal areas are additional concerns.
Now the question arises how can companies address climate change. Well they need to work out first on the entire system of garbage disposal especially E-WASTE. It’s been eating up on the Ozone layer which is fast depleting leading to cancerous entrapment of greenhouse gases. It’s all a vicious cycle.
Next they need to look into building up renewable sources of energy. Fossil fuels are nonrenewable, that is, they draw on finite resources that will eventually dwindle, becoming too expensive or too environmentally damaging to retrieve. In contrast, the many types of renewable energy resources-such as wind and solar energy-are constantly replenished and will never run out.
This seems to be a thriving issue of sorts lately. Well, one must admit first that we live in a patriarchal and patrilineal set up. Training young minds to be unbiased in gender stereotypes remains a wishful thinking. The ‘second gender’ remains the females. Gender equality is achieved when women and men enjoy the same rights and opportunities across all sectors of society, including economic participation and decision-making and when the different behaviours, aspirations and needs of women and men are equally valued and favoured. The UNITED NATIONS GENDER INEQUALITY INDEX is based on the premise that “all too often, women and girls are discriminated against in health, education and the labour market with negative repercussions for their freedom”.
Thus to address this issue,one must understand that regardless of where you live in, gender equality is a fundamental human right. Advancing gender equality is critical to all areas of a healthy society, from reducing poverty to promoting the health, education, protection and well being of girls and boys. Gender is a social construct that impacts attitudes, roles, responsibilities and behaviour patterns of boys and girls, men and women in all societies. Gender relations vary from society to society. It is a women’s and people’s issues shaped by power relations in multicultural societies like India. It deals with human concerns encompassing diversities and differences. It has been the most endemic form of discrimination operating across cultures in developed and developing societies.
Thus the whole idea is to make the society GENDER INCLUSIVE. This is an achievable goal given the amount of importance the companies are giving to the core issue. Companies can tie up with school and NGOs’ to ensure that these implicit biases are not pushed to the future generations. Several awareness campaigns can be launched and people can be educated regarding the same.
Education is the backbone of every society in this world. But what matters the most is the quality education – a dream for many. Several private organizations are joining hands with the Government to make that ultimate dream of offering quality education in India come true. As an important part of it, the role of corporate with their Corporate Social Responsibility Act (CSR) in India is crucial in improving the educational conditions in India. With ‘SARVA SHIKSHA ABHIYAN’ on a roller coaster ride, the education scene in India is fast improving.
Reduction in the school dropout rates, increased enrolment of students in secondary level and higher education and skill based learning is the primary aim of corporates currently. Universal Elementary Education is one such tool to address the core issues related to education. Corporates must focus on the following:
- ‘Learning without burden’ to make learning a joyful experience and move away from textbooks to be a basis for examination and to remove stress from children.
- To develop a sense of self-reliance and dignity of the individual which would be the basis of social relationship and would develop a sense of non-violence and oneness across the society.
- To develop a child centered approach and to promote universal enrolment.
- Learning should be an enjoyable act where children should feel that they are valued and their voices are heard.
Thus, keeping these core 3 agendas in mind, CSR can do wonders to the society. Regardless of whether you call it CSR, corporate responsibility, environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) or sustainability, a common understanding is emerging around the world: a company’s long-term financial success goes hand in hand with its record on social responsibility, environmental stewardship and corporate ethics.
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