CSR versus Profits

Oceanic Pharmachem Private Limited (OPPL) believes that companies that practice corporate social responsibility must do so without linking the same to profits.

 

Corporate Social Responsibility has long been the practice of corporates in “giving back” to society in the form of programs that benefit the less privileged members. CSR can take the form of outreach programs that adopt schools or communities and provide funds for their upkeep; as well as promote socially conscious business practices that lead to the betterment of society. Ever since CSR has gained a substantial momentum, the idea of company’s resources being devoted to causes other than to making profits has been debatable.

There is an ongoing disagreement over whether a firm should exist solely for making profits or whether it should pay heed to the social and environmental concerns that accompany the practice of CSR. The proponents of the profits view, argue about the market being the final arbiter of allocating resources and then point to the market as the place where incentives for propagating social and environmental causes are to be found. The opponents of this view take the stand that everything cannot be left to the market and there needs to be a mechanism in place whereby the environmental and social causes need to be taken care of.

On proper examination and by taking into account superficial attempts by businesses to pay lip service to CSR, the need to invest in CSR as a way of mitigating the deleterious effects of the industrial paradigm on the environment, is strongly felt. The opponents of this view are some of the multinationals themselves, who argue that both theoretically and practically, CSR must remain a voluntary choice of the business, and not ensured through formal control.

Worldwide, CSR is being enforced rather than being voluntarily embraced. This fact alone makes it clear that businesses by themselves do not contribute to CSR and that they have to be regulated to do so. The practice of CSR by industrial companies has risen dramatically in recent times only because of the fact that they have contributed to polluting the environment.

For a decent and sustainable future world, the acknowledgement of every individual as being a responsible citizen of one interdependent world, held together by mutual fellowship as well as the pursuit of mutual advantage, by compassion as well as self-interest, by a love of human dignity in all people.

Hence, in this interconnected and flat world there is a need for concerted action by businesses to take steps that would alleviate the current pressing issues.