Corporate Social Responsibility
Enlarge image Social and ecological standards also need to be maintained for a sustainable growth. (© Colourbox) Germany already has stringent laws regarding social and environmental standards. Nevertheless, the Government, major companies and civil society aim at implementing a comprehensive set of sustainable business practices.
In Germany, CSR is understood not only as social, but also ecological, responsibility. A number of companies started reporting on CSR more than 10 years ago, following increasing demands from consumers and the society to get informed about business practices. Germany’s Federal Ministry of Labour (BMAS) announced an action plan on CSR in 2010. This action plan aims at fostering the CSR concept within the whole business community, including small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
There are a number of stakeholders in the CSR process in Germany, as represented in the National CSR Forum set up by BMAS. They include a number of companies, consumer representatives, trade unions, employer associations, research bodies, environmentalists, etc. After the implementation of major individual measures outlined in the Action Plan in CSR from 2010, the German Federal Government is currently developing further and orientating more internationally the CSR strategy.
The competent Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (BMAS) supports the CSR process with a series of initiatives and actions. Corporate responsibility in production and supply chains has become a central theme intensively discussed within the CSR Forum of the Federal Government as well as during the German G7 presidency and for developing a National Action Plan to implement the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.
In India, the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) has been running the CSR initiative as a part of India’s ‘Inclusive Growth’ policy. The MCA has published the second version of voluntary guidelines regarding sustainable business. In India, since May 2014, a new "Companies Act" came into force and the companies above a certain size have to spend 2% of the average net profit in the last 3 years in favor of "socially responsible projects / programs". In this way about 16,000 large companies across the country are expected to promote social development by mobilizing their management skills. The Indian Ministry for Corporate Affairs has issued the voluntary guidelines in 2011 for socially, environmentally and economically sustainable management and in the development of the guidelines Germany has supported through GIZ as part of an intensive cooperation from 2008-2014. The German expertise is also requested for strengthening the consumer demand for environmentally and socially acceptable goods and services.