Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a mechanism for businesses to assess the impact they have on society and consider putting responsible, ethical policies in place to support individuals, the local community and the environment. Despite its relatively new name, it is not a new concept; some businesses already had ethical and social aims in place before CSR became a phenomenon.

Also known as corporate responsibility, corporate citizenship or responsible or sustainable business, CSR requires that an organisation assesses its stakeholders, such as its employees, customers, suppliers, communities and environment and evaluates its responsibilities to them. Good CSR strategies then focus on creating policies that benefit society in a variety of ways, with the organisation’s individual circumstances in mind.

Corporate social responsibility strategies consider areas of concern to organisations. Effective policies address initiatives that are designed to improve relationships with local communities, employees and customers, and aim to put systems in place to encourage and monitor ethically and environmentally responsible activities. The goal is often sustainability, complementing business activities with socially responsible actions that support communities, individuals and the environment.