Business Engagement in Social & Economic Inclusion Research

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MODEL/FRAMEWORK FOR ASSESSING COMPANY SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC INCLUSION

POLICIES, PRACTICES AND OUTCOMES

The purpose of this Model  is to assist companies to assess their corporate social responsibility impact and develop specific action programmes to enhance their understanding of how the company can contribute to increasing the social and economic inclusion of marginalized groups in the communities and markets in which they do business.  The proposed Model attempts to examine and develop an integrated and comprehensive assessment of the social and economic inclusion impact of the company, across all aspects of the company’s operations, as the company conducts its business operations and makes its investment decisions.  The same process can be taken with the other dimensions of the company’s corporate social responsibility effort, such as environmental policies and practices.

Specific corporate social responsibility social and economic inclusion policies and practices should be assessed and company performance with regard to the assessment area should be benchmarked and/or performance measured in a manner that the company judges as providing them a solid assessment and understanding of the company’s performance – whether against year ago achievement, or achievement to objective or benchmark performance relative to their industry sector peers or whoever they judge to be best in class.  Once the assessment is made, then the company should develop a measurement system to track company performance.  Where required and applicable the company may also choose to set development objectives to help them in achieving the desired benchmark or level of company performance by way of identifying development strategies to achieve the development objectives and planned executions to fulfill the strategies.

For example; is a C.S.R. statement/vision included in company vision/mission statements and the company’s core values?  As an example, the assessment may be that there is no formal statement.  If this was the case, then clearly the development objective would be the creation and formal adoption of a C.S.R. statement by way of a board resolution carried by a certain date.  To achieve this development objective the Board may lay out a number of development strategies such as:

  • Conduct a formal review of other best practitioners or other best in class companies’ C.S.R. statements.  [So as to better understand the nature and composition of such statements.  This could be as simple as opening a conversation with other local companies in the same business sector and/or the sector council to ascertain what they are doing in this area]
  • Conduct a consultation with company customers, suppliers and employees.
  • Conduct a consultation with local business associations.  [For example, in the case of Halifax , this would be the Greater Halifax Partnership and the Halifax Chamber of Commerce]
  • Establish a board steering committee or a board C.S.R committee to manage the development of a C.S.R. statement.
  • Create a C.S.R. resource center in the company to manage the development of a C.S.R. statement [and subsequently to provide integrated management to all the other aspects of the company’s corporate social responsibility polices and practices, including the identification of sources for best practices.

These are only a few examples of possible developmental strategies a company may choose to pursue.  The key is how the company creatively construes its own approach to achieving the developmental objective and each company’s situation will be different.  In the case of a large company the process would be more structured and probably involve many people within the company; while in the case of a smaller company, the process would be far less structured and more of a hands-on engagement by the owner/operator.

The Model is simply a checklist of ways of looking at a number of the possible dimensions of social and economic inclusion across all aspects of the company’s operations and developing an action plan to improve company performance.  The model represents the “ideal” or best case for a company’s social and economic inclusion policies and practices and as such may not be easily or immediately attainable for many companies.  However, it still provides a road map toward which companies can move along to increase their corporate social responsibility, at the pace they judge to be a reasonable fit for their organization.  As previously mentioned, the same process can be extended to other aspects of the company’s C.S.R policies and practices, such as environmental.

To down load a PDF copy of the Model just click on this PFD icon:

The Model is also available in the Report.

A number of excellent corporate social responsibility best practices resources exist, for companies to learn more about the aspects and dimensions of the best practices which are outlined in the proposed model.  A number of these resources for best practices are outlined in ATTACHMENT 4 of the report.  Many of the best practices of this model were drawn from these sources and as well as based on the reported corporate social responsibility policies and practices of the 10 large companies reviewed in the secondary research.  The learning from the interviews with 21 Halifax based companies and organizations in the primary research phase of this project is also reflected in this model.

For more information on csr best practices click on the following link, CSR Best Practices or see the sections from the Report: SUMMARY OF CONCLUSIONS REGARDING THE C.S.R. SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC INCLUSION POLICIES AND PRACTICES OF THE 10 CORPORATIONS REVIEWED DURING THE SECONDARY RESEACH PHASE, the PRIMARY RESEARCH KEY FINDINGS and RECOMMENDATIONS FOR SUSTAINABLE MECHANISMS AND PROCESSES.