As companies are increasingly fighting to gain portions of the markets they compete in, they actively seek ways to attract more customers. One of the ways companies opted to attract more customers is through giving back to the communities in which they operate, becoming more culturally sensitive of the cultures they are working with and supporting the environment and small businesses in the markets they operate in. Through these means, companies aim to meet their shareholders’ and stakeholders’ expectations and to achieve a balance of economic, environmental and social imperatives.
Practically, the nature of organisation had an effect on the type of social responsibility they uphold. For example, some companies may opt for an environmentally focused CSR approach while others may choose to implement ethically-focused CSR or a philanthropic-cantered CSR approach.
Companies have had the liberty to choose the CSR approach they deem suitable for their goals and for their shareholders’ and stakeholders’ aspirations. Meaning that, CSR has been a type of self-regulation the companies adopted.
When it comes to the Tech sector, Tech giants have pride themselves for the CSR standards they upheld. Each of these companies opted for a CSR policy that they deemed suitable for their corporate mission. For example, Google opted for a philanthropic CSR approach through its charity “Google.org” (Google Charity) and, as well, the company chose to implement an environmental CSR approach where the company has committed itself to being fully carbon free by 2030 (Google Sustainability).
Similarly, Microsoft has sat for itself a goal of being carbon negative by 2030 (Microsoft Corporate Social Responsibility) which indicates the company has an environmental CSR approach. Additionally, the company plans to provide broadband access to US users in rural areas and has provided learning opportunities and hardware and software for non-profits which shows the company’s philanthropic side (Microsoft CSR Report 2020).
From here, one may wonder whether the current CSR standards upheld by Tech companies are effective enough or there is still further room for improvement and whether Tech sector’s CSR should remain a self-regulatory approach or one predetermined by regulators and governments. These are some of the questions we aim to answer in this month’s blog series.
Google Sustainability <https://sustainability.google> accessed on 1 August 2021
Google Charity <https://www.google.org> accessed on 1 August 2021
Microsoft Corporate Social Responsibility <https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/corporate-responsibility/report> accessed on 1 August 2021
Microsoft CSR Report 2020 <https://query.prod.cms.rt.microsoft.com/cms/api/am/binary/RE4JaGo> accessed on 1 August 2021