HR makes difference in driving CSR policy

first_imgHR makes difference in driving CSR policyOn 18 Mar 2003 in Personnel Today HR must expand its role to drive corporate social responsibility (CSR) if itis to meet the future expectations of staff, customers and shareholders. This was the conclusion of employers who scored highly in the first-ever CSRindex and a study on the issue published by the Chartered Institute forPersonnel Development (CIPD) last week. More than 120 organisations took part in Business in the Community (BITC)Corporate Responsibility Index that rated their performance in areas such asworkplace, community, environment and the marketplace. BITC set up the index to enable companies to demonstrate that they are runresponsibly and ethically in the aftermath of the Enron and WorldCom scandals. Paul Davis, HR director 3M, a top-rated company in the index, said HR helpeddrive the firm’s CSR values, which were becoming increasingly important to thecompany. “It’s definitely a growing area because consumers are starting to demandit. On a wider perspective this sort of thing is part of our people’s growthand development so HR is very important to it,” he said. Scottish Power’s HR director Stephen Dunn said his company had rated highlyin the index because of the part HR played in promoting its CSR initiativessuch as its learning in the community scheme. “We set the tone for CSR in all our policies such as management andstaff training and leadership development,” he said. Patrick Mallon, director of benchmarking at BITC, agreed it was essential HRsupported CSR initiatives. “HR is well placed to co-ordinate and drive it[CSR],” he said. Mike Emmott, author of the CIPD report, concluded HR had a direct impact ona company’s willingness to embrace CSR through areas such as recruitment,training and communication. “The HR department is ideally placed to develop an organisation’sapproach to CSR, which must involve promoting trust-based relationships withemployees and other stakeholders,” he said. Ross WighamFeedback from the professionIs CSR HR’s sole responsibilityAnthony Sampson, director of CSR at Aviva”HR is a big part of the CSR agenda and the department isresponsible for a number of initiatives within the company. It is somethingevery-body should be aware of but it does need an engine. The index is a reallyuseful tool for gauging the performance of initiatives HR puts in place, butit’s only a starting point. However, CSR is a relatively new field that’sgrowing all the time.”Chris Clarke, corporatecitizenship manager, Ford UK”HR is key to the relationship between the employer andstaff and has a very broad role [to play] in this. HR is a cornerstone of theCSR policy at Ford.”Glynn House, employment brandmanager, Sainsbury”CSR is much broader than any one department and we lookat it from the point of view of the whole business – HR has a very big role toplay in that. Consumers are increasingly demanding more responsibility and wantto know what a company’s CSR policy is.”Ed Williams, CSR director M&S”It’s not just about involvement in the community, it’sthe whole employment picture. I wouldn’t single out HR because CSR iseverybody’s responsibility. The way a company treats its employees is a bigpart of it, but shouldn’t be seen in isolation. CSR and HR have to be alignedto the business objectives.” Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more