Corporate Citizenship: Responsibility or Liability of a company?

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Photo by Clark Tibbs on Unsplash

This pandemic has been tough and countless people have lost their livelihoods, small businesses have also suffered major losses and some have completely shut down. But how have large corporate businesses faired? How can they help others during this pandemic? Let us first understand what a Corporation actually is — A corporate is a formal organization governed
with a specific set of laws and must be managed according to them. This legal aspect imposes strict rules on the employees of the company and also often extends to the local groups that they work with. There have been many instances when these corporate giants end up financially harming the local
communities that they are working with. However, corporations are now adopting a new concept known as ‘Corporate citizenship’ to develop better policies for the well-being of their employees as well as society.

Corporate citizenship (CC) is a social responsibility taken up by corporate businesses with the intention of social welfare. Many companies are adopting this agenda, especially during the pandemic to assume social and environmental responsibilities. The goal is to develop a connection between the giant corporates and their employees as well as help in the upliftment of the struggling social classes. This firmly establishes the business and gain a loyal consumer base.

A broader concept of corporate citizenship is corporate social responsibility (CSR). Although the terms are often used as interchangeable they aren’t the same. CSR highlights the duty of a company to not solely focus on the profits but also think about the development of the community. This reduces
the exploitation of the small business and promote their wholesome development.

The Body Shop is an international skincare and cosmetics brand that launched a program in 2016 called ‘Enrich Not Exploit’. Their aim was to develop lasting relationships with the farmers and communities around the world. They offer fair payment or ‘Fairtrade’ to the communities from
where they obtain the indigenous raw goods such as shea butter and argan oil for their skincare and cosmetic products. The biggest benefit of this campaign is financial and economic stability which it offers to the poor communities that depend on the trade of these indigenous ingredients. Another major
benefit is the conservation of the biodiversity of the area. Commercial industries frequently focus on profit, while ignoring the adverse effect they have on the environment. But CSR actively encourages these corporations to make environmentally conscious choices.

Amazon, a multinational company, is now working to procure and use more eco-friendly packaging to eliminate waste and reduce environmental pollution. Hence as the demand for a more socially responsible corporation, more and more businesses are trying to adopt the concept of corporate citizenship and develop more ethical practices.

Since these corporate giants control a large portion of the country’s economy and have large profit turnovers, it is also imperative that they assume some responsibility for the upliftment of the small and local businesses. By supporting their employees, consumers and in turn the economy, they can
prove that you can ‘do well’ and ‘do good’ at the same time.

Contributed By- Urjita Divekar, Content Writer at Mitti Ke Rang

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