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Introduction to CSR

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) refers widely to the responsibility of business on environmental, social, and governance issues. In other words, business in the pursuit of profit and shareholder interests has a responsibility to employees, society, and the environment, including compliance with business ethics, production safety, and occupational health requirements, protection of labor rights, and conservation of resources. The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) defines CSR as “continuing commitment by business to contribute to economic development while improving the quality of life of the workforce and their families as well as of the community and society at large”. The World Bank defines CSR as “a collection of policies and practices linked to relationship with key stakeholders, values, compliance with legal requirements, and respect for people, communities and the environment” and the commitment of business to contribute to sustainable development, working with stakeholders to improve quality of life.

There have been increasingly frequent effects of extreme weather, natural disasters, and global warming around the world in recent years. Society has started demanding or expecting business managers to find a balance between their business activities and corporate social responsibility. People expect business managers to consider the big picture and the risks as well as the rights of stakeholders and proceed to change their business models. Another wave of support for CSR adoption on a global scale has been gaining momentum in the wake of the global financial crisis of 2008. In response to the trend, the “Corporate Social Responsibility Best Practice Principles for TWSE/GTSM Listed Companies” were released to the capital markets in Taiwan to provide guidance in CSR implementation for domestic businesses. The principles are aimed to advance sustainable development for business in order to make the capital markets in Taiwan more competitive worldwide.