Corporate responsibility is concerned with the sustainability of an organisation’s ethics over the long term. At its core, corporate responsibility seeks to add value to an organisation's activities by ensuring they have a positive impact on society, the environment and the economy. The CIPD describes corporate responsibility as including financial as well as social and environmental responsibility.

This factsheet asks why corporate responsibility matters and highlights the role of HR. It provides guidance on putting corporate responsibility into action through various factors and mechanisms, including the law and voluntary measures, partnerships with external agencies, and social and environmental reporting. The factsheet also provides an overview of current debates surrounding corporate responsibility, examining both its proponents and opponents. It concludes by offering a set of guidelines for introducing a corporate responsibility strategy, which are especially pertinent to employers and HR practitioners.

CIPD viewpoint

What is corporate responsibility?

Embedding corporate responsibility into practice

Debates over corporate responsibility

Guidelines for introducing a corporate responsibility strategy


Useful contacts and further reading

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Corporate responsibility and HR

Episode 65: What does responsible business look like today? We chat with IBM, Aviva and Three-legged Stool to find out what role HR can play in encouraging corporate responsibility and embedding it in their business strategy.

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