Data and CSR

What it is, why it matters and what you need to know.

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Why CSR is important

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) refers to the decisions and behaviour of a business in the context of social responsibility, such as ethics, the environment, diversity, human rights, transparency, accountability, sustainability, values and community.

 

CSR and ESG are often considered to be the same thing, however they are not. They are two different frameworks that businesses use to assess sustainability. While ESG is a quantifiable assessment of sustainability and business practices, CSR is a self-regulating business model that aims to improve society and the environment. 

 

Although the concept of CSR has been around a long time there has never been a more important time for a businesses to become more socially responsible. With advances in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the growth of the digital economy businesses need to become more transparent with their stakeholders about what they are doing with digital assets such as personal data.

 

We have developed a package of Data as CSR and Responsible AI services that can help businesses prepare for the challenges and opportunities presented by the rapidly changing area.

Drivers for CSR

The drivers for CSR include:

  • Demand – more demand for CSR from shareholders, other stakeholders their (for example, customers/users) and interest groups particularly in the area of AI.
  • Legal – growing regulation, for example the Companies Act 2006, which introduced for the first time the mandatory requirement to report on various social and environmental issues. Many businesses embrace CSR as an instrumental motive to pre-empt future regulation.
  • Ethical – businesses have become more aware and socially conscious of the setting in which they operate and recognise that they can play a key part in sustainable development and the environment.
  • Moral – some businesses may simply have more morality driven values.

 

Whatever the reason, adopting a CSR strategy will only benefit a business by:

  • creating competitive edge/advantage.
  • enhance reputation.
  • manage risk.
  • avoiding controversy.
  • assist staff. recruitment, retention, and job satisfaction.
 

Data protection CSR and ESG - the similarities

By implementing a data protection CSR strategy businesses will also begin building an ESG strategy in time for further regulation!

Environment

Consider the environmental impact of cloud computing technologies. As businesses generate, process and store data, they place huge demands on energy usage to power and cool data centres. In fact, up to 55% of business data is considered ‘dark data’ – data which hey collect, process and store but only use once or never at all!

Social

The social pillar of ESG is similar to CSR, in that it addresses the relationships your business fosters with stakeholders such as suppliers, customers, employees, and local communities. Examples could include human rights, diversity and inclusion and equal pay.

Governance

While ESG issues are gaining traction the governance pillar is often overlooked. However, without governance there can be no environmental or social in a
business model. Just like for CSR, examples of measures could include bribery and corruption and anti-money laundering policies.

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Data as CSR (external)

We can help with:

Transparency is Trust

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