If you are running a business, the days for operating merely for profit are gone. Though it is still important for sure, many companies now primarily focus on corporate social responsibility. Nevertheless, different organisations have extracted different meaning for the term Corporate Social Responsibility, in actual CSR is understood as “the continuing commitment by businesses to behave ethically and contribute to economic development while improving the quality of life of the workforce and their families as well as of the local community and society at large.”

More companies are ramping up their focus on social responsibility, be it women empowerment, protecting the environment, helping the needy or providing education allowances to students. Socially responsible companies can build an attractive image of the organisation to both the consumers and shareholders. Furthermore, the CSR programs boost employees morales which intensifies greater productivity at the workplace.

Benefits of CSR

Benefits of CSR are widespread for the companies. Embracing socially responsible policies has long-lasting impacts as it not only attracts new customers but also retain the old one, which is essential for a company’s long term success. CSR provides employees with an opportunity for growth and at the same time, improves brand recognition of an organisation. Other than that is also inculcates a sense of civic responsibility among employees which fosters the desire of giving back to the community.

Environmental responsibility is the core area of CSR and companies work hard to ensure minimal environmental damage as a result of their activities which creates a positive environmental impact. Furthermore, CSR encourages better practices on the part of the organisation by fostering a healthy competition to do more for social responsibility.

Customer Social Responsibility in Pakistan

Though the concept of Customer Social Responsibility is relatively new for Pakistan, there are certain organisations who must be lauded for their efforts towards the society and people of the homeland. While CSR is recognized for the benefits it offers to an organisation; it is also an invaluable system of paying it forward for the welfare of the state. As per the latest poverty estimates 2019, 24% of Pakistan’s population lives below the national poverty line; making it 55 million people who cannot access the basic necessities of life including food, education, shelter and health. In the light of these figures, if every company in Pakistan plays their part in giving back the community, these figures might be reduced.

From a social and economic perspective, corporate social responsibility activities in Pakistan play a crucial role in the turnaround that Pakistan needs badly. The role of organisations in alleviating the issues in Pakistan holds key importance. This is the reason why we have seen a sudden increase in the CSR activities in Pakistan.

Companies leading CSR activities in Pakistan

Some companies in Pakistan have realized their roles in society and have launched several CSR activities in Pakistan.

PTCL and its

contributions

PTCL is contributing to Pakistan by setting some goals regarding the social and environmental issues in Pakistan. The telecom company is more focused on health, education, environments and several community projects. Just recently we witnessed tree plantation drive at PTCL which shows its efforts to preserve the environment. Some children programs from the company aimed at improving individuals’ character while making them the most responsible citizens are also carried on. PTCL also engages in several activities for employees, blood donation drives and post beneficial retirement schemes.

Coca Cola contribution

to Pakistan

Though Coca Cola is an international brand, however, its CSR activities in Pakistan are appraisable. The company launched a campaign named “Bottle of change” aimed at fundraising for The Edhi Foundation. The company doubled the amount that it has received from this campaign. It also carried on certain other initiatives, including women entrepreneurship program and education allowance is a hallmark of coca cola’s CSR activities.

JS Bank CSR Activities

in Pakistan

JS Bank, which won the award of “Best Bank for CSR”, is the only financial institution which is accredited by green climate fund. JS Bank is fully compliant with the State Bank of Pakistan’s green banking guidelines, establishing an internal environmental and social risk management framework to create awareness around those risks associated with lending. It also financed 120 projects in the solar power market. In the field of education, JS bank-financed 30 schools helping them to raise their education standard. The organisation has also welcomed the paperless environment setting an example of green offices throughout Pakistan. During the flash floods in the Sindh province, the bank supplied food and free medical camps. The bank has also remained a part of many relief programs in Pakistan.

PSO CSR Initiative

PSO has also taken a plethora of CSR initiatives in different sectors including education, healthcare, community building, women empowerment, Special children welfare, Sports development and relief activities. The company has financially supported several educational institutions to help the underprivileged across the country. The company has also built two schools in the earthquake-affected regions of Mansehra, and four more schools are still in the pipeline. PSO collaborated with various health institution for the provision of free health care facilities to those who can’t afford. There are many more organisations in the list which shows that the private sector, as a whole, has made commendable contributions in the nation. Hopefully, the interest shown by these companies in CSR activities will be the beginning of a positive turnaround in the country.

Take away

It’s good to see that large and small businesses in Pakistan are looking for areas for improvement of the country and are also discovering creative solutions it. It can be done by conducting workshops, training and seminars to encourage the existing efforts.

Socially responsible companies cultivate positive brand recognition, increase customer loyalty, and attract top-tier employees. These elements among the keys to achieving increased profitability and long-term financial success.

The writer is a senior officer at an advertisement agency.