Corporate Social Investment is an evolving concept and is no longer just random charity or philanthropy.
It is now integrated and viewed upon as a key to business operations, sustainability and development.
Hardship deepens for South Africa’s Poor
How can politicians and industry leaders prepare a severely impoverished population and an emerging generation of young people for a world that’s undergoing radical change, a world where none of us have ever been and many of us still don’t understand?
South Africa needs a system that looks at teaching differently; abolishes discrimination; rewards breadth of vision and creativity and recognizes a diversity of viewpoints.
However, this new system can only work if a more balanced view is adopted – corporate governance policies must be brought in line with the requirements of the country; different skills, methods and approaches must be brought into play; and all businesses should adopt a worthy Pay-It-Forward ethos where companies don’t just work hard to create shareholder value but also enrich society through job creation, advancing education and skills training, improved healthcare awareness, social integration, community development, advancing knowledge of new agricultural methods and environmental preservation – in short, making corporate social responsibility more meaningful than simply making a profit, paying taxes and then giving money away to charity to temporarily appease the plight of the poor.
Instead, what is of cardinal Importance is to stimulate growth and welfare by creating more jobs, entrepreneurial opportunities and wealth for all South Africans to live a good life! South Africa is fast becoming a welfare state, which it can ill afford.
Poverty is growing!
What are the best ways to address declining living standards and to eradicate poverty? The answer lies in creating balance and figuring out how we can build new ways to live together that will allow everyone to prosper. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), also called Corporate Social Investment (CSI), corporate conscience, corporate citizenship, social performance, or sustainable responsible business is a form of corporate self-regulation integrated into a business model. The goal of CSR is to embrace responsibility for the company’s actions and encourage a positive impact through its activities on the environment, consumers, employees, communities, stakeholders and all other members of the public sphere.
In times of prosperity and plenty, good information is important. In times of uncertainty, good information will, literally, make or break your future. The Institute of Corporate and Social Development (ICSD) in South Africa, operating from offices in Johannesburg and Cape Town, has launched a series of programs and initiatives to create awareness of Social Responsibility among local corporations. The objective is to spell out how businesses can lend a hand to impoverished communities countrywide to initiate sustained self-development plans.
The outcome of a Pay-It-Forward undertaking should create employment, small businesses, renovated housing, backyard vegetable gardens, and opportunities for people to acquire needed job skills. The idea is to encourage management and employees to identify essential areas within impoverished communities that need immediate attention. Through active participation in a project, alongside residents of that community, employees not only give of their time and expertise to diminish poverty but also help the business grow its bottom line.
The Institute for Corporate and Social Development (ICSD) has developed a series of hands-on Awareness Training / Workshop Programs aimed at creating awareness and educating Shop floor/factory personnel. By increasing the awareness of corporate social development and its long-term effect on eliminating poverty, the ICSD is confident that personnel in supervisory positions within corporations will enhance an awareness of social responsibility toward their fellow human beings.
We are driven by the need for ongoing innovation – seeking out new solutions, developing new ways of approaching things and opening up new opportunities. While we remain dedicated to our core focus, we recognize that future growth depends upon our ability to achieve our full potential in both our existing business and those opportunities we are yet to fully explore and develop.
As a South African organization we have been blessed with access to remarkable bio-diversity and a rich natural heritage. In pursuit of sustainable success we will continue to explore that bio-diversity and harness that potential to the very best of our collective abilities.
Ancillary Objectives include but not limited to:
• Continuously striving to make a meaningful difference to society and the environment
• Forming and maintaining trusting relationships
• We bring Business, Employee and Communities together
• Raise awareness on all elements within the realms of Corporate Social Investment/Responsibility and Environmental preservation.
• We provide a platform for Communication, Marketing, Public Relations and Business Development
• The ICSD follows and reports on international trends
• We deliver on our promise as we are passionate in what we do
• The ICSD also focuses on Sustainable Development for Corporate Social Responsibility Activities and Investment
ICSD is governed by a board of directors, consisting of persons committed to promoting real corporate social responsibility and investment. They serve on a pro bono basis and are compensated only for direct expenses incurred in the performance of their duties. The board provides strategic direction to ICSD and fulfils an oversight function with regards to resources staff and activities.
The board is also responsible for ensuring that The ICSD complies with all laws and regulations applicable to non – profit organizations in South Africa.