In the early 2000’s, corporate social responsibility (CSR) was seldom discussed by business leaders, with Unilever very much paving the way, explicitly highlighting its CSR activity and its impact.
In fact, during 1999 and 2000, nine Unilever companies tested a framework to evaluate and manage their performance in CSR. Fast forward to 2020, the world is enduring a global pandemic and a strong, clearly defined CSR policy is now an absolute must for both large organisations and budding start-ups looking to withstand the downturn and come out on top.
Here, Philip Webb founder and managing director of Investors in Community, explores how organisations can go beyond the traditional forms of CSR – that can feel irrelevant to employees – and embrace the new age of Human Social Responsibility (HSR), to improve the bottom line, promote staff engagement and genuinely help the wider community.
Trade unions and business leaders were at loggerheads on Monday night over Boris Johnson’s “back to work” strategy, following claims that employees’ lives could be put at risk as the British prime minister tries to restart the economy.
Labour leader Keir Starmer joined unions in demanding that businesses should be required to publish coronavirus risk assessments, with tough enforcement against reckless employers.
But business leaders say that publishing workplace risk assessments would be overly bureaucratic for small companies that already adhere to high standards of health and safety regulation.
They also want Alok Sharma, business secretary, to set out a clear legal framework for the reopening of workplaces, in an effort to allay fears of massive lawsuits if a staff member were to fall ill or die from coronavirus.
The tension came as Mr Sharma finalised seven documents intended to show how Britons could safely return to work, and Mr
ASX-listed funds manager and retail landlord Primewest has offered to cover the cost of professional advice for its retail and commercial tenants affected by COVID-19, in a partnership with multinational accounting firm RSM.
Under the deal, Primewest will pay for its tenants to access RSM’s expertise to determine whether they are eligible for government stimulus, as well as advice on how to proceed with the application process.
Tenants will also receive assistance to prepare financial information to obtain rent relief under the new commercial tenancy code of conduct.
Primewest director David Schwartz said the company had more than 1,600 tenants in its $1 billion-plus retail portfolio across Australia, many of which are small businesses.
“For us, our philosophy is that a dead tenant is not a good tenant, so we have got to do everything that we can to make sure that they survive,” Mr Schwartz told Business
U.S. investors are consuming more financial news and are eager for more positive news related to how businesses are planning to recover from the economic disruption of the pandemic, according to a survey released Monday.
The majority of survey respondents (56%) agreed or strongly agreed that they want to see and read more stories about businesses’ plans to recover from the pandemic, while just 13% disagreed. The demand for coverage about businesses’ recovery plans was measurably higher among investors (62%) than non-investors (49%).
Nearly half — 46% — said they are reading or watching more financial news now than they were before COVID-19, while 26% said they are consuming less.
“As more states begin to relax stay-at-home restrictions and businesses across the U.S. weigh their options, investors are clearly hungry for actionable insights on the direction of the economy, financial markets and specific industry sectors,” said Richard Dukas, CEO of