Ms. Shreeja Kurup
Research Scholar & Lecturer
L.A.D College, Nagpur
Over the decades, the concept of corporate social responsibility (CSR) has continued to grow in importance and significance. It is recognized the world over that integrating social, environmental and ethical responsibilities into the governance of businesses ensures their long term success, competitiveness and sustainability. This approach also reaffirms the view that businesses are an integral part of society, and have a critical and active role to play in the sustenance and improvement of healthy ecosystems, in fostering social inclusiveness and equity, and in upholding the essentials of ethical practices and good governance. Corporate Social Responsibility is an integral part of business strategy whereby companies act with responsibility towards social and environmental concerns in their business operations and interactions with their stakeholders. Through CSR companies aim to achieve balance of economic, environmental and social imperatives simultaneously addressing the expectations of shareholders and stakeholders. In the earlier times Organizations were considered only as profit maximizing entities but with changing times and a more aware society many companies have felt they could strike a chord with their stakeholders through their CSR activities. CSR driven efforts do not only relate to make a contribution by donating money but it speaks of incorporating societal and moral practices into business strategies that help the consumers in building an optimistic brand image. This paper aims at analysing the CSR activities undertaken by L&T, Nagpur for social welfare.
KEY WORDS: Corporate Social Responsibility, Social Imperatives, Competitive Advantage, Brand Image.
Corporate Social Responsibility, or CSR, is something that was started by fashionable ‘ethical’ businesses. Realizing that promoting a responsible way of doing business actually improved the bottom line soon received wider interest, and now demonstrating responsibility has become expected when bidding for major contracts. The concept of Corporate Social Responsibility can be explained quite simply; it is doing the right thing. Corporate Social Responsibility, or CSR for short, is about how your organization’s existence affects stakeholders beyond your own interests, recognizing the impact your operations have on the community at large. Adopting CSR considers how you can use this impact in a positive way, leading to sustainable growth and financial gains. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) means businesses and organizations working responsibly and contributing positively to the communities they operate in. It involves working with employees, their families, the local community and society at large to improve their quality of life. Companies that operate in a socially responsible way strengthen their reputations. In business, reputation is everything. It determines the extent to which customers want to buy from you, partners are willing to work with you and where you stand in the community. Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is also often referred to as business responsibility and an organization’s action on environmental, ethical, social and economic issues. The terms in the area can seem confusing if you don’t know the jargon – but don’t be put off by this. CSR can be described as an approach by which a company does the following:
- Recognizes that its activities have a wider impact on the society in which it operates, and that developments in society in turn impact on its ability to pursue its business sustainably.
- Actively manages the economic, social, environmental and human rights impact of its activities both locally and across the world, basing these on principles which reflect both international values and the organizations own values (ethics), reaping benefits for both its own operations and reputation as well as the communities in which it operates.
- Seeks to achieve these benefits by working closely with other groups and organizations – local communities, civil society groups, other businesses and home and host governments.
- In a study made by Caroll (1998) on top 500 largest Indian companies found that around 49% companies were reporting on CSR. Most of the companies report on donations, renovating schools in villages, mid day meals etc. well defined expenditure on CSR has been shown by very few companies. The study also revealed that only 25% companies CSR activities were for employees and the rest were focusing on vicinity and society at large.
- Nigel Sarbutts (2003), the paper explored the way of doing CSR by small and medium sized companies. The research depicted that a structured approach to managing corporate reputation and profit maximization of SME‟s through CSR. The societal activities of small and medium sized companies is based on their cost is Benefit Analysis. Small Corporation always struggle for more reputation and minimization of risk. In such a situation, CSR comes as hope for these companies.
- Vasanthi Srinivasan (2010) in his study on CSR and Ethics in Medium, Small and Micro Enterprise in India attempts to draw from the existing body of knowledge from both the academic and popular literature in India to identify the CSR practices and develop a research agenda for responsible business practices in the small-medium enterprise in India. The findings highlighted that most of the studies done in the Indian context have largely been qualitative and exploratory in nature. The study also revealed that since small-medium enterprises contribute significantly to the economy and are geographically spread in a country like India, adoption of CSR and ethical practices is crucial to a balanced development.
- Dr. M. Ramana Kumar (2013) in his study on CSR (Analysis of select Indian Private and Public sector companies) tried to analyze the CSR activities carried out by Indian Private (Reliance Industries Ltd.) and public sector companies (ONGC) and also study the Indian government policies and programmes of CSR. The study revealed that though the Indian public and private firms are making efforts in the CSR areas, still there is a requirement of more emphasis on CSR.
OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
- To Study the concept and benefits of CSR.
- To study the various CSR activities undertaken by L&T, Nagpur in 2015-2016.
The study is based on primary as well as secondary data. Primary data has been availed from the interview with the area manager and reports of L&T, Nagpur office. Secondary data has been collected through various sources of information such as Research Papers, Books, Bank websites etc.
LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
- The study includes the use of secondary data collected from other sources which may have some deficiencies.
- Due to the limitation of time and monetary resources, Researcher was unable to develop a deep insight into the topic.
- Another major limitation was non-availability of resources to undertake the survey because this project was not sponsored and all the costs were to be borne by the Researcher only.
BENEFITS OF CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
During the 1950’s and 1960’s, the concept of Corporate Social Responsibility and Corporate Citizenship emerged as an alternative priority for organizations to consider. At its heart, Corporate Social Responsibility is about an organization taking responsibility for the impacts of its decisions and activities on all aspects of society, the community and the environment. Corporate Social Responsibility is more than just donating money or printing double-sided to save trees, it’s about contributing to the health and welfare of society, operating transparently and ethically. More importantly, this way of operating should be embedded in the business, rather than an afterthought.
- The ability to have positive impact in the community- Keeping social responsibility front of mind encourages businesses to act ethically and to consider the social and environmental impacts of their business. In doing so, organizations can avoid or mitigate detrimental impacts of their business on the community. In some cases, organizations will find ways to make changes in their services or value chain that actually delivers benefits for the community.
- It supports public value outcomes- Put simply, public value is about the value that an organization contributes to society. A sound, robust corporate social responsibility framework and organizational mindset can genuinely help organizations deliver public value outcomes by focusing on how their services can make a difference in the community. This might happen indirectly, where an organization’s services enable others to contribute to the community, or directly through the organization’s own activities, such as volunteerism and philanthropy.
- It supports being an employer of choice- Being an employer of choice typically translates into the company’s ability to attract and retain high caliber staff. There are ways to approach being an employer of choice, including offering work life balance, positive working conditions and work place flexibility. Studies have shown that a robust corporate social responsibility framework can also help a company become more attractive to potential future employees who are looking for workplaces with socially responsible practices, community mindedness and sound ethics.
- It encourages both professional and personal development- Providing employees with the opportunity to be involved in a company’s socially responsible activities can have the benefit of teaching new skills to staff, which can in turn be applied in the workplace. By undertaking activities outside of their usual work responsibilities, employees have the chance to contribute to work and causes that they might feel passionate about, or learn something entirely new which can help enrich their own perspectives. By supporting these activities, organizations encourage growth and support for employees.
- It enhances relationships with clients- A strong corporate social responsibility framework is essential to building and maintaining trust between the company and clients. It can strengthen ties, build alliances and foster strong working relationships with both existing and new clients. One way this can be achieved is by offering pro-bono or similar services where a company can partner with not-for-profit organizations to support their public value outcomes, where funds or resources may be limited. In turn, this helps deliver public value outcomes that may not have been delivered otherwise.
CSR ACTIVITIES BY L&T, NAGPUR (2015-2016)
Larsen & Toubro Limited, also known as L&T is an Indian multi-national conglomerate headquartered in Mumbai, Maharashtra, India. It was founded by Danish engineers taking refuge in India, as well as an Indian financing partner. The company has business interests in engineering, construction, manufacturing goods, information technology, and financial services, and also has an office in the Middle-East and other parts of Asia. L&T is India’s largest engineering and construction company. Described by NDTV in 2013 as a “bellwether of India’s engineering & construction sector”, L&T was recognized as the Company of the Year in Economic Times 2010 awards. Larsen & Toubro is a major technology, engineering, construction, manufacturing and financial services conglomerate, with global operations. L&T addresses critical needs in key sectors – Hydrocarbon, Infrastructure, Power, Process Industries and Defense – for customers in over 30 countries around the world. L&T is engaged in core, high impact sectors of the economy and our integrated capabilities span the entire spectrum of ‘design to deliver’. With over 7 decades of a strong, customer focused approach and a continuous quest for world-class quality, we have unmatched expertise across Technology, Engineering, Construction, Infrastructure Projects and Manufacturing, and maintain a leadership in all our major lines of business. Every aspect of L&T’s businesses is characterized by professionalism and high standards of corporate governance. Sustainability is embedded into our long-term strategy for growth. The Company’s manufacturing footprint extends across eight countries in addition to India. L&T has several international offices and a supply chain that extends around the globe. Larsen & Toubro Limited is an India-based technology, engineering, construction, manufacturing and financial services company. The Company operates through the segments: infrastructure, including roads, railways, metro rail, urban infrastructure, smart cities and communication infrastructure, and water infrastructure; thermal power generation; power transmission and distribution; hydrocarbon; defense sector; heavy engineering; metallurgical and material handling; electrical and automation; realty; information technology and technology services; financial services, and developmental projects.
CSR OF LARSEN & TOUBRO LIMITED, NAGPUR DURING THE PERIOD OF 2015-2016
- In the month of January 2015, Larsen & Toubro Limited, Nagpur has provided a Water tank to the Deaf & Dumb School & Hostel campus on their urgent request. 70 students and Campus were benefited from the activity.
- In February 2015, Larsen & Toubro Limited provided woolen clothings to the students of Mecosabagh Corporation School. 50 Students were benefited from the activity.
- In March 2015, Essentials & Provisions were made available for Shantibhavan- (Mother Teresa’s) Home for Aged and Destitute.
- In July 2015, Larsen & Toubro Limited conducted an Eye Care camp at PSD Workshop Butibori & NAO. 85 & 60 employees respectively availed benefit of this camp conducted in partnership with Vasan Eye Care.
- In July 2015, Mecosabagh School was visited to access the requirement for CSR activity.
- In July 2015, support was extended by Larsen & Toubro Limited to ‘Arroha’ for identification of new premises within city limits. Uddyam activity progress report was submitted for LTPCT.
- In July 2015, Ladies Club members commemorated the World Youth Skill Day (15th July) with the Uddyam students at Kalmeshwar and Wadi Centre of Aaroha.
- In December 2015, a Medical Camp was conducted by Nagpur Area Office in association with Swami Vivekananda Medical Mission, Khapri on 27th December 2015. A Team of doctors comprising Gynecologist, Dentist, Eye Specialist, Pediatrician and General Practitioner extended their services to the villagers of Gumgaon having population of approximately 3000 people. Free consultation, checkup & medicines were given to the villagers. The children were educated on importance of hand washing, personal hygiene & cleanliness. The Medical camp got an overwhelming response and 160 villagers availed the benefit of the Medical Camp. The villagers welcomed this gesture of L&T. Six L&T-ites volunteered the Medical Camp.
- In January 2016, A Medical Camp was conducted by Nagpur Area Office in association with Swami Vivekananda Medical Mission, Khapri on 31st Jan 2016. A Team of doctors comprising Gynecologist, Dentist, Eye Specialist, Pediatrician and General Practitioner extended their services to the villagers of Satgaon having population of approximately 2000 people. Free consultation, checkup & medicines were given to the villagers. The children were educated on healthy on importance of hand washing, personal hygiene and cleanliness. The Medical camp got an overwhelming response and 260 villagers availed the benefit of the Medical Camp. The villagers welcomed this gesture of L&T. Four L&T-ites volunteered the Medical Camp.
- In January 2016, a CSR activity was carried out at Mecosabagh School. The required essentials like purifier, ceiling fan, writing material for students etc. were provided which benefitted 30 students of the school.
We are living in a world surrounded with numerous problems related to environment and society. CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) is a means to sort out these problems to some extent because business is a part of society. Earning more and more profits is a natural phenomenon of every business unit but social responsibility is an obligation to the people living inside and outside the business organizations. Today, Government has also come as an initiative to control those business activities which makes a harmful effect on the society. The government suggested time to time to the business units that the corporate should enact a framework related to CSR i.e. its areas, investment, activities etc. and include them in the vision, mission and strategic planning. CSR typically includes issues related to business ethics, community engagement, global warming, water management, mange the use of natural resources, human rights etc. So, in order to get sustainable development and to survive in this competitive world, the organizations need to demonstrate a close and good relationship with society. Today the concept of CSR has undergone radical change. It has integrated social as well as environmental issues into their missions and decisions. Companies take keen interest in informing about their CSR activities to their stakeholders as well. However, the challenge for the companies is to determine a strong and innovative CSR strategy that should deliver high performance in ethical, environmental and social areas and meet all the objectives and expectations of the society as a whole.
“Every Company has a social responsibility, a constitutional opportunity and a moral obligation towards the society”
- Henri Servaes, Ane Tamayo, “The Impact of Corporate Social Responsibility on Firm Value: The Role of Customer Awareness”, Management Science, Vol. 59, No. 5, May 2013.
- Handbook on Corporate Social Responsibility in India – Confederation of Indian Industries Report 2013
- Archie B. Carroll,Kareem M. Shabana, “The Business Case for Corporate Social Responsibility: Review of Concepts, Research and Practice”, International Journal of Management Reviews (2010). 75 85
- Richa Gautam, Anju Singh, “Corporate Social Responsibility Practices in India: A Study of Top 500 Companies”, Global Business and Management Research: An International Journal, 2010