Many businesses and organizations when started on Sustainability and CSR, were putting more focus on donations to charity-based institutions. What Sustainability/CSR requires from businesses and organizations is to fulfill their responsibilities towards creating/providing jobs, economic development, and improvement in environmental conditions of the region where these businesses are based. At CEIC Sustainable Solutions, a leading Sustainability Management Services and Responsible Care Management Services provider in Dubai, UAE, we found that one noticeable fact is that more focus is given to coverage and publicity of donations as compared to putting in place initiatives which can have significant social impacts.
Also some businesses are very much active externally but are quite weak internally when it comes to social programs. For example, they are good in partnering with local authorities in addressing the social issues and are consistent in doing so, however these business have many lapses when it comes to providing the same level of involvement and impact internally. Under Sustainable business the internal social impacts like business policies, working conditions, good salary structure, hiring diversity, affordable and good medical policy, breaks, safety, trainings etc. needs to be addressed through Sustainability Management Services. To summarize, it does not make any sense to be a world-class sustainable business externally and a bad employer internally in terms of social impacts. According to Tahir J Qadir,a prominent Sustainability Management Consultant in Middle East and South Asia, donations to charities or programs for charitable institutions should not be part of the Sustainability/CSR Report. On the other hand, actions addressing the following programs must be the essential elements of the Sustainability Report rather than donations and contributions:
- Number of jobs created,
- Assisting institutions to develop local workforce,
- Assisting local administration in provision of basic necessities (e.g. basic health facilities, water, sanitation, education etc.)
- Creating inclusive businesses,
- Working on circular businesses,
- Environmental footprint reductions etc. and the
- Internal social impacts as discussed before
Tahir J Qadir further added that, the concept of charity under Sustainability does not exist. And to summarize, fulfilling responsibilities under Sustainability Management/CSR provides long-term corrective and preventive solutions to the social issues as compared to donations and contributions.