Corporate Social Responsibility


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A Good Design Manager should follow this path, engaging with a social and environmental responsible attitude.

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is the decision taken by a company to assess and take care of a concrete impact on environmental and social change. According to Investopedia the term broadly indicates a civil commitment spontaneously adopted without the obligation of any regulator or environmental protection group. CSR can implicate short-term expenses that do not provide an immediate profit to the company, but instead support positive social and environmental development.

Legislation is not the answer… Education and awareness amongst the design community is what will make a difference.

Carter, H.(2014)

Whereas the relationship between CSR and the law is close, as the main tool used to address a company’s social, environmental and economic impacts is the law, Hohnen, P.( 2007, p.18) has suggested that there is no “one-size-fits-all” method for adopting a CSR approach.

According to Caramela, S. (2016) there are four main categories of CSR used in common practice, which are: environmental efforts, philanthropy, ethical labor practices and volunteering. The first one refers to the interest of the business in reducing carbon footprints, the second relates to charities, the third one to a fair and ethically correct treatment to employees and the latter involves the support for certain organizations.

Furthermore, it has been proven that CSR provides a competitive advantage for companies in terms of good reputation, as Hohnen, P (2007,p.2) suggested, because consumers want products and services to demonstrate socially and environmentally conscientious business behavior.
CSR is particularly effective when related to the principal business of the company, evidence of that is provided by leading companies such as H&M and IKEA. The Scandinavian fashion brand is annually launching green campaigns and capsule collections promoting the sustainable cause. IKEA as well has a strong concern about environmental and social issues, that constantly transmits customers through its products.

Caramela, S.(2016) ‘What is Corporate Social Responsibility?’, 27 June, Business News Daily. Available at:

Carter, H.(2014) ‘Whose responsibility is inclusive design?’, 2 June, Design Council. Available at:

Hohnen, P (2007) Corporate Social Responsibility: An Implementation Guide for Business. Canada: Iisd.

Investopedia(2016) Available at: Palladio’s Italian villas (2005) Available at: (Accessed: 23 August 2012).


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