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CSR stands for Corporate Social Responsibility: How can companies make a positive contribution to society over and above their legal obligations? This refers to the promotion of social justice as well as environmental protection through ethical corporate governance. CSR is closely related to the ESG and SDG criteria, but focuses more strongly on social responsibility and a company's positive contribution to society.

CSR helps companies to secure their long-term existence as long as it is linked to a holistic approach. After all, dealing with supply chain issues ("Where do our raw materials come from?" or "How do our supply partners produce?") or recruitment issues ("How do I remain attractive to skilled workers?") strengthens the resilience of companies, makes them more flexible in times of crisis and increases their innovation potential.

CSR is a concept that encourages companies to think beyond financial gain and actively engage in positive social and environmental change. Despite the challenges described above, CSR offers companies the opportunity to make a positive contribution to society, strengthen their brand and operate more sustainably in the long term.

Rules and requirements

  1. Voluntary: CSR is based more on voluntary initiatives on the part of companies - in contrast to compliance with ESG criteria, which is increasingly driven by investors and regulatory authorities.

  2. Sustainability: Companies should integrate sustainable practices into their business models in order to achieve long-term positive effects on society and the environment.

  3. Ethics and integrity: Compliance with ethical standards and promotion of integrity in all business areas.


  1. Charitable activities: Many companies are involved in charitable projects, donate to charitable causes or support social initiatives.

  2. Environmentally friendly practices: Introduction of environmentally friendly practices in production and operations to minimize environmental impact.

  3. Employee well-being: Promoting good working conditions and supporting employee development.

Requirements for companies

  1. Transparency and reporting: Companies should report openly on their CSR activities and communicate their progress and challenges in accordance with ISO 26000 as a topic guideline.

  2. Stakeholder engagement: Active involvement of stakeholders to ensure that CSR activities are relevant and effective.

  3. Long-term commitment: CSR should be seen as part of the long-term corporate strategy, not as a short-term action.


  1. Costs: The implementation of CSR initiatives can be cost-intensive for companies.

  2. Measurability and effectiveness: It can be difficult to measure and evaluate the actual social and environmental impact of CSR measures.

  3. Credibility: Companies face the challenge of ensuring that their CSR efforts are authentic and are not perceived as pure marketing (keyword "greenwashing").