Recently we have seen a growing number of Sri Lankan businesses embracing corporate responsibility, which is a vital part of active corporate citizenship. Society, government and the economic community itself have started to acknowledge that businesses have a role in addition to their core mandate of wealth and job creation. This realisation has recently brought the business community to the socio-economic and political forefront as an agent for change.
The substantial positive, or sometimes negative, impact businesses can have on our social, economic and political environment justifies a systematic approach. This is where CR comes in. It is a methodology that:
- Harnesses potential constructively and systematically
- Exceeds traditional corporate philanthropy and one-off charitable contributions
- Encompasses a larger social role for businesses
- Uses sustained strategic practices integrated into the core business model
- Influences business decision-making at strategic and operational levels
Larger often Colombo-based companies are becoming increasingly familiar with strategic CR. This is partly because most CR promotion initiatives and literature on the subject have been tailored to suit the needs of larger companies. Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) may find it difficult to relate to them. Unlike large corporations SMEs command fewer human and material resources and face different challenges in their communities. Therefore there is a need to adapt CR to each company’s context, scale, sector, location, reach and comparative advantage, as well as constraints.
This resource pack will address this gap. It will help SMEs plan, implement and monitor their own CR approaches according to their own needs.
In a nutshell, the purpose of this resource pack is to introduce Sri Lankan SMEs to the concepts and approaches of CR. It presents a coherent framework that will help SMEs identify ways of adapting CR to their own context and purposes. Through this it aims to support a more stable and manageable business environment by:
- Strengthening the capabilities of SMEs to address challenges that they and their communities face
- Enabling SMEs to act on their concern for their own communities and environment
- Encouraging SMEs to analyse how their own actions (or sometimes inaction) form part of the context in which they operate