ASSOCHAM CSR Summit cum EXCELLENCE AWARDS 2012-13
When all is well, business entities are lauded as engines of growth. Together with government agencies, they are considered partners in progress, slowly and steadily pulling everyone into the development fold. However, when the going gets tough, these same companies are blamed for engendering lopsided development and widening the divide between the haves and the have-nots.
The continuing debate on what a business should aim to achieve, over and above its stated goals and objectives, has given rise to the term Corporate Social Responsibility. In the simplest sense, the term accords businesses a social identity, in addition to the traditional economic identity. Over the years, the dialectic of business responsibility has served to add numerous hues and shades to the term CSR and the activities that come under it. We see CSR being used interchangeably with ‘Sustainable Development’ and ‘Corporate Philanthropy’ and sometimes as an umbrella term that defines a business entity’s relationship with all its stakeholders, direct and indirect. Additionally, if internalized, CSR can also be seen as the drivers that identify and mitigate the problems within the system.
We choose to describe CSR as a corporate strategy that aims to promote and enhance the positive impacts and mitigate the negative impacts of doing business. The growing impact of accelerated growth, uneven penetration, continued environmental degradation, increased human rights concerns and growing social anxiety have put the onus on business entities to act responsibly on a sustained basis while ensuring fairness, equity, ethics, for all its stakeholders.
India, with its perplexing dual realities of an economic behemoth on the one hand and a country ranked abysmally low in terms of human development indicators on the other, presents a unique and compelling case for the enthusiastic adoption of CSR. Fortunately, a large number of companies have risen and are steadily rising to this formidable challenge. ASSOCHAM believes that exemplary work in this area deserves due accolades and should be compiled, presented and appreciated in a public forum so as to encourage more companies to follow suit. The ASSOCHAM CSR EXCELLENCE AWARDS, constituted in 2008, is a step in this direction.
Last year this award was conferred on :
For the year 2012-13, ASSOCHAM has chosen to base its review and evaluation of a company’s commitment to CSR on the National Voluntary Guidelines for the Social, Environmental and Economic Responsibilities of Business 2011. These guidelines, developed by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs in consultation with numerous stakeholders, broadly lay down the basic requirements for businesses to function responsibly and successfully achieve its triple bottom line objectives.
The idea of adopting these Guidelines as the foundation of the awards assessment process is to promote a structured transparent approach to fulfillment of business responsibility and stimulate a thought process among those who want to but are unable to devise and streamline their CSR strategy. The nine principles of the NVGs form the basis for the questionnaire attached.
We are optimistic that the NVGs will guide Indian companies as they aim to become globally even more responsible in the manner in which they conduct their business activities. We also hope that you will join us in this endeavor by participating in this year's CSR EXCELLENCE AWARDS.
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