Assessment of environmental issues of corporate social responsibility by enterprises in Poland - results of empirical research

Joanna Godlewska, Agata Lulewicz-Sas

Abstract


Purpose

The main aim of the article is to analyse and evaluate the implementation of socially responsible activities by enterprises, in relation to the specific stakeholder that is the natural environment. Based on the results of surveys, the factors and tools for measuring the impact of socially responsible activities on the natural environment have been identified.

Methodology

The survey was conducted in 2013 among the organizational units implementing the concept of corporate social responsibility (CSR) in Poland. In the research the purposive sampling was used. Following this study responses from 63 individuals were obtained, which provided a return rate of 21%.

Descriptive statistics and statistical inference were used for the analysis of the survey results.

Results

The conducted studies show that:

  • 63.5% of surveyed companies conduct a regular measurement of the impact of the implementation of CSR activities on the natural environment, while 11.1% of the respondents perform such a measurement occasionally and 23.8% of surveyed companies do not conduct the measurement at all,
  • 49.2% of surveyed companies use tools such as "environmental audits" and "environmental impact assessment" when examining the influence of CSR impact on the natural environment;
  • the most frequently analysed factors taken into account when measuring the impact of CSR activities on the natural environment include: the amount of waste produced (66.7% of responses), the emission of gaseous pollutants into the air (60.3% of responses) and the consumption of materials and raw materials (60.3% of responses).

 

The theoretical contribution

Natural environment is one of stakeholders groups in the corporate social responsibility concept. It is called "silent stakeholder" and requires a different approach as it does not have neither a voice nor the right to vote. Nevertheless, it creates the scope for all human activity, also entrepreneurial.[1]

The implementation of socially responsible activities results in the reduction of the negative impact on the environment through more efficient use of resources, reduced water consumption, lower waste disposal costs, savings from more efficient use and recovery of raw materials (lower material consumption and energy consumption).[2] Generally, it can be stated that between the company implementing socially responsible actions, and the "silent stakeholder", there exists a kind of a feedback loop. The impact of the stakeholder changes the company, and the influence of the company changes the stakeholder.

 

Practical implications

Research results can be used by businesses, both those that are already implementing CSR activities, as well as those that are just planning it. They can be particularly useful for companies that are implementing environmental measures and are planning to extend them through the application of CSR activities.

 

Keywords: corporate social responsibility, natural environment, enterprise,  measurement tools

 

Paper type: Research paper

 

 


[1] R.C. Solomon, C. Martin, Above the Bottom Line. An Introduction to Business Ethics, Thomson Wadsworth, Toronto 2004, p. 301; M. Geryk, Społeczna odpowiedzialność uczelni, Oficyna Wydawnicza SGH, Warszawa 2012, p. 43.

[2] J. Klimek, Etyka biznesu. Teoretyczne założenia, praktyka zastosowań, Difin 2014, p. 282.


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