In today's economic and social environment, issues related to social responsibility and sustainability are gaining more importance, especially in the business sector. Business goals are inseparable from the societies and environments within which they operate. Whilst short-term economic gain can be pursued, the failure to account for longer-term social and environmental impacts makes those business practices unsustainable.
At the international level, the United Nations Global Compact asks companies to embrace, support and enact, within their sphere of influence, a set of core values in the areas of human rights, labor standards, the environment and anti-corruption.
UNITAR proposes this course to introduce participants to the concept of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). CSR is presented as a management concept and a process that integrates social and environmental concerns in business operations, and a company’s interactions with the full range of its stakeholders.
The course aims to introduce the participant to the concept of CSR, operationalizing the term and ensuring a cohesive definition of CSR and its applications for corporate sustainability. The learning materials and tools allow participants acquire relevant introductory knowledge that will help them and their organizations to better address social responsibility concerns through a United Nations perspective, and from therein promote and accelerate adherence to the UN Global Compact principles and progress on the Millennium Development Goals.
At the end of the course, participants will be able to:
- Define the concept of CSR
- Identify key issues affecting CSR as a concept
- Analyze CSR within the United Nations framework
- Identify the pros and cons of CSR regulation
- Recognize the importance and role of ISO 26000 in providing guidance on social responsibility
- Differentiate CSR from Corporate Philanthropy
The course consists of ten modules:
- Introduction & History of CSR
- CSR Definitions Explored
- Comments on the Definitions of CSR and Sustainability
- Why CSR and Where is CSR Today?
- The United Nations on CSR
- Should CSR be compulsory?
- ISO 26000
- Is CSR philanthropy?
- Applying Definitions in Practice - Practical Examples of CSR (Cadbury, NEC, Wal-Mart, Novo Nordisk Case Studies)
- Testing Understanding
Each module of this e-learning course includes compulsory and additional readings that allow participants to expand their knowledge on the definitions, strengths and limitations of CSR. Furthermore, there are reflection and collaborative exercises that invite participants to watch videos, reflect on their social and economic environment and discuss in partially facilitated discussion groups. Participants also engage in case study analysis, gaining a better and more practical understanding of CSR. Towards the end of the course, participants are required to take an end-of-course quiz that tests their understanding and provides a final grading.
The course aims to address the needs of professionals in private companies, NGOs, International Organisations and Governments who are currently involved in CSR or would like to be involved in CSR, and wish to apply and embed the concept of CSR in their institution.
The course requires approximately a 20-hour time investment over a period of three weeks
At the end of the course, participants will take a quiz, which will account for 100% of the final grade. Participants who obtain a final score of at least 80% will be awarded a certificate of completion. Instead, participants who obtain a final score below 80% will receive a certificate of participation.
- Hardware: 64 MB of RAM, 1 GB of free disk space
- MODEM: 56 K
- Platform: Windows 95 or later versions, Mac OS 9 or OSx
- A good internet connection is necessary
- Browser: IE, Mozilla Firefox, etc.
- Software: Adobe Acrobat Reader