Responsible companies are going big

25 kwietnia 2018

The latest report “Responsible Business in Poland 2017. Good Practices” provides more than a thousand examples of corporate social responsibility activities.

1,190 good business practices in corporate social responsibility and sustainable development are presented in the latest report “Responsible Business in Poland 2017. Good Practices” issued by the Responsible Business Forum. This is over 300 practices more than in the last year’s report and another record-breaking number in the 16-year history of the publications, which points to the steady and increasingly stronger development of the CSR concept in Poland.

The report premiered during the 7th CSR Marketplace in Poland on 12 April in the PGE National Stadium. The publication is available online, and this year’s practices have been added to the browser with practices from all the 16 years. The browser can be found on www.odpowiedzialnybiznes.pl/dobre-praktyki/.

The PDF version of the report is available here: http://odpowiedzialnybiznes.pl/publikacje/raport-2017/

“We are pleased to present you with the sixteenth Report ‘Responsible Business in Poland 2017. Good Practices’. This is the only such summary of companies’ activities in Poland. However, the publication of the report would not have been possible if it hadn’t been for the increasing involvement of the companies which develop CSR across Poland. We would like to thank them a lot for this. Well done for so many successful and ambitious projects,” said Marzena Strzelczak, Director General of the Responsible Business Forum.

“I trust that the Report will be an interesting reading for you, will encourage you to take further steps and will be an inspiration for new sectoral and cross-sectoral partnerships which will find their place in our next report,” she added.

Another year, another record

The report “Responsible Business in Poland 2017. Good Practices” issued by the Responsible Business Forum is Poland’s largest overview of CSR activities within a year. The first editions contained examples of several tens of activities carried out by companies, summarised on a dozen or so pages. Now, after 16 years, the publication has nearly 200 pages with descriptions of 1,190 good practices: 639 new and 551 long-term ones, which is by 39% and 32% more, respectively, than in the last year’s edition of the report. Such a significant increase in the number of practices reflects the growing awareness of the role and importance of CSR solutions. Companies are increasingly often taking a broader view of CSR, which is no longer associated only with simple corporate charity activities, but also include socially responsible solutions embedded in business strategies at various levels in the organisation.

“Responsible Business in Poland 2017. Good Practices” in numbers:

  • 1,190 good business practices in Poland carried out in 2017
  • 639 new practices
  • 551 long-term practices, i.e. those that appeared in previous editions of the Report
  • 330 more practices (for the sake of comparison, the number of practices in the 2016 report increased by 69 versus the 2015 report)
  • 13 articles on trends in corporate social responsibility
  • practices were reported by 177 companies, including 50 SMEs

“We are happy about another record and such a large number of practices. As a result, with each year our report becomes an increasingly valuable source of inspiration for those who embark on their journey towards a socially responsible business, but also for those organisations which are seeking new partners for their ideas or actions,” said Marzena Strzelczak.

7 ISO areas – more than 1,000 examples of activities

All good practices submitted by companies are verified by experts from the Responsible Business Forum and then classified according to 7 ISO 26000 areas. Ever since the report started to be published, most practices, both new and long-term ones, have related to the area of local community involvement and development. Labour-related practices are the second largest area.

“Companies’ local activities, including those supporting local communities, tend to be criticised as the most basic and straightforward, but this doesn’t have to be that way. These activities may touch upon a variety of aspects, and support development of competencies of different groups, including those facing the threat of social exclusion. They help build partnerships and social capital and respond to essential challenges. In fact, this is how businesses may pay back the debt they owe to their environments. From year to year, we see a growth of such well-thought-out practices related directly to companies’ activities,” said Marzena Strzelczak.

Natural environment is the area where a lot of practices are published each year. Although the number of new practices in this area is smaller than last year, the number of long-term practices, or actions that are more than one-off initiatives with a limited impact, has gone up. There are more and more practices related to closed loop and zero-waste management.

Ups and downs in the number of practices in individual areas

  • the number of new practices increased by nearly 100% in the labour area and human rights area
  • the number of long-term practices increased in the areas of: environment, consumer issues and fair operating practices
  • a noticeable increase was observed in the number of practices related to people of Ukrainian origin
  • the human rights area continues to have fewest practices, although their number has doubled since last year
  • invariably the most numerous area is local community involvement and development

Sustainable Development Goals as a standard in the Report

This year’s edition of the report is the second one in which the UN Sustainable Development Goals were allocated to the good practices presented. In this way, the Responsible Business Forum joins in the promotion of the Goals, encouraging all companies to ensure that when preparing and executing individual actions they take into account the sustainable development challenges defined on the global level.

An analysis of the practices in connection with the SDG makes it possible to note the areas where companies in Poland are willing to get involved in and those which are still unpopular.

  • The Sustainable Development Goals which are most frequently referred to in the report’s practices include:
    • Goal 4 (Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all) – 332 practices
    • Goal 3 (Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages) – 224 practices
    • Goal 8 (Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all) – 136 practices
    • Goal 12 (Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns) – 102 practices
  • The fewest practices relate to Goal 14. Life below water.

Summary of the year and trends in expert articles

The report “Responsible Business in Poland 2017. Good Practices” is not just a collection of examples of business activities in the area of CSR and sustainable development. As every year, the publication provides an overview of the most important events relating to responsible business in Poland, a summary of important Polish and global publications, research papers and press articles on CSR. The report also contains expert articles, which this year were prepared by the following authors:

  • Adam Bodnar, PhD, the Polish Ombudsman
  • Magdalena Rojek-Nowosielska, PhD, from the University of Wrocław
  • Bolesław Rok, PhD, a professor from the Koźmiński University
  • Piotr Wachowiak, PhD, a professor from the Warsaw School of Economics (SGH)
  • Karina Diłanian-Pinkowicz from the Polish Humanitarian Action (PAH)
  • Irena Moozova from the European Commission.

The scope of this year’s topics is very broad: business and human rights, business involved in humanitarian aid, effectiveness of measuring CSR, diversity, responsible universities or closed loop business. The Report also includes an article by a winner of the Verba Veritatis competition and texts prepared by the Responsible Business Forum team, including its president Dominika Bettman, who looked at business cooperation, a subject which is key to CSR development.

CSR Marketplace in Poland – a space for discussion and cooperation

The 16th edition of the report “Responsible Business in Poland 2017. Good Practices” was presented at the 7th CSR Marketplace in Poland. Organised every two years by the Responsible Business Forum, the CSR Marketplace in Poland is Poland’s biggest event dedicated to corporate social responsibility. The aim of the event is to showcase the activities and practices of socially responsible companies and to promote services in this area.

source: Responsible Business Forum