KATHMANDU: Here is a very simple way to check your own business against some basic responsibility criteria. This list is not exhaustive, but it will provide an idea of the scope of considerations that need to be taken into account in five major areas.
Does the company...
p Adhere to labour laws and regulations?
p Encourage employees to develop real skills and long-term careers?
p Prevent any form of discrimination while
recruiting and in the workplace?
p Consult with employee representatives on
Have established workplace cooperation and clear grievance procedures?
Offer suitable social protection, health, safety and welfare schemes?
Provide healthy and hygienic working conditions?
Provide trainings for staff to increase productivity and attendance?
Consult with employees on how to handle a downturn in business, loss of production due to general strikes, shortages?
Find ways to solve labour issues in a peaceful manner?
Cooperate with other businesses to organise staff trainings and learning events?
Cooperate with other businesses to organise transport or day-care to improve attendance of employees?
Adhere to environmental laws and regulations?
Exploit all feasible measures to improve energy efficiency and use renewable energy?
Reduce, reuse and recycle waste?
Prevent pollution (air, water, noise, et cetera) in production and transport?
Consider the environmental impacts when developing new products and services?
Provide clear and accurate environmental information on its products, services and activities to stakeholders?
Instruct staff to save energy (and cost) through turning off unused machines, lights?
Instruct staff to repair leaking taps and tubes, windows et cetera?
Have a policy to ensure honesty and quality in all its contracts, dealings and advertising (for example, a
fair purchasing policy, provisions for consumer protection, et cetera)?
Supply clear and accurate information and labelling about products, services, warranties, et cetera?
Ensure timely payment of suppliers’ invoices?
Have a process to ensure effective feedback, consultation and/or dialogue with customers, suppliers and the other stakeholders?
Register and resolve complaints from customers, suppliers and business partners?
Work together with other companies or other organisations to address issues related to responsible entrepreneurship?
Gain competitive advantage by producing sustainable local or national products?
Employ and train people from the local community?
Have an open dialogue with the local community on common issues like waste, energy consumption, infrastructure, security, et cetera?
Try to purchase locally?
Send experienced staff to support suppliers, schools, charities or community groups?
Explain the environmental, social and economic performance to stakeholders and consider their ideas and views as the business develops?
Join hands with local initiatives (transport, education, infrastructure, environment)?
Involve in any socio-economic well-being or infrastructure activities?
Company values and finances:
Clearly define its values and rules of conduct?
Communicate its values to customers, business partners, suppliers and other interested parties?
Train employees on the importance of its values and rules of conduct?
Adhere to accounting principles and provide transparent information to investors?
Adhere to tax and customs regulations?
Each company is different and stake-holders have different expectations. Therefore, please adjust this checklist to your business operations and environment.
(The author is a CSR expert at National Business Initiative and can be reached through email@example.com)