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Corporate Social Responsibility Guide

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Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is defined by the Government of Canada as the voluntary activities undertaken by a company to operate in an economic, social and environmentally sustainable manner. In Canada, and around the world, companies, governments, and consumers are increasingly interested in buying products and services that are produced in socially, culturally, and environmentally responsible ways. 

CSR is a business model that supports companies in becoming more socially and environmentally responsible to its employees, stakeholders, and the public. CSR moves the business focus from solely profits to incorporate more socially beneficial outputs.

Some of these socially and environmentally responsible outputs include:

  • Decreasing greenhouse gas or the carbon footprint of a company
  • Providing a safe work environment for all employees
  • No discrimination policies
  • Living wages
  • Equal rights for marginalized groups and much more

These issues are influencing how governments, companies and consumers are making purchases, based on the performance and the history of businesses. Both retailers and consumer goods companies are evaluating suppliers and partners to ensure that they are operating in environmentally and socially responsible ways.

Small and medium sized companies (SMEs) exporting to Canada should be aware of how purchasers are defining and evaluating a company’s social and environmental commitments and performance. For SMEs by incorporating CSR into their business models and fulfilling their CSR targets, companies can demonstrate a commitment to social, cultural and environmental changes that can lead meeting more buyer requirements and reaching a larger consumer base.

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