The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton TD, today launched ‘Good for Business, Good for the Community’, Ireland’s National Plan on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) 2014-2016.
According to the Minister, one of the Government’s key objectives is to make Ireland the best small country in which to do business. The National Plan on CSR supports this objective and articulates a vision for Ireland to be recognised as a Centre of Excellence for responsible and sustainable business practices.
Among the measures contained in the plan are:
- Establish a stakeholder forum on CSR to support the development of CSR in Ireland, in the first half of 2014;
- Establish a baseline of CSR activity in Ireland, through the National Standards Association of Ireland;
- Work with stakeholders to raise awareness of CSR and support best practice CSR;
- Explore how IDA and Enterprise Ireland can promote CSR with their client companies; and
- Support programmes to develop CSR in the SME sector.
The publication of this, the first ever National Plan on CSR for Ireland, represents a milestone in raising the profile of CSR in the country. Speaking at the launch today, Minister Bruton said: “We in Government are very conscious of the valuable role that CSR can play in contributing to Ireland’s economic recovery. Increasingly, good CSR practices are distinguishing the best companies from their competitors, and are having a positive impact on their competitiveness. The way that businesses integrate social and environmental concerns into their engagement with customers, suppliers, employees and local communities is becoming hugely important to the sustainability of their business.”
CSR has been practiced by companies, large and small, throughout Ireland for many years. The breadth of CSR activity in Ireland is widespread and is recognised through programmes such as Business in the Community Ireland’s ‘Business Working Responsibly Mark’ and Chambers Ireland’s Annual CSR Awards.
Welcoming the publication of the National Action Plan, Tina Roche, CEO, Business in the Community Ireland, said: “Resource efficiency, increased productivity, staff motivation, consumer confidence, trust and reputation are the main priorities for Irish business leaders. The need for growth, jobs, particularly youth employment, environmental sustainability and social resilience at a time of economic difficulty are the foremost priorities of government. Corporate responsibility is uniquely positioned to contribute to these priorities and a robust National Action Plan driving its benefits for both business and society will help work towards ensuring its potential is realised.
Ireland’s National Action Plan sets out clear roles and responsibilities of both Government and business. Business in the Community Ireland will continue to work with the Government and its members to implement these principles and we commit to promoting understanding of how addressing corporate responsibility can help build business excellence.”
The National Plan on CSR is an initiative under the Government’s Action Plan for Jobs. The Plan is available here.