Corporate Social Responsibility

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Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is a company’s sense of responsibility toward the community and environment, both ecological and social, in which it operates. This means taking responsibility for the impact on the environment, the society, and employees while striving for economic success.


With the right balance between People, Planet, and Profit, attention can be paid to social issues such as internationally recognised basic working conditions, the chain of responsibility, and corruption. CSR can generate benefits in terms of innovation capacity, loyalty, and reputation.

  • CSR means minimising the negative effects and stimulating the positive effects of business activities. No distinction is made between local, national, and international impact.
  • CSR is a requirement for ensuring business continuity. It creates modern contemporary business operations.

CSR goes beyond charity. It is an integral part of the core activities of a company.

CSR guide

Businesses leaders wishing to implement CSR in a systematic manner may use consultants or take the initial steps themselves by, for example, consulting the CSR Guide ISO 26000. This document allows them to discover what CSR would mean for their operations and how they can include it in their business activities in accordance with the international ISO 26000 guidelines.

Country information

The Netherlands Enterprise Agency has created factsheets about CSR in the following countries:

Background information ICSR guidelines

As an OECD member state, the Netherlands endorses the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises and wishes to encourage Dutch companies to operate in accordance with these guidelines. The guidelines make clear what the Dutch government (and 45 other countries) expect of companies in terms of corporate social responsibility when conducting international business. They provide companies with tools to deal with issues such as supply chain responsibility, human rights, child labour, or the environment.

By working according to OECD Guidelines, your company will be more transparent and subject to less risk. This builds trust among customers, financiers, shareholders, and society as a whole. Furthermore, businesses without child labour, corruption, and pollution in their chain obtain easier financing, may be a government supplier, and are less susceptible to social pressure.

United Nations

The United Nations (UN) has launched the Global Compact initiative, interconnecting UN businesses, UN agencies, labour organisations, and social advocates. These parties are jointly obligated to provide a contribution to international corporate social responsibility. Hundreds of businesses have since aligned themselves with the Compact.

10 principles

Parties who become associated with the Global Compact endorse the 10 principles of the UN initiative. These principles cover human rights, working conditions, environmental protection and anti-corruption measures. By means of Global Compact, the UN also intends to achieve such broader UN objectives as the Millennium Development Goals.

More information on CSR topics:

Best practices

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