Written by Marijn Overvest | Reviewed by Sjoerd Goedhart | Fact Checked by Ruud Emonds | Our editorial policy

CSR Policy — Transforming Sustainable Procurement

Key take-aways

  • CSR is a continuous commitment by businesses to behave ethically by aiming for social responsibility.
  • A CSR policy is a set of guidelines a company sets to maintain ethics in its business operations.
  • It is not only the community that benefits from a CSR policy but also the company that sets it because it improves its brand image and keeps employees and workers ethically healthy. 

CSR policy is important to ensure that a company ethically conducts its business operations. However, what is it? 

In this article, we will discuss what CSR policy is. We will also tell you the benefits of CSR policy when adopted in business operations and how you can use it to make a sustainable procurement policy. 

Once you finish reading this article, you will have a clear idea of what CSR policy means. You will also know how you can make a sustainable procurement policy that will enable you to foster sustainability in your business operations. So without further ado, let’s now start!

What is CSR?

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) refers to the continuing commitment by businesses to behave ethically. It is a type of self-regulation by businesses that aims for social responsibility and making a difference in the world. 

Companies can embrace corporate social responsibility by being eco-friendly, and eco-conscious, promoting diversity and equality, giving back to the community, and ensuring that all business decisions are ethical. Hence, the reason why sustainable procurement is brought up whenever businesses talk about corporate social responsibility.

To ensure the authenticity of the CSR, the company should first look at its values, mission, and core issues to determine what initiatives align with the goals and culture of the company. 

What is CSR Policy?

A Corporate Social Responsibility policy (CSR policy) is a set of guidelines that a business creates to ensure it ethically conduits its business operations.

The policy outlines the business approach to addressing its negative impact on the environment and society as a whole. 

By implementing CSR policies within the business operations, the stakeholders within the business can freely state their concerns about human rights and environmental protection.

What is a Sustainable Procurement Policy?

A sustainable procurement policy is a document that translates the vision into operational management. 

It describes the procurement intentions, objectives, and values of the organization, as formally expressed by its top management. It usually describes elements like vision, values, commitments, and rules. 

Benefits of a CSR Policy

1. Giving back to the community

Although this may not be the primary aim of every business, giving back to the community can give businesses a moral currency that can boost internal activities. 

Businesses that use CSR tend to be seen more favorably by many people. By demonstrating responsibility for social and environmental issues, businesses can improve their reputation and build trust with stakeholders. 

2. Improve brand image

As businesses are committed to taking accountability for how they can impact the environment and society, businesses can improve their brand image. 

When this happens, customers are more likely to remain loyal to companies that exercise social responsibility. This is due to the fact that customers also know their part in ensuring the protection of the planet. 

3. Workers are motivated

Employees that work for companies that have CSR at their core tend to be more motivated as they can see that the business is not only focused on productivity but also on the workers’ safety. 

Employees will be proud of a business that demonstrates accountability to social and environmental issues and they will also feel that they are doing something meaningful to protect the environment and society. 

    Making A Sustainable Procurement Policy Out of Your CSR Policy

    The first step in making a sustainable procurement policy is aligning procurement with organizational objectives and goals. 

    You should translate the organizational goals and values into a specific sustainability vision for the sustainable procurement policy and strategy when setting priorities for sustainable procurement. 

    The next step is to translate those visions into goals. This involves doing the following:

    • Evaluate CSR policy and existing procurement policy to understand how you can align them
    • Recommendations from the market research for you to know what the workers are doing and the demands of the market
    • Analyzing supply chain and risk assessment will enable you to know sustainability risks that need immediate attention
    • Utilizing a sustainability issue matrix for you to have a clear idea of the high-impact issues
    • Cost analysis in order for you to assess the possibility of using true pricing for different products. 

    The goals should be formulated by considering these factors that will affect your success rate in achieving sustainability.

    Furthermore, your sustainable procurement policy should lead to the formulation of precise, quantifiable, attainable, reasonable, and timely objectives for the key concerns identified for sustainable procurement.

    Clear goals should be established for procurement, and performance should be evaluated against ambitious sustainability objectives. Such measurable objectives or quantifiable targets help in measuring the efforts being done to achieve each goal. 

    In Conclusion

    CSR policy is a guide for businesses in order for them to know if they are still doing their activities ethically. Thus, as there is a continuous growth in the demand of people that are pushing for sustainability, businesses must now move to adopt it. 

    Thus, CSR policy is an important part of a business’s journey to sustainability. Without one, businesses can never assess themselves where they are already striving for sustainability.

    Do you want to learn more about how to create a robust CSR policy? Then try our Sustainable Procurement Course that will teach you how to create an effective CSR that Aligns with your business’s objectives in striving for sustainability. Enroll now! 

    Frequentlyasked questions

    What is CSR?

    It refers to the continuing commitment by businesses to behave ethically.

    What is CSR policy?

    It is a set of guidelines that a business creates to ensure it ethically conduits its business operations.

    Why is it important to have a CSR policy?

    Without a CSR policy, businesses will fail to strive for sustainability as they cannot assess effectively whether they are still doing their operations ethically. 

    About the author

    My name is Marijn Overvest, I’m the founder of Procurement Tactics. I have a deep passion for procurement, and I’ve upskilled over 200 procurement teams from all over the world. When I’m not working, I love running and cycling.

    Marijn Overvest Procurement Tactics