Strona głównaA business responsible to the society - a feasible programme or a utopia?

A business responsible to the society - a feasible programme or a utopia?

PKPP Lewiatan, NSZZ Solidarność and Deloitte propose that the response of business circles to the ongoing crisis of trust should take the form of a voluntary accession of companies to the movement of social responsibility. That is why the above entities are cooperating to implement a programme that aims to support CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility).

Due to the world-wide crisis of the economy, social confidence in the financial sector (and business as a whole) has significantly diminished. Even today, expectations keep getting higher for governments to finally coerce companies to operating in a more clear way and to submitting to external control. However, excessive regulations will not be able to prevent consecutive crises if the companies themselves will not come up with voluntary precautions implemented into their own corporate cultures and income generating strategies. Businesses have to relate to the present-day challenges,  preferably finding solutions to them on their own.

The answer might be, and should be, the rank-and-file activity of companies in the process of implementing CSR, or a strategy of development that takes the present ecological, social and environmental challenges into consideration. A socially responsible company does not only meet all the necessary legal requirements, but also voluntarily undertakes actions in, accomplishing of its business aims, to improve its relations with employees, clients, suppliers, the social setting and all other involved parties.

Despite the fact that the concept of social responsibility of businesses gains increasing coverage in Poland, companies still seem to lack the practical knowledge and tools facilitating a correct execution of CSR activities. Apart from a relatively narrow group of leaders (usually branches of international corporations) the concept of a socially responsible business is being interpreted in various ways and executed  selectively, if at all. Companies from the small business sector are afraid of undertaking CSR strategies because of the high cost related.

PKPP Lewiatan (Polish Confederation of Private Employers) along with its partners: Komisja Krajowa NSZZ ?Solidarność" ("Solidarity" Independent Self-governing Trade Union National Committee) and Deloitte, a professional services company, cooperate in the execution of a programme to help companies understanding and implementing CSR strategies.

We intend to persuade companies that a CSR strategy is business oriented, in other words a correct execution of a CSR strategy effectively improves goodwill and helps to maintain an edge above the competition. Simultaneously, we are working on developing practical tools to aid these processes. Primarily, we make a model of execution and evaluation of a single Good CSR Practice available to all large and medium businesses in Poland. It is a methodological guide for planning, implementing and evaluation of a specific activity that falls within one of the domains of social responsibility.

With the use of this tool, we will be able to perform a thorough analysis of at least a 100 of Good CSR Practices already implemented in businesses. As a result, a complete model of a company's social commitment will appear. This model will help to answer the question "what specific activities should a company undertake in order to earn the title of a socially responsible business?".  The model will be tested on ten select, large and medium businesses.

One of the Project's crucial characteristics is the assumption that businesses themselves will actively take part in the creation of the above mentioned tools. Owing to this, the output model will be realistic, or providing for the needs of stakeholders in Poland on the one hand, and for the realistic capabilities of businesses on the other hand. The way to assure that the project remains pragmatic, is also the choice of the partaking partners. This is why Lewiatan's and Delloite's experts are analyzing the unionists' point of view on this matter,

According to NSZZ Solidarność, the quality of work relations  within a business should be regarded as one of the crucial aspects of CSR policies. A business declaring itself socially responsible can never allow itself to act against the rulings of the collective agreement and work contracts, obstruct workers' participation by means of information and consulting procedures, or disregard the dialogue with unions. It is impossible to contribute to social stabilization while breaking the rules of good work relations. According to union representatives, the often-seen interpreting of CSR activities as philanthropy-oriented activities or PR activities is an unjust narrowing of the concept.  The social responsibility of a business is not to be regarded as a ?charitable image improvement system", but as an advised, long-standing, worker, environment and setting-friendly business management strategy. Such a strategy is impossible to execute without a bona-fide social dialogue lying at its base. This idea is worth promoting especially in times of the crisis, that explicitly showcased what are the repercussions of mindless credit-based consumption with a simultaneous orientation  for profit by any  means.

BUSINESS  EUROPE and PKPP Lewiatan experts, stress the fact that there can be no social responsibility without a social dialogue with all stakeholders. It is them who absolutely must be included in the process of defining tasks that businesses will undertake as a part of executed CSR strategies. However, stakeholders should remember that one of the conditions for social responsibility is that businesses generate income.

On 23 September 2009, a contest has been opened for development of Good Practices that help implementing CSR strategies in Polish reality. The contest is a part of the "Promocja standardów społecznej odpowiedzialności w przedsiębiorstwach" (Promotion of standards of social responsibility for business") project. Businesses are welcome to submit their entries until 31 January 2010. 20 of the most  interesting Good CSR Practices will be rewarded.

The terms and conditions of the contest are available at:

PKPP Lewiatan (Polish Confederation of Private Employers)

NSZZ "Solidarność" (Independent Self-governing Trade Union "Solidarity")


More info provided by:

Phone no. 022 565 18 06

Phone no. 0-58 308 43 18



Projekt współfinansowany ze środków Unii Europejskiej w ramach Europejskiego Funduszu Społecznego
Kapitał Ludzki Polska Agencja Rozwoju Przedsiębiorczości Eurpejski Fundusz Społeczny
Projekt realizują:
Deloitte Polska Polska Konfederacja Pracodawców Prywatnych Lewiatan NSZZ Solidarność