Towards Responsible Business: Ireland’s National Plan on Corporate Social Responsibility 2017-2020


Corporate Social Responsibility makes Ireland a better place in which to do business and benefits local communities and the environment

CSR is no longer an optional ‘add-on’, but is becoming a necessary part of mainstream operations.

Second National Plan on Corporate Social Responsibility launched by An Tanaiste and Minister for Enterprise and Innovation, Frances Fitzgerald T.D.

26th June 2017

The Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise and Innovation Ms. Frances Fitzgerald T.D., today (Monday 26th) launched “Towards Responsible Business”, Ireland’s Second National Plan on Corporate Social Responsibility 2017-2020.

The Plan articulates a vision for Ireland to be recognised as a Centre of Excellence for responsible and sustainable business practices. It also supports the Government’s objective of building a strong economy and delivering a fair society, so that businesses and communities thrive, throughout Ireland.

At the launch event the Tánaiste, Frances Fitzgerald said:

“Today, more than ever, the Irish Government needs to deliver a clear message of encouragement and support to businesses and organisations around Ireland to embed responsible business practices at the core of their business strategies.

“Businesses who communicate openly and transparently about their practices, who tell their story and recognise their impacts on society, foster a culture of trust with their workforce and their customers. CSR is no longer an optional ‘add-on’, but is becoming a necessary part of mainstream operations.

“I thank all involved in preparing this plan, especially the key stakeholders who sit on the CSR Stakeholder Forum, and I encourage all organisations to embed responsible business practices at the heart of their business strategy. The second National Plan is action-orientated and is strengthened by a work programme for the CSR Stakeholder Forum that will be updated over time as actions are delivered and new opportunities present themselves. This is a whole of Government issue, it is a whole of business and whole of society issue too.

“Embedding responsible business practices has the potential to help build a more inclusive Ireland; help make Ireland a better place in which to do business and benefit local communities and the environment. For businesses, the benefits include: attracting and retaining talent; building reputation and market share and creating a competitive advantage.”

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.

One of the key achievements during the period of Ireland’s First National Plan on CSR 2014 – 2016 was the establishment of a CSR Stakeholder Forum. The CSR Stakeholder Forum is currently chaired by Ms. Catherine Heaney, founder and Managing Director of DHR Communications. The Forum is a key vehicle to inform the development of CSR policy in Ireland and to ensure the National Plan remains relevant in the context of evolving best practice, both nationally and internationally.

Speaking at the launch today, Chairperson to the CSR Stakeholder Forum Catherine Heaney, said:

The commitment of our business leaders in embedding CSR is the cornerstone to successful and sustainable responsible growth in Ireland. With a stronger focus on stakeholder expectations, business leaders need to implement responsible business practices from the top down”.

Tina Roche, CEO Business in the Community Ireland added:

“The Plan recognises that sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility is an economic competitiveness issue and a strategic business agenda driving the core principles and decision making within business. It is critical for Ireland’s international reputation that we have a robust and credible statement that inspires action by business and other key stakeholders”.

Ian Talbot, Chambers Ireland added “We cannot underestimate the value of Government showing leadership in corporate social responsibility and the commitment of the Department of Enterprise and Innovation is extremely important in driving forward the CSR agenda nationwide. Chambers Ireland works to promote CSR best practice, and through our annual CSR Awards we celebrate the hugely impressive work going on across the country by businesses of all sizes. Chambers Ireland looks forward to engaging with the Department and the Minister to promote and support responsible business”

For more information on the “Towards Responsible Business” plan it can be downloaded from www.csrhub.ie

 

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