“The responsibility of an organization for the impacts of its decisions and activities on society and the environment, resulting in ethical behavior and transparency which contributes to sustainable development, including the health and well-being of society; takes into account the expectations of stakeholders; complies with current laws and is consistent with international standards of behavior; and is integrated throughout the organization and implemented in its relations.”- ISO 26000 Official Definition Of CSR.
Genuine CSR program does not only promote sustainable business growth but it also solves poverty and environmental issues in the country. Poverty drivers such as income, resources, know-how and access to basic services could be key indicators for a CSR program to work on. Tourism sector plays an important role in creating jobs, promoting culture, and conserving biodiversity.
A sustainable livelihood and natural resource lie within the partnership of the public, private and development sectors. Business sector could help promoting green jobs for local communities to earn their living and at the same time protect the environment for example supporting sustainable farming for local farmers, promoting local handicraft for tourism, or providing school dropout youths with self-employed job opportunities.
The benefits of CSR to organizations are widely acknowledged by both small and large corporations across business sectors and geographies benefits include:
Staff morale and staff retention
Good relationships with the communities
Identify new opportunities
Productivity and operational efficiency
Brand and reputation
Easier access to capital
CRITICAL SUCCESS FACTORS IN CSR
While there is no one-size-fits-all formula for CSR strategy, it is widely noted that leadership commitment in an organization is key to CSR success, inter alia. A commitment to responsible entrepreneurship could range from making a donation to managing every aspect of the business according to responsible business principles. Whatever the level of engagement, the first step is to make a commitment at the management to ensuring some level of responsibility. Only when the tone of the top is strong and cascading down to all levels of management and operations, CSR can achieve its objective and brings positive impact to the organization.
CSR MAIN ACTIVITY
According to Carroll’s CSR pyramid model , a large proportion of tourism businesses in Lao PDR are still considered at the economic responsibilities ranking, where there is no deliberate action from the part of businesses to engage in CSR. Many of the activities are performed on an ad-hoc basis geared toward on demand charitable giving. Only a few foreign-owned tourism businesses view CSR as an ethical obligation but then again, the implementation on the ground in regards to this view still need to be validated. Among the businesses that engage in CSR, 66% of them are local-owned businesses, 25% joint-venture and 9% foreign-owned businesses. Table 22 shows the CSR activities engaged by tourism businesses by category.