THE SUSTAINABILITY OF BUSINESS THROUGH EFFECTIVE CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY INITIATIVES
Milton Friedman once observed, 'The business of business is business'. Years later, the time has perhaps come for businesses to redefine this famous quote to read, 'The business of business is not profit maximization alone'. Businesses at the present time are expected to be lean and tall; lean, in that they consume fewer natural resources, and tall, in that they commit to plough back benefits back into the society they live in. Committing a share of the profits to social causes will make the enterprise more acceptable to society, thereby giving it a meaningful existence and ensuring sustainability in a competitive business world. One needs to understand that the business environment has witnessed a host of developments - the shift of power from capital to knowledge, increased levels of literacy, the shrinking of geographical boundaries on account of faster means of travel and communication, and employees and consumers becoming altogether more conscious of their rights. This has fuelled new expectations for society from businesses.
This paper examines the role of business organizations in the process of social change and how organizations can ensure sustainability through the effective implementation of corporate socialresponsibility initiatives. It also analyses the various conventions and policies on CSR, nationally and internationally, undertaken by agencies like the United Nations in recent years.