Occupational Health & Safety Management
HRM 3400 – Winter 2012 – Anna Blake
Lecture 11 – Corporate Social Responsibility & the Environment – Mar 26
What is Corporate Social Responsibility?
- Social responsibility (is the) responsibility of an organization of the impacts of its
decisions and activities on society and the environment:
o Through transparent and ethical behaviour.
o Consistent with sustainable development and the welfare of society.
o Takes into account the expectations of stakeholders.
o In compliance with applicable law and consistent with international norms
o Integrated throughout the organisation.
History of Corporate Social Responsibility
- CSR involves a business identifying its stakeholder groups and incorporating
their needs and values within the strategic and day-to-day decision-making
- Business ‘society’ is defined by the number of stakeholders to which the
organization has a ‘responsibility’.
o Multinational oil company – global responsibility – global impact on
o Mom and pop grocery store – limited social responsibility.
- Therefore can only use a vague definition.
- CSR (Wikipedia, 2007)
o A concept that organizations, especially (but not only) corporations, have
an obligation to consider the interest of customers, employees,
shareholders, communities, and ecological considerations in all aspects of
- Stakeholders: employees, suppliers, customers and the communities in which
they operated (includes protecting the environment).
- Any program or activity engaged by a corporation that does not directly bring
profit and at the same time creates tangible and intangible benefits for both the
recipients and corporation itself.
- Four aspects of CSR.
o Moral (Ethical)
o Reputation (or brand image)
o License to operate (legal)
o Sustainability (environment)
- Charity is a legitimate aspect of CSR as long as it approached from a strategic
o A responsible company must take into full account its impact on all
stakeholders and on the environment when making decisions.
o Must balance the needs of all stakeholders with its need to make a profit
and reward stakeholders adequately. o Socially responsible activities.
Earth’s Water Cycle
- Never ending circulation of the earth’s water:
- Water only changes from one form to another and moves from one place to
- 326 million cubic miles of water and over one million gallons of water per cubic
- All living things consist mainly of water – humans 60%.
- 73% of Earth is covered in most part by water – Only 3% is fresh.
- 6 countries (Brazil, Russia, Canada, Indonesia, China and Columbia) have 50%
of the freshwater reserves.
- One-third of the world’s population lives in ‘water-stressed’ countries.
- Pollution is the action of environmental contamination with man-made waste.
- Of all the first world countries, the United States is the most polluting nation.
- Primary air pollutants have a direct impact on the environment.
o Oxides of carbon, sulfur and nitrogen.
o Volatile organic compounds.
o Suspended particulate matter.
o Photochemical oxidants.
o Radioactive substances.
o Hazardous air pollutants.
- Secondary pollutants are formed from chemicals interacting with primary
The Greenhouse Effect
- The process by which the greenhouse gasses in the earth’s atmosphere trap
heat of the sun and prevent the Earth from freezing in the absence of sunlight.
- A natural phenomenon which prevents stark temperature fluctuations on the
Earth during the day and night.
- Carbon dioxide, water vapour and methane in the Earth’s atmosphere prevent
the energy of the sun from being radiated out into space by the Earth’s surface.
- Eight glasses
o Infectious agents.
o Oxygen-depleting wastes. o Inorganic chemicals.
o Organic compounds.
o Plant nutrient pollutants.
o Radioactive materials.
o Thermal pollution.
o Persistence of pesticides in the soil is related to how quickly these
chemicals degrade in the environment.
o Three ways they degrade into the soil
Chemical degradation (water)
Photochemical degradation (sunlight)
o Three classes of pesticides
Insecticides kill insects.
Herbicides kill plants.
Fungicides kill fungus.
o Sulfates from Sulfuric acid rain.
o Nitrites from Nitric acid rain.
o Toxic metals.
o Radioactive materials.
- Refers to increase in concentration of the toxicant at successive trophic levels.
- DDT is metabolized and excreted much more slowly than the nutrients that are
passed from on trophic level to the next.
- The DDT accumulates in the body (especially in the fat) causing the
concentration of DDT to increase at successive levels in aquatic food chain.
- Environmental regulation is shared between the federal government and the
provinces. Municipalities also play a growing role.
- Federal environmental laws are based on federal constitutional powers such as
international borders; international relations; trade and commerce, navigation and
shipping, seacoasts and fisheries, criminal law, and a somewhat contentious
power to legislate in the national interest for ‘peace, order and good government’.
- The federal government also has primary jurisdiction over federal works and
undertakings, such as the land and activities of the federal government, its
agencies and corporations, the armed forces and a variety of federally regulated
entities such as the railways, aviation, interprovincial transport, grain elevators,
etc. - Provincial environmental laws are based on provincial constitutional powers,