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Reassessing CSR focus in times of crisis


Shilpa Sinha Harsh is the SVP – Global Corporate Communications, CSR and D&I at Hinduja Global Solutions.

Article originally published on The Times of India
By Shilpa Sinha Harsh

At this moment, we are perhaps witnessing a crisis like none other in history – a pandemic that brought countries and businesses to a halt and radically changed human behaviour. Even though the effects of the pandemic across industries continue to be profound, it is quite inspiring to witness how corporates across the world are stepping up and leveraging their resources to make a difference and bring relief and aid in various ways. From the launch of community-based rapid-response to the development of diagnostics and vaccines, corporate social responsibility (CSR) is helping flatten the curve in the short term, while addressing the inequities of the crisis over the long term. In this context, revisiting the Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) program can be a new focus area for organizations in the post-pandemic setup.

As we move ahead in the new normal, CSR must continue to contribute but on a different scale. The growing needs of healthcare, education, and sustainability across the globe are pushing businesses to reassess their priorities, frameworks, expectations and budgets to serve communities better. There is also heightened focus on collaboration and partnerships across a wider gamut of stakeholders such as governments, businesses and NGOs. Corporates have an opportunity to streamline and accelerate their community outreach efforts by shifting their focus and reinventing their framework to meet the extraordinary demands of the pandemic.

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