According to Moldovan media, corporate social responsibility (CSR) is not a novelty to Republic of Moldova. CSR entered the country alongside foreign companies which chose to do business in Moldova. Is that really so? I never heard of any serious CSR activity back home before. Even if we had a Government and Business for a Better Social Responsibility International Conference where several Moldovan companies got distinctions for their corporate social responsibility efforts, CSR in Moldova is at a very early development stage. Certain Moldovan companies are members of the Global Compact Members, but CSR doar not go beyond corporate websites, scattered philanthropy and sponsorship and slogans. So how this pattern cam be broken?
The consumers alongside companies need to get educated on issues of corporate social responsibility. Companies need to understand what CSR is and how it can benefit the company as well as the society. Consumers on the other hand must demand social business practices and good business. Certainly this is very difficult to achieve. Perhaps as difficult as changing mentalities, but very necessary.
The Government needs to take a role in regulating CSR. Perhaps CSR reporting is a good start. Countries like Sweden are a positive example how the state can interfere in advancing CSR at a new level.
It is a fact that CSR is changing globally. It is becoming less superficial and marketing-focused, and instead focused on innovation. At the moment, thw way CSR works in Moldova associates to me with the ISO certification frenzy: companies try to do it just because other do it without fully realizing the need to do so. Although CSR is viewed as a positive practice, I am very hopeful it will go beyond superficiality and become innovation and impact-driven.
Engaging companies in socially-responsibly business is difficult in a country where simple operations are impaired by survival issues, social and economic difficulties, I know. Nevertheless, i am eager to be part of the CSR-revival move and witness corporate-public-nonprofit partnerships that do good.