In its publication on 15 February about Social Responsibility (SR) and Quality, Paul Borawski stresses the strong relationship that exists between these two concepts. To reach improvement in Social Responsibility, is required the use of philosophy, methodology, concepts, techniques and tools of Quality.
In his publication also referred to a document published by the ASQ and Manpower Professional, entitled "Social Responsibility and the Quality Professional." This paper is available at no cost to the ASQ.
From this study one of the premises to think about is the following:
Our global footprint exceeds the world’s capacity to regenerate by about 30 percent. If demands on the planet continue at the same rate, by the mid-2030s, we will need the equivalent of two planets to maintain our lifestyles.
The ASQ has also developed a movement to explain Social Responsibility and the role of quality to achieve results: The SRO. When you visit the site the first questions are "What is a Social Responsible Organization? How should it act?
To link Social Responsibility and Quality, corporate strategies must change, the new paradigm must be to produce better quality products, but with less resources.
Corporate Social Responsibility is a strategic management model, which includes the economic, social and environmental factors associated to the development of the activities of organizations. SR implies a renewed commitment to the community, environment and the various stakeholders with which an organization interacts, such as employees, shareholders, suppliers, customers, consumers and government.
Social responsibility means working on three aspects of a business: generating economic, social and environmental results.
Social Responsibility leads us to:
• Maintain a transparent and ethical behavior
• Contribute to sustainable development, health and social welfare
• Take into account the expectations of current and potential stakeholders.
• Comply with applicable laws.
• Integrate Social Responsibility throughout the organization
• Improve relations with other actors within the network of activities
The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has recognized the importance of the issue of global social responsibility, ISO has developed an international standard on the subject: ISO 26000, which includes the guidelines of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) which sets out principles for companies to achieve comprehensive protection levels (consumers, workers, community including human rights) regardless of where it operates. This rule takes into account the social, environmental, legal, economic and organizational and is not planned or intended for certification purposes. The final version was approved in October 2010. ISO 26000
It is also important to review the ISO 9004:2009 standard, Managing for the sustained success of an organization, a quality management approach, based on the implementation of Quality Management Systems, which states that an organization to succeed long term should be working with all stakeholders and meet their needs and expectations.
That means that an organization to ensure their survival should ensure a balance between the results achieved for its customers (quality of products at the right price), its employees (wages and working conditions), suppliers (fair payments for products and services), shareholders (results of their actions), partners (results), society (the environment carefully and pay for results) and government (through taxes).
The only ways an organization improve its performance to ensure that distribution is decreasing costs and / or increasing their income.
Paul Borawski told us that the key question is: How can we measure the return on investment in RS on the overall performance of organizations?
If we generate actions and measure results (indicators) for the following factors (there may be many more), we can answer this question:
- Reduce costs by improving productivity and better use of materials.
- Improve the design of products and services for less use of resources
- Reduce design and production cycles, considering the whole product life cycle.
- Train customers and suppliers the best use of resources.
- Provide certified products and services, and require the same along the production chain.
- Train internally in the use of tools and metrics to better control the processes.
- Create systems for monitoring current and potential requirements of all stakeholders.
- Use risk management tools at all levels.
In Ecuador the concept of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is starting, although the country recently entered into this dynamic, is beginning to establish itself as a beneficial practice for all actors in the supply chain.
Companies are in a transition from philanthropic activities towards the establishment of CSR plans, which can be sustained. Much of the companies applying CSR plans are multinationals that already have several years of experience with this type of programs and/or have the resources to do so. Efforts are also exporters and important sizes. See Ecuador experiencies.
As a final thought the application of the concepts of Social Responsibility should be the commitment from all, beginning with the family, considering that it is built on the basic principles of human being, thinking how each of our actions must benefit (no affect) my neighbor and the environment.
We should all support SR even from our homes, joining forces with a VISION and clear leadership, we can achieve Corporate Social Responsibility.