[Sponsored Report] Conglomerates stress importance of CSR

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[Sponsored Report] Conglomerates stress importance of CSR

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Pursuing the creation of fine quality products is just one factor among many that determines a company’s success. More and more companies are embracing sustainability management, a 21st-century corporate management direction that values protecting the environment and developing society, in addition to profiting financially. Fulfilling corporate social responsibility (CSR) requires attending to the needs of not only customers but also shareholders, partners and employees.

An increasing amount of investment in CSR by major companies reflects this trend. On Oct. 30, the Federation of Korean Industries (FKI) announced that money spent on CSR by 225 major companies last year amounted to 3.25 trillion won ($3.1 billion), a 5 percent rise compared to 2011.

Samsung Group’s annual donation to Community Chest of Korea has surged more than fivefold in a decade. Between 1999 and 2003, the conglomerate donated 10 billion won per year to the charity. Between 2004 and 2010, Samsung’s annual donation doubled to 20 billion won. The amount continued to rise; to 30 billion won in 2011 and 50 billion won in 2012.

Hyundai Motor Group’s donation to Community Chest of Korea this year was 25 billion won. In total, its donations between 2003 and 2013 amounted to 134 billion won. LG Group and SK Group also donated 12 billion won and 10 billion won, respectively.

Methods of social contribution have been evolving, too. Eight out of 10 companies are pursuing CSR programs related to their fields, according to the FKI. Seven out of 10 companies also responded that more than half of their employees are participating in volunteer work, and companies that pursue pro bono activities numbered 74 percent.

With CSR becoming more deeply rooted in corporate culture, companies consider that money invested in CSR will yield positive returns in the long run. Consequentially, it has become meaningful for companies to look back on their sustainability management footprint, making CSR no longer a fad.

By Park So-yeon [soyeon_park@joongang.co.kr]

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