Business Has no Plans to Reduce the Cost on the Corporate Social Responsibility because of the Crisis


On the eve of the 3rd awarding ceremony on the Corporate Social Responsibility the representatives of business and the third sector exchanged their views on the theme "Why is it impossible to cut the budgets for the Corporate Social Responsibility in crisis?" during a discussion organized on the initiative of the International Foundation "Idea" and the Association of European Businesses.

Maria Gvardeytseva, the Head of the Communication Agency PRCI.Storytellers, noted that today the Belarusian companies pay more attention to corporate social responsibility: 22% of them are active in the Corporate Social Responsibility, 84% highly appreciate the effectiveness of the Corporate Social Responsibility. However, in times of crisis some companies are planning to reduce the costs for the corporate social responsibility program.

But representatives of socially responsible companies have expressed their confidence that to fold the Corporate Social Responsibility activity in the times of crisis is not necessary.

- The Corporate Social Responsibility - is the responsibility on the market: in a marketing strategy, production, constantly investing in technology, it is a charity, social projects, caring for the environment and for their own employees. Therefore, to talk about folding the Corporate Social Responsibility during the crisis is out of question. Otherwise, you get out of the race immediately for the attention and trust of the consumer. If you fold the Corporate Social Responsibility in times of crisis, then you fold your business ", - said the Head of Internal Communication and Public Relations Service of the Unitary Enterprise Coca-Cola Beverages Belorussiya, Anzhelika Melnikova.

Daria Lyskovets, Manager for Corporate relations of HEINEKEN in Belarus, agreed with the words of colleagues. According to her words, currently the company shifted its focus from the Corporate Social Responsibility external activities to improving the working conditions of employees and the level of security. Regardless of the crisis, the Corporate Social Responsibility is one of the six strategic priorities for the Group, therefore, there can’t be a question about its folding.

The participants of the discussion unanimously agreed with the fact that during the crisis companies are not going to fold the Corporate Social Responsibility, but also carry out the reorganization of activities in this direction. Julia Shpak, the Head of the Department for Public Relations of "Priorbank", noted that in 2016 the bank plans to organize corporate social responsibility in three areas: charity, culture and financial literacy training. At the same time the bank does not intend to reduce the budgets in the field of the Corporate Social Responsibility.

- The Corporate Socail Responsibility activity can not be cut during the crisis, because it would violate the company's mission, - said a spokesman of "Belgazprombank" Sergey Sklyarov. - Our mission in the Corporate Social Responsibility remains the same - we want the Belarusians to be healthy, wealthy, educated and proud of their country.

Natalia Kutsan, the Head of the International Social and Economic Foundation "Idea", stressed that the role of socially responsible business in the development of the Belarusian society is growing every year, and the reduction of budgets for the Corporate Social Responsibility blow on reputation of the company, both external and internal.

Arguing about the Corporate Social Responsibility in a crisis, it would be wrong to bypass the opinion of the Corporate Social Responsibility recipients. "Children's lives - it is not a project and a part of the business strategy, but a huge responsibility that should not be simply canceled due to the current economic conditions," - said Tatiana Juneja, the Representative of the International Public Organization «SOS-Children's Villages."

Vladimir Korzh, the Head of the International Educational Association "ACT", told about the draft law "On public benefit activities" that was prepared last year. The draft law has not yet been accepted to formal review, but perhaps that it will support business in the desire to implement the Corporate Social Responsibility’s projects more actively.

 Maryna Barouka, the Deputy Chairman of the Association of European Business, spoke about the Corporate Social Responsibility initiative of the Association, which is held twice a year - Job Shadow Days. Students and representatives really like this method of familiarization with the profession through the student support by an experienced person (mentor) in a real work environment during all working hours. The trainee has the opportunity to obtain information about the features of this or that job position, and the company can look closer to future employees among the best students.