Corporate Social Responsibility – a fig-leaf or good business?
While the concept of CSR is nothing new, in the last 10 years it has driven a sincere shift in the way many companies do business. A well developed CSR policy helps a corporation attract consumers and build customer loyalty through a reputation for altruism. In Japan as elsewhere, sound business strategy today increasingly emphasizes the pursuit of sustainable shareholder value with the simultaneous pursuit of sustainable social value.
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is defined as taking responsibility for the impact of company activities on the environment and community on behalf of the company, consumers, employers, stakeholders, and other members of the public. Refugees International Japan not only embraces this principle in its own work, but actively encourages and assists other Japanese organizations in building their own CSR program.
Your shareholders can become care-holders by investing in your company.
In a 2005 survey, 75 percent of Japanese respondents believed CSR improved public relations and brand image; 82 percent deemed it crucial to customer satisfaction; and 93 percent thought it created stronger employee morale.
Conflict affects many countries and upsets world trade and stability. Many companies believe that helping refugees and internally displaced people is a worthy cause, and that it helps employees understand the social and business implications of unrest.
 Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) Survey The way of the merchant–Corporate social responsibility in Japan
Some examples of company partnerships:
Kewpie Corporate Matching Gift Programme
The well-known food company has created a unique matching gift program that enables employees to assign their donations to up to three charitable categories: food aid, children and the environment.
Each category has three to four different organizations that receive contributions, and Q. P. generously supports Refugees International Japan.
Monthly donation amounts are matched yen for yen, doubling every employee’s charitable gift (up to a yearly maximum).
Explains Amane Nakashima, Managing Director CSR and Compliance,
"I had the idea several years ago when I received a letter from my alumni association, asking me to donate using their corporate matching gift program.
Matching gifts enhance benefits to both our company and our employees. They not only double the amount employees give each month, but also show the willingness of our company to match the will of our employees.
We hope this raises loyalty amongst staff members and helps inspire them to perform at their best."
Cathay Pacific Airways Dress-up Friday
Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd held a Dress-up day on Friday 17 October at their six offices in Japan.
Staff entered into the spirit of the event with great enthusiasm and there were some amazing costumes.
Not only was it a fun day but Cathay used the event to raise funds for RIJ projects, specifically featuring the Baby Kits project for people displaced in Karen state, Burma (Myanmar).
This is an excellent initiative as it is a great boost to morale and, while having fun, staff can make a difference to people’s lives.
Spirit of Unity - Kizuna
This was a programme facilitated by Whisk-e Company, a regular donor to Refugees International Japan.
A group of independent Scottish Distilleries collaborated to produce a unique whisky called Spirit of Unity or Kizuna in Japanese. All proceeds from sales of Kizuna were donated to RIJ for programmes supporting people displaced following the Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami in 2011.
On 29 October 2011 representatives from the distilleries travelled with Jane Best, CEO of RIJ, to visit Utatsu and meet members of the community. This was a valuable visit in that they could see how the funding is impacting the community and hear directly from people who experienced the disaster, learning how it has affected their lives.
Details of the projects funded are on the Project pages of this website.