Monday, June 19, 2006

 

CSI - Corporate Social Investment

Congratulations to all of those who are busy with their internships and those who have found a permanent job. But I must say I couldn’t expect anything less from our class. We all worked very hard to benefit from the training we have received.

I just want to give some information through to specifically Cyrille and also anybody who finds Corporate Social Investment (CSI) and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) an area of interest. To me its not only an area of interest but also an area of necessity for the South African economy and the companies who adopt this way of working.

I found great articles from my supervisor at work, Fiona McDonald, who is actually a consultant for Rand Merchant Bank. And part of her consulting is Corporate Social Responsibility. She gave me a journal to do some extra reading on the topic. It is called “Above Board – Africa’s Global Chronicle on Governance, Leadership and Ethics”. Fiona wrote an article on the importance of CSI and CSR called “The (Social) Butterfly Effect”. This article expresses the nature of these areas and explains that if companies invest in these two areas, the society who will benefit from this will in turn invest into South Africa’s economy, which in turn will increase, like Fiona says, the ‘brand position’ of the company. Here is a short extract from her article to explain it better:

“Investment in education, skills development, healthcare, literacy, child care, HIV/Aids, gender abuse and the like builds a society that can participate more effectively in the economy.

In doing this, we create more skilled employees, more consumers, a healthier nation with a longer lifespan – the ripple or butterfly effect – thus contributing to the economy for a longer period of time, and in a more valuable manner. And all the while, the brand position of the organisation is being enhanced.”
The Johannesburg Securities Exchange has a Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) Index to identify which companies invest socially. This Index assists the JSE in choosing which company to invest in. Companies are ranked according to their achievements with regards to CSI and CSR. The JSE explains the bacground and selection criteria on their website at www.jse.co.za/sri/docs/Background%20and%20Criteria.final.06%2010%2003.pdf.

I thought you, Cyrille, might find this journal very interesting, and also the JSE website could give you more information so that you can incorporate this knowledge with your internship. There is still so much to say about this topic. And I do still think that many companies have not yet realised what a positive impact CSI will have on them and on the South African society as a whole. I think the whole process of the JSE SRI Index should be more publicised and companies who are part of the Index should be praised even more. What do you think could be done to increase investors and society’s interest?

Thanks to those who are still keeping this team blog running. Its great to see what everybody has to say and the interesting ideas and information coming through.

Comments:
Hi Celeste,
Thank you for this post and the encouraging words you left on my latest post.

As you said, hopefully the CSI topic is gonna give rooms to some debates on this blog. Just the time to shift our attention from TV screens with the world Cup in Germany and everything will be get back to normal!

Cheers,
 
I am pretty impressed with the level and content of the postings on this multi-blog. Many of the topics are close to my heart, and I am relieved to see that they appear to be close to others' hearts too. As a potential employer of people, not aliens, I have been instantly drawn to many of the discussions, particularly those on sustainable development.

Keep it up.

The Watcher of Blog
 
Dear Watcher of Blog

Thanks for the comment. I think blogging is the key to many wonderful topics to chat about, especially pressing issues like that of African and South African sustainability. I've learnt many things during my studies and I love sharing my experiences and feeling on what interests me.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts and I look forward to some debates about sustainable development. And I would specifically enjoy hearing your thoughts on the 2010 World Cup and what you think this will do for South Africa and Africa as a whole regarding growth and development.

Have a good day!

Regards
Celeste
 
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