Ethical corporate social responsibility programmes focus on ensuring that all stakeholders in a business receive fair treatment, from employees to customers.
Ethical responsibilities are self enforced initiatives that a company puts in place because they believe it is the morally correct thing to do rather than out of any obligation. Businesses consider how stakeholders will be affected by their activity and work to have the most positive impact.
Whilst economic and legal responsibilities are the primary concerns of a company, after addressing these fundamental requirements businesses can then begin to focus on their ethical responsibilities.
Ethical CSR initiatives are intended to enforce fairer treatment for all employees, with common examples including paying higher wages, offering jobs to those who might otherwise struggle to find work, ensuring that decent standards are maintained in factories and refusing to partner in business with unscrupulous businesses or oppressive countries.
Ethical CSR considers every level of the supply chain, including employees who may not be directly working for the business. For example, CSR programmes might be in place to ensure that people producing clothes for a company receive fair treatment, or to prevent small scale farmers from being exploited by offering fair payment for their crops.
Though sometimes difficult to enforce, these programmes are intended to help ensure that employees, customers, shareholders and all other stakeholders get the fairest deal possible.