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Corporate social responsibility is the integration of business practices into a company’s business model that consider factors beyond profit, such as sustainability or a positive impact on the community. These socially responsible practices often reflect the needs and values of the company’s stakeholders. While there is no specifically defined career path or typical job titles for those seeking corporate social responsibility jobs, these jobs often encompass marketing, managing or overseeing programs, or monitoring a company’s investments.
Some companies make their corporate social responsibility efforts a primary element of the company brand. Jobs in public relations, marketing, communications and similar roles that involve working with the promotion of a company's image can incorporate corporate social responsibility. For example, a marketing manager for a clothing retailer may have tasks such as developing ad campaigns and creating social media strategies that focus on the company's sustainable business practices. Such a company may want its stakeholders to know that its products are made with a high percentage of renewable materials, such as bamboo or cotton, or that it requires fair wages and ethical working conditions in its factories. The marketing manager needs to ensure that this information is visible and that consumers become trained to equate the company with social responsibility.
People with skills in program management may also be qualified for corporate social responsibility jobs. A director or manager of corporate social responsibility may be asked to monitor vendors and suppliers to ensure that its products come from companies that have sustainable business practices. For example, a grocery store chain that sells seafood may want to monitor the fishing practices of its suppliers and only select suppliers that ensure no harm is done to marine habitats. Another director of corporate social responsibility may be responsible for managing corporate sponsorships, leading partnerships with non-profit organizations or overseeing the investment of company funds, volunteers or other resources.
Corporate social responsibility jobs can also be found in the financial sector. A security analyst, for example, may review a company's corporate social responsibility policies and practices when determining its rating. Likewise, an investment manager may work for a financial investment firm and present socially responsible investment packages directly to its clients. There are also mutual fund companies that focus exclusively on "green funds," or those that are socially responsible, and the financial professionals who work for these companies often approach corporations and explain the financial and social benefits of these types of investments.
Those who are seeking corporate social responsibility jobs may find that businesses primarily look for workers with transferable skills. It may not always be necessary to have specific experience in sustainability or social responsibility, but corporate social responsibility jobs in management almost always require some experience or training as a manager. Therefore, those wanting to enter this broad field may best prepare by gaining experience managing in a specific field, while also volunteering or joining clubs that are community or environment related. A person seeking a career in this field may also choose to boost his credentials and earn a degree or professional certificate from a program with a focus on sustainability.