Understanding Types of CSR

Understanding Types of CSR

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Chanchal Aggarwal
Senior Executive Content
Updated on Nov 30, 2023 14:49 IST

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) often falls into four types: Environmental, Philanthropic, Ethical, and Economic. Environmental CSR focuses on eco-friendliness and sustainability, Philanthropic CSR emphasizes charitable contributions, Ethical CSR ensures fair business practices, and Economic CSR aims to contribute to the economic development of communities. Each type reflects a different way businesses can contribute positively to society and the environment.


CSR stands for Corporate Social Responsibility. It refers to the way in which a company takes responsibility for the social and environmental impacts of its operations and how it contributes to the well-being of society and the planet. CSR is a concept that is becoming increasingly important in business today, as consumers and stakeholders are demanding that companies act more responsibly and ethically. Some examples of CSR initiatives include reducing carbon emissions, supporting local communities, promoting diversity and inclusion, and ensuring ethical labour practices. There are various types of CSR. Let’s know about them.

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Table of Content

Environmental Responsibility

This refers to a company’s efforts to reduce its negative impact on the environment and promote sustainability. For example, a company may implement recycling programs, switch to renewable energy sources, or reduce its carbon emissions.

Suggested Read: What is Sustainable Development?

Example of Environmental Responsibility

Tata Steel, a subsidiary of Tata Group and one of the largest steel companies in India, is well-known for its environmental initiatives and commitment to sustainability. The company has implemented several initiatives to promote environmental responsibility, including:

Green energy: Tata Steel has invested in renewable energy, including wind and solar power, to reduce its carbon footprint and minimize its reliance on fossil fuels.

Related Read – Explore Green Marketing, Top Benefits, and Trends

Water conservation: It has implemented several initiatives to conserve water, including rainwater harvesting, wastewater treatment, and recycling.

Biodiversity conservation: Tata Steel has implemented several initiatives to protect and conserve biodiversity, including planting trees, restoring degraded land, and protecting wildlife.

Waste management: Tata Steel has implemented several initiatives to reduce waste, including recycling, reusing, and reducing waste generation.

These environmental responsibility initiatives have helped Tata Steel establish itself as a brand that prioritizes sustainability and environmental responsibility.

Also read: Difference between Authority and Responsibility

Philanthropic Responsibility

Philanthropic responsibility in CSR refers to a company’s commitment to giving back to society through charitable donations and community involvement.

Example of Philanthropic Responsibility

Tata Group, a multinational conglomerate, is well-known for its philanthropic initiatives through the Tata Trusts. The Tata Trusts are a group of charitable organizations that focus on various social causes, including education, healthcare, and rural development.

The Tata Group has implemented several philanthropic initiatives, including:

Tata Trusts: The Tata Trusts are among the largest philanthropic organizations in India and work towards various social causes. They fund education initiatives, healthcare programs, and research on various social issues.

Corporate philanthropy: Tata Group companies donate a portion of their profits to charitable causes, including disaster relief, education, and community development.

Employee volunteering: They encourages its employees to volunteer their time and skills for charitable causes, and offers paid time off for volunteering.

Ethical Responsibility

Ethical responsibility in CSR refers to a company’s commitment to behaving in an ethical and responsible manner. For example, a company may ensure that its suppliers and contractors follow ethical labour practices or promote diversity and inclusion within the workplace.

Example of Ethical Responsibility

Infosys, a multinational information technology company, is well-known for its ethical business practices and commitment to social responsibility. The company has implemented several initiatives to promote ethical responsibility, including:

Code of conduct: Infosys has a code of conduct that outlines ethical behaviour and responsibilities for all employees. This includes guidelines for business conduct, data privacy, and anti-corruption policies.

Anti-corruption policies: Infosys has implemented policies to prevent corruption and bribery, including a whistleblower policy allowing employees to report violations. 

Sustainability initiatives: Infosys has implemented several sustainability initiatives to reduce its environmental impact, including reducing energy consumption, waste management, and water conservation.

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Economic Responsibility

Economic CSR is the type of CSR that involves a company’s efforts to promote economic development and growth. For example, a company may invest in local businesses, create job opportunities, or support economic development programs. 

Example of Economic Responsibility

Reliance Industries, a conglomerate interested in energy, petrochemicals, textiles, and telecommunications, is well-known for its economic impact on India. The company has implemented several initiatives to promote economic responsibility, including:

Investment in infrastructure: Reliance Industries has invested heavily in developing infrastructure in India, including roads, ports, and airports. These investments have created jobs and boosted economic growth in their operating regions.

Job creation: Reliance Industries is one of the largest employers in India, with over 200,000 employees. The company has also created many indirect jobs through its supply chain and vendor relationships.

Rural development: Reliance Industries has implemented several initiatives to promote rural development, including providing access to healthcare and education in rural areas and supporting small-scale farmers.

Supporting startups: Reliance Industries has launched several initiatives to support startups and entrepreneurs in India, including providing funding, mentorship, and access to resources.


What is Environmental CSR?

Environmental CSR focuses on reducing a company's footprint by adopting sustainable practices, like recycling, waste management, and energy efficiency, to contribute positively to the environment.

What entails Philanthropic CSR?

Philanthropic CSR involves charitable contributions to communities, including donations, volunteering, and support for local organizations, aiming to improve societal well-being and goodwill.

How does Ethical CSR promote fair practices?

Ethical CSR ensures adherence to fair business practices, like equitable treatment of employees, ethical sourcing, and transparency, fostering a positive image and trust among stakeholders.

What is the goal of Economic CSR?

Economic CSR aims to contribute to the economic development of communities by creating job opportunities, supporting local businesses, and fostering economic growth for a broader societal benefit.

About the Author
Chanchal Aggarwal
Senior Executive Content

Chanchal is a creative and enthusiastic content creator who enjoys writing research-driven, audience-specific and engaging content. Her curiosity for learning and exploring makes her a suitable writer for a variety ... Read Full Bio