Differences between Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and sustainability

Corporate Social Responsibility

Recently, Corporate Social Responsibility in businesses around the world has started to pay more attention to being environmentally friendly. These investments have a lot of different reasons behind them. Thirty-three percent of businesses are putting sustainability first to cut costs and improve operational efficiency. Others spend money on corporate citizenship best practices getting attention from the media for a short time.

“Corporate sustainability” is a term that is used a lot because more and more businesses are taking steps to be green. Some people even think that “corporate social responsibility” and “corporate sustainability” are the same thing (CSR).

Learn how to tell the difference between corporate sustainability and CSR by reading on, or click here to find out more. Find out how to do both of these things in your company with some practical help.

When it comes to businesses, what is called “corporate sustainability?”

The term “corporate sustainability” refers to a new way to run a business. Also, “environmental social governance” is a more general term for it (ESG).

Businesses need to grow and make money through intentional business practices in three areas of society. The goal is to make long-term value for the people who work with you. People, the planet, and the economy should not be put at risk in the process.

Please go over the three pillars of corporate sustainability a little more.

The Environmental Foundation

As far as corporate sustainability goes, the environmental pillar is the one that people talk about the most. It talks about what businesses can do to help the environment and cut down on their carbon footprint.

Examples include reducing packaging waste, cutting back on water use, recycling materials, and using renewable sources of energy.

The Social Prismpractices

The social pillar is about a company trying to get the support of its stakeholders, employees, and the people in the area where it is located. A big part of corporate sustainability is how much a company cares about taking care of people both inside and outside of the business.

Among the social pillar, practices are preventing child labor, giving paternity and maternity leave, and giving back to the community.

The Pillar of the Economy

The economic pillar is all about making sure your business practices are long-term profitable. After all, if a company isn’t making money, it can’t have a good effect on the environment or the people in the community.

Compliance and good corporate governance are part of the economic pillar. Meaning, that the values of the stakeholders and the people in charge of the project agree on how to spend the money. The economic pillar makes it possible for a company to think about and invest in new ways to be more environmentally friendly at work.

All that said, no one pillar should be bigger than the rest. Businesses could get caught if they try both are important. A company can be more accountable to itself, its shareholders, and the public by using “CSR.”

What Is Corporate Social Responsibility?

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a more general term than corporate sustainability, but both are important. A company can be more accountable to itself, its shareholders, and the public by using “CSR.”

CSR is a way for businesses to do good for the world and the world around them at the same time. CSR is a long-term strategy that is never short-term and always changes.

When it comes to corporate social responsibility, Starbucks, for example, is known for having high standards. The company sells ethically sourced coffee and is happy to show off its global network of farmers. Starbucks also came up with a new way to help its employees get into college. This strategy was specifically designed for them.

CSR has a lot of different parts, but not all businesses can spend money on them all. The goal isn’t to spend money on every project that comes along. Start by making small changes in your organization and your community, and then move on to bigger things.

Differences Between CSR and Sustainability

Here are the three main differences between CSR and corporate sustainability, as well as how they work together.


It looks backward, reporting on what a business has done in the last year or so to make a difference in the world.

Sustainability thinks about the changes a business could make to make sure it will be around in the future.


This is what most people think about: politicians, pressure groups, and the media.

Sustainability looks at the whole value chain, from suppliers to operations to partners to end-users, and it applies to all of them.


CSR is becoming more about following rules.

The environment is important to the business of making money.


Communications teams are in charge of CSR.

It’s important to be environmentally friendly when you run your business and when you market your business


CSR investment is rewarded by the government

The City rewards sustainability investment (‘Finally, we show evidence that High Sustainability companies significantly outperform their peers over the long-term, both in terms of the stock market and accounting performance’).’


Protecting a company’s reputation is a primary motivation for corporate social responsibility.

People want to make money in new markets, so they need to keep their businesses going.


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