Corporate social responsibility in construction CSR
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) refers to the belief that companies should have a positive impact on the community and wider society rather than simply generating profit. The overall impact of a company is determined by what it produces, the environmental impact, its recruitment and training processes, its adherence to rights and values, its investment in the community, and so on.
CSR responsibilities are often expressed in terms of four general categories:
There can be considerable damage, in terms of PR as well as financial impacts if a company fails to fulfil obligations in terms of health and safety, the environment, human rights, gender discrimination, and so on. Surveys often show that people believe a company to be a ‘good employer’ if they have established links with charities, schools or other local community groups. In addition, companies that are open and transparent in their reporting on CSR are generally viewed more positively by their stakeholders.
Construction companies are often challenged to do more in this area, and have in the past made great strides to improve, particularly with regard to health and safety. However, the industry as a whole has a generally poor record on employment and diversity issues, with women and ethnic minorities being consistently under-represented. A 2016 survey found that women make up only 11% of the UK construction workforce, and just 1% of onsite workers.
- Well-designed buildings which improve quality of life and wellbeing.
- Supporting education programmes.
- Supporting local community groups.
- Giving time or other resources for charitable activities.
- Good design and construction of community spaces, such as lighting, cycle paths, landscape, and so on.
- Responsible purchasing.
- Minimising waste.
- Internships and work experience programmes.
- Supporting apprenticeships.
- Flexible working for employees.
- Work-from-home plans, gym memberships, subsidised public transport, and other employee benefits.
- Improved hiring practices.
- Career management, mentoring and training programmes.
- Paying the living wage to all employees.
- Minimising payment delays to subcontractors in the supply chain.
- Energy efficiency initiatives.
- Corporate wellness programmes.
- Creating social value from civil engineering projects.
- Diversity in the construction industry.
- Environmental legislation.
- Ethical sourcing.
- Ethics in construction.
- Extended Producer Responsibility.
- Health performance indicators in the built environment.
- Human resource management in construction.
- Investors In People award CIOB silver accreditation.
- Modern slavery.
- Modern Slavery Act and sustainable supply chains.
- Qualifying Explanatory Statement QES.
- Responsible business conduct.
- Social Value Act.
- Statutory obligations.
- What makes a great place to work?
- Working rule agreement.
Ireland’s Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys, announced a new funding stream to support Local Authorities (LAs) to purchase vacant buildings that could be converted and developed for community use.
Eleven pubs across England have been recognised for their historic or unusual interiors, as they have been listed, upgraded or relisted.
The Heritage Sector Resilience Plan, developed by the Historic Environment Forum (HEF) with the support of Historic England, has been launched.
An ‘All-Island’ commitment to Ireland’s vernacular heritage has been established with the signing of the North South Agreement on Vernacular Heritage, supporting traditional buildings etc.
Canons House, a landmark building on Bristol Harbourside, has been awarded Grade II (GII) listed status having been built as a regional headquarters for Lloyds Bank between 1988 and 1991 (Arup)
The Building Research Establishment (BRE) has announced a new project with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to improve and modernise the home energy rating scheme used to measure the energy and environmental performance of UK homes.
Sector lead the Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) has recognised the IHBC’s professional accreditation and support (CPD etc.) in awarding its PQP (Professionally Qualified Person) cards.
Work to repair a fire-hit medieval hotel in Gloucester is underway as crews have started work to strip back some of the modern trappings and reveal the historic framework.
The Secretariat to the European Heritage Heads Forum has has coordinated its declaration of solidarity and support for Ukraine’s cultural heritage institutions.
2022 will see the IHBC mark a quarter of a century since our incorporation as a professional body supporting and accrediting built and historic environment conservation specialists. We’re kick-starting it by inviting your ideas on how to mark this special year!