Corporate Social Responsibility is a concept whereby businesses and other organisations integrate their social and environmental responsibilities into their mainstream business operations, and business decisions are made with reference to wider sustainability issues.

National Plan on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)

In 2017, Ireland published its second national plan on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR): Towards Responsible Business: Ireland’s National Plan on Corporate Social Responsibility 2017-2020.

The National Plan on Corporate Social Responsibility sets out a vision that “Ireland will be recognised as a Centre of Excellence for responsible and sustainable business practice through the adoption and implementation of best practice in CSR in enterprises and organisations.”

The second National Plan on CSR was produced in consultation with the CSR Stakeholder Forum and in line with EU and international best practice CSR policy.

The Plan contains 17 actions which will be overseen by the CSR Stakeholder Forum. The Plan will be further strengthened by a Work Programme which will be updated over time, as actions are delivered and new opportunities present themselves, to ensure the Plan remains relevant.

A key driver of our National Plan is the impact CSR can have as a lever for improving competitiveness and as a means to reduce costs and create new value. However the Plan also recognises the importance of CSR for enterprise and for the communities in which we live. We recognise the value of sustainable business practices in boosting employment, fostering social justice and protecting the environment.

The Plan contains an appendix of supports available to companies to develop CSR such as those available from a number of business representative bodies, networks and specialists including Business in the Community Ireland and Chambers Ireland.

CSR Check 2020

The CSR Check 2020 is the third and final Progress Report on Towards Responsible Business Ireland’s National Plan on Corporate Social Responsibility 2017-2020.

CSR Check 2019

The CSR Check 2019 is the second Progress Report on Towards Responsible Business Ireland’s National Plan on Corporate Social Responsibility 2017-2020.

CSR Check 2018

This first CSR Check prepared by the Department on behalf of the CSR Stakeholder Forum was launched on 28 June 2018.

CSR Stakeholder Forum

A CSR Stakeholder Forum was established in June 2014 to drive the objectives of the first National Plan on CSR 2014-2016. The Forum is made of representatives from the private sector, government departments, academia and other relevant public bodies. Members of the Forum implemented a Work Programme of actions set out in the second National Plan on CSR 2017-2020. The Work Programme is delivered through a series of specialised working groups formed by the Forum.

Online resources

The CSR Stakeholder Forum and the Department have developed online resources to help businesses in Ireland learn more about sustainable and responsible business practices. provides information on corporate social responsibility and sustainable business practices. The @CSRHubIrl twitter account shares CSR related news stories and information on best practice in CSR.

Taken from

The following Irish websites and sources are particularly useful in providing further information on CSR / BSR to promote and encourage a socially responsible culture within organisations.

Business in the Community (

Business in the Community (BITC) works towards improving CSR in all organisations in Ireland. It was set up in 2000 as a national non-profit organisation. While it first focused on larger organisations, it has recently established a division focusing on responsible business for small and medium-sized organisations. Through its website, BITC provides many valuable resources on how CSR can help both organisations and the community. It provides case studies, blogs, competitions and checklists, along with other helpful information. It also provides useful services, such as assisting organisations in publishing their own Sustainability Reports based on their own CSR initiatives.

Business in the Community – Business Working Responsibly Mark (

The Business Working Responsibly Mark is administered by Business in the Community and is Ireland’s only certification for responsible and sustainable business practices. It is audited by the National Standards Authority of Ireland and based on ISO 26000 quality standards. It allows companies to benchmark their sustainable policies against other businesses and ultimately gain certification for high standards within this area.

Chambers Ireland – In Business for Business (

Chambers Ireland hosts the free-to-enter Corporate Social Responsibility Awards, which are open to businesses of all sizes. The Awards were established in 2004 to recognise the work being carried out by Irish and multinational companies to improve the lives of their employees and to enhance the civic environment in which they operate. Entering these awards might provide your organisation with a goal in attempting to be awarded for your organisation’s BSR activity.

CSR – Good for Business, Good For All (

This is a particularly useful website to gain information about CSR and how your organisation, regardless of size, can incorporate CSR into its everyday activities. It contains many useful links to case studies, CSR awards and other websites that can assist your organisation’s journey into the world of effective CSR. Its aim is to be the central point for a communications initiative that brings together all the key CSR resources in Ireland. It developed out of a CSR Stakeholder Forum, established by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise & Innovation, following the publication of Ireland’s first National Plan on Corporate Social Responsibility in April 2014.

Irish Small and Medium Enterprises Association (        

This is a useful website for small and medium organisations located in Ireland and provides valuable insight on a variety of issues that are relevant to such organisations – for example, employment and health and safety advice along with CSR. ISME carries out regular reviews of the CSR culture within small and medium-sized organisations and publishes reports on CSR initiatives along with many other useful publications, links and information that can all contribute to the nurturing and improvement of the CSR culture within SMEs.

Extracted from BUSINESS SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY: CSR FOR SMEs by Sana Khan, #53 in the NuBooks series.