Corporate Social Responsibility is a management concept whereby companies integrate social and environmental concerns in their business operations and interactions with their stakeholders

Corporate Social Responsibility is a management concept whereby  companies integrate social and environmental concerns in their business  operations and interactions with their stakeholders. CSR is generally  understood as being the way through which a company achieves a balance  of economic, environmental and social imperatives (“Triple-Bottom-Line-  Approach”), while at the same time addressing the expectations of  shareholders and stakeholders. In this sense it is important to draw a  distinction between CSR, which can be a strategic business management  concept, and charity, sponsorships or philanthropy. Even though the  latter can also make a valuable contribution to poverty reduction, will  directly enhance the reputation of a company and strengthen its brand,  the concept of CSR clearly goes beyond that.

Promoting the uptake of CSR amongst SMEs requires approaches that fit the respective needs and capacities of these businesses, and do not adversely affect their economic viability. UNIDO based its CSR programme on the Triple Bottom Line (TBL) Approach, which has proven to be a successful tool for SMEs in the developing countries to assist them in meeting social and environmental standards without compromising their competitiveness. The TBL approach is used as a framework for measuring and reporting corporate performance against economic, social and environmental performance. It is an attempt to align private enterprises to the goal of sustainable global development by providing them with a more comprehensive set of working objectives than just profit alone. The perspective taken is that for an organization to be sustainable, it must be financially secure, minimize (or ideally eliminate) its negative environmental impacts and act in conformity with societal expectations.

Key CSR issues: environmental management, eco-efficiency, responsible sourcing, stakeholder engagement, labour standards and working conditions, employee and community relations, social equity, gender balance, human rights, good governance, and anti-corruption measures.

A properly implemented CSR concept can bring along a variety of competitive advantages, such as enhanced access to capital and markets, increased sales and profits, operational cost savings, improved productivity and quality, efficient human resource base, improved brand image and reputation, enhanced customer loyalty, better decision making and risk management processes.


Investing in technology and innovation

Competitive, safe, reliable and cost-effective goods and services are a key prerequisite for enhancing an industry’s competitiveness and export market share in tradable goods and services. Industries therefore have a continuous need for market information, know-how, restructuring and upgrading. This is usually supported by investment and technology inflows for process upgrading, as well as by productivity and quality management improvement.

SMEs make up more than 90% of all businesses worldwide and are essential to the ‘path out of poverty’ for many developing countries. The nurturing of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in developing countries is crucial to meeting the goal of improving the impact of business on society

Development and adoption of appropriate technologies for enhancing productivity in the Indian bicycle and bicycle parts sector


The bicycle industry in India faces several challenges such as increased competition from imports, poor manufacturing practices, the continued production of low-end “traditional” bicycles, and the usage of outdated technology. A majority of Indian bicycle manufacturers are currently unable to make and sell the type of bicycles demanded in global markets, which are aesthetically and technically superior, made from lighter materials, allow multiple-speed settings and require several special components. There is a need to build awareness and knowledge on latest technologies, institutional facilities for the product design, processes and testing, communication and networking with the international bicycle industry, global market intelligence for bicycle design and global best practices and manufacturing processes.