Islamic corporate social responsibility principles serve to imbue individuals and organizations with a responsibility to care for society. As such, it is widely recognized that companies operating according to Islamic principles tend to embrace an organizational culture that is premised on notions of trust, morality, and accountability. This serves to ground Islamic Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) as a moral initiative, based on the understanding that organizations aspire to be ‘good’. It is these cultural nuances that influence an organization’s conduct, that directly and indirectly inform the shape of a CSR strategy.
Launched in April 2015, the Islamic Reporting Initiative (IRI) has rapidly gained momentum and support from businesses, governmental organizations, non-profit organizations, and educational institutions from all over the world.
The IRI aims to create the first mainstream reporting framework for Corporate Sustainability and Social Responsibility (CSR) based on Islamic principles and will enable organizations to inclusively assess, report, verify, and certify their CSR programs.
The picture of CSR in Islamic countries and organizations is one of embedded philanthropy. Such generosity is facilitating communities on a global scale and addressing a spectrum of needs. Using the terms CSR and philanthropy interchangeably does not always do justice to the strength offered by understanding them as separate and complementary concepts.
As such, by aligning philanthropy with an integrated and holistic CSR strategy, philanthropy becomes strategic and empowered to self-generate ongoing change. Understood in this context, CSR and philanthropy have the capacity to provide the community not only with immediate support but also with long-term security. The IRI aspires for organizations to not only spend profits responsibly, but to also create profits responsibly. As such, the IRI recognizes this intrinsic relationship between philanthropy and CSR and understands philanthropy to be a key pillar of CSR.
Surpassing the status quo of existing reporting mechanisms and leveraging the potential of a business tool that is smart, integrated, culturally-responsive and impact-oriented, the IRI’s vision is for business:
- to prosper through sustainable and responsible practice
- to be agents of positive change
- to create stable, flourishing and interconnected environments
- to meet and exceed the highest international standards of CSR and sustainability
Creating an international business tool to support organizations in reporting and building meaningful CSR and philanthropy programs relevant to the regions and cultures which they serve, accepting that the right to own, manage, and use natural resources comes with the duty to prevent environmental harm and to protect the rights of people.
Promoting the use of triple bottom line reporting (people, planet, profit) as a mechanism for business development and growth aligned with Islamic principles, beliefs, and values, to further promote equality to conduct business with honesty, integrity and courtesy, to contribute to the well-being of communities and share the rewards and responsibilities of functioning with the respective workforce.
Providing metrics and methods to measure and report on projects which support health provision and promotion, invest in society, engage youth, empower the workforce, minimize wastage or resources and develop skills and knowledge transfer. Strengthening cooperation between countries through business partnerships in CSR to develop a green and sustainable economy, society and environment, globally.
Article: Islamic corporate social responsibility