Social responsibility in business is something that should be implied at all times
At the recently held conference dedicated to the topic of corporate social responsibility – CSR Serbia 2022 – the Speaker of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia, Ivica Dačić, addressed the conference guests at the opening with the following words:
“Dear Excellencies, distinguished guests and friends,
First of all, I would like to thank Color Media Communications for their persistence in organizing a conference on socially responsible business for the eighth consecutive time – not only because, by doing so, the company demonstrates its own social responsibility, but also because social responsibility is really a very important part of our overall business environment, which is often talked about casually, without fully recognizing its importance for companies and much more for our society.
Social responsibility in business is something that should be implied today, something without which any business activity is simply unthinkable. However, is it really like that in Serbia and the world?
It’s nice to see on television that a company has furnished a classroom in a local school with computers, or has given a scholarship to a Math champion to be able to travel to a competition abroad. For me, it’s even nicer when something like this happens without the presence of cameras, but I understand that every business needs good publicity. However, it is not nice or fair if such campaigns are one-off, for companies to tick off the box ‘social responsibility’ once and view it as a kind of an obligation, even a burden.
We all expect our companies, and especially foreign ones, in which social responsibility is far more developed, to work much harder and much more visibly in this segment, as well as to compete in this discipline and compete with each other who has done more things for the community, who takes care of the environment, and especially how they treat employees. Profit is an inevitable thing in every business, but it must never be the reason that the environment, human rights and the interests of the community in which that profit is made suffer because of it.
Anyone who invests in the community, in inclusion, in the good treatment of workers, and especially in environment and sustainable development, will receive multiple benefits in return
The state has taken many good steps in this regard – we have been putting a lot of effort into stimulating employers to behave in a socially responsible manner; starting from employing persons with disabilities, from passing numerous regulations to prevent discrimination at work, to incentives for various types of socially responsible business. This is our obligation arising from the social function of the state, and we will work on it even more than before. In particular, we will take into account the further obligations of the business sector in relation to sustainable development and compliance with the latest standards, primarily in environmental protection.
I am aware that investing in CSR still seems like an expense to many employers, which should be avoided wherever possible. But that is no longer possible! Not only because the state and society demand it, but it is also a requirement of the business itself – it should no longer be viewed as an expense but as the best investment a company can make. Anyone who invests in the community, in inclusion, in the good treatment of workers, and especially in environment and sustainable development, will receive multiple benefits in return.
This is a segment in which we must continue to cooperate in- the employers, the trade unions and the state. We still have a lot of work to do, so that our entire business environment has an even stronger social function. Our state institutions are more than ready to be your partners in that endeavour, and you should take advantage of that.
Thank you once again for the invitation and I wish today’s conference all the success!”