Firms' social responsibility activities targeted problems presented by Covid

More companies report on their social responsibility activities.

Michal KiššaMichal Kišša (Source: Courtesy of Pontis Foundation)

With the Covid-19 pandemic, companies have turned their attention away from traditional corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities and started investing into things like professional assistance, to help employees cope when taking care of sick family members, distance learning and video conference fatigue.

The Slovak Spectator spoke with Michal Kišša, executive director of the Pontis Foundation, about the impacts of the pandemic on CSR and CSR reporting in Slovakia, as well as Pontis' plans for this year.

The Slovak Spectator (TSS): Based on the latest Survey of Sustainability Reporting 2020 by KPMG, Slovakia finished 39th out of 52 countries. What does this indicate for the country?

Michal Kišša (MK):
It shows that the transparency of companies in CSR reporting is not as high as in other countries. On the other hand, Slovakia placed among the first three countries with the highest increase in CSR reporting compared to the previous survey. This shows a good trend. At the Pontis Foundation, we see that the number of companies reporting their CSR activities is increasing. We estimate their share at about 10 percent.

TSS: How is it possible to measure the impacts of CSR?

It depends on partners and stakeholders. In the case of employees, it can be a survey focusing on the growth of their engagement or loyalty, because CSR is not only about what a company is donating but also about what it can gain. When it deals with employees in a fair way, they tend to be more loyal, work better, and come up with ideas on how to improve business. Environmental impacts can be measured by the reduction of greenhouse gases and waste. Another aspect is whether the company applies the circular economy principles or whether it uses recycled materials in production.

TSS: What is the role of the non-governmental sector and CSR activities of companies during the pandemic?

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