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Corporate Social Responsibility and Climate Change

Updated: Feb 20, 2022


Written by - Saumya Shukla




What search results do Google show when you search for the climate crisis? Doesn’t it tell you to be responsible and control those crises? Until recently, the notion that an increase in greenhouse gases was a major cause of climate change was widely accepted. This scepticism was dispelled in 2013 and 2014 when the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released its reports, which clearly stated that human activities are subject to climate change, and suggested that if drastic measures were not taken immediately, the greatest threat to our existence will continue to emerge.


The problem stands that the climate changes are having an increase in temperature and more heat waves over land areas, increased frequency, intensity, and duration of drought, cyclone, and increased extreme high sea level’s has grown to become one of the main topics on the agenda of the Government. Hence the method is to follow a practical approach driven by cases and studies that show how climate change can be brought about with corporate social responsibility. A well-implemented CSR concept can lead to a number of competitive advantages, such as better access to capital, and markets, increased sales and profits, cost savings, improved productivity and quality, and an effective human resource base, improved brand image, brand, and reputation, increased customer loyalty, better decision-making and risk management processes, kindness, and happiness.


What is CSR?


The question which arises from all this is what is CSR (corporate social responsibility). The responsibility of CSR is how the companies manage their business processes to produce a positive impact on society. It encompasses sustainability, social impact, and ethics, and what is done right should be about the core business, how companies make their money, not just the extra value like generosity.


It usually includes organizational actions that are insightful which means they are often intermittent, short-lived, and are freely integrated with other organizational actions and characters. Depending on organizational and operational products, legal entities in the countries in which they operate, and the powers of various public bodies on various issues have become their CSR goals.


To better understand CSR we investigate the definition of “Responsibility”. It is one of three keywords in CSR. Responsibility is the status, quality, or fact that you are responsible, whereas it includes the legal or moral obligation to care for the welfare of another person, to be accountable, or to have the power to act without the supervision or authority of a third party, making ethical or rational decisions alone is therefore accountable to a person's behaviour, which can be trusted or relied upon, which is characterized by good judgment or good thinking, who has the ability to fulfil responsibilities, which he or she is accountable to.


BENEFITS OF CSR TO COMPANIES


When climate protection is a trend, it makes companies responsible to protect it as said above. The companies get benefits from the same. There are numerous benefits a company attains when it follows the climate change policy. The brand gets better recognition. It can get you a responsible business that will lead to a competitive advantage. It gives a positive business reputation. The business gets a positive business reputation. The sales get increased because this attracts customers towards the business and they are loyal to the company and prefer buying the products from the same. The business gets recognition and great access to finance because the investor prefers to invest in reputed finances. It gets positive media attention and there is the arrival of new business opportunities.


CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE ENVIRONMENT AND ITS LIABILITY


The notion that humans, in addition to corporations, carry a heavy burden on the environment is not new. The Stockholm conference referred to principle 1 of the ‘responsibility of man to protect and improve the environment. The following structure is chosen to emphasize each character of this bond. The global environmental document, therefore, speaks of the ‘individual responsibility to act in accordance with the principles. The draft human and environmental rights principles state ‘Everyone has a responsibility to protect and preserve the environment.’ None of these instruments create legal obligations for such people. But they do give a reason for using the criminal burden as a means of enforcing international environmental law.


It was only when a catastrophic accident and the impact of the gas leak in Bhopal took place, that environmental scientists, social workers, public institutions, and government institutions began thinking of new ways and ways to prevent similar disasters in the future. This process leads to law enforcement and administration. The idea of global concern for the environment is a recent one. The Bhopal gas leak, one of the worst industrial disasters in human history, occurred almost two years before the Supreme Court reversed the law of absolute commitment. It is not possible for a court to make hasty decisions regarding compensation for victims of accidents such as Bhopal gas leaks. The interests involved are varied; the extent of the damage and suffering varies from one victim to another. Examination of compensation for loss, trauma, suffering, and death has been a difficult task.


In MC Mehta v Union of India[1] the absolute liability and hence also made that Article 32 can be used to create policies. Rules for companies.


In case of Deepak Nitrate Limited v State of Gujarat[2]the court held that compensation must be played according to the loss not the strength the sector has.


In T. Dhamodar Rao v Special Officer[3], Municipal Corporation of Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh High Court referred to Article 51 A (g) and 48 A and prohibited the conversion of open space into residential area. The court noted that environmental protection is the responsibility of citizens and the responsibility of government.


Similarly in the case of Indian Council for Environ- Legal Action v Union of India[4]the court asked the federal government to decided compensation for the tragic incident. Section 3 of the Environmental Protection Act empowers the central [5]government (or delegation, as the case may be) to ‘take all such steps as it deems necessary or act in order to protect and improve the quality of the environment.


These cases determine the companies’ liability in the CSR concept.


Laws Related to CSR


On April 1, 2014, India became the first country to officially recognize corporate social responsibility. The rules in Section 135 of India's Companies Act make it compulsory for companies to make certain profits and to spend 2% of their profits over the past three years in CSR.


The Companies Act, 2013 introduced the concept of CSR in its original form and by its use of disclosure-or-defining function, promotes greater transparency and transparency. Schedule VII of the Act, which lists CSR activities, recommends communities as a focus area. On the other hand, by discussing the company’s relationships with its stakeholders and incorporating CSR into its core operations, the draft laws suggest that CSR needs to go beyond communities and beyond the concept of assistance. It will be interesting to look at the ways in which this will work at the grassroots level, and how CSR's understanding of how to plan for change.[6]


The Right to Life as also brought in the concept of CSR and climate change. The right to a healthy environment is a product of the definition of justice that adds a new dimension to the right to life in Article 21 of the Indian constitution. On the other hand, the 42 amendment to the constitution places an obligation on governments and citizens to protect and improve the environment, by adding article 48 A to the national policy directive and 51 A (g) as a priority. The agenda for companies is to meet the goals of sustainable development.


Conclusion


The need for understanding and compliance with the concept of social-economic commitment has been strong in the past not only in the legal field but also in the judiciary. Apart from the constitutional and legal obligation, it is a moral obligation not only for individuals but also for housing companies to protect and improve the quality of the environment. The right to pollution can be achieved by recognizing common but isolated obligations across all spheres of society. It is, therefore, necessary for good CSR purposes.



[1]https://indiankanoon.org/doc/1486949/(Last Visited 13 August,2021) [2]https://indiankanoon.org/doc/1428562/ (Last Visited 13 August,2021) [3]AIR 1987 AP 171 [4] https://indiankanoon.org/doc/1818014/ [5]Indian Council for Enviro Legal Action v union of India, AIR 1996 SC 1446, p. 1468 [6]http:// www.indiacsr.in/en/?P=113 (visited on 1st July 2021)

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