CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY IN THE ARCTIC

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)

The Arctic Council commitment to CSR was reiterated in the Kiruna Arctic Council Ministerial Declaration, adopted in Kiruna, Sweden on 15 May 2013. The Declaration states that the Ministers:

“WELCOME THE ARCTIC COUNCIL’S WORK ON CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY AND SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS, AND ENCOURAGE ENTERPRISES OPERATING IN THE ARCTIC TO RESPECT INTERNATIONAL GUIDELINES AND PRINCIPLES”.

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is the voluntary commitment by the private sector to pursue social and environmental ends through ethical business operations and interactions with stakeholders. The changing climate and rich natural resources of the Arctic region provide unique opportunities and challenges for the private sector. The pursuit of sustainable development for Arctic residents demands that businesses take responsible and proactive approaches in protecting the fragile circumpolar environment.

Corporate Social Responsibility is the commitment by business to behave ethically and contribute to economic development while improving the quality of life of the workforce, their families, the local community and society at large.

Corporate Social Responsibility is about capacity building for sustainable livelihoods. It respects cultural differences and finds business opportunities in building the skills of employees, the community and the preservation of the environment for future generations.

Corporate Social Responsibility is a concept in which companies decide to voluntarily contribute to a better society and a cleaner environment. It means that companies integrate social and environmental concerns in their core business operations and in their interaction with stakeholders.

As a result of the work done by the Arctic Council on Corporate Social Responsibility, ministers concluded and agreed that the Arctic Council need not develop its own guidelines and principles. Since a lot of international work has already been done in this field, the Arctic Council refers to the following international guidelines and principles:

1. OECD GUIDELINES FOR MULTINATIONAL ENTERPRISES
2. UN GLOBAL COMPACT
3. GLOBAL REPORTING INITIATIVE

Leona_Kiruna_Ministerial_signing

Ministers signing the Kiruna Declaration at the Ministerial Meeting May 2013.