53 (148) 2022

Corporate social responsibility

CSR starts at school

By Tom McGrath, principal, British Primary School of Wilanow
Header bs wilan w dsc 8268

One statistic that came to my attention a number of years ago noted by the journalist, Tomasz Lis, was his comparison of the scale of involvement in volunteer associations in Poland compared to countries in Western Europe and in the United States. His observation was that the tradition of volunteering and belonging to a club was very underdeveloped in Poland and much of the determinants here were related to Poland’s history and its subjugation under fascism and later communism.

While democracy returned to Poland in 1989, the growth of the non-governmental sector and volunteer associations has lagged behind those in the West. When I read this observation, I reflected on my own upbringing in Ireland where amateur associations such as sports clubs, charity organisations and local associations play a very vital role in people’s lives. This is rooted in the Irish revival movement of the 19th century, the role of Christian social engagement and the impact of US initiatives returning to Ireland from emigrant communities.  

While this lag still remains, I have seen over my 25 years of acquaintance with Poland that there have been significant initiatives. The work of WOŚP (the Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity) has inspired many young people; the recent response of the Polish population in accommodating and assisting over three million displaced people from Ukraine and the growth of CSR initiatives among the business sector shows that there is a general supportive attitude towards such activity.

As a school we usually combine two elements together; our employees and our general school community. Our main efforts focus on global issues but concentrate on local circumstances. We have supported fundraising and volunteerism with Smile Warsaw, we have collected litter using the Litterati App, we have highlighted our commitment to respect and tolerance through our support of Polin Daffodil Day. Our school focuses on our values of Respect, Nobility, Consideration, Cooperation and Courage and each week we focus on an aspect of these values. We may look at Equality for women and minorities under the value of Respect. We may celebrate significant days in British, Polish and World History under Nobility. We may reflect on injustices under consideration. We implement new ecological initiatives under a combination of the above to reduce our carbon footprint and reduce our waste.
Most of all we see the need to develop a responsibility and a thoughtfulness in our community to these significant issues.

We also see how enterprises and businesses have become more attuned to such issues and have developed an awareness of how they can significantly contribute to furthering such social responsibility. I like to think that our graduates, as future employees and/or entrepreneurs, will bring such a sensitivity and literacy to their economic activity and choice of employer.

More in Corporate social responsibility:

Sustainability grows in Castorama across different areas

By Paweł Świętochowski, president of the Castorama Foundation

We’re giving a lot back to society. It’s what we normally do – but in these times which are anything but normal – we’re doing a whole lot more. Here’s a summary of how Castorama is engaging in CSR activities...

Poland: Last call to review ATAD 2 (reverse hybrid mismatches) position

By Łukasz Kupień, senior manager, tax advisor, MDDP Michalik Dłuska Dziedzic i Partnerzy

Poland has implemented European Council Anti-Tax Avoidance Directive (ATAD 2) by introducing anti-hybrid provisions into its domestic law from January 2021. The taxpayers should take new rules into account in their 2021 CIT settlements and onwards. The deadline for 2021 CIT return and CIT payment elapses on 30 June 2022, so there’s still time to review and include hybrid mismatch position.

Lux Med offers medical and professional support for Ukrainian refugees

Anna Rulkiewicz, CEO of Lux Med, Roger Davis, chairman of the board, Bupa (Lux Med’s parent company), Iñaki Ereño, Group CEO of Bupa, and Iñaki Peralta – CEO of Sanitas and Bupa Europe & Latin America, hosted a press conference in Warsaw on 29 March in which they outlined Lux Med’s support for Ukrainian refugees. The event was held on the third floor of the Marriott Hotel, where Lux Med has set up a clinic dedicated for their needs.

Regulating ESG: an impossible task?

By Félix Goodenough, political and public affairs consultant, FairValue Corporate & Public Affairs

From a moral to legal responsibility

As stakeholder activism on climate and social issues has gained traction and companies have been found culpable of ‘greenwashing’ or ‘socialwashing’ practices under the guise of CSR, regulators have been pushed into action to make ESG more than just a notion of moral responsibility. Indeed, by making requirements and obligations on companies more concrete, ESG is now taking on a legal dimension that promises to have far-reaching impact on business activities, models and partnerships. Although businesses have largely welcomed these efforts, with ESG engagement increasingly being tied with financial performance, the significant financial, human and information resources needed to ensure compliance may represent nonetheless a significant obstacle to an effective uptake of more transparent and sustainable practices.