Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is a set of principles according to which companies pursue social and environment-friendly objectives and thus take the interests of all stakeholders (consumers, employees, the community, business, government, the public, etc.) into account. Companies following the principles of social responsibility observe the law and international and ethical standards as well as promote respect for consumers, society and the environment.
CSR builds value for both consumers and the companies. The CSR principles help create a positive environment for competitiveness and innovation, develop sustainable business models, establish business-community links and develop human capital. Besides, CSR contributes to reducing operational risks and improving relations with foreign partners through compliance with legal, international and ethical standards.
In countries that have the best governance practice, state-owned enterprises (SOEs) usually become the role models of socially responsible business. Though in Lithuania such practice is just starting to gain momentum, the first socially responsible performance initiatives of some SOEs are encouraging.
Currently only two SOEs publish CSR reports which are made available to general public and investors - Lietuvos Energija, UAB Group and AB Klaipėdos nafta. Other SOEs like AB Lietuvos paštas Group, AB Lietuvos geležinkeliai Group, VĮ Klaipėdos valstybinio jūrų uosto direkcija do not publish CSR reports but nontheless have CSR initiatives.
The activities of SOEs that follow the principles of CSR are vital since the goods and services of these companies reach the largest share of the public. The State, as the main shareholder and employer, must seek for sustainable and efficient performance of SOEs. This will ensure that SOEs not only generate the highest return for the citizens in monetary terms but also contribute to social stability and welfare.
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