You are on page 1of 31

“…if companies

behave irresponsibly,
in social or
environmental terms,
then no amount of
good-giving will tilt
their overall
contribution to the
society back from the
negative to the
A pirate throwing
doubloons to a better
may claim to be a
philanthropist, but that
hardly makes him a
Lord Holme Rio Tinto

Business and Society

Literature Review

lthough the subject “Corporate Social Responsibility” in its present form and
content has gained popular attention only in recent years, its origin can be traced
back to the evolution of the concept of a welfare state.

As the pace of industrialization quickened employers became more and more

concerned with the loss of productivity efficiency due to avoidable sickness or accidents or
stoppage of work due to bad personal relationships. This gave rise to the idea of a welfare
state, which was further strengthened by the growth of democracy and of respect to human
dignity during the last 150 years. The frame work of a welfare state and with it the concept
of social responsibility have thus come to stay in many countries of the world.

“I firmly believe as do many

others, that voluntary business
initiatives in the form of corporate
social responsibility can play a key
role in contributing to sustainable
development, while enhancing a
country’s innovative potential and
European Commission Vice President
Gunten Verheugen, November 2006

The changing image of business in the

recent years has lent further support to the idea of social responsibility. Some public opinion
have left businessman disenchanted. It was revealed that the businessman is viewed as an
individual who does not cares for others, who ignored social problems, who prey upon the
population, who exploits labor, and who is a selfish money grabber.

On the other hand, until these opinions were unveiled, the businessman believed that
others viewed him as he viewed himself, as a practical, down-to-earth, hardworking,
broadminded, progressive, interesting and a competitive free enterpriser. He believed that
the society looked up at him as a self sacrificing community leader, pillar of society,
generous to a fault, great supporter of education, patron of the arts, in short, the salt of the
earth. Indeed, the businessman in the early days thought of himself as a happy mix of Plato,
Gandhi, and Churchill.

Business and Society

What is CSR?

SR is a concept that frequently overlaps with similar approaches such as
corporate sustainability, corporate sustainable development, corporate
responsibility, and corporate citizenship. While CSR does not have a
universal definition, many see it as the private sector's way of integrating the
economic, social, and environmental imperatives of their activities. As such, CSR closely
resembles the business pursuit of sustainable development and the triple bottom line. In
addition to integration into corporate structures
‘CSR is not solely about
and processes, CSR also frequently involves
promulgating the values and
creating innovative and proactive solutions to principles of your company. It is
about your company
societal and environmental challenges, as well as
understanding and taking account
collaborating with both internal and external of the values and principles of
everyone who has a stake in its
stakeholders to improve CSR performance.

According to the guidelines on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) designed by
the National Empowerment Foundation (NEF), Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is
the concept whereby companies act to balance their own economic growth with the
sustainable social and environmental development of their areas of operation. A company
performing highly in CSR is one that goes beyond compliance with the legal framework to
actively pursue positive impacts on local communities and its environmental footprint.

The Government of Mauritius has established a policy with the overall objective of
mandating registered companies to pay 2% of their book profit towards programmes that
contribute to the social and environmental development of the country. Specific objectives
of this fund are to:

• Encourage companies to manage their own programmes, impacting the intersection

of economic with social and environmental development
• Facilitate the contribution of companies to support existing Approved National
Programmes implemented by Companies, national agencies or NGOs

Business and Society

• Promote a functional community on NGOs with complementary workplans that are
relevant to the national development programme

The Government of Mauritius has also given the CSR a legal framework, stipulating
that ‘any company making profit is required as per Section 50K and 50L of Income Tax Act
to contribute 2% of their book profit after income tax, in compliance with prevailing
legislation, to set up a CSR Fund to finance CSR activities, excluding companies holding a
Global Business Licence Category 1 under the Financial Services Act, secondly Incomes of
banks derived from transactions with non-residents and corporation holding a Global
Business Licence, IRS Company and non-resident societe, a trust or a trustee of a unit trust

Thus, corporate social responsibility is necessarily an evolving term that does not
have a standard definition or a fully recognized set of specific criteria. With the
understanding that businesses play a key role on job and wealth creation in society, CSR is
generally understood to be the way a company achieves a balance or integration of
economic, environmental, and social imperatives while at the same time addressing
shareholder and stakeholder expectations. CSR is generally accepted as applying to firms
wherever they operate in the domestic and global economy. The way businesses engage or
involve the shareholders, employees, customers, suppliers, governments, non-governmental
organizations, international organizations, and other stakeholders is usually a key feature of
the concept. While business compliance with laws
and regulations on social, environmental and ‘Power cannot be separated from
economic objectives set the official level of CSR responsibility. For markets to
expand in a sustainable way, we
performance, CSR is often understood as involving must provide those currently
the private sector commitments and activities that excluded with better and more
opportunities to improve their
extend beyond this foundation of compliance with livelihoods’

From a progressive business perspective, CSR usually involves focusing on new

opportunities as a way to respond to interrelated economic, societal and environmental
demands in the marketplace. Many firms believe that this focus provides a clear
competitive advantage and stimulates corporate innovation.

Business and Society

"More and more companies are accepting
corporate citizenship as a new strategic and ‘CSR is about taking personal
responsibility for your actions and
managerial purpose requiring their attention. Once the impacts that you have on
seen as a purely charitable activity—a source of society. Companies and employees
must undergo a personal
general goodwill, with no bottom-line transformation, re-examine their
consequence--citizenship is moving from the roles, their responsibilities and
increase their level of
margins of concern to the center at leading accountability.’

Today, there are many references to corporate social responsibility (CSR),

sometimes referred to as corporate citizenship, in our workplaces, in the media, in the
government, in our communities. While there is no agreed-upon definition, the World
Business Council for Sustainable Development defines CSR as the business commitment
and contribution to the quality of life of employees, their families and the local community
and society overall to support sustainable economic development. Simply put, the business
case for CSR--establishing a positive company reputation and brand in the public eye
through good work that yields a competitive edge while at the same time contributing to
others--demands that organizations shift from solely focusing on making a profit to
including financial, environmental and social responsibility in their core business strategies.
Despite what the phrase corporate social responsibility suggests, the concept is not
restricted to corporations but rather is intended for most types of organizations, such as
associations, labor unions, organizations that serve the community for scientific,
educational, artistic, public health or charitable purposes, and governmental agencies.

CSR is generally seen as the business contribution to sustainable development which

has been defined as "development that meets the needs of the present without compromising
the ability of future generations to meet their own needs", and is generally understood as
focusing on how to achieve the integration of economic, environmental, and social
imperatives. CSR also overlaps and often is synonymous with many features of other
related concepts such as corporate sustainability, corporate accountability, corporate
responsibility, corporate citizenship, corporate stewardship, etc.

Business and Society

CSR commitments and activities typically address aspects of a firm's behaviour
(including its policies and practices) with respect to such key elements as; health and safety,
environmental protection, human rights, human resource management practices, corporate
governance, community development, and consumer protection, labour protection, supplier
relations, business ethics, and stakeholder rights.

Business and Society

The Responsibilities of Corporate Social Responsibility

For CSR to be accepted by a conscientious business person, it should be framed in

such a way that the entire range of business responsibilities is embraced. It is suggested here
that four kinds of social responsibilities constitute total CSR: economic, legal, ethical, and
philanthropic. Furthermore, these four categories or components of CSR might be depicted
as a pyramid. To be sure, all of these kinds of responsibilities have always existed to some
extent. But it has only been in recent years that ethical and philanthropic functions have
taken a significant place. Each of these four categories deserves closer consideration.

Economic Responsibilities
Historically, business organizations were created as economic entities designed to
provide goods and services to societal members. The profit motive was established as the
primary incentive for entrepreneurship. Before it was anything else, business organization
was the basic economic unit in our society. As such, its principal role was to produce goods
and services that consumers needed and wanted and to make an acceptable profit in the
process. At some point the idea of the profit motive got transformed into a notion of
maximum profits, and this has been an enduring value ever since. All other business
responsibilities are predicated upon the economic responsibility of the firm, because without
it the others become moot considerations.

Legal Responsibilities
Society has not only sanctioned business to operate according to the profit motive; at
the same time business is expected to comply with the laws and regulations promulgated by
governments as the ground rules under which business must operate. As a partial fulfillment
of the "social contract" between business and society firms are expected to pursue their
economic missions within the framework of the law. Legal responsibilities reflect a view of
"codified ethics" in the sense that they embody basic notions of fair operations as
established by our lawmakers. They are depicted as the next layer on the pyramid to portray
their historical development, but they are appropriately seen as coexisting with economic
responsibilities as fundamental precepts of the free enterprise system.

Ethical Responsibilities
Business and Society
Although economic and legal responsibilities embody ethical norms about fairness
and justice, ethical responsibilities embrace those activities and practices that are expected
or prohibited by societal members even though they are not codified into law. Ethical
responsibilities embody those standards, norms, or expectations that reflect a concern for
what consumers, employees, shareholders, and the community regard as fair, just, or in
keeping with the respect or protection of stakeholders' moral rights.

Philanthropic Responsibilities
Philanthropy encompasses those corporate actions that are in response to society’s
expectation that businesses be good corporate citizens. This includes actively engaging in
acts or programs to promote human welfare or goodwill. Examples of philanthropy include
business contributions to financial resources or executive time, such as contributions to the
arts, education, or the community. A loaned-executive program that provides leadership for
a community’s United Way campaign is one illustration of philanthropy.

The pyramid of corporate social responsibility is depicted below. It portrays the four
components of CSR, beginning with the basic building block notion that economic
performance undergirds all else. At the same time, business is expected to obey the law
because the law is society's codification of acceptable and unacceptable behavior. Next is
business's responsibility to be ethical. At its most fundamental level, this is the obligation to
do what is right, just, and fair, and to avoid or minimize harm to stakeholders (employees,
consumers, the environment, and others). Finally, business is expected to be a good
corporate citizen. This is captured in the philanthropic responsibility, wherein business is
expected to contribute financial and human resources to the community and to improve the
quality of life.

Business and Society

In summary, the total corporate social responsibility of business entails the
simultaneous fulfillment of the firm's economic, legal, ethical, and philanthropic
responsibilities. Stated in more pragmatic and managerial terms, the CSR firm should strive
to make a profit, obey the law, be ethical, and be a good corporate citizen.

The pyramid of corporate social responsibility

Business and Society

History of CSR

he CSR concept evolution started with the concerns related to the damage created
by business on environment and society at large by way of activities linked to
their business operation. Businesses are expected to clean up the mess they have
generated to the environment. Until the 1980’s CSR was considered same as corporate
philanthropy. The current CSR concept started formulating in early 80’s. In 1980’s and
1990’s events like Shell spoiling the environment and violating the human rights in Nigeria,
started a new wave of criticism which triggered a completely different thinking on CSR and
hence many CSR definitions emerged during this period. Customer expectations and
demand for “clean and green” companies have led to a number of benchmarks and
guidelines, such as the Sullivan Principles, the UN Global Compact etc. Hence, CSR has
continued to evolve rapidly over the last thirty years and companies now all over the world
are expected to engage in CSR activities to be recognized as a socially responsible company
that not only looks after the interests of itself but also after the interests of the society.

Business and Society

The Interest Group (Stakeholders)

Corporations are motivated to involve stakeholders in their decision-making and to

address societal challenges because today's stakeholders are increasingly aware of the
importance and impact of corporate decisions upon society and the environment. The
stakeholders can reward or punish corporations. Thus, Corporate Social Responsibility
requires the identification of various interest groups, which may affect the functioning of a
business organization and may also be affected by its functioning. Normally various groups
associated with a business organization are shareholders, workers, customers, creditors,
suppliers, government and society in general.

The first responsibility of the management is to protect the interest of
shareholders. The interests of majority of shareholders and large minority of
shareholders are generally well protected through either direct participation in the
management actions or they have real power to intervene, if necessary. They should
be informed about the functioning of the organization adequately and timely.
Therefore, management has a responsibility to provide proper safeguard to
the money invested by shareholders.

Business and Society

Workers have direct interest in an organization because by working there,
they satisfy their needs. Thus, it is the management’s responsibility to protect the
interest of workers in the organization. This can be done by the management in the
following ways:
- Management should treat workers as another wheel of the cart
- Management should develop administrative process in such a way
that promotes cooperative endeavor between employers and employees.
- The management should adopt a progressive labor policy based on
recognition of genuine trade union rights – participation of workers in management,
creating a sense of belongingness, improving their living and working conditions.
- Management should pay fair and reasonable wages and other
financial benefits to workers.

Management owes a primary obligation to give a fair deal to the customers.
This can be done in the following ways:
- Customers should be charged a fair and reasonable price.
- The supply of goods and services should be of uniform standard and
of reasonable quality.
- Management should not indulge in profiteering, hoarding, or creating
artificial scarcity.
- Management should not mislead the customers by false, misleading
and exaggerated advertisements.

Creditors, Suppliers and Others:

They affect the organization in various ways. Therefore , the management is
responsible to fulfill its obligations towards them. This can be done in the following
- Management should create healthy and cooperative inter business
relationship between different businesses.

Business and Society

- Management should provide accurate and relevant information to
creditors and suppliers.
- Payments of price of materials, interest on borrowings, other charges
should be prompt.

It is very closely related with the business system of the country. It provides
various facilities for the development of business. Government, no doubt, exercises
control over business, but these controls are meant for overall development of
business. Management can discharge its obligation to government by:
- Management should be a law-abiding citizen
- Management should pay taxes and other dues fully, timely &
- It should not corrupt government workers and public servants and the
democratic process
- It should not buy political favors by any means

Organizations exist within a social system and get facilities from the system.
Therefore, they owe obligations to the society as a whole. This can be done by:
- Management should maintain fair business policies and practices.
- It should play a proper role in civic affairs.
- It should provide and promote general amenities and help in creating
better living conditions in general.

Business and Society

Corporate Social Responsibility of the MCB

The Mauritius Commercial Bank

A bank with a heart

The Mauritius Commercial Bank (MCB) has always had the community’s best
interests at heart. Since its foundation in 1838, a long time before the term ‘Corporate
Social Responsibility’ had even been coined, the MCB has been involved in activities
designed to contribute to the welfare of society at
large. Today, more than ever, our aim is to make a
‘Corporate Social Responsibility if
real difference in people’s lives by working the backbone of sustainability in
closely with the community at the local level. the long run.’

‘CSR is not a cosmetic; it must be

rooted in our values. It must make
a difference to the way we do

Business and Society

MCB Forward Foundation
Our Vision

“To be instrumental in the creation of sustainable value for the social, environmental and
economic well-being of the community”

Our mission

“To develop and support sustainable initiatives for the benefit of the community in which
we live and work”

MCB Forward Foundation

1st floor, Raymond Lamusse Building,
MCB Ltd.,
Sir William Newton St.,
Port Louis,
Telephone: 202 6060


Business and Society

Milestone (Achievements)

• Policy decision taken in 2005, the MCB dedicates 1% of the Bank’s pre-tax profit to
CSR activities


• Revamping of CSR Unit and setting up of CSR Policy Paper

• National campaign initiated by the MCB against Chikungunya, involving 26 other
Private Sector Companies
• CSR Activities financed for the sum of Rs 20M


• CSR Activities financed for the sum of Rs23.5M

• Launch of first Appel a Projet – A total of 188 Projects were submitted, of which 37
were financed
• Signing of United Nations Global Compact Principle


• Launch of first MCB Football Academy in the village of St Hillaire

• Launch of My Words, My World Literacy Campaign for primary school children
• CSR Activities financed for the total sum of Rs30M


• Launch of second Appel a Projet

• Setting up of MCB Forward Foundation to manage MCB Group CSR Activities

CSR Activities, signed by MCB:


Business and Society

As a key role player in the country's economy, The MCB Ltd is committed to the
future of our youth. We support many education and life skills programs as we believe that
by contributing to the education of our children we will help to our community
development and thus contribute to the future of our country.

Education initiatives supported by The MCB Ltd.:


Created in 1999, this wide ranging education scheme covers teachers and parents training
programmes, improvement to the physical structure of the teaching environment and the
supply of basic school materials in specially deprived areas.

The main activities are:

a| [Ensemble, Construisons ton Avenir]

A special programme designed for pre-primary school children to support them

during their primary cycle schooling period.

School materials have been provided where necessary, and substantial infrastructure
works have been carried out in pre-primary and primary schools around the country.

Teachers have been trained and their skills upgraded during numerous awareness
programs for parents homing in on pre-primary education in particular. These have been
organised with the help of other specialised organisations such as ICR & MPRB.

b| [Creativity workshops/woodwork]

To help children discover their different talents and abilities and help them adapt to
their school environment. This special activity is presently undertaken at Cite Vallijee Govt.

c| Literacy programmes have also been set up for the parents of the Roches Bois region
hand in hand with specialised Associations such as Caritas.

Since 1988, the Bank grants each year a full scholarship, to a University of choice in the

Business and Society

United Kingdom for a first degree course not exceeding 4 years to a Mauritian student
ranking next in line to the State of Mauritius scholarships in the field of economics of the
Cambridge Higher School Certificate.


An annual scholarship awarded to a Rodriguan student and covering all educational and
living expenses, at the University of Mauritius for a period not exceeding 4 years.
This scheme has been set up since August 2000.

Business and Society


Teamwork and excellence are qualities that embody the ideal of sport and The MCB
Ltd. shares these values as a company. It has been a long-term sponsor of current and future
talented sportsmen of Mauritius through assistance programmes revolving around a range of
initiatives to better address specific needs.
We believe that sporting activities offer the best opportunity for self development and self
confidence and we encourage everyone to enjoy the positive benefits of sporting activities.

The MCB Ltd has been at the forefront of major sporting activities as sponsor since
1978. Through its sponsorship of sport equipment, training programmes, advertising gifts,
medals and cash prizes, the Bank is assisting in the development of sport at grassroots and
elite level.

Major sporting events sponsored by the Bank:

The Bank sponsored the 'Maurice MCB National Team" and the MCB Rush Jersey
for the Tour de L'Ile Cycliste 2005. Yannick Lincoln, winner of the latest edition, was
among the happy few Mauritians to have won the Tour de L'Ile Cycliste.

Co-Main sponsor of the 28th African Junior Tennis Championships - tournament

held in Mauritius in 2005; more than 175 players coming from various African countries
participated in this tournament.

The MCB National Youth Championship in athletics usually takes place in May
with more than 900 athletes participating in the championship

Official sponsor of the Mauritius National Team of Volley Ball for the qualifying
round of the World Women Championships 2006 (Africa Pool) event held in Mauritius.

The MCB was among one of the main sponsors Indian Ocean Games in 1985,
1990, 1993, 1998 and was the privileged Master Partenaire for the J.I.O.I 2003 held in

Business and Society

Other sporting activities usually sponsored by the Bank:

Athletics - Regional/National Intercolleges Athletic Championship

Badminton - MCB National Junior Championship

Boxing - MCB National Cadet Championship

Judo - MCB National Championship

Swimming - MCB National Championship

Squash - MCB National Squash Championship

Tir a L'arc - MCB National Championship

Horse Racing - MCB Cup

Business and Society

Art and Culture
Art allows the diversity of cultures. The MCB Ltd. is continually striving to promote
new ideas and solutions in a sole aim to bring cultural and artistic events to a wider

The MCB is proud to be a leader in sponsoring such events nation-wide - thus

enabling, for more than 25 years, the development of art appreciation and education, across

It has also confirmed its role as a privileged partner providing financial support in
the promotion of some major shows in Mauritius, as well as in the promotion of light opera
performances and local plays, thus encouraging creativity and cultural development in the

Lately, the Bank has sustained its belief in the talent of young Mauritians by proudly
sponsoring TIMAMBO, an entertainment TV programme intended to introduce children
aged 4 to12 years old to the world of music and art, thus enriching and developing their
sense and appreciation of arts from an early age while identifying local talents. This
acclaimed programme spanning thirteen weeks was broadcast on the national television
station for the second consecutive year, after the overwhelming sussess achieved in 2004.

The MCB also helped financially in the renovation of the Port-Louis Theatre and in
the setting up of Projet Espace Mo’zar.

'Les Aventuriers de l'An 2000', a show set up and presented by its own staff, was
its latest box office success with the public. Previous productions include:

1] Mille et une fees (1988)

2] Le missionaire de Septembre (1990)

3] La nuit des animaux (1992)

Business and Society

Environment & National Heritage

The Bank has always shown its strong interest for environmental protection
programmes and issues by providing financial support to various associations involved in
this sector.

Mauritian Wildlife Foundation

An International non profit organisation, involved in the conservation of Mauritian
endangered plants and animals. Working in close cooperation with national parks and
conservation service and the Ministry of Environment, its expertise in conservation is
currently being used in Rodrigues and on Round Island to address problems caused by
degradation of habitat.

Friends of the Environment

Renovation of La Tour Martello at La Preneuse, Rivière Noire.

Environmental Management System (EMS)

Adoption of an EMS for projects financed under the African Development Bank line of
credit. The aim is to ensure that these projects address environmental and social issues, with
the view to promote sustainable development.

Also, The MCB Ltd. supports Rodrigues Island in its effort to improve their environment
by providing financial means for the setting up of a nature corner at Port Mathurin. We also
contributed for the installation of three marine lanterns on dangerous reefs around the island
to help and ensure the safety of the fishermen community.

Initiative 175

Green, together

On 1 September 2013, the Bank will have had an uninterrupted existence of 175 years.
Echoing its 150th anniversary, when the Bank offered a gift to its depositors in the form of
an option to convert an interest premium into bank shares, MCB is again offering a gift for
its birthday, this time to the nation as a whole. Launched by a press conference on 6 March
2009, Initiative 175 will endeavour to originate concerted, sustained and multiple actions in

Business and Society

favour of energy saving, renewable energy production and the environment - all to the
benefit of the island and its population. The Bank will thus articulate initiatives for and by
its employees, its customers and, more widely, the general public.

Already, the track record is far from being negligible.

Since 19 June 2009, the Bank has fully financed, at a cost of Rs 4.4 million, a series of 26
mini-documentaries entitled ‘Unisvert‘ which is broadcast weekly on prime time television.
While depicting the ecological challenges facing Mauritius, the programme invites the
population to be more nature-conscious and to adopt a more ecologically responsible
behaviour. ‘UnisVert’ will also, ultimately, find its way to schools in order to maximize its
message and impact. In an attempt to reduce the levels of paper waste and attendant
littering, balance enquiries at ATMs have been priced at 1 rupee each since 7 July 2009.
The result has been both impressive and immediate: 86% of balance enquiries are now
consulted on screen, resulting in the reduction of the wasteful abuse of a free service and
ATM lobbies looking much cleaner. Should those figures be maintained, close to 6 million
balance enquiry chits will no longer be printed every year. Additionally, customers have
been invited since April 2009 to consider suppressing the printing of their statements of
account especially if they opt for Internet Banking. To date, more than 7,000 of them have
responded favourably. This invitation will be renewed over the coming months in order to
further reduce needless paper usage and move customers to alternative ways of managing
their accounts which are more modern, ‘greener’ and more efficient. Such shift will soon
see customers saving on service (ledger) fees.

Business and Society

National Heritage
Museum - A Commitment

The Mauritius Commercial Bank has always shown a keen interest in the protection
of the national heritage, and has built up a rich collection of historical documents and works
of art throughout the decades.

It may seem paradoxical that a banking institution, cold and austere by definition,
should carry on its financial activities and, at the same time, be concerned with the
traditions of a country and constantly support its historical and artistic heritage. This is
explained by the fact that the MCB's managing team have always maintained and promoted
intrinsic values. Still, one must acknowledge that although the bank has attained a grand old
age, it is only during the last thirty years that the idea of starting museum collections, at
national level, really took off.

As early as 1936, the bank showed a deep interest in history by subscribing to

Auguste Toussaint's famous work : 'Port-Louis, deux siècles d’histoires ( 1735-1935)', [Port
Louis, two centuries of history]. But, it was not before 1953 that it acquired original plans,
mapping the capture of the island by the English in 1810, drawn by Lieutenant-Colonel
Lionel Smith, who later on, became the Governor of the colony.

From then on, collections became larger, but occasional purchases did not follow
any particular pattern. Indeed, a library and numismatic and philatelic collections were
taking shape but no buying policy was defined until the eighties, when a systematic action
plan and a necessary structure were established. These were aimed at setting up, preserving
and highlighting collections in various areas, all essentially linked with Mauritian culture.

After holding several exhibitions, locally and overseas, the MCB started, in 2001, its
own museum, the Blue Penny Museum, at the Caudan Waterfront. The latter houses the
main collection pieces and is a true showcase of treasures purchased over the years rather
than a comprehensive recollection of the island's rich history. The public can thus become
absorbed in a heritage, which was not previously accessible, and rediscover myriad facets of
the history of Mauritius and the region.

Business and Society

Blue Penny Museum
Le Caudan Waterfront,

Ile de la Passe
Following its policy for the protection of the environment and the promotion of national
heritage, The MCB Ltd. has brought its contribution towards the expenses to be incurred for
the architectural and archaeological survey of fortifications at Ile de Passe, a project
undertaken for the National Heritage Fund and supported by the Earthwatch Institute.

Business and Society

Humanitarian and Social Aid
The Bank’s contribution to humanitarian aid reflects the values of its stakeholders
and is therefore, directed towards supporting those in deprived situations through
programmes undertaken by some well established agencies.
Some of them are listed as followed:

National campaign initiated by the MCB against Chikungunya, involving 26 other Private
Sector Companies.

Organising blood donation campaign in collaboration with the Blood Donors Association
at the head quarters of the bank and the bank has taken a pledge to renew the activity every

APEIM - Projects concerning handicapped children

Red Cross - Projects that cater for the needs of the underprivileged in our society and
natural disasters.

Following the tsunami that struck regions of the far east in late December 2004, the Bank
initiated a fund-raising which proceeds contributed by its staff and ‘well-wishers’, were
sent to the Mauritius Red Cross office for onward distribution.

SOS Children's Villages Mauritius - Non-governmental charitable organisation caring for

destitute and abandoned children.

Action Familiale - Non-governmental organisation providing support for family planning

and matrimonial Counselling.

Terre De Paix - Support to the ‘’Atelier du savoir’’ programme

Centre de Solidarité / Chrysalide supporting programs for prevention against drug

addiction and prostitution.

Business and Society

The MCB was also among the sponsors for the setting up of a show called 'Les Enfants
d'un Rêve'. Funds raised went to the "Centre de Solidarité", for the rehabilitation of drug

PILS - Prevention and counselling programs on HIV.

Victoria Hospital - In light of its social responsibilities, the Bank has also financed the
refurbishment of the maternity ward at the Victoria Hospital.

Business and Society

Arguments for Social Responsibilities of Business

• Change in public expectations

The needs of today’s consumers have changed, resulting in a change in their expectations of
businesses. Since businesses owe their profits to society, they have to therefore respond to
the needs of society.

• Business is a part of society

Society and business are benefited when there is a symbiotic relationship between the two.
Society gains through economic development and the provision of employment
opportunities; and business benefits through the workforce and consumers provided by

• Avoiding intervention by government

By being socially responsible, organizations attract less attention from regulatory agencies.
This gives them greater freedom and flexibility in their operations.

• Balance of responsibility and power

Businesses have considerable power and authority. The exercise of this power should be
accompanied by a corresponding amount of responsibility.

• Impact of internal activities of the organization on the external environment

Most firms are open systems, i.e., they interact with the external environment. The internal
activities of such firms have an impact on the external environment. To avoid a negative
impact on the external environment, firms should be socially responsible.

• Protecting shareholder interests

By being socially involved, a company can improve its image and thus protect its
shareholders’ interests.

• New avenues to create profits

Business and Society

Social responsibility involves the conservation of natural resources. Conservation can be
beneficial for firms. Items that had been considered waste earlier (for example, empty soft
drink cans) can be recycled and profitably used again.
• Favorable public image
Through social involvement, a firm can create a favorable public image for itself and endear
itself to society. By so doing, a firm can attract customers, employees, and investors.

• Endeavor to find new solutions

Businesses have a history of coming up with innovative ideas. Therefore, they are likely to
come up with solutions for social problems, which other institutions were unable to tackle.

• Best use of resources of a business

Businesses should make optimum use of the skills and talent of its managerial personnel as
well as its capital resources to produce good quality products and services. By so doing, the
business will be able to fulfill their obligations toward society.

• Prevention is better than cure

It is in the interests of business organizations to prevent social problems. Instead of
allowing large-scale unemployment to lead to social unrest (which will harm business
interests), businesses can be sources of employment for eligible youth.

Business and Society

Arguments against Social Responsibility of Business

• Opposes the principle of profit maximization

The main motive of a business is profit maximization. Social involvement may not be
economically viable for a business.

• Excessive costs
When a business incurs excessive costs for social involvement, it passes the cost on to its
customers in the form of higher prices. Society, therefore, has to bear the burden of the
social involvement of business by paying higher prices for its products and services.

• Weakened international balance of payments

A weakened international balance of payments situation may be created by the social
involvement of organizations. Since the cost of social initiatives would be added to the price
of the products, the multinational companies selling in international markets would be at a
disadvantage when competing with domestic companies which may not be involved in
social activities.

• Increase in the firm’s power and influence

Businesses are inherently equipped with a certain amount of power. Their involvement in
social activities can lead to an increase in their power and influence. Such influence and
power may corrupt them.

• Lack of necessary skills among businesspeople

Businesspeople do not possess the necessary skills to handle the problems of society. Their
expertise and knowledge may not be relevant to deal with social problems.

• Lack of accountability to society

Until a proper mechanism to establish the accountability of businesses is developed, they
should not get involved in social activities.

• Lack of consensus on social involvement

Business and Society

There is no agreement regarding the type of socially responsible actions that a business
should undertake.


Taking into view the recent happenings at Reliance Industries, it can be said that the
focus on topics like Ethics And Corporate Social Responsibility is increasing. Nowadays
the companies have to keep in view the social benefits of all projects undertaken, they have
to keep in mind the well being of the Stakeholders as also issues like the safeguarding of the
Environment. These activities are constantly under the microscope of the society.

When a corporate undertakes a new project it has to keep in mind how does it
portray its image in the market. Any wrongdoings can be potential pitfalls for the
corporates; they have to be right all the time, any mistake or shortcoming can immediately
result in a loss of market share as also reputation. Thus the companies have to continuously
Re Evaluate its goals and Objectives and align them with the Corporate Strategy. They can
take this opportunity to inculcate proper Business Ethics & Corporate Values in their

Along with the CSR comes the opportunity to convert these social initiatives into
tangible results, namely profits. A company should look what amount of value the project
can give back to the company. A Social Cost Benefit Analysis can give the company a fair
idea about what kind of rewards the initiative can generate for the company. Thus a
company can decide on the initiatives taking into consideration these various factors.

Business and Society