An investigation into the nature and scope of corporate social responsibility policies in waste management social enterprises in Scotland.
(2016) An investigation into the nature and scope of corporate social responsibility policies in waste management social enterprises in Scotland., no. 89.
This research project investigated the nature and scope of the corporate social responsibility (CSR) policies of waste management social enterprises in Scotland. Despite the growth of the social enterprise sector, there has been a lack of research into the sector in the U.K. and in Scotland. The aims of the research were: to gather and review relevant literature on CSR frameworks and the nature of social enterprises, and to formulate propositions based on the literature; to acquire primary data from waste management social enterprises in Scotland; to evaluate the scope and nature of CSR policies implemented by these enterprises and compare the literature-based propositions with the data collected; to review the findings from the research, and to formulate conclusions and recommendations. Data collection consisted of semi-structured telephone interviews of rural, urban and mixed-environment enterprises. They were designed around seven propositions. The results showed that the enterprises had a low awareness of CSR frameworks such as ISO26000 and Triple Bottom Line. The enterprises differed in terms of the number and type of staff employed, but most demonstrated a strong commitment to the employment of disadvantaged individuals and valued highly the resulting social contribution which this made, alongside their main environmental goal. The activities of the enterprises differed widely in scope, with a majority operating nationally rather than being focused in the local community. As predicted, the enterprises did not recognise internal CSR policies even though their core activities are CSR-related. Although the literature indicated that government funding would be critical to the enterprises, they did not think this, but it was still clear that their ability to cover their costs was strongly influenced by grant funding. Partnerships with profit-oriented companies were less common than the literature had suggested, and mostly in urban settings, and those enterprises not in them were nevertheless open to this idea, and demonstrated concern for the CSR aspects of any partnerships. The recommendations from the study are that social enterprises should adopt a CSR framework, and that government could offer help by providing professional advice or promoting networking to share best practice.