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France: a Close Relationship with Csr

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France: A close relationship with CSR
More than a legal problem, we have a lexical one. Corporate Social Responsibility is a generic word used all over the world, but as to use carefully in France because of Social. In a country where people are proud to have the best social system, we have to understand what is related to social and how to talk about it when it is linked to mores. France has adopted many legal frameworks and many companies have joined the United Nation Global Compact that makes France, one of the largest network. Moreover, CSR is related to history in France with the Human Right constitution.

Nowadays, CSR is a key issue that has to be taking into consideration in a domestic that will impact an international scale. For France, CSR is not only related to ethnic issues bus can also have a good and a bad impact in social issues, economic in France and overseas and in the environment.

France is perceived as one of the leader in CSR, more than 47% of French companies have an exemplary CSR management and system while only 40% in the OCDE and 15% in the BRICS. But France has a problem with the integration of ethical issues regarding risk management, recent conviction or rules policy. (Ecovadis, 2015). This good performance is linked to a good structured in their CSR approach that covers several aspects from the global key issues that has to be covered, but also through a good communication of the diverse actions and a constant innovation in the process to improve it. But this performance it’s also linked to the interest and the measures took by France in their legal framework

As an active member of the UNGC, France has voted in 2001 the NRE that will regulated companies and implement CSR in their legal framework. From that we can see some pillars, which are: Human Rights, Governance, Labour, Environment and Anti-Corruption.

But from legal obligation, companies tend to use as strategy and cosmetic leverage because more than 77% of consumers said that it is important for them to have a companies with a proper CSR system (Monde, 2012)

Human Rights

Human rights have an important meaning in the country that established it in 1789. France has a country are involved in many different international institution that protect it. In a political purpose we can see that the last military operations in Mali was linked to a Human Rights issue.

From a business perspective, France associated businesses with the state has the major player in the implementation of human rights.

It is actually difficult to define Human Rights issue in France as it is linked to human nature respect but companies and France has a huge commitment against racism and women right.

But sometimes companies can be guilty of racism such as L’Oreal; the biggest cosmetic firm in the world was recognized guilty of racism in 2007. The case was about a recruitment process where L’Oreal was looking for hostess BBR. After several years, some employees and recruiters confirm that BBR means white. The case was supported by NGO in France but also overseas to support the action against racism. (Guardian, 2007)

Governance

Governance has been highlight during the last decade with some scandal linked to bad management team, CEO and shareholders behaviour. After the crisis of 2007, is has been even more important for state but also for people minds to implement a governance system in order to regulated abuses.

The governance that is more often criticise is linked to the executive team as said before and one aspect criticise by public opinion is the high wage from CEO and top-manager while their performance and their impact in a social, economic and environmental scale are disappointing and bad. A thesis from Guillaume Garnotel regarding the high income perceived by the CEOs and their performance show how the governance takes an important aspect in the business for people outside but also inside the business. (Garnotel).

By another hand, the governance is not only linked to the executive and shareholders part, the other stakeholders are employees, providers and clients. In this aspect, the social field, France companies have a great system that permits employee safety, social dialogue but also permanent training. More than 46.2% of French companies have an efficient system. (Challenges, 2015)

Since 2001 and the NRE, French companies has to clearly detailed their actions and figures in the annual report.

Labour

Linked to the Governance and the social field, the labour in France is recognize has highly protective for the employees with an high minimum wage, an efficient unemployment benefits. ONG and political parties are taking care of this issues and it is an important France’s more. Again related to the Human Right notion, France and French companies fight discrimination and racism.

The labour work in France is extremely regulated linked to France history and human right and also because France has a strong social system. From a company perspective, they have to take into consideration than social payments are extremely high in France and union group have an important power. However, French workforce is recognized as extremely skilled and productive.

Environment

Environment is a global issue and France decided to take important decision in order to preserve the environment.

France has hold the Grenelle Environement in order to find solution against global warming and protect the environment.

From a state point of view, France has decided to invest heavily in renewable energy in order to reduce their CO2 consumption but also reduce nuclear energy. This is an important issue because more than 70% of France energy is producing through nuclear plant.

Regarding companies, France government has introduced some law and accreditation to provide awareness to companies that respect the environment, but also to fine companies that don’t respect it. Also, in order to develop the green real estate, companies have heavier tax if they have cars that create pollution (linked to their CO2 emissions) but also on their officies. If a company choose to have their office in a “green” building in energy and CO2, they could have some subsidy.

Anti-Corruption

If the French system again corruption is advance, it has to be improve in some point specially regarding magistrate, judges and politics regarding their power assigned by their function.

But the French system regarding financial corruption is extremely well designed and established. Since 1990, France has developed TRACFIN in order to control every money exchange from business and non-business people. In order to use it at its maximum, France has implement banks in the process and each bank has to validate each transaction over a certain amount. If the bank has some doubt, they will point it on TRACFIN and the financial authority will investigate.

From a global point of view, France is a country with small corruption and where financial corruption is difficult.

Conclusion

France has a strong relationship with CSR linked to its history. But they have also adopted a good management in order to answer the global and current issue that the world has to face. France is mainly composed by small and medium business size that could have difficulties to implement a proper CSR method. But the biggest CSR issue is linked to governance, the responsibility of leaders and their personal interest inside the company.

More than never before, CSR is in France a strategic leverage in order to have more client and increasing the profit of the company

References

Challenges. (2015, 03 25). La france championne en responsabilite sociale des entreprises.
Ecovadis. (2015). Etude des organisations - RSE.

Garnotel, G. Causes et conséquences sur la performance de l'entreprise de l'introduction d'incitations financières dans les contrats de rémunération des dirigeants.

Governement, F. (s.d.). http://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/en/french-foreign-policy-1/human-rights/business-and-human-rights/. Consulté le 04 15, 2015

Guardian, T. (2007). Consulté le 4 15, 2015, sur The Guardian: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2007/jul/07/france.angeliquechrisafis

Monde, L. (2012, 11 19). Consulté le 04 15, 2015, sur http://www.lemonde.fr/economie/article/2012/11/19/10-10-la-responsabilite-sociale-au-coeur-des-strategies_1792651_3234.html

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