The Toronto Metropolitan University Institute for the Study of Corporate Social Responsibility is an interdisciplinary academic institution dedicated to becoming a recognized Centre of Excellence on social responsibility (SR) issues, through its multi-stakeholder activities and research, bringing together actors from government, private sector, and civil society (including academia) for constructive engagement and learning on SR issues.
Building on the definition found in the Canadian-approved (external link) ISO 26000 international standard (external link) , SR is defined in ISO 26000 (external link) to be an organization's decisions and actions pertaining to sustainable development (SD), conducted in a transparent and ethical manner, taking into account the expectations of stakeholders, complying with law and international norms of behaviour, and integrated throughout the firm and through its relationships with others. If the goal of SD is to be effectively realized across multiple generations, it will require the contributions of government, the private sector, and civil society. Much of the work of the CSR Institute is devoted to exploring how these contributions might be met.
Increasingly, Canadian businesses are addressing issues with significant CSR dimensions. The catalysts for business action on CSR topics include mounting pressure from consumers, communities, workers, investors, supply chain partners as well as from media and NGO accounts of spectacular CSR-related business failures. More and more, these stakeholders are demanding forward-thinking ethical, environmental and social behaviour from firms wherever they operate in the global marketplace. One response has been the introduction of new laws, codes, standards and other instruments designed to motivate firms to do the right thing.
In pursuit of its research and publication agenda, the Institute will:
- Establish close ties with the private sector, government, civil society, and other academic/professional centres of excellence to create improved understanding, research and practical solutions to CSR issues;
- Explore the role of government, inter-governmental bodies, business groups, civil society groups, labour organizations, and consumers vis-à-vis CSR;
- Promote collaborative teaching and learning in CSR among colleagues at Toronto Metropolitan University; and
- Develop training for undergraduate and graduate students on CSR issues.
On behalf of Toronto Metropolitan University's Ted Rogers School of Management (TRSM), the CSR Institute produces the "Principles for Responsible Management Education" (PRME) Report (external link, opens in new window) for TRSM.