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DEONTOLOGY

Where operations meet ethics.

29 January 2015

The Social Budget: an instrument of responsibility.

Consumers reward companies for transparency.

A social budget is a document published voluntarily by a company to communicate its results – not only financial, but also ethical and social.

The European Union defines social responsibility as “a concept whereby companies integrate social and environmental concerns in their business operations and in their interaction with their stakeholders, on a voluntary basis”.

In the Official Gazette no. 63 of 16 March 2006, the Directive of the Minister for Public Administration stated in the social account of public administrations that “the social budget is the result of a process whereby the administration reports on the choices, activities, results and use of resources in a given period, in order to allow citizens and other parties to be aware of them and to allow them to form a judgement on how the administration interprets and carries out its institutional mission and mandate”.

The social budget is widely demanded by the market, not only in the public sector, but also in the private sector.

For a company that aims to cultivate its social role, the social budget is rapidly becoming indispensible, both as an instrument of transparency and as a marketing lever, as consumers increasingly demand to know about the rules governing a company. This transparency is directly linked to the approval that the market bestows upon companies that demonstrate their belief in informed, ethical choices.

A social budget must describe the company’s activities with regard to its mission and inspiring principles, its social commitments and contributions, coherence between its stated aims and its achievements, its future objectives, and how all of the above affects its stakeholders and investors. In short, it paints a detailed picture of the company, a map of its character, and creates an open channel of communication with the consumers.

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