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Corporate Social Responsibility Manager

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a business process by which companies make a concerted effort to operate in ways that enhance rather than degrade society and the environment.  

It’s about an organisation’s commitment to behave ethically while contributing to the quality of life of employees, the local community and society at large, which has never been more important or under so much scrutiny. A CSR Manager has a vital role at the heart of driving this forward by leading an organisation’s commitment to having a positive social and environmental impact.  

CSR manager leading a meeting

The information in our job profiles aims to give a general overview of the role and a guideline to what it involves. The content is not intended to be exhaustive and roles will vary depending on the organisation and sector. The salary ranges are a guide only, as these are dependent on the size and location of the organisation.

Entry level salary range
Early career salary range
Experienced salary range
Senior leadership salary range

How does this role align to the green agenda?

There is an ever-increasing awareness of the importance of the social element in sustainability and the green agenda more widely.

The fundamental objective of a CSR Manager is to ensure their organisation’s processes and practices are ethical both socially and environmentally. They will ensure that the company reduces and avoids damaging effects on the environment from business behaviours , always promoting a sustainable approach. They prioritise people and planet wellness, social accountability and planet friendly activities.

By ensuring that societal issues are fully integrated into an organisation’s strategy, the CSR Manager plays a vital role in ensuring the organisation is enhancing and promoting its impact on society at large.

CSR manager working with staff in front of a laptop

Skills and capabilities

Technical knowledge

  • Broader business management skills such as project management, business case preparation etc. are often an advantage to ensure alignment with the rest of the organisation
  • Requires a broad understanding of social issues relevant to the organisation and the wider sustainability agenda
  • Sector experience relevant to the organisation is often advantageous
  • The sector is constantly evolving so a willingness to keep knowledge up to date is also important.

Transferable skills

  • Relationship development: previous knowledge and experience of relationship development and building partnerships with third parties such as NGOs (non-governmental organisations), charities, not-for-profits and community groups is usually required 
  • Effective communication: these skills are considered vital in a role that often has decision-making influence and leads on stakeholder engagement projects 
  • Strategic thinking: the ability to balance commercial considerations with the organisation’s CSR commitments and objectives is crucial 
  • Innovating: an innovative outlook and an open-minded approach to new ways of getting things done 
  • Collaboration: a collaborative attitude, with the ability to work with a diverse set of people with different professional backgrounds 
  • Leadership: qualities that inspire confidence and help individuals bring their full potential to every task 
  • Prioritising: the ability to prioritise conflicting demands, delegate where necessary and work methodically.   

A day in the life

The CSR Manager is in a pivotal role to harness an organisation’s resources, skills and capabilities to create positive outcomes for employees, the local community and society at large.

Typical duties and responsibilities include:
  • Liaising closely with all parts of an organisation to coordinate relevant activity, and share information on trends, initiatives and best practice, in particular with the management team, environment and sustainability function, HR, and marketing/communications 
  • Engaging with external bodies and partners such as charities, NGOs and community groups, which could include initiating and managing partnerships and collaborations, e.g., employee volunteer opportunities and charitable activities 
  • Leading communication of the organisation’s CSR strategy to customers, suppliers and other interested parties, which might include presentations and attending events 
  • Identifying, measuring and monitoring the social value / social impact of the organisation’s activities 
  • Influencing the organisation’s culture by identifying and championing best practice CSR initiatives, driving innovation and encouraging continuous improvement 
  • Ensuring compliance with relevant legislation and regulations, contributing to the organisation’s ESG/sustainability strategy and raising employees’ awareness of sustainability and social responsibility issues.  
CSR manager giving presentation to employees

Entry routes

There are a broad range of pathways into CSR roles and individuals with experience in a related area (such as marketing, public relations, human resources, sustainability and environmental management) are commonly found in these roles.  At the initial stages of a career, working or volunteering in a not-for-profit organisation can provide valuable experience and relevant skills.

Potential career progression

A CSR Manager can take their career in several directions, for example:

Pursuing more senior CSR roles or with a change in size, sector or type of organisation (e.g., not-for-profit, corporate, public sector). This is particularly the case as the importance and value of CSR continues to grow. 

Opportunities in wider sustainability roles can often shape interesting career paths with more involvement in issues such as net zero, the circular economy and environmental impact. 

Close links with corporate communications / public relations or HR can also lead to opportunities in these areas of the organisation. 

Relevant sectors

CSR Managers are needed in businesses across all sectors and organisations, within both the public and the private sector.

CSR manager in a warehouse

Learn about the green agenda across different sectors

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