Reporting on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) by the Forty Largest Listed Companies In Bulgaria
CSR in Bulgaria (Introduction)
In the recent years, the interest towards Corporate Social Responsibility issues in Bulgaria increased considerably. As a part of the so-called New Europe, the state and the Bulgarian business in particular, began to pay more attention on how companies manage their impact on the environment and how they contribute to the society as a whole. Gradually, the Bulgarian business has become more conscious on the importance of implementing CSR’s principles and policies, which have a direct impact not only on business competitiveness, but also on social cohesion, transparency and trust among the stakeholders – employees, suppliers, clients, partners, state institutions, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs).
During the past years, the Bulgarian companies started to realize the necessity of conducting a socially responsible business policy and behaving in conformity with a Code of Business Conduct or Code of Ethics. Sponsorship by businesses has deep roots in the economic history of Bulgaria. This practice reemerged after the changes of the political system. The community patronage/ sponsorship programs and the employee benefits policies evolved from not so coordinated activities to more precisely directed corporate policy. Thus, the modern conception for charity and social affairs has founded a response in more and more Bulgarian leading companies. The business is seeking options to manifest its commitment towards the employers, concrete society’s problems/concerns and the environment. More than 40 % of the Bulgarian companies are declaring to be engaged in charity and social activities as a part of their business conduct and corporate policy.
According to Bulgarian legislation listed companies should prepare their documents following the transparency directives set by the Financial Supervision Commission. The Commission implements its policy mainly on the basis of the Law on Public Offering of Securities. The primary function of the institution is to assist – through legal, administrative and informational means – the maintenance of stability and transparency of the investment, insurance and social insurance markets. Furthermore, in July 2007 the National Corporate Governance Code, prepared by the BSE – Sofia, was finalized. At present it is in a process of approbation by the managers of the Bulgarian companies listed on the BSE – Sofia.