The extent to which corporate social responsibility activities in South Africa address invasive alien plants.
Mdletshe, Mapule Nomvula.
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The problem posed by Invasive Alien Plants (IAPs) threatens all sectors of society. Government’s limited budget and resources to address issues necessitate the involvement of businesses. This can be implemented through Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), however, no study has established the extent to which businesses get involved in IAP management using CSR. There still is no study even comparing the extent to which CSR is focused on environmental versus philanthropic causes. Literature indicates that there have been successful (CSR) initiatives which give an indication that environmental CSR can be a useful tool which private companies can utilise to assist in the problem of IAPs. From the top 200 Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) listed companies the research investigated the extent to which environmental preservation and specifically IAP management are incorporated into the CSR activities. The types of existing partnerships held with local organisations to carry out CSR activities as well as the stakeholders involved in and beneficiaries to, the CSR activities were identified and discussed. Stakeholder theory formed the basis for identifying active stakeholders. Qualitative research analysis was selected for its use of analytic strategies to make sense of trends from research findings. Research themes related to CSR types and participating stakeholders identified in the literature and stakeholder theory were used in a deductive content analysis of the websites of the top 200 JSE listed companies. Key findings showed that, majority of companies participate in CSR related to climate change with very little attention given to IAP management. Private companies are given recommendations on ways to incorporate environmental CSR, specifically IAP management. There are recommendations also to government to incentivise CSR active companies through tax policy transformation. Further research is recommended to investigate the cost of sourcing indigenous plants as a result of native locations being dominated by IAPs.