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CSR on upward trajectory in South Korea

According to Business Korea magazine, South Korean companies are making greater social contributions. Based on recent surveys by the Federation of Korean Industries (FKI) and the Korean Chamber of Commerce & Industry, the magazine reckons that some 44% of Korean enterprises increased spending on social contributions within the last two years.

According to a recent Federation of Korean Industries survey, answered by 231 large corporations, their spending on social contribution activities, reached KRW 2,670.8bn in 2014. The 231 corporations spent an average of KRW 11.6bn each, with a median value of KRW 2.4bn.

The FKI noted an increase in CSR investment in new fields such as culture, arts and sports.

Company executives and staff are spending more time on CSR activities. An FKI survey of 129 companies and found that their average was seven hours per person in 2006. This increased to 10 hours in 2010 and to 17 hours in 2014. About 46% of the hours were directed at assistance for the vulnerable.

Separately, The Korea Chamber of Commerce & Industry also noted that smaller Korean corporations spent an average of KRW 349m on CSR programmes in 2014. According to its data, 60.3% of the expenditures were made in the form of cash donations, followed by donations in kind, employees volunteer activities , direct social contribution programmes and property donations. The main beneficiaries of their activities were children and adolescents (53.6%). They were followed by the aged (25.2%), the disabled (13.9%) and multicultural families (6%).

Newer types of CSR activities include pro bono programmes for sharing expertise and utilizing corporate resources such as equipment and facilities. 

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