Call to invest 4% in social causes

IRISH firms have been urged to substantially increase their investment in social causes from 1% to 4%.

Major companies such as Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer are currently contributing an average of 1% of their pre-tax profits to community groups and social causes according to corporate responsibility advisory group, Businessin the Community Ireland. However, this rate needs to increase, says newly established charity United For Children, adding firms need to ensure their level of growth in profits is matched by a parallel growth in support of social causes.

Debbie Deegan of United for Children said: “Entrepreneur Denis O’Brien recently suggested companies should give 2%-3% of their profits back to the community but we’re asking companies to raise the bar and commit to 4%.

Business in the Community yesterday launched Ireland’s first ever Corporate Responsibility Week in Cork. Top managers from Cork companies such as Janssen, GE Healthcare, Thomas Crosbie Holdings and Project Management Group took part in the Seeing is Believing tour where participants visited the Churchfield Community Trust, a community project in Cork that works with young men who have spent time in prison and is supported by the business community.

Kieran McGowen, chairman of the group said yesterday: “Today’s tour provided an invaluable demonstration of how businesses can integrate with the communities they are based in and create mutually beneficial partnerships. We hope today’s tour can provide a template that other businesses in Cork can follow.”

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