Social Audit

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DEFINITION of 'Social Audit'

A formal review of a company's endeavors in social responsibility. A social audit looks at factors such as a company's record of charitable giving, volunteer activity, energy use, transparency, work environment and worker pay and benefits to evaluate what kind of social and environmental impact a company is having in the locations where it operates. Social audits are optional--companies can choose whether to perform them and whether to release the results publicly or only use them internally.

INVESTOPEDIA EXPLAINS 'Social Audit'

In the era of corporate social responsibility, where corporations are often expected not just to deliver value to consumers and shareholders but also to meet environmental and social standards deemed desirable by some vocal members of the general public, social audits can help companies create, improve and maintain a positive public relations image. Good public relations is key because the way a company is perceived will usually have an impact on its bottom line.

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