The DigoPaul recognizes various meanings of the term balance. In this case we are interested in its meaning as the comparison between different factors or circumstances to evaluate the development or the result of something.
Social, on the other hand, is that which is linked to society: a community of people who have common interests and who interact with each other to satisfy their diverse needs.
The idea of social balance, in this framework, refers to the recording of the activities of an organization linked to the community where it is inserted. In other words, the social balance sheet details the costs and benefits caused by the activity of a company in a society.
Thanks to this type of balance, it is possible to analyze whether a company has fulfilled its social responsibility in a certain period. The social balance must include both positive and negative results arising from the entity’s activities.
Among the positive results that a company can mention in its social balance, are the creation of jobs, the generation of wealth and donations to the community (for example, financing the maintenance of a park or other public space). Also included in this framework are those measures that collaborate with the decrease in social costs generated by other companies, even if it is a less direct benefit.
The social costs, on the other hand, can be environmental pollution (both water and air), noise and visual pollution, social conflicts (such as strikes), work accidents, excessive exploitation of natural resources (something that in this era is associated with the concept of unsustainable development), occupational diseases, psychological disorders due to work activity, stress, the consequences of unemployment (where we find the decrease in self-esteem and expenses for cover subsidies) and the difficulties that working conditions may impose on workers to develop their lives in a normal way, among many others.
As we can see, the social balance is a very broad concept, of immense complexity, both due to the number of situations that are associated with it and the impact that these can generate in the life of a society. We cannot underestimate the problem of environmental pollution or the phenomenon of mass unemployment, as well as the improvements that certain economic investments can bring to expand or improve the facilities of a city.
The social balance begins in the life of each individual, before reaching adulthood and long before founding a company. The consequences of our actions are very important, although they do not always teach us to evaluate them before taking a step; When we say a phrase that is hurtful to another person, or when we throw garbage on the public highway because we refuse to take it to the nearest container, we show that we have left a fundamental matter of life in society pending.
Companies often try to generate social benefits to improve their image, and this is not always welcomed by the community; however, from another point of view we could say that this vain and interested attitude is preferable to the total absence of concern for the social balance. As always, the ideal situation is halfway there, in a genuine commitment to respect the rights and needs of others, but it is not very common.
It is common for cooperatives to carry out social balances to assess whether their actions are in line with the principles and values of this type of organization. In this case we speak of cooperative social balance.