Corporate Social Responsibility

Global Equity Law’s

Corporate Social Responsibility Strategy

What is Corporate Social Responsibility?

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is a business model that mandates that business is conscious of the impact it has on various aspects of society. Broadly, it holds that business should improve society in terms of philanthropy, environmental sustainability, ethical business practices, and economic responsibility. Businesses implement CSR through their efforts to reduce their carbon footprint, monetary donations to specific causes and/or organizations, ethical labour policies and practices, and volunteering. A company’s industry, values, and objectives influence the priorities of its CSR strategy and therefore the specific outputs and outcomes it seeks to achieve.

In addition to contributing to social improvement, employees and consumers alike place a high value on working for and spending their money at businesses that demonstrate their commitment to CSR. As such, the actions of one company encourages their competitors to follow suit in order to maintain or improve their market share and attract top talent.

Today, businesses have a place alongside government and civil society organizations in influencing policy and promoting socio-economic development both locally and internationally. According to a study on the United Nations Global Compact and CSR, businesses are uniquely placed to contribute to economic development through “providing for investment, creating jobs, and transferring technology, skills and knowledge”.[i] Furthermore, being a non-state actor, businesses are more flexible and adaptable than government agencies, allowing them to act quickly to support and empower struggling individuals and communities. Overall, CSR has a powerful role in bringing about positive change across the globe.

[i] Stefan Fritsch (2008), “The UN Global Compact and the Global Governance of Corporate Social Responsibility”.

Our Vision for CSR

Global Equity Law (GE Law) was founded with the belief that giving back to the local and international community should be central to its business operations. We believe that business can be a force for good by providing strategies and support that can solve some of the world’s most difficult and pervasive problems, particularly as they relate to justice and human rights. Our vision is inspired by firm members’ experiences, education, and personal passions.

With a focus on refugees, migrants, and immigrants and aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, our CSR priorities hinge on:

  • Women’s Empowerment
  • Poverty Reduction
  • Anti-Slavery
  • Safety and Justice for Children

In addition, all our initiatives will be rooted in GE Law’s core values:

  • Celebration and Support
  • Empowerment
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Giving Back
  • Excellence

Pro-Bono and Advocacy Work

As a law firm, it is important that we use our expertise to assist with legal matters in the city and around the world as they relate to our CSR priorities.  GE Law is currently seeking applications for a few spots for individuals who have been deprived of justice both here or overseas.  Please contact us at if you would like to receive an application form.

Assisting Migrants

Migration is currently one of the world’s most pressing challenges. According to the United Nations Global Trends Report, as of 2018 approximately 68.5 million people worldwide have been forcibly displaced from their homes, exceeding numbers following the Second World War. Wars, environmental crises, food insecurity and generalized violence and instability compel individuals and families to seek refuge and improved life opportunities. Despite fleeing for safety, perilous and arduous journeys often lie beyond the border. Migrants, particularly women and children, are vulnerable to violence, human trafficking, arbitrary detention and even death en route to their destination. While many refugees are resettled to Western countries, millions spend decades in encampment and informal settlements, often deprived of human rights and basic needs.

In 2018, Canada accepted 28,100 refugees, more than any other country in the world. In the same year, it also saw the arrival of 27,000 asylum seekers at its borders.[1] Adding an average immigration rate of 310,000 a year, cities across Canada are continually tasked with both the challenge and opportunity of accommodating and integrating newcomers. New arrivals themselves have to learn a new language, secure viable employment, and, especially for refugees and asylum seekers, manage mental health conditions brought on by traumatic experiences.

GE Law desires to help provide support at each stage of the displacement process. We aim to create sustainable development through:

  • Empowering women and families to have improved opportunities (so migration is an option, not a necessity);
  • Partnering with local organizations that work with displaced communities (i.e. refugee camps); and
  • Helping and celebrating newcomers who arrive in Calgary.

[1] Asylum seekers are defined as individuals who have fled their country of origin and are seeking, but haven’t yet received, legal refugee status in a new country.

What Are We Doing to Help?

Gift Boxes

Calgary is a vibrant and diverse community that attracts newcomers from every part of the world. GE Law has partnered with the Calgary Catholic Immigration Society (CCIS) for this initiative. CCIS is Calgary’s largest newcomer support organization and its Community Connections for Newcomers (CCN) program connects volunteers with refugee families to provide friendship and help integrate them into the city.

Our gift boxes are a one-to-one strategy. For every legal transaction, we will donate one gift box to a refugee family through the CCN program. Our target families will be those with single mothers, who have the added responsibility of raising their children and supporting them financially. The gift boxes’ purpose is twofold: to bring celebration and joy to refugee families and children and to also provide a few necessity items.

Using the methods of human centered program design (discussed below), we reached out to the coordinators of the CCN program who conduct the intake and oversee the volunteers who meet with refugees on a weekly basis to assess how we can best design the gift boxes. In this way, our program design is not solely based on what we perceive the needs of single-parent refugee families are, but rather is guided by their direct input.

We hope our gift boxes make refugee families feel welcomed, valued, and celebrated as they start their new lives in Calgary.

Our Methods

Human Centered Design

Many businesses have intentions to create social change; however, good intentions do not always translate into effective CSR programs. In this regard, our guiding methodology is that of human-centred design. This approach begins with “spending time understanding people’s experiences and resources on their own terms, taking methodological steps to analyze and address these with their active participation, and pushing for more effective cross-team and cross-organizational working. It can be defined as “a practical learning journey taken by people including managers and entrepreneurs” in order to “create useful, useable and meaningful ventures” that “work towards achieving desired outcomes and impacts on society in ways that are open to contestation and dialogue”.[i]

The core of human centred-design is creating social initiatives and programs with instead of for the people they are intended to benefit. Although this is not a recipe for perfection, it acknowledges that the people best equipped to address problems are the people who are experiencing them themselves. It holds at its central belief that seemingly impossible problems, from poverty to human trafficking, can indeed be solved as long as the solutions are crafted by the affected communities. The result is “new solutions rooted in people’s actual needs”.[ii]

Through all out CSR initiatives we will incorporate elements of human-centered design so that we can meaningful and substantive change in our communities and our world.

Gender Analysis

In all our programs, we want to promote the rights and interests of women and girls. It is proven that empowering women and girls has a positive effect on families and communities. This goes beyond simply having 50% or more the recipients of our initiatives as women, but our programs will be designed to bring awareness and address specific strengths as well as vulnerabilities of women and girls.

Through all our CSR initiatives we seek to incorporate elements of human-centered design and gender analysis so that we can create meaningful and substantive change in our communities and our world.

[i] Lucy Kimbell and Joe Julier, “The Social Design Methods Menu”.

[ii], “The Field Guide to Human Centered Design”.

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