Corporate Social Responsibility

Week 9

Corporate Social Responsibility is a difficult concept to pin down exactly. It deals with the ethics of businesses, how they are managed in order to have a positive impact on society and the environment. In this way sustainability is at the heart of the concept.

The European Commission’s definition of CSR is:

A concept whereby companies integrate social and environmental concerns in their business operations and in their interaction with their stakeholders on a voluntary basis”

Corporations, especially large MNCs can often be guilty of greenwashing their policies. This makes it difficult to measure their sustainability. There is however a tool that can put a qualitative figure on a company’s sustainability. The Global Reporting Initiative provides the world’s most widely used sustainability reporting framework. The reporting framework sets out the principles and performance indicators  that organisations can use to measure and report their economic, environmental and social performance. Many corporations find that financial reporting  no longer  satisfies the needs of , shareholders, communities, and other stakeholders for information about their overall performance.The benefits of the GRI Reporting Framework for corporations is that it provides; brand enhancement, protection from brand  erosion resulting from the practices of suppliers, and increased comparability.

See Examples of Greenwashing to find out who some of the main culprits are.

Some facts about CSR

References:

http://www.globalreporting.org/Home

http://www.mallenbaker.net/csr/definition.php

http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/policies/sustainable-business/corporate-social-responsibility/index_en.htm

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