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on 22-Apr-10 00:56.
It shouldn't be a great surprise that the financial crisis should prompt a bunch of the standard anti-CSR arguments to be rolled out with renewed vigour and determination. We are told that this will be the event that proves that CSR is 'just a fad'. But the arguments are flawed.
The common factor between them all the critics comes down to how you can rewrite the definition of CSR as one that makes it easiest for you to dismiss it. So, for instance, some people argue that an approach to corporate social responsibility that achieves business benefits is nothing of that sort - THAT's just good business. So CSR must be only those things that are of no direct benefit to the business - ie. philanthropy. Cue the arguments about how CEOs should not be giving shareholders money away on their personal causes and projects.
This is just dumb. Nobody says that marketing is not marketing if it benefits the business, or HR is not 'pure' HR if its priorities align with the company's strategic objectives. CSR is about managing changing expectations by society on the business - it is not philanthropy.
on 22-Apr-10 00:54.
"It Simply Works Better - Campaign Report on European CSR Excellence 2002 - 2003". Report from the European Business Campaign on CSR.
CSR Europe's five year 'CSR Olympics' is half way through - therefore the group has produced, along with the Copenhagen Centre and the International Business Leaders Forum, a mid-term report that details some of the progress to date.
The document gives some general overview pieces, and then a series of country-focused articles that aim to "describe a number of the different initiatives that are currently underway in Europe, from social reporting efforts in the Netherlands to global responsibility initiatives in Sweden and Norway". One approaches the document therefore for a timely finger on the pulse of the state of business action across Europe.
But rather than providing this, the document actually puts a form on the dilemma of definition that hovers over the CSR movement.
on 22-Apr-10 00:53.
CSR Europe has launched its website toolbox on different aspects of corporate social responsibility. It is a huge resource for companies seeking information, standards, policies and practices in a number of key areas of responsible business practice.
The content is the outcome of a series of CSR "laboratories" that were carried out by different working groups of companies and other organisations on a series of different issues. The projects were meant to "explore innovative models of business-stakeholder co-operation and produce practical tools for tackling CSR challenges".
The content of the toolbox is grouped under five themes which cover business models, communication, sustainable practices, skills, and workplace issues.
So, for example, the section focusing on sustainable practices (headed 'Sustainable Production and Consumption - Treading Lightly') includes tools on eco-efficiency, a focus on the financial sector, and sustainable marketing. It gives information on best practices on the environment and mainstreaming CSR, and gives news updates on the same.
on 22-Apr-10 00:52.
2002 was a year that inherited a good many rumbles from the previous year. The full implications of the corporate governance debacles of Enron and Worldcom were still working their way through the system, but awareness was high that all the rules had changed. The only thing people didn't know was just how far, or how quickly, things would go.
Individuals were called to account through the year, and many articles and enquiries opined about the long term implications for business in general, and corporate social responsibility in particular. Easy comments that Enron - which had maintained a profile of socially responsible community involvement - discredited the CSR movement gave way to a better considered understanding of the breadth of the elements that made up a responsible business.
Integrity, ethics and corporate governance had to be the complementary characteristics that supported business programs to improve impact on society. Either without the other gave a false picture. This was a lesson that emerged from the speeches and articles of business leaders and legislators through the year.
on 22-Apr-10 00:49.
Boosted in part by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which will provide significant funding for renovations to federal building, the total potential market for major green renovations in the commercial building sector is approximately $400 billion, according to a new study by Pike Research. Although currently a relatively small market, the market researcher forecasts that comprehensive efficiency retrofits will more than triple in annual revenue to $6.6 billion by 2013.
The market researcher says the total U.S. commercial building market, with 70-billion square-feet of space, delivers one of the largest opportunities for energy savings, reduction of carbon emissions and increased property values.
While direct energy savings can be significant with green retrofits, the study, "Energy Efficiency Retrofits for Commercial and Public Buildings", indicates that most major projects will not be driven by cost savings, but instead will be initiated to meet broader policy and business objectives such as lower carbon footprints, higher employee productivity, and higher property values.
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