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on 22-Apr-10 01:07.
The importance of how companies manage social responsibility across the whole of their production process - including that part owned by their suppliers - has been stressed for some years now. Nevertheless, it remains the area where current practice remains pretty poor.
Benchmarks such as the UK's Business in the Community Corporate Responsibility Index show that the management of impacts in the supply chain remain amongst one of the least developed areas.
So it should be of interest that the World Bank, with Business for Social Responsibility, should produce a report seeking to identify some of the barriers to progress in responsible supply chain management.
The World Bank began with three challenges, which it sought through this research to prove or dismiss. The first was that "The plethora of individual buyer CSR codes is now generating inefficiencies and confusion."
The second was that "An increasing number of buyers are recognising that traditional top-down CSR strategies are not achieving improved CSR implementation."
on 22-Apr-10 01:01.
The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) celebrated the launch of the 'Walking the Talk' book giving an up to date exposition of the business case for corporate social responsibility with a debate - an event bringing together the most eloquent sceptics to face two of the book's authors for a no-holds barred contest.
Phil Watts, chairman of Shell, kicked the session off. He reflected that the Johannesburg summit had seen business to be part of the solution on the agenda of sustainable development, in complete contrast to Rio ten years earlier when it had been seen purely as part of the problem.
Watts said that these issues were difficult to face - they are about how you do business, not about peripheral matters, such as philanthropy. From Shell's point of view, the business case benefits of corporate social responsibility included the attraction and retention of key talent, the cost reductions available through eco-efficiency, risk reduction, the attraction of customers and enhanced reputation.
Business, he said, is not separate from society and cannot stand apart from it.
on 22-Apr-10 00:58.
By Mallen Baker
I am about to be mean to an organisation whose work I generally respect. But Christian Aid's Behind the Mask: The Real Face of CSR- has got my goat.
It attacks the growing corporate responsibility (CR) movement on the basis that it is a front for companies that simply want to avoid regulation. It uses three case study examples to support its claims. And it concludes by calling for legislation identical to the CORE bill, arguing for mandatory reporting and a UK equivalent to the US Alien Torts Claims Act.
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.
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