It’s Sustainability, stupid! (The 2011 CSR Debate, Part 2)

Escrito el 17 marzo 2011 por Alberto Andreu en Uncategorized

Posted in Vault.com

President Bill Clinton’s election campaign used the expression of «It’s the economy, stupid,» to full advantage in 1992 against George H. W. Bush. I use a similar version of this sentence to illustrate the dilemma facing executives today and CSR.

I firmly believe that charities and philanthropy have won the strategic battle between business risk and corporate social responsibility. If we poll the general public (not the authors of ISO 26000, which clearly state that social action is not CSR), they will say that CSR is more about “charitable projects undertaken by companies, than, for example, management response to social, economic or environmental risks.

Why am I still having this argument?

If after 12 years the concept has still not settled in, what makes us think that it will in the next two or three? Let’s look at recent history:

  • 12: The United Nations Global Compact was launched 12 years ago.
  • 8: The ISO 26000 project started eight years ago and finally culminated earlier this year.
  • 6: The European Union Green Paper was adopted in 2005, or six years ago.

All these initiatives were aimed at linking CSR to core business, a concept that went beyond philanthropy and advocated the right way of doing business.

CSR: An Undefined Concept With Multiple Consequences

My argument that CSR is not the right expression to use is not an academic problem but one that has very tangible consequences for companies.

Read the full post in albertoandreu.com


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