Corporate Social Responsibility

Here is a good piece on what some corporations are doing to be more socially responsible. This is one of those topics that I have a ton of ideas on but they never get posted. I tend to shy away from the longer *real* analysis that would require deep thought and maybe even some editing. But here is what struck me from this piece.

The trend toward sustainability, says Professor Konsynski, reaches much further than volunteerism. It recognizes a triple bottom line: economic, environmental, and social values. A recent survey by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC) examined the U.S. business community's understanding and development of sustainable business practice. PwC revealed, "the 'triple bottom line' approach is rapidly taking its place along the financial one, and will increasingly be regarded as an important measure of value."

Indeed, 70% of the survey respondents indicated they were currently reviewing their corporate governance or ethics programs. "Responsible corporate behavior—whether defined to include sustainability or not—is based on effective corporate governance. A company cannot hope to behave responsibly, or sustainably, if it does not have effective internal controls—the programs and processes, checks and balances—to identify and systematically achieve responsible, sustainable outcomes," PwC reports.

Three-quarters of the survey's respondents indicated that they have adopted sustainable business practices. Their top three reasons were: enhanced reputation (90%); competitive advantages (75%); and cost savings (73%). Of the quarter saying they have not adopted sustainable business practices, the top three reasons were: no clear business case (82%); lack of key stakeholder interest (62%); and lack of senior management commitment (53%).

A big reason corporations try to give back to society – it improves the bottom line. And that is a noble reason in my book.

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