There are a lot of things which surely should not be sustained. Do we use the word “Sustainability” without thinking? Sustainability of what? What does the frequent usage of “Sustainability” as if it for itself already would mark any value tell to us? Sustainability alone is neither good nor bad.
CSR Fad changing to Sustainability
[…] Usually from Corporate Social Responsibility to Corporate Responsibility to Sustainability. Businesses and leaders that formerly invoked CSR at every turn now rarely mention it. The reports formerly known as ‘CSR Reports’ now try to avoid the label. The newer ersatz terms allow them to claim the same righteousness without the baggage and expectations of CSR.
Sustainability is now especially fashionable for corporations. It’s environmental focus is relatively singular and easy to pay lip-service to. Sustainability is now going through the same fashion cycle. CSR is now effete, sustainability will soon be. After it’s worn out, society will move on. Try to guess what the new cliché word of the future will be.
The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy: Vol. 12: Iss. 1 (Contributions), Article 55. DOI: 10.1515/1935-1682.3308
Corporate Social Responsibility for Irresponsibility
Matthew Kotchen and Jon J. Moon
This paper provides an empirical investigation of the hypothesis that companies engage in corporate social responsibility (CSR) in order to offset corporate social irresponsibility (CSI). We find general support for the relationship that when companies do more “harm,” they also do more “good.” The empirical analysis is based on an extensive 15-year panel dataset that covers nearly 3,000 publicly traded companies. In addition to the overall finding that more CSI results in more CSR, we find evidence of heterogeneity among industries, where the effect is stronger in industries where CSI tends to be the subject of greater public scrutiny. We also investigate the degree of substitutability between different categories of CSR and CSI. Within the categories of community relations, environment, and human rights—arguably among those dimensions of social responsibility that are most salient—there is a strong within-category relationship. In contrast, the within-category relationship for corporate governance is weak, but CSI related to corporate governance appears to increase CSR in most other categories. Thus, when CSI concerns arise about corporate governance, companies seemingly choose to offset with CSR in other dimensions, rather than reform governance itself.
What Gets the Worst Marketing ROI? Your Corporate Social Responsibility Report
Three Ways to Improve the Value of Your CSR Report
By Paul Klein. Published on September 26, 2014.
Finally, CSR reporting has become a case of the tail wagging the dog. There is a growing industry of suppliers that specialize in defining, collecting and packaging environmental, social and governance (ESG) data. This industry advocates for annual reporting but, given the results, the current model seems to be driven by self-interest rather than real value.
The real value (and objective) could be reduced scrunity.
Employees are key stakeholders in the CSR management of their employers. Without credible stakeholder involvement, even being ISAE 3000 audited won’t help (as much as all the buzz words in EcoVadis’ announcement won’t help). EcoVadis talks to unions, but they don’t pay enough respect to employees where EcoVadis could help them directly without too much effort. That is an ethical problem in the ethics business.
I think that the concept of EcoVadis is good, but their reluctance to encourage suppliers to disclose their EcoVadis Premium Reports at least to the own employees is irritating. On the other hand that also provides suppliers with an opportunity to get an “Platinum” award just by publishing their reports without having been asked by EcoVadis.
That said, I want to draw your attention to AntiCSR.com with the understanding, that I am not against CSR reporting in general. I am against insufficiently verified CSR reporting. I am against hype. “Anti CSR” takes “a Critical look at Corporate Social Responsibility”. That is what we need.