Blogs & Comment

The Recession: CSR Opportunity or Business as Usual?

I am still looking for responses to the question I asked three days ago.
London-based CSR authority Fabian Pattberg wrote in to say that he believes that in the U.S. the combination of the downturn in the economy with the “Obama Wind of Change” is being viewed as a CSR opportunity. However, Fabiansees a different picture in Europe where there are more Back to business as usual tendencies because CSR has been around for a lot longer then in the U.S. and the biggest challenge is for business to show that CSR is bringing in real monetary value.
Craig Smith, INSEADChaired Professor of Ethics and Social Responsibility believes that corporate responsibility has never been more prominent on the corporate agenda. As reported in the International Business Times, Smith believes the financial crisis and its effects on the global economy have made it clear that the stability of our global market system depends on responsible behaviour, sustainable business models and proactive management of business impacts on society, as well as regulatory frameworks.
CSR Asiareports that companies are increasingly seeking brand-building and other strategic benefits from theirCSR initiatives, rather thanphilanthropy and charity work. Charity-based CSR activities are taking a hit whereas sustainability-driven CSR initiatives are emerging. In linking CSR to their brands corporations are also more cautious and selective in their choice of partners and are favouring NGOs with high credibility, transparency in accounting procedures and a long track record of high quality work.
In an entry on Forum for the Future’sblog, Jonathon Porritt asked “what value should we now attach to the concept of CSR in the UK banking sector? Every single one of these once-revered financial institutions have very impressive CSR programmes. Yet the truth of it is that every one of these one-revered financial institutions has been simultaneously engaged in some of most egregiously irresponsible business behaviour in the history of capitalism.”
What impact is the recession having on CSR in Canada? Please let me know what you think.