I spent two hours today learning about CSR courtesy of SMART
, one of our sister companies. I know a whole lot more now than I did before.
What struck me most was that CSR (or CR as it is now becoming known) is simply good business practice. If companies behave responsibly then more people want to work for them, more people want to buy from them, communities are more likely to accept them and governments are less likely to regulate against them.
Niall Fitzgerald, the former CEO at Unilever, summed it up nicely in The Guardian
in 2003. "Corporate social responsibility is a hard-edged business decision. Not because it is a nice thing to do or because people are forcing us to do it... but because it is good for our business... More and more people are looking at companies and ask themselves if this is an organisation whose values they share. This is a hard-edged business issue."