Necessity or luxury?

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The debate on the fate of corporate responsibility initiatives in the economic slowdown is already underway in a range of general business and specialist publications. It is falling into predictable lines. Friedmanites brand CSR as a dangerous distraction and an unaffordable luxury in these parsimonious times. Advocates suggest that is was precisely a failure to meet core responsibilities that helped create the current crisis, and so rebuilding public trust through responsible approaches is all the more important.

My own take matches that of Dave Stangis on the Intel CSR blog. While his comments precede the full blown economic crisis, the points still apply. CSR is no product line to be dropped at will, but part of the way you do business. One would hope sustainable firms have a model that is as recession proof as any other.


Michael Jarvis

Executive Director, Transparency and Accountability Initiative

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