CSR: Are You Running an Old Release?

CSR: Are You Running an Old Release?

A couple of weeks back I wrote a post on the three stage journey of corporate responsibility.   We are in the midst of the holidays when make believe is at the fore. I thought I would try my hand at a make believe all in one software package for all three stages of the journey,  that would ease the lives of us practitioners. Angel investors sought for release 3.5.  Software vendors feel free to tout your wares in a comment!

Release 1.0 –Give it Away Responsibly: For proponents of the traditional mode …

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Where are you on the journey?

I have a penchant for simple models and frameworks.  In developing a presentation recently I used what I perceive as a three stage evolution of the corporate responsibility journey;  (1) how we give it away, (2) how we spend it and (3) how we make it.   The “it” of course is  money.

Stage 1; How we give it away. The traditional mode of corporate responsibility delivered through philanthropy, community investment and volunteering.  We make a profit and then we find ways to give it away for the good of society, sometimes referred to by the phrase ‘giving

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Digital Inclusion – A Community Investment Partnership With One Economy


I write often about the importance of embedding CR principles into the way we operate our businesses. But when it comes to philanthropy, I like to say that how we make our money is much more important than how we give it away.  But community investment can be one of the bread and butter tools of CR, if we can find ways to align our community investment with our business imperatives and make it engaging for employees.

In the partnership with One Economy that I describe on this video, BT tries to do that in the USA;  it is focused …

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Philanthropy as compensation and carbon offsets

On Friday I posted some thoughts about the role of philanthropy in corporate responsibility and left one idea to consider separately. Does philanthropy have a role to play as a form of compensation.

It is the case that much of our human activity and associated consumption has a net negative impact on the environment. The nature of business also means that in order to meet a greater social need, there can be a real or perceived negative impact on the local community in whose back yard an operation is carried out. In this situation there is perhaps a role for …

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The Role of Philanthropy in Corporate Responsibility

As regular readers of my blog may have divined, I have struggled with the role of philanthropy and even volunteering within corporate responsibility. When I say this, I hear sharp intakes of breath from not only my fellow practitioners but I am sure from many wonderful non-profits who depend on corporate funding for some of their critically required activities.

I don’t underestimate the importance and value of the money and the services community investment enables.  But, I believe that how companies both make and spend our money has a far bigger impact on society and the environment than how we …

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Should Non-Profits Compete with For Profits?

Some time ago I found an excuse to bring together my passion for antiquarian books and my passion for CR in a post ‘Why Running a Company is Like Owning and Old Book”.

I wasn’t expecting another intersection between the two, but on my recent trip to the UK I became aware of an ongoing dispute between antiquarian & used booksellers and Oxfam UK “a global movement of people working with others to overcome poverty and suffering.” Oxfam is a particularly well known institution in the UK especially through its extensive chain of street front stores that sell donated second …

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Shards of Truth that Hurt

Chrystia Freeland wrote an article in the Washington Post on Sunday taking a crack at CSR by asking “What is BP’s Social Responsibility”.    In it, she argues that;

“many of the business disasters of the past 24 months have been facilitated by the mini-industry of corporate social responsibility — known as CSR by those in the trade — a fetish encouraged by the philanthropies that feed off it and funded by the corporate executives who have found that it serves their bottom line.”

Of course I, like many of the people who have added comments to the web site, …

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