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Is Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) just the latest business fashion accessory?

Is Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) just the latest business fashion accessory?

Felicity Lawrence, writing in The Guardian, takes a swipe at the “greenwash” that makes up so many companies’ “sustainability reviews.”

“It is impossible not to be cynical about this latest fashion,” writes Felicity Lawrence in The Guardian about the vogue in major companies for corporate social responsibility teams or reports.

She pokes fun at the contents of some of these reports. McDonald’s chief executive explained “how McDonald’s will make the world a better place” in the company’s first social report. Ms Lawrence points out however that there was “not much mention of nutrition, but lots of litter initiatives.” Similarly, she is amused that Nestlé Group includes employment statistics as part of its sustainability report: “More than one million jobs were sustained by the Nestlé Group.”

Ms Lawrence acknowledges that CSR can be a useful tool, but points out that that there are no standards for the reporting. Some reports are independently audited, others are not.

Read Social butterflies by Felicity Lawrence at SocietyGuardian.

Howard Lake is a digital fundraising entrepreneur. Publisher of UK Fundraising, the world's first web resource for professional fundraisers, since 1994. Trainer and consultant in digital fundraising. Founder of Fundraising Camp.

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