Promoting a European framework for CSR

As in class we have been discussing the importance of the Corporate Social Responsibility and the affordability of CSR in a highly competitive environment, I would like to show you a document in which it stays of manifest that the European Union is really interested in that the European companies take develop CSR’s programs at both the European and international level. Last semester, I had a subject called “Consumerism” in which I had to analyze the activity of a company in the area of CSR according to the directives of the Green Paper of the European Union. I think it’s a good reference to be able to evaluate a CSR of a company, so I though that it would be a good idea to share it with you!

In the document attached, you can find the Green Paper on corporate social responsibility, a initiative of the “Commission of the European Communities” in July 2001 in Brussels. The purpose of these paper is to promote an European framework for CSR. It argues that an EU strategy should recognise the value of considering all dimensions of business impacts on the economy, on society and the environment in an integrated way. The role and value of both voluntary and regulatory approaches must be considered alongside one another. The EU’s approach to CSR should encompass the full range of business organizations. An urgent challenge is to work out the most appropriate institutional mechanisms for ensuring that CSR concerns and approaches are integrated across EU policy.

According to this Green Paper, the full implications of the CSR agenda should be recognized and integrated within European development policy. Cooperation between the countries should consider how best to work with business to achieve goals of poverty alleviation and sustainable development. It also suggest an approach based on the deepening of partnerships in which all actors have an activate role to play. EU development cooperation can also help to equip host country governments in poor countries to maximize the potential of the CSR agenda in their dealings with investors and donors.

Although CSR is essentially a concept whereby companies decide voluntarily to contribute to a better society, currently most of the international big companies follow these directives and develop a CSR’s program. However, the small and medium enterprises are reluctant to lead to end this kind of programs. That’s for it that the local governments should also give to this kind of companies more directives and facilities in order to promote CSR in a global way, shouldn’t they?
http://europa.eu.int/eur-lex/en/com/gpr/2001/com2001_0366en01.pdf

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Posted in corporate sustainability, government policy
3 comments on “Promoting a European framework for CSR
  1. Katariina says:

    I recommend everyone to also introduce themselves to the website of Global Reporting Initiatives, http://www.globalreporting.org/Home, because it is so closely linked with CSR.
    It is a very new organisation, started in 1997, so ten years ago, and already it has made a difference in many companies’ reporting standars quite effectively. If you take a look at its history, the number of companies implementing sustainability reporting almost doubles every year, or at least in the beginning. http://www.globalreporting.org/AboutGRI/WhatWeDo/OurHistory/
    I think this new kind of reporting and transparency are definitely at least small steps towards the right direction. And it seems like the business world is welcoming its standards quite openly and contributing to its development every year.

  2. jeremy says:

    One the supposed benefits of government intervention is that it serves to provide business with an incentive to innovate; that is, to avoid feeling shackled by any directives, they ‘invent’ their way around the contraints. For example, rather than worry about emissions, use renewable energy instead. This is sometimes referred to as the Porter hypothesis. In summary, having a framework which sets minimum standards, may be all that’s required to encourage companies to move beyond compliance, to avoid higher costs.

  3. adrian says:

    Well, I guess reporting on sustainable development or environmental issues in general gives rather information on a company’s efforts in this area than on its real environmental impact (Who wants to admit voluntarily?). Furthermore, such a reporting is nothing more than a Supplemental Report since it is hardly feasible to capture “environmental data” by financial instruments. Thus, a company’s bottom line is very seldom affected when it is that what we have called an “ugly”.

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