CSR: We are the good guys!

DISCLAIMER: All opinions in this column reflect the views of the author(s), not of EURACTIV Media network.

To do good and to talk about it – this simple phrase might be an effective description of the commitment of companies to the principles of sustainability and responsibility. But only few of them actually understand and implement Corporate Social Responsibility practices, says Antje Hoppe in Politik & Kommunikation.

Corporate Social Responsibility is an intensively debated issue these days, with companies seemingly having entered a real publicity competition on the issue. However, critics claim that most of them only pay lip-service to CSR. Many companies are not yet convinced that good CSR practices actually pay off and prefer to get public attention through other means, such as the sponsoring of art exhibitions, rather than integrating CSR practices in all areas of their work. 

Nevertheless, the CSR debate has led businesses to strengthen their dialogue with NGOs and most of them have started to realise that they cannot afford to ignore the debate. Examples show that businesses may fare better by doing good without necessarily aiming to attract a lot of public attention. 

While there still seems to be reluctance among business leaders in Germany to implement CSR, at international and EU levels more concrete activities are being undertaken. For instance, the EU has carried out a number of initiatives (publishing a green paper, organising multi-stakeholder forums etc.) to bring the issue to the fore. 

This edition of Politik & Kommunikation also includes an overview of the main actors in the field of CSR, as well as interviews and a list of CSR awards. 

To read the full article (in German), please click here

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