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Corporate Responsibility: CSR In Unexpected Places
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Corporate Responsibility: CSR In Unexpected Places - Executive Leadership Articles

Corporate Responsibility: CSR In Unexpected Places

Executive Leadership Articles

Corporate Responsibility: CSR In Unexpected Places

Some industries seem to beg for corporate social responsibility, almost by word association. So much attention is paid by the media to the way food is sourced, distributed, and brought to market that certain food and beverage products are among the first to leap to mind when CSR gets mentioned: chocolate, coffee, and snacks, for example. B Lab, the organization certifying CSR through its B Corp program, lists 165 companies in its food and beverage category, compared to 35 in the housewares, home furnishings, and accessories category, and while the sheer number of food companies worldwide makes this completely understandable, the difference does highlight the difference in perception of where CSR is likely to be found. Still, the growing concept of CSR is finding its way into less obvious realms.

Festival Events
A Google images search for “after the festival” returns horrible photos of what is left behind when a music festival blows through an area. Piles of garbage, abandoned tents, and enormous wear and tear on once-grassy fields cover the first page of search results. Add the word “cleanup” to that search and the results are even more appalling. The increasing number of festivals all over the world indicates some amount of profitability, but do the nature of the events and their strain on the infrastructure make them antithetical to responsibility? Special Events magazine says no. In a recent column, a UK-based festival insurer reported that 66 percent of festival organizers in the UK considered CSR a high priority, with more than 83 percent citing CSR’s positive contribution to the bottom line and increased community relationships. Free tickets for residents in festival-hosting communities engage local stakeholders, while strategies for transporting attendees to events with the fewest possible vehicles decreases impacts on the environment. Add increased efforts to recycle waste, and at least a few festivals can claim actual benefit to communities beyond revenue.

Pharmaceuticals
Recent bad press in the American pharmaceutical industry raised outrage about the way companies control pricing in a realm whose product can make a difference between life and death. While most of us understand that profit drives many innovations in raising people’s quality of life, the line between profit and public good sometimes seems to favor profit in a disproportional extreme. Yet at least one organizer in the industry attempts to encourage and recognize CSR in the field. The CPhi Pharma Awards, organized and presented by an international conference of pharmaceutical developers and manufacturers, this year added an Excellence in Pharma: Corporate Social Responsibility award to its list of honors, seeking to acknowledge “innovation in improving transparency and public outreach.” Nominations are due in August, with the award presented in Barcelona in October.

Automotive Manufacturing
As with the pharmaceutical industry, the automotive industry has been hit with some well-earned bad press recently, specifically related to deception by one manufacturer in its product’s compliance with environment-related regulations. But at least one manufacturer is being recognized for its efforts in CSR. PSA Peugeot Citroen, the second-largest car manufacturer in Europe, was listed in the 2015 Euronext Vigeo World 120, an index of the 120 highest-scoring companies in a worldwide evaluation of corporate social responsibility. Citing PSA’s “transparency and effectiveness in addressing CSR challenges,” the score is based on an evaluation of the company’s responses to questions about “the environment, human resources, human rights, community involvement, accountability to customers, purchasing, ethics, and governance.” In addition to its worldwide ranking, PSA scored highly enough to put it also in the top 20 companies in France, making it the only auto manufacturer to make either list.

Expectedly Unexpected
Less-than-stellar perceptions about some industries is often well earned, and as consumer citizens, it’s important we’re aware of some of the harm done by our providers of goods and services. Still, delving more deeply into the news where our usual daily updates seldom dive can reveal encouraging news as well, and as companies in every sector dedicate themselves to the “triple bottom line” of people, planet, and profit, hopefully these stories will find their way to the headlines, and there will be no such thing as CSR in an unexpected industry, a development that will be of benefit to us all.

Reference Links:
SpecialEvents.com: http://specialevents.com/blog/qa-corporate-social-responsibility-festival-industry
CPhi Pharma Awards: http://www.pharmtech.com/recognizing-pharma-industry-excellence
PSA Peugeot Citroen recognition: http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20151218005183/en/Corporate-Social-Responsibility-PSA-Peugeot-Citro%C3%ABn-Ranked

 

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Corporate Responsibility: CSR In Unexpected Places - Executive Leadership Articles

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