By Regine Barth, Franziska Wolff

The acid try of company social accountability (CSR) is just this: does it result in optimistic affects on society and the surroundings or is it simply rhetoric? and the way can those affects be more advantageous? This well timed booklet tackles this state of the art problem via offering empirical findings from a number of surveys and in-depth case reviews. those construct on a brand new methodological and theoretical framework for assessing and explaining the sustainability impression of CSR. For chosen sustainability concerns - mitigation of weather switch and chemical probability, source administration in marine fisheries, promoting of gender equality and countering of bribery - and inside various eu industries, the authors express that the rhetoric of CSR remains to be more suitable than its fact. although, the truth of CSR is powerful adequate to permit for a few rhetoric. The authors identify either the good fortune components for, and boundaries of, generating sustainable affects via CSR. ultimately, they talk about its contribution to attaining public coverage objectives and the governance paradigms which are essential to make CSR potent. This ebook may be beneficial for either scholars and researchers drawn to the consequences of CSR, and may end up a useful gizmo for either policy-makers and CSR practitioners alike.

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This is particularly challenging in cases which are heavily regulated, such as chemicals. In such densely regulated cases there will be substantial involuntary action geared towards improving companies’ sustainability performance. Companies can adopt codes of conduct (partly) as a response to mandatory obligations or turn to labelling as a response to anticipated regulation at a later stage. 2 What are the criteria for evaluating the impact of CSR? We have learned from the study of policy and regime effectiveness (for example, Underdal 2002) that there are essentially two strategies available: a ‘relative Framework for assessing the sustainability impact of CSR 29 improvement’ and a ‘goal attainment’ strategy.

An example is the increase in labour costs when a company decides not to use (cheap) child labour. European Parliament resolution of 13 March 2007 on corporate social responsibility: a new partnership (2006/2133(INI)). 1 INTRODUCTION If Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) wants to be recognized as a substantive and not only rhetorical exercise, there is a need to show that it indeed achieves what its proponents claim: that companies, by voluntarily adopting and integrating social and environmental concerns into their business operations, add to social and environmental improvement and hence to sustainability.

It is nevertheless possible to carry out measures which companies are not legally obliged to follow. Even a company that has a record of bribery – and thus is below compliance regarding the overall goal – can adopt the voluntary Business Principles Countering Bribery and subsequently implement organizational changes to prevent the occurrence of bribery. In such cases, CSR means undertaking voluntary measures to help the company to become compliant with obligatory goals. Another special case regarding the relation between voluntariness and ‘beyond compliance’ is the (so far rather sparse) law governing CSR itself.

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