Social, Cultural and Environmental Responsibility of Corporate Business Leaders

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Introduction

Corporate social responsibility is a form of corporate self-regulation integrated into a business model. CSR policy functions as a built-in, self-regulating mechanism whereby business monitors and ensures its active compliance with the spirit of the law, ethical standards, and international norms. The goal of CSR is to embrace responsibility for the company's actions and encourage a positive impact through its activities on the environment, consumers, employees, communities, stakeholders and all other members of the public sphere. Furthermore, CSR-focused businesses would proactively promote the public interest (PI) by encouraging community growth and development, and voluntarily eliminating practices that harm the public sphere, regardless of legality. CSR is the deliberate inclusion of PI into corporate decision-making, which is the core business of the company or firm, and the honoring of a triple bottom line: people, planet, profit.

The World Business Council for Sustainable Development in its publication Making Good Business Sense by Lord Holme and Richard Watts used the following definition:

Corporate Social Responsibility is the continuing commitment by business to behave ethically and contribute to economic development while improving the quality of life of the workforce and their families as well as of the local community and society at large.

What is Sustainable Development?

It is the environmental, economic and social well-being for today and tomorrow. Sustainable development has been defined in many ways, but the most frequently quoted definition is from Our Common Future, also known as the Brundtland Report:

"Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. It contains within it two key concepts: 1.The concept of needs, in particular the essential needs of the world's poor, to which overriding priority should be given. 2.The idea of limitations imposed by the state of technology and social organization on the environment's ability to meet present and future needs."

Literature Review

This study investigates corporate social responsibilities. We begin by introducing the concept of CSR and the concept of Sustainable Development, than we emphasize on the importance of the two concepts, we also show a case study of a company that didn’t take these values into consideration, the impact of the company’s behavior on the company itself and on the stakeholders as well, and finally we conclude the study by a critical opinion and some recommendations.

This study was based on a research from the internet. Many sites and articles were helpful as they gave us an excellent material about our topic. Following is a list of these references:

Henderson, Hazel (2009) The Politics of Economics, Ethicalmarkets.com [Internet] April, 2009. Available at http://www.ethicalmarkets.com/2009/05/13/the-politics-of-economics/ •APUS, Green Building (2010) Corporate Social Responsibility and Stock Values, a lesson from BP’s Deep Horizon catastrophe, Apus-green-building.com [Internet] May 4th, 2010. Available at http://apus-green-building.com/2010/05/04/corporate-social-responsibility-and-stock-values-a-lesson-from-bps-deep-horizon-catastrophe/ •Solman, Gregory (2008) BP: Coloring Public Opinion?, Adweek.com [Internet] January 14th, 2008. Available at http://www.adweek.com/news/advertising/bp-coloring-public-opinion-91662 •http://www.iisd.org/sd/

http://www.marketwatch.com/investing/stock/bp

Case Study: Corporate Social Responsibility and Stock Values, a lesson from British Petroleum’s Deep Horizon catastrophe

The Golf of Mexico’s oil spill is a good example to have a look at the negative environmental impact on sustainable development and the bad corporate social responsibility. Around the world, corporations, particularly publicly traded corporations, are gradually beginning to...
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