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"Will the corporate social responsibility (CSR) movement usher in an era of corporate behaviour, defined by enhanced respect for workers, local eommunities, and the environment?
"The CSR movement is by now well established in Europe. Although less developed in the US, it is beginning to make its presence felt there as well. Its basic premise is that the responsibility of a corporation extends beyond the traditional objective of providing financial returns to its shareholders. Instead, corporations should also pursue such broader objectives as sustainable growth, equitable employment practices and long-term social and environmental well-being--often characterised as "stakeholder" interests...
"Almost half of the world's largest corporations now produce social and environmental reports in addition to their financial reports. Although the reports vary enormously in tone and content, they tend to be elaborate and glossy, helped along by an expert community of consultants and "auditors." Until now they have been voluntary and thus unregulated. They remain so in the US, but in Britain this month new government regulations came into force requiring publicly traded companies to identify and disclose social and environmental risks that are financially material" (John Conley. "A responsibility to talk the talk." Weekly Guardian, 27.05.05: 7).
Colby Glass, MLIS