Thursday, April 13, 2006

Corporate responsibility - my job and my hobby

I havent been really writing about my biggest passion - in professional terms that is - that is Corporate Responsibility. Or one could call it also corporate social responsibility, corporate sustainability..and maybe a few other names for a concept that is essentially all the same: businesses integrating social and enviromental concerns into their daily operations and relationships with stakeholders, and doing that voluntarily (ooh! the latter is rather controversial topic, but i won't get into that right now :))

But yeah CR is my passion really (hehe...sometimes it feels like being in love or smth :))), it's amazing how interesting the journey has been for me (now for about 3 yrs already) dig in and discover the role of business in society, and not just Estonian society, but it has become thousand times more interesting when looking at the whole world, the balances/imbalances in the world, the power of MNCs, and the threats and opportunities that derive from that, the role of and opportunities for small businesses...and so on and on and on...the topic has huge depth and thus room for has been so for me.

I actually started to write about it now, cos I had a full week of CSR action: a CSR/SME project meeting in Milan and right after that an ISO (international standardization organization) meeting in Vienna on a new standard they're developing - a standard for social responsibility - ISO 26 000. That is to indicate that it's a field that is globally addressed not just by big businesses, and a few goverments and a myriad of international NGOs and network organizations, but it's a hot topic on the table of ISO as well.

read more

Important note (for all CR fans :) - ISO has already declared that social responsibility excludes all philantropic and charitable activities, thus moving the focus even further to the core activities of the business (yeah, that's what it should be!!).
And a note to the standards's fans - the ISO 26 000 is not going to be a standard that a company can acquire a certificate for, but it's going to be a guideline...contentwise, too early to say as the content is mostly not ready yet..but ought to be so by 2008.

For a little induction for a reader that's not crazy about CSR (yet!), read Anita Roddick (either or her books Take It Personally, Business as Unusual), she's one of the global CSR advocates, founder of the Body Shop (now sold to L'Oreal) or see the movie The Corporation (

No comments: