In a slight departure for CSR Central – and in what we hope will become a regular feature – we have collated what we think are the best articles from the last 7 days on Corporate Social Responsibility, Sustainability, Social Entrepreneurship and Charity Marketing.
If you’ve come across any other interesting articles, reports or videos recently, feel free to hit us up in the comments.
This excellent essay from Christine Bader in The Atlantic asks why companies who commit themselves to CSR and sustainability continue to cause environmental catastrophes. Writing about her own experiences as a former PR executive for BP, Hader does not shrink from asking the hard questions about CSR. Her “6 reasons why companies remain dangerous to workers and the environment” are required reading for anybody with an interest in CSR, or who wants to know why sometimes CSR does not work.
Apple has been embroiled in a number of corporate scandals around claims of labour and environmental violations. Business Ethics Magazine looks at what Apple has been doing to correct their tarnished public image and asks whether Apple’s new sustainability initiatives go far enough.
When a strike was staged on the London Underground network earlier this week, 3 UK charities hijacked the #tubestrike hashtag as a way of getting attention for their respective causes. Save the Children, Leonard Cheshire Disability, and Macmillan Cancer Support all took over the twitter hashtag and subverted the iconography of London Underground to get their messages across. But, as the Guardian Volunteer network reports, not everybody saw the charities attempts at “newsjacking” as being appropriate.
Are you a CSR practitioner finding it difficult to get financial backing from your boss? Does your employer fail to see the benefit of acting ethically or responsibly? Well, the Ethical Corporation blog has some advice: you need to explain to them how CSR can bolster their bottom line.
Forbes Magazine has consistently been one of the best resources around when it comes to reporting on the latest developments in social enterprises. This article is no exception to that trend, and it details the most inspirational and thought-provoking social entrepreneurs who the reporter met at the recent Social Venture Network conference in San Diego.
This wide-ranging article touches on themes such as cause-related marketing, what digital marketing can do to support CSR, the advent of new ‘purpose-driven’ business models, conscious capitalism, and the continuing resonance of last year’s Rana Plaza factory collapse in Bangladesh.
Can the way a building is designed change our behaviour? That’s the assertion of the business innovation magazine, Fast Company. They focus on a new movement called ‘Active Design’ that remodels public buildings in a way that ‘nudge’ the people working in them to eat more healthily, exercise more regularly, and consume more sustainably. This gorgeously illustrated article from Fast Company makes the case that there is an inextricable link between good design and overall wellbeing.
It’s fairly safe to say that China has a far from unblemished record in the areas of environmental conservation or worker’s rights. This article from Marc Viola in Ad Age ponders the prospects for Corporate Social Responsibility in China. It questions whether CSR campaigns can be effective in a consumer environment already saturated with brand messages, and asks how CSR can work when the majority of Chinese citizens see the alleviation of societal ills as being the sole preserve of the Government.
Brafton are an agency who specialise in content marketing and social media. In this blog post, they declare that social media has a vital role to play in CSR, given that “online transparency holds companies accountable”. Brafton discuss how there exists a segment of consumers who are willing to pay a premium for products from socially responsible companies, and how social media offers the potential for ‘CSR Storytelling’ which companies can use to reach this consumer audience.