The Economist weighs in on the debate about the future of CSR in times of recession.
There is one other important reason for thinking that companies will maintain their commitments to sustainability through the downturn and beyond: the need to restore confidence in business. The financial crisis was triggered by a bout of corporate social irresponsibility on a massive scale that has tarnished the reputations of even the bluest of blue-chip companies. Now corporate leaders have a chance to show that they are not just motivated by short-termism after all.
This is a point the Global Compact has been making for quite some time. If there has ever been a time to recognize the strategic relevance of CSR, that time is now.