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Social Responsibility & Business Ethics: What is CSR?

Ecology. Social. Economy.

TED Talk: Ray Anderson

Ray Anderson is the founder and CEO of Interface Carpet does a very nice job of defining a perspective on Corporate Social Responsibility


Chart of CSR

Refer to the chart above...

Here we see the venn-diagram of people, organizations, and the issues that make up a business. Each community is considered to be a "stakeholder" within a company. Each section of (economic, social, and environmental) issues are interconnected with the internal business practices and will always connect back to the people that organize them.

This visual representation of CSR is very helpful in understanding its complex concepts and major affects on the business world.

What is CSR?

Corporate Social Responsibility is the current terminology for defining the role of business in the well-being of society.  Often this is referred to as the "tripple bottom line" - People, Planet and Profit.  Companies in today's society represent the values of all their stakeholders (owners, employees, suppliers, communities...etc.), and work to leverage those values to maximize the economic and social impacts on society, while minimizing the environmental impact. 

Many, if not most, publicly traded and privately held companies report their progress on environmental and social goals through their Social Report.  These reports take many forms and while historically they may have been public relations tools or "greenwashing", they are now more often seen as an indication of a company's reputation risk exposure. 

This research guide is meant as a resource for your research on CSR, business ethics, sustainability or other related topics.

Triple Bottom Line

Triple Bottom Line is the framework for companies to experience a broader perspective to evaluate performance and increase business value

Handbook of Corporate Social Responsibility