From Corporate Social Responsibility to Corporate Sustainability

Moving the Agenda Forward in Asia and the Pacific

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This publication looks at recent developments in corporate social responsibility (CSR) with particular attention to the growing role of impact investment and the need for greater convergence of global CSR instruments and provides recommendations to policymakers to enhance the adoption of CSR as an integral part of business strategy and operations. Increasingly, companies are adopting sustainable business practices as an integral element of their corporate strategies, going beyond the traditional interpretation of CSR and engage in social or impact investment and/or play active roles in development cooperation, including the provision of disaster relief and humanitarian assistance. Various global CSR instruments and sustainability frameworks, such as the Global Compact, Global Reporting Initiative and ISO 26000, have been in existence for some time and have been increasingly adopted by many companies, usually the bigger transnational corporations (TNCs).



Developments in the concept of corporate social responsibility (CSR)

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a concept which has many interpretations and typically has economic, social and environmental dimensions. The concept has increasingly gained interest among businesses and Governments and other stakeholders and has triggered a vivid discussion on its meaning among a number of scholars (cf., Carroll, 2004; Dahlsrud, 2006; Robins, 2005). The increase in interest is primarily a result of efforts made by international organizations (in particular UNGC), Governments (e.g. China’s green growth strategy) and civil society organizations. These efforts have contributed to improved labour standards, enhanced use of renewable energy and practical anti-corruption measures (UNGC, 2012).


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