Corporate Social Responsibility in European Regional Strategy


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Presentation by Yukiko Fukasaku of at TBLI CONFERENCE EUROPE 2008.

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  • Corporate Social Responsibility in European Regional Strategy

    1. 1. Corporate Social Responsibility in European Regional Strategy Yukiko Fukasaku Innovmond, France Amsterdam, 13 November 2008
    2. 2. Outline <ul><li>Origin and development of policies on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) at the level of European Union since 1990s </li></ul><ul><li>European (French) business response to CSR </li></ul><ul><li>CSR in Japanese business </li></ul>
    3. 3. Origin of European CSR policy <ul><li>1995 European Business Declaration against Social Exclusion </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Policy instrument to promote the European “social model”, i.e., “social” aspect stressed. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Since 2000: instrument to achieve Lisbon targets for growth and employment and the European Sustainable Development Strategy </li></ul>
    4. 4. Lisbon and SD Strategies <ul><li>Lisbon Strategy for growth and jobs, 2000 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Goal to become “ the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy…” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“… special appeal to companies’ corporate sense of social responsibility regarding best practices on lifelong learning, work organisation, equal opportunities, social inclusion and sustainable development…” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>SD Strategy, 2001 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Complements Lisbon Strategy in environmental aspect </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Public policy…key role in encouraging a greater sense of corporate social responsibility… </li></ul></ul>
    5. 5. Green paper on CSR and the First Communication <ul><li>Green paper (2001) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>CSR can contribute to Lisbon targets </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Defines CSR: “…concept whereby companies integrate social and environmental concerns to their business operations and their interaction with their stakeholders on a voluntary basis.” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>First EC Communication on CSR </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Action framework based on the green paper consultation: support for European level action to promote CSR </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Public policy has a role to promote CSR </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Launch EU Multistakeholder Forum on CSR </li></ul></ul>
    6. 6. Multistakeholder Forum on CSR <ul><li>Aim: promoting transparency and convergence of CSR practices and instruments </li></ul><ul><ul><li>establish common EU approach </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Involved businesses, business organisations, employee organisations (social partners), consumer groups, civil society </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Final report 2004 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Support for “voluntary” approach to CSR </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Recommendation with action items </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Assessment </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Convergence difficult to achieve </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Voluntary” (businesses) vs. “Mandatory” (civil society) not resolved </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>CSR approach satisfactory to all stakeholders was not possible </li></ul></ul>
    7. 7. Revised Lisbon Strategy, Renewed SD Strategy, European Social Agenda (2005) <ul><li>Stress on economic growth and job creation: basis for progress on environmental and social aspects – priority between the three pillars? </li></ul><ul><li>Role of innovation, education, R&D in enhancing growth, jobs and SD </li></ul><ul><li>CSR a role in modernising the European “social model”: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>adapting to globalisation, aging, technological advances, lower employment rates, persisting inequality, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>CSR role in enhancing stakeholder dialogue and transparency in business practices. </li></ul></ul>
    8. 8. Second EC Communication on CSR (2006) <ul><li>Citing revised Lisbon Strategy, renewed SD Strategy and the European Social Agenda, CSR “can play a key role in contributing to SD while enhancing Europe’s innovative potential and competitiveness” </li></ul><ul><li>CSR should be voluntary activity of businesses </li></ul><ul><li>Backed launching of European Alliance for CSR </li></ul><ul><ul><li>To make Europe a pole of excellence on CSR </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Open coalition of European enterprises </li></ul></ul>
    9. 9. European Alliance on CSR <ul><li>Launched in 2006 with more than 200 businesses and business organisations </li></ul><ul><li>List of activity items under three themes </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Raising awareness on improving knowledge on CSR and its reporting </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mainstreaming CSR and develop open coalitions of co-operation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ensuring enabling environment for CSR </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Instruments </li></ul><ul><ul><li>European Cartography on CSR Innovations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Online Marketplace on CSR </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>CSR laboratories </li></ul></ul>
    10. 10. Current status of European CSR policy (1) <ul><li>MSF review meeting (2006) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Further stakeholder co-operation to promote CSR </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Depolarise “Voluntary” vs. “Mandatory” argument </li></ul></ul><ul><li>European Parliament resolution (2007) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Urges further EC action to promote CSR </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>More than sixty suggested action items </li></ul></ul><ul><li>EC response </li></ul><ul><ul><li>No plan to formulate regulatory framework for CSR </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Support existing international agreements (eg, Global Compact) and participate in their eventual revisions </li></ul></ul>
    11. 11. Current status of European CSR policy (2) <ul><li>DG Employment, DG Enterprise </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Mainstream CSR in existing policy areas: equal opportunity, gender, SMEs, climate change, innovation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>View that: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>European corporate behaviour changed as result of promoting CSR </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>businesses that are strong in innovation also strong in CSR </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Non governmental organisations also active in promoting CSR </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Regional business organisations eg, CSR Europe </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>National organisations eg. ORSE in France </li></ul></ul>
    12. 12. To summarise trends and issues in European level CSR policies <ul><li>A tool in regional policy, to enhance competitiveness, move towards knowledge society, sustainable development and modernising the social model </li></ul><ul><li>Explicit inclusion as a tool of Lisbon Strategy demonstrates its importance </li></ul><ul><li>Recognition of the importance of innovation in applying CSR </li></ul><ul><li>Idea that public policies should play a role in promoting CSR </li></ul>
    13. 13. CSR in European (French) business (1): French public policy context <ul><li>National SD Strategy adopted in 2003 </li></ul><ul><li>2001 economic regulations oblige listed companies to include social and environmental information in annual reports </li></ul><ul><li>2007 Grenelle de l’Environnement </li></ul>
    14. 14. CSR in European (French) business (2) French Multinationals <ul><li>GDFSuez, EDF, L’Or éal, Sanofi -aventis </li></ul><ul><li>publish annual SD reports, have divisions devoted to SD </li></ul><ul><li>Report both environmental and social (societal) activities – triple bottom line approach </li></ul><ul><li>Aware of the role of innovation in promoting CSR and creating win-win situations </li></ul><ul><li>Comply and go beyond regulations and policies; participate in initiatives at national, European, and global levels and find them useful for information exchange, </li></ul><ul><li>Active in stakeholder dialogue </li></ul><ul><li>CSR, a common sense for business? </li></ul>
    15. 15. CSR in Japanese business (1) Japanese public policy context <ul><li>Japanese public policy context </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Absence or weak policies at the national level on CSR </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Advanced national policies and regulatory framework for environmental performance improvement in industries </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Main initiatives by business associations, business affiliated think-tanks responding to globalisation of Japanese businesses </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Weak civil society sector </li></ul>
    16. 16. CSR in Japanese business (2): large manufacturing companies <ul><li>Toray, Dai Nippon Printing, Tsumura </li></ul><ul><li>Long history since 1970s of enhancing environmental performance and reporting </li></ul><ul><li>Very recently environmental reports changed to CSR reports – look to Europe for guidance </li></ul><ul><li>Now integrate CSR in corporate strategy </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>As part of corporate growth strategy – search for win-wins </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Plays key role in supplier and customer relations </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Investor relations – response to growing interest in SRI </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Absence of dialogue with NGOs: disadvantage </li></ul></ul></ul>
    17. 17. Conclusion and future prospects <ul><li>High awareness of the importance of CSR both at public policy and business levels in Europe </li></ul><ul><li>From emphasis on “social” pillar to the triple bottom line concept in Europe; from environment to TBL in Japan </li></ul><ul><li>Mainstreaming in major policy areas </li></ul><ul><li>Important role of innovation in promoting CSR </li></ul><ul><li>Move towards regulation and standards? </li></ul><ul><li>Active role of non-government organisations </li></ul><ul><li>Active mutual learning involving stakeholders </li></ul><ul><li>Global leadership role in learning and promotion </li></ul>
    18. 18. Thank you Innovmond SARL [email_address]