CARMAE Expert Opinion on Social Responsibility Past Achievements

Release Date: May 27, 2014 | Document Type: Public Statements | Language: English
To: CSR2020 THINK TANK
CARMAE ID No.: PRO#201405-X05

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CENTRE FOR ADVANCED RESEARCH IN MANAGEMENT AND APPLIED ETHICS EXPERT OPINION ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY PAST ACHIEVEMENTS (FOR CSR2020 THINK TANK)

At global level, the greatest achievements of the last 5 years were, no doubt, the adoption of the ISO 26000, the developments of GRI reporting frameworks and consolidation of the concept of integrated reporting, the steps taken by the European Union in promoting social responsibility among European businesses through non-financial performance disclosure, and the increasing number of trans-sectorial pacts and initiatives regarding responsible sourcing (from coffee, cocoa and palm oil in the last decade to the newest agreements on vanilla, minerals, timber etc.).

Still, in the same time we witnessed various scandals in the private sector, from those regarding the supply chain and human rights to corruption and bribery in B2B relations. In this context, it is very difficult to estimate the efficiency of all these achievements. Maybe it is too soon, but we need to strengthen the implementation and monitoring efforts.

Specifically, in Romania, ISO 26000 remains obscure and mainly unknown. It is a topic approached mainly in training programs and few professionals circles, without proper implementation or practical use. On the other hand, as the Centre for Advanced Research in Management and Applied Ethics concluded based on its applied research on non-financial reporting trends in Romania, social responsibility/sustainability reporting is a big issue for more and more companies, both large and medium sized. For the 3rd year, GRI remains the preferred framework of most companies. The same research highlighted the fact that the quality of the social responsibility/sustainability reports still needs to improve not only in terms of layout and content, but also in terms of internal process, mechanisms and key indicators cascading throughout the organization.

Integrated reporting is a foreign concept for most part of the Romanian economy. Still, the EU directive on non-financial performance disclosure and the European Commission recommendation on corporate governance “comply or explain” principle are the first steps towards integrated reporting. Thus, the Romanian companies will have to adjust to the new challenges in corporate reporting.

Coming back to global level, the virtue model of integrating social responsibility like Patagonia Inc. and Interface, where the character of the leader influences how internal processes and products reflect the corporate social responsibility, represents only a very small percentage of the economy and not a generalized way of doing business. We are far from abandoning the defensive approach of CSR.

 

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