Corporate Social Responsibility

An interesting independent insert appeared in The Vancouver Sun last week from Mediaplanet outlining ways in which B.C.’s natural resource industry is “giving back”. Contributing writers included leaders from The Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC), Canadian Business for Social Responsibility (CBSR), and The Globe Foundation.

John Wiebe, President and CEO of The Globe Foundation, tells us “over the next quarter century, three billion new middle-class consumers worldwide will be demanding products and services that will place unprecedented strain on the already challenged sources of minerals, fossil fuels, and forest-based products.”  While acknowledging Canada’s leadership to date in defining more acceptable operating standards for companies in the extractive industries sector, Wiebe calls for more: “The competition for increasingly scarce natural resources means we must do a much better job at integrating the social, environmental, and economic needs of communities in a far more explicit and direct way.”

The complete insert, available at the link below, is thought-provoking.
B.C. Ambassadors – Media Planet Sept 2012

2 thoughts on “Corporate Social Responsibility

  1. This relates to topics that come up in the industry in which I work (social innovation and entrepreneurship). A few months ago we discussed this 2008 article by Michael Porter in HBR, Shared Value (https://docs.google.com/a/canc.ca/viewer?url=http://www.waterhealth.com/sites/default/files/Harvard_Buiness_Review_Shared_Value.pdf&pli=1).

    I think we are at a place where, indeed, we MUST “do a better job at integrating the social, environmental, and economic needs of communities in far more explicit and direct way[s]”.

    Nice thinking Paul!

  2. Appreciate your comment Mandy. Where the forest products industry is concerned, a big shift in public perception has occurred in recent years – “wood is good” as the slogan goes. Wood is now recognized as a sustainable, ‘green’ building material. The promotion of responsible forest stewardship through forest certification likely contributed to that shift in thinking. This quote from your Porter article regarding shared value struck a chord: “Companies will make real strides on the environment, for example, when they treat it as a productivity driver rather than a feel-good response to external pressure.”

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