British Wildlife 29.3 February 2018

Corporate social responsibility: do companies care about biodiversity?

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a company’s efforts to minimise any negative impacts on people and the planet. Many corporations produce CSR reports, and most consider their impact on the environment within these. Biodiversity rarely receives mention, however, which makes it difficult to determine whether companies are truly not doing anything for conservation, or whether they are just not reporting on it. Clare Topping investigates the reporting of biodiversity in the publicity of corporations based in the UK, and discusses the implications for conservation.

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is intended to address an organisation’s social, economic and environmental impact – the so-called triple bottom line of people, planet and profit. The emergence of CSR as a concept can be
traced to the 1970s (Idowu & Towler 2004), but it has grown to become an integral part of the business world, influencing the activities of companies at all levels (Zentes et al. 2017).

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