Increasingly, issues of business ethics, corporate social responsibility (CSR) and sustainable development (SD) are driving significant change in businesses. The catalysts include mounting pressure from consumers, communities, workers, investors, and supply chain partners. More and more, these stakeholders are demanding forward-thinking ethical, environmental and social behaviour from firms wherever they operate in the global marketplace.
CSR is kept high on the business agenda through media and NGO accounts of spectacular ethics-related business failures, and the continual introduction of new codes, standards and other instruments designed to assist firms to do the right thing.
For the purposes of the Institute, CSR is provisionally defined as the responsibility of a business for the impacts of its decisions and activities on society and the environment, through transparent and ethical behaviour that:
- is consistent with sustainable development and the welfare of society;
takes into account the expectations of stakeholders;
- is in compliance with applicable law and consistent with international norms of behaviour;
- is integrated throughout the business (derived from the ISO 26000 standard)