Greenleaf at 21: The Past, Present and Future of Corporate Social Responsibility

Namestyle_21Welcome to the Greenleaf at 21 blog series. To celebrate our 21st birthday, over the next few months we will be sharing original posts by influential Greenleaf authors, in which they discuss how their field has changed over the last 21 years and what they hope to see change in the future. This article by Tim Mohin reflects on the evolution of CSR:

Having worked in both government and industry, I have seen at least two sides of the environmental debate as it matured over the years. It is interesting (at least to me) to reflect on these changes and project the future of the green movement.
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Greenleaf at 21: “The corporation can no longer be depersonalised”

Namestyle_21Welcome to the Greenleaf at 21 blog series. To celebrate our 21st birthday, over the next few months we will be sharing original posts by influential Greenleaf authors, in which they discuss how their field has changed over the last 21 years and what they hope to see change in the future. This article by Lalith Gunaratne focuses on how the corporation has evolved over the last two centuries:

The legal license to operate a business evolved in the 19th century with limited liability laws providing a corporation the status of an “individual” and a “person”. Yet the corporation is immortal, as it can outlive its proponents. The law enables the corporation privileges and immunities, primarily to earn a profit of the stockholders, and exercise a variety of political rights – the right to freedom of speech, lobby governments and make campaign contributions.
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CSR and SRI: Now or Never?

Namestyle_21Welcome to the Greenleaf at 21 blog series. To celebrate our 21st birthday, over the next few months we will be sharing original posts by influential Greenleaf authors, in which they discuss how their field has changed over the last 21 years and what they hope to see change in the future. This article by Steve Lydenberg explores what needs to be done to move responsible business into the 21st century:

As we move into the heart of the 21st century, the twin sisters of corporate social responsibility (CSR) and socially responsible investment (SRI) stand at a crucial juncture. Each has won a certain respect in its respective world. It is unclear, however, whether they will now be able to lead the way down a path toward fundamental reform or will simply end up as interesting sideshows along the well-trodden road of business as usual.
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Greenleaf at 21: “I think we are just getting started”

Namestyle_21Welcome to the Greenleaf at 21 blog series. To celebrate our 21st birthday, over the next few months we will be sharing original posts by influential Greenleaf authors, in which they discuss how their field has changed over the last 21 years and what they hope to see change in the future.

We’re kicking off this week with an exclusive interview with Deborah Leipziger, author of The Corporate Responsibility Code Book, the groundbreaking guide that brought much-needed order to CR frameworks and is now an invaluable reference for companies trying to understand the landscape of Corporate Responsibility. As if this wasn’t enough, game-changer Deborah helped create the SA8000 standard which is now widely used by the apparel industry. In this interview she shares her thoughts on how far CR has come, and how far it still has to go.

How do you feel CR has advanced since the publication of the influential Code Book?

Corporate Responsibility has evolved in significant ways and at the same time, it is still in its infancy. After working in this field for more than two decades, I see a growing interest in social innovation and social value creation.

Social entrepreneurs are making strides to address problems such as poverty, hunger and gender inequality. Social intrapreneurs, or entrepreneurs on the inside of companies, are addressing social and environmental problems.
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