What is the best term for responsible business practice?

Several weeks back I started a poll on the question what you thought would be the best term for responsible business practice.

In total we had 117 votes with a result which was surprising to see in my opinion. The most popular term with a total of 25 votes was Corporate Responsibility (CR) (21%) followed by Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) (21 votes, 18%), then Corporate Sustainability (19 votes, 16%), Corporate Citizenship (18 votes, 15%) and Sustainability with 14 votes and 12%.

So what can we take away from this result?

One point is crystal clear in my opinion. Responsible business practice is still being associated with too many different terms.

I think there are two different interpretations of this result:

Good development: This is good as it shows that different people and cultures have different terms to express responsible business practice. And different terms do not mean different things for these people just that companies need to be more responsible.

Confusion: This is not a good development as the usage of so many different terms just confuses everyone. This result is a sign of this. In order to limit this confusion one or at most two terms should be the preferred terms to be associated with responsible business practice.

I personally only use the term Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Sustainability but this seems to vary most individuals and therefore believe that the second interpretation is more fitting.

Maybe this is a good thing as well? I am not so sure. What do you think about these results? How do interpret them?

Author: Fabian

Father, Managing Director and former Sustainability / CSR professional for AccountAbility and E.ON UK.

Leave a Reply