Your Opinion: The Recession. CSR opportunity or business as usual?

Hello everyone,

Sorry for not posting that much over the past few weeks. My only excuse is the lack of time unfortunately. I wanted to share this comment of mine I posted on a friends blog with you and see what your opinion is on this.

I have posted this comment on the Canadian Business Blog from Paul Klein today.
The topic is: The Recession: CSR opportunity or business as usual?

Here is my comment:

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Hi there Paul.
This is a very good question. Here is what I think and have seen so far in the last few months internationally. I so far have seen developments both ways. Back to business as usual and CSR opportunity. To be more specific but without naming anyone of course. 🙂

The “Obama Wind of Change” has in my opinion given American business a tail wind when it comes to CSR and responsible business. Obviously there are still hard times ahead but with a strong “green” and “social” leader America will be a lot more proactive when it comes to CSR. In general I think that this downturn in combination with the new presidency is being viewed as a CSR Opportunity.

In Europe I see a different picture. Here there are more “Back to business as usual” tendencies in my opinion because CSR has been around for a lot longer then in the US. Why? Well because for example UK businesses are being hit hard by all sorts of budget cuts, layoffs, etc. And will do for sometime to come. A lot longer then the US unfortunately in my opinion. On main land Europe I also see this happening. It seems to me that CSR has been mostly seen as a management fashion and nothing more for most businesses. There are the CSR leaders of course that still do a great job in strengthening the CSR movement but the pressure is on for business to show that CSR is bringing in real monetary value.

I do not know the other international CSR situations that well so I will not comment on these. But from what I have seen so far is the jury still out whether this is back to business as usual for business or a CSR opportunity.

I believe we will be able to say more in 6 months time when the full might of the recession has hit us. (I hope).

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What is your opinion on this? I would love to hear your views.
All the best,
Fabian

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