Corporate Social Responsibility

In the US, corporations are natural persons.  Like all persons, corporations should seek to treat each other (and other stakeholders) with respect.  This respect is often called corporate social responsibility (CSR).

CSR, according to Wikipedia, “is a form of corporate self-regulation integrated into a business model. CSR policy functions as a . . . . mechanism whereby a business monitors and ensures its active compliance with the spirit of the law, ethical standards, and international norms.”

Here are a few resources for learning more.


KLD STATS provides a snapshot of corporate social responsibility ratings since 1991 for the 3000 largest US publicly traded companies.  KLD allows for trend analysis in the social and environmental performance of corporations with over 90 positive and negative indicators in seven stakeholder or social issue areas.

MSCI iRatings offers three separate environmental, social, and governance (ESG) analyses: (1) analysis of key ESG issues facing companies and industries; (2) analysis of corporate climate change risk exposure and management; and (3) assessment of ESG controversies consistent with international norms.





Corporate Social Responsibility: From Principles to Profit (BBC 2004)

Corporate social responsibility is not a high-minded luxury when bad press puts a chokehold on business growth and profits. This program looks at how product and service providers develop and implement better business practices to satisfy shareholders, customers, employees and the community.

New Paradigm

Benefit corporations (B Corps) are a new type of corporation which uses the power of business to solve social and environmental problems by:

  1. meeting comprehensive and transparent social and environmental performance standards
  2. meeting higher legal accountability standards
  3. building business constituency for public policies that support sustainable business

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