Policy Analysis

Corporate Responsibility in the Age of Irresponsibility: A symbiotic relationship between CSR and the financial crisis?

By Flavia Thomé on February 23, 2009
In this commentary, originally published in December 2008 by Triple Bottom-Line, IISD Program Administrator Flavia Thomé looks at the future of corporate responsibility in light of economic turmoil. Three future paths are explored. "The causes of this turmoil are multifaceted. Although many issues remain unclear, there are a couple of conclusions to take from the crisis," she writes. "The first is that this was a crisis of responsibility, or lack thereof. The second is that it will only be repaired by the re-establishment of trust between companies (especially those in the financial sector) and their stakeholders. Logically, this presents a perfect entry-point for CSR to be finally recognized by the business community as a force of necessary good and long-term sustainability. The emphasis placed by CSR on the role of corporations in the larger social and environmental contract is key in preserving an ideal equilibrium of confidence and responsibility."