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EC launches new CSR strategy

The European Commission has launched a new strategy for corporate social responsibility in Europe

The European Commission (EC) has launched a new strategy for corporate social responsibility (CSR) in Europe.

The EC's strategy redefines CSR as 'the responsibility of enterprises for their impacts on society' and aims to set out how enterprises can benefit from CSR as well as contribute to society.

The Commission said companies should have a process in place to integrate social, environmental, ethical human rights and consumer concerns into their business operations, and core strategy, in close cooperation with their stakeholders.

The strategy's features include recognising the importance of core business strategy; developing the concept of "creating shared value" in company innovation; and recognising human rights and ethical considerations in addition to social, environmental and consumer considerations.

Aims include enhancing the visibility of CSR and disseminating good practices, with the creation of a European award and the establishment of sector-based platforms for enterprises and stakeholders to make commitments and jointly monitor progress.

Levels of trust in business will also be tracked; market reward for CSR will be enhanced; and disclosure of social and environmental information will be improved.

Richard Bergström, director general of the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA), commended the moves towards a greater focus on CSR.

He said: "In the middle of the financial crisis there is an urgent need for a growth agenda. Europe can only compete with the best brains working in companies that are socially responsible and that think long-term. Lawmakers must support this through regulatory reform and a progressive trade agenda."

The EFPIA will present its commitment to promote CSR to the Commission before mid-2012.

26th October 2011

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