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Quotations from Business and Thought Leaders on Ethics and CSR


 
"Campaigns against corporations have led them to take greater care that their goods are not produced under unacceptable working conditions for starvation wages. All of us, by the decisions we make about how we live and work and travel and consume help to shape an environment. To think and act morally, to do what is right because it is right, influence others; it begins to create a climate of opinion; good like evil, is infectious. We do not have to accept the unacceptable. The only thing that makes social or economic trends inevitable is the belief that they are. The unfolding drama of the 21st Century is one of which we are the co-writers of the script." - Rabbi Jonathon Sacks (The Dignity of Difference)

 

"Our consumers are very sensitive to social and environmental issues... We have actively engaged with them on these issues in the last ten years, and they have become very aware as consumers. They especially ask for information on environmental policies, workers' rights and product safety." - Walter Dondi, Director of Co-op Adriatica (Italy's largest retailer) 

"Corporate social responsibility is a hard-edged business decision. Not because it is a nice thing to do or because people are forcing us to do it... because it is good for our business" - Niall Fitzerald, Former CEO, Unilever

"In my view the successful companies of the future will be those that integrate business and employees' personal values. The best people want to do work that contributes to society with a company whose values they share, where their actions count and their views matter." - Jeroen van der Veer, Committee of Managing Directors (Shell)

"The proportion of a company's total market value that exceeds its book value has increased from 40% in the early 1980's to over 80% at the end of the 1990's. This means that only 20% of a companies value is reflected in the accounting system... [thus the largest portion of a company's economic activities] can easily be overlooked." - Jurgen H. Daum in his book Intangible Assets and Value Creation


“Business has a responsibility beyond its basic responsibility to its shareholders; a responsibility to a broader constituency that includes its key stakeholders: customers, employee, NGOs, government - the people of the communities in which it operates.” - Courtney Pratt, Former CEO Toronto Hydro.

“The brands that will be big in the future will be those that tap into the social changes that are taking place.” - Sir Michael Perry, Chairman of Centrica PLC 

"Greater transparency is an unstoppable force. It is the product of growing demands from everybody with an interest in any corporation - its stakeholder web - and of rapid technological change, above all the spread of the Internet, that makes it far easier for firms to supply information, and harder for them to keep secrets. Firms now know that their internal e-mails may one day become public knowledge, for instance, and many big companies must co-exist with independent websites where employees can meet anonymously to air their grievances. With greater transparency will come greater accountability and better corporate behaviour. Rather than engage in futile resistance to it, firms should actively embrace transparency and rethink their values and generally get in better shape." - Don Tapscott, co-author The Naked Corporation


“People are going to want, and be able, to find out about the citizenship of a brand, whether it is doing the right things socially, economically and environmentally.” - Mike Clasper President of Business Development, Proctor and Gamble (Europe) 

"Not long ago the concerns of ecologists were as irrelevant to business planners as those of ethicists are today. “Green” has gone from being a disparagement to becoming a badge that no smart company would risk being without. Ethics are similarly en route to becoming a strategic imperative." – John Dalla Costa, Ethical Imperative

"We know that the profitable growth of our company depends on the economic, environmental, and social sustainability of our communities across the world. And we know it is in our best interests to contribute to the sustainability of those communities." - Travis Engen, CEO, Alcan


“It is not good enough to do what the law says. We need to be in the forefront of these [social responsibility] issues.” - Anders Dahlvig, CEO of IKEA, quoted in Financial Times. 

"In terms of power and influence you can forget about the church, forget politics. There is no more powerful institution in society than business... The business of business should not be about money, it should be about responsibility. It should be about public good, not private greed." - Anita Roddick, Business as Usual


“Stakeholders want companies to make a profit, but not at the expense of their staff and the wider community.” - Brian Gosschalk, CEO, MORI, quoted in Financial Times. 

“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.” – Warren Buffet. 

“Companies that are breaking the mold are moving beyond corporate social responsibility to social innovation. These companies are the vanguard of the new paradigm. They view community needs as opportunities to develop ideas and demonstrate business technologies, to find and serve new markets, and to solve longstanding business problems.” Rosabeth Moss Kanter, Harvard Business Review. 

"Companies with their eye on their 'triple-bottom-line' outperform their less fastidious peers on the stock market" - The Economist

"Ethics is the new competitive environment" - Peter Robinson, CEO Mountain Equipment Co-op 


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