So what does CSR mean to you?
More importantly what exactly does it mean to those who claim to be practicing a socially responsible agenda?
The revelation that some of our biggest banks have been exploiting charity tax laws has shocked many.
But the biggest surprise is surely the fact that they weren’t clever enough to disguise what they were doing.
The initial revelation was sparked by the Northern Rock debacle, but further investigation has shown how it has become common practice for banks to raise billions of pounds in funds through complex financial deals that use supposedly charitable trusts which are not donating a penny to good causes.
I tend to agree with Patrick Butler’s suggestion that such one-sided and exploitative relationships are par for the course and invariably fall under the conveniently sexy banner of Corporate Social Responsibility.
CSR is hot stuff these days. Everyone is at it. And if they’re not at it, they are starting to get a bit twitchy about being classed as the big, bad, unfeeling, uncaring and unacceptable face of corporateland.
Yet I am not always entirely convinced that some really understand what CSR is. They’re far happier putting a CSR label on something and hoping the outside world believes they are doing the right thing.
These days it is all about being seen to do the right thing. Even if you are a million miles away from actually achieving it, put a CSR label on it and the world smiles with you.
Banks exploiting charities thanks to a convenient loophole is no surprise.
The fact they were sloppy and complacent enough to get caught should form the basis of the real shock.
And yet even this arrogant shoddiness is nothing new these days.
So what does CSR mean?
How about Cunning, Spurious and Repellent?