If you only read one thing this week…

NGOs and corporations – what’s wrong with CSR? by Nick
July 18, 2011, 7:55 am
Filed under: Articles, Environment, If you only have 15 mins

Andrew Pendleton’s 2004 report (Institute for Public Policy Research) for Christian Aid on the issues and perils of NGO engagement with corporate power is a sobering read that looks at some of the trends, what has been achieved, and some learning about what can and cannot be reasonably expected from dialogue and engagement.

Pendleton concludes that a shift from self governed Corporate Social Responsibility to legal structures that produce Corporate Social Accountability by allowing those harmed by corporate action to seek redress through national and international law is a major avenue that does not receive enough attention.

Read the report “Behind the Mark – the real face of corporate social responsibility” (surprisingly digestible) here, or read the rather more forceful one pager from CorporateWatch here.

Proponents of dialogue see it as the best chance we have, faced with the reality of corporate dominance. But this is only true if other realities cannot be conceived of and brought into being …

Many NGOs are choosing what is essentially a palliative campaign strategy, one that tries to make conditions more bearable rather than solving the problem. As the world’s ecological crisis worsens, many of the organisations we’ve trusted to fight the destruction are effectively reinforcing the power of the destructive corporations. As our need for change becomes ever more urgent, and the solutions needed ever more drastic, some NGOs find themselves actually asking for less and less change.” – Corporate Watch.


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