Rudd Government Wants Partnership on CSR
Wednesday, 30th April 2008 at 1:35 pm
The Rudd Government has called on the corporate sector to work in partnership to meet the challenges of sustainability and tackle disadvantage and exclusion.
Senator Ursula Stephens, the Parliamentary Secretary for Social Inclusion and the Voluntary Sector used the CSR Practitioners Forum, at the University of Sydney recently to outline the partnership.
Senator Stephens said CSR can no longer just be about philanthropy or charity, but has become integral to way that the corporate sector ‘does business’. It also extends beyond compliance with corporate regulation.
She said true CSR can only be delivered through a long-term view of the impacts of business on society and environment. It has to be part of core business.
She said business must be part of the solution to deal with sustainability challenges – the achievement of positive social and environmental outcomes is not possible without all hands on deck from every community and sector.
The Senator said a laissez-faire approach to Corporate Responsibility by Government is not good enough. It is time to work in partnership to meet these sustainability challenges and tackle disadvantage and exclusion.
She said it is also time to give CSR a voice and celebrate the work that many organisations are already doing. But constructive cultural change to encourage and grow CSR in Australia can only be developed with a close consultative partnership with business.
The Senator flagged questions \ that the Rudd Government was keen to address:
– How to tap innovative solutions and social enterprise?
– How to align government and corporate agendas to meet shared targets and outcomes against a solid evidence base?
– How to continue the continuum from philanthropy-only approach to full integration of CSR in business, especially for small to medium-sized enterprises?
The Senator concluded that while Corporate Philanthropy for its own sake has its place, a well-defined and effective CSR campaign identifies and addresses issues that impact both on the company and the wider community.