Attila the Pun
Monday, March 07, 2005
Hear hear

Remember my rant some time ago about corporate responsibility? Well Paul Gilding (who is proof that some greenies are capable of rational discourse) is on the same theme today:

IF the Australian economy goes into recession, not only will it end our long economic boom, it will also be the end for many corporate social responsibility programs, with companies slashing or eliminating them to reduce costs. That will confirm what a weak and ineffective concept it is.

People concerned about environmental and social sustainability would be well served by the death of CSR. It needs to be replaced by a far more market-focused approach, a more Darwinian sustainability that sees environmental and social trends as opportunities for growth and competitive advantage.

Exactly - for a company, it should always be about the Benjamins. Increasingly, especially in the affluent West, the profits will flow to companies that people see as socially responsible - through attracting better staff, higher sales etc. For an artificial construct like a company, getting them to act in a certain way because it is the "right thing to do" is difficult if not impossible. A company should be a finely honed profit making machine:

But I don't want companies behaving responsibly out of moral guilt. This won't get companies to embrace sustainability with sincerity, let alone urgency or speed. I want companies to embrace sustainability because it will help them whip their competition. I want sustainability to be Darwinian.

My favorite paragraph:

This will apply in many different sectors, with the winners making more money - and good luck to them. I hope they rake it in. Those that fail to do so will fall by the wayside. Hey, that's what makes capitalism the cuddly creature it is. Winners win and losers lose. Creative destruction at work.

Worth a read.

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