The Ethical Corporation, a global business publication dealing with corporate social, environmental and financial responsibility hosted the Responsible Business Summit, which provided a venue for people interested in corporate social responsibility (CSR) to meet and network with others interested in seeing business make a positive impact, listen to speakers, and participate in roundtable discussions. Topics included how to achieve long-term CSR, global supply chain issues, and international questions, just to name a few.
One topic discussed during the summit was the problem of simply assessing human rights and social issues, without actually implementing plans and making any changes. Steven Wilding, a conference director at Ethical Corporation, tweeted: “Lots of companies putting together excellent human rights impact assessment but not matched by implementation on the ground.”
While it may seem counterintuitive, according to Kathy Pickus, the Divisional VP of Global Citizenship and Policy of Abbott Fund, “Businesses, when acting like businesses, make more substantial changes than when acting as philanthropists.” To implement good CSR practices, corporations must carry out good business that respects human rights, not just donate some of their profits to charity. Plans, assessments, and donations are good, but they must be supplemented by direct actions in improving business practice.
The Summit provided a forum for attendees to discuss issues that they faced in their businesses and share ideas about how to better the world. As the Summit got underway, attendees began tweeting reactions, highlights, quotes, and favorite facts with the hash tag #rbsusa – check it out if you want to learn more and share the inspiration.
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