What Happens When Big Business Media Reports on CSR

The WSJ has published a downbeat assessment of CSR. The article cited a study showing that CEOs exiting Fortune 500 companies were 84% more likely to be fired if they invested strongly in good corporate citizenry yet recorded below par financial results than CEOs at poor performing companies that spent less on “do-good” initiatives. This decidedly defensive claim was offset by an upbeat article in the Financial Times. It notes that a survey of 500 pension funds, foundations, endowments, and sovereign wealth funds found that two-thirds of big investors believe sustainable investing will grow in significance by 2022. Further, studies show a “remarkable correlation” between responsible investing and outperforming results. Who to believe? The wise CSR/sustainability professional will collate carefully from such “mainstream” sources to ensure an accurate reading of the pluses and minuses of CSR—and stay tuned to this space, which curates the CSR news.

John Howell, Editorial Director

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