A Good Time for CSR

    Devex recently published a piece on the types of career options in corporate social responsibility. Better read that one if you're eying to enter this field, because if Financial Times columnist Michael Skapinker is correct, then CSR will likely prosper-and therefore generate more jobs-amid the downturn.

    In his April 20 column, Skapinker said Mars, Cadbury and Wal-Mart are holding tight to their CSR programs as they boost these global companies' bottom line and public image.

    "Many of their initiatives help to cut costs or sustain supplies," he wrote, alluding to concerns by chocolate makers Mars and Cadbury about the future of cocoa supply. The International Cocoa Organization estimated that global cocoa production will decline to 3.5 million tons in 2008-2009 from the previous 3.7 million tons.

    "[CSR initiatives] allow customers to continue to regard themselves as ethical during difficult times," Skapinker continued. "They also help the companies to improve their public reputations at a time when business is widely held to be responsible for the downturn."

    Skapinker's observation boosts arguments by those calling for more backing toward CSR efforts, especially in today's economic situation.

    "The crisis has brought on fundamental changes in the relationships between firms and their employees, shareholders, suppliers and customers," Andrew Mack and Felipe Custer of AMGlobal Consulting wrote in an article for Devex. "These changes make CSR not just a good idea, but a good investment of company resources."

    As some senior Obama administration officials said, "Never waste a good crisis." Apparently, this crisis might just be good for corporate social responsibility.

    About the author

    • Eliza Villarino

      Eliza Villarino is an associate editor for Devex and leads the company's news team in Manila. She played a critical role in conceptualizing the Development Newswire. Prior to joining Devex in 2004, she has already published articles and news briefs for Internet media organizations and for the Institute for Ethics and Economic Policy at Fordham University in New York. She earned her bachelor's in political science and master's in public affairs from the University of the Philippines. Eliza is a member of Mensa Philippines.