Corporate Responsibility Needs A Broader Definition, New NPA Report Says

Source: The National Policy Association, 20 September 2002

President Bush has argued that there is "no capitalism without conscience." He and other policymakers have developed an array of public policies to promote corporate responsibility. But these officials define corporate responsibility too narrowly.

In a new book released today by the National Policy Association (NPA), Susan Ariel Aaronson and James T. Reeves argue that corporate responsibility is not just about ethical behavior and accounting practices, it is also about how companies act towards their stakeholders as well as their shareholders.
This book, Corporate Responsibility in the Global Village: The Role of Public Policy, examines what other nations are doing to promote global corporate social responsibility (CSR).

The authors demonstrate that the nations doing the most are the three in the world that have entrepreneurial cultures most similar to the United States — Great Britain, Canada, and the Netherlands. These nations have made equitable and sustainable growth at the national and international level more of a priority than growth per se.

Finally, the book examines the signals that U.S. policymakers send to market actors, and makes recommendations for U.S. policy. These recommendations include defining global CSR; making the U.S. government a CSR model in its behavior and its procurement; and requiring companies to report on their global social and environmental performance, as well as their profit performance.

The publication will be released at a September 26 international investment seminar on socially responsible investing, co-hosted by NPA, Congressman Sander Levin (D-MI), and the Congressional Economic Leadership Institute on Capital Hill. More information about this seminar can be found on NPAs Web site.