Changing Face Of CSR: New Trends Redefine Doing Well By Doing Good

When the oil tanker Exxon Valdez hit Bligh Reef off the coast of Alaska in March of 1989 and subsequently spilled millions of gallons of oil into the waters, it quickly became a crisis of international proportions; more than that, it also sent environmentalism into a new stratosphere of corporate (and non-corporate) interest. Whether or not that tragedy was the bait for increased attention to environmentally sound business practices, it certainly kick-started a wave of corporate social responsibility (CSR)-themed initiatives and concerns throughout the business world. After all, $287 million in actual damages, $5 billion in punitive damages and 1,900 kilometers of affected coastline aren't numbers that can be brushed off easily. But now, nearly 20 years later, CSR is the crux of an evolution that will redefine the practice. Surveys are returning numbers and revealing findings that challenge the traditional "green-only" focus of CSR practices, and communications executives are taking note.

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