CSR "Preventing Progress," Concludes Study

A new study on corporate social responsibility (CSR) from Scotland's St. Andrews University concludes that corporate CSR programs "are so threadbare and misleading that they are preventing progress towards a sustainable future," reports the Sunday Herald. The study adds that CSR reports, which are produced by less than four percent of major companies, are "at best useless and at worst highly misleading." Study co-author Jan Bebbington, an environmental adviser to the Scottish Executive, warned, "Driven by globalisation, problems of pollution, waste and global warming are all threatening to disrupt humanity in unprecedented ways." She criticized UK Chancellor Gordon Brown for promoting "a light-touch regulatory environment" and abandoning "plans to make companies report their social and environmental impacts." The Confederation of British Industry welcomed Brown's move, calling the proposed reporting "overly legalistic."