At McDonald's, CSR Is Everybody's Business - A blog by Aman Singh

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At McDonald's, CSR Is Everybody's Business - A blog by Aman Singh

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The 3BL Media blog roll is a select list of the most influential, respected, and authoritative voices in corporate social responsibility. Compiled from the 3BL Media staff’s extensive contacts with longtime CSR commentators, these bloggers offer relevant news, opinions, and ideas about all things CSR in one convenient place.

Friday, September 10, 2010 - 3:46pm


There is an argument that some companies—such as those that deal in weapons and tobacco--just can't do corporate responsibility in a meaningful way. As a result, they are often excluded from CSR rankings and benchmarking exercises. But what about a company like McDonald's under constant fire for its products? How does the world's largest fast-food chain practice corporate social responsibility that is both contextual and real?

At McDonald's recent inclusion and diversity benchmarking event, Senior Manager for Corporate Social Responsibility Kathleen Bannan began her presentation with a statement that will resonate with several regular readers of this space: "CSR is everybody's business."

Bannan was attempting to highlight the evolution from how the company used to interpret CSR and what it has come to mean today, i.e., a shift from purely philanthropic ventures to a core element of the company's long term strategy. Although the last part might be too much to swallow for critics who claim that a company that sells fast food and offers plastic toys cannot spout responsibility, Bannan offered some interesting context.

It's worth remembering as you read further that the CSR department at McDonald's lives within the inclusion and diversity team. According to Bannan, who is a Boston College graduate and previously worked for the Center for Corporate Citizenship, having a home within the diversity department offers her team a unique opportunity to participate in shaping the company's long-term strategy. Further, alignment with Global Chief Diversity Officer Pat Harris' vision ensures that CSR remain relevant for the company.

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Keywords: Aman Singh | CSR | Commentary | Corporate Social Responsibility | Corporations | Education | McDonald's | Social Entrepreneurship | Sustainability | socent