CSR - Letters from Europe

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CSR - Letters from Europe

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What #CSR & #sustainability look like across the pond: http://bit.ly/ziU6aj. @justmeans teams up with @davidcoethica #europe #union

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Thursday, February 23, 2012 - 3:40pm



In case you hadn't noticed, the majority of online content and conversation in the Corporate Social Responsibility space originates in the good old US of A. Maybe that is no surprise as population size alone provides robust reasoning in addition to a more communicative culture, than many more of my reserved UK based compatriots.

In an effort to redress the balance, this is the first of a series of weekly blogs offering a focus on CSR related activity from the European side of the Atlantic, where we stumble into two immediate hurdles. We need to clarify what we mean by CSR, and to also define what Europe actually is - briefly.

Europe first - in a few words...

If you thought CSR was a tough nut to define 'Europe' is another playground of hyperactive cats to attempt to herd. Common usage of the term can vary between cultural, geographical and political perspectives so here are a few useful points to help understand this vague and multi-cultural beast:

Europe is:

•  a continent divided from Asia consisting of 50 countries.
•  the second smallest continent in size but also the third most populous at approx 738 million
•  home to the European Union (27 member countries - population approx 500 million) - a political and economic union born out of the European Economic Community of 1958.
•  incredibly varied in component size from the largest country Russia (1.5 million square miles in Europe alone / 110,000,000 people), compared to the tiny Vatican City (0.17 square miles / 800 people).
•  socio-economically diverse with GDP per capita varying from a high in Luxembourg of 271 PPS to a low in Albania of just 28 PPS. (EU average = 100 Purchasing Power Standards - PPS)*
•  23 languages are officially recognised (with over 200 present).
•  both sides of the previous political Iron Curtain since the fall of the Berlin wall.
•  unfortunately responsible for the Eurovision Song Contest.

...and currently there is Greece as a focal point for continued economic migraines.

No shortage of CSR angles to investigate, compare, discuss and share!

CSR over here...

Since November 2011 I've been coming to terms with the latest stab at nailing an at least Europe wide agreed description of CSR. The renewed EU strategy (2011 - 2014) for Corporate Social Responsibility offers the following welcome concise definition:

Click here to continue reading and comment


David is an ethical business advocate, an entrepreneur and commentator. He is the Founder of Coethica, a UK based company that advocates, promotes and supports an entrepreneurial approach to values based business encouraging particularly smaller business to improve overall performance through social and environmental lenses. David also sits on numerous social enterprise and entrepreneurship support boards including www.ethecol.com and www.acornalliance.com Prior to Coethica he was responsible for the multi-award winning Community Programme at Everton Football Club and also managed the England Amputee Football Squad.

Keywords: Responsible Business & Employee Engagement | Europe | European Union | corporate social responsiblity | csr