Years ago I ordered a dish of Norweigan wild salmon from the menu of a swish Restaurant in London. The plate arrived and my friend, a keen angler, examined the fish and called for the waiter. “Has this salmon ever seen an open river?” He asked. “If it had, it would have twisted and turned and the bones would not be so close together. Give us the price for the bottom-of-the-pool cousin!”

My angling friend was absolutely right. The Restaurant was using notions of a wild habitat to increase perceptions of value and, to up the price when, in fact, the fish had been farmed in no more than the calm waters of a mass production tank near Swindon. CSR or Corporate Social Responsibility may well be suffering from the same fate as it has become the latest Corporate fad to convey notions of being in tune with the social and environmental issues as a way to protect – and sometimes grow – bottom line margin.

How can we ensure that CSR means more than the blurb in a glitzy Annual Report? (more…)