One of the best definitions of “corporate responsibility” I have come across is as follows:“Corporate responsibility is the basis on which business renegotiates and aligns the boundaries of its accountability.” (Source).
Business’ negotiating partners are governments and civil society at large. Accountability for who is responsible for positive and negative outcomes is not crystal clear because this dialogue evolves as our world and societies do.
Take for example externalities associated with the use of the car: congestion, road accidents, environmental pollution, and infrastructure damage.
In 1933 there were 26 million motor vehicles registered in the USA. By 2005 there were 26 million Sports Utility Vehicles (SUV’s) alone, and a total of 136 million vehicles registered. In 1933 we had not even heard of things like acid rain and climate change, nor could we imagine the terrible impacts road accidents would come to have on our families and communities.
- Alyson Slater GRI’s Strategy and Communications Director.
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