Don't Tell Us To Do What We're Already Doing!

"The Business Council of Australia has come out against Government plans to create legislation forcing directors to meet certain levels of corporate social responsibility (CSR)," reports The Age. "Mandating CSR through legislative intervention runs the risk of stifling the innovation and creative approaches to CSR that are being adopted by Australian companies," claims the lobby group, in a report to Parliament. The report stresses, "The greatest social contribution made by corporations is through employment, the goods and services they create and the wealth these produce." It also highlights the existing CSR efforts of Council members. The chair of Morgan Stanley Australia says government mandates would result in less meaningful CSR: "People would invent a bit of jargon, for example 'societally appropriate value maximisation,' as a way of asserting that they were doing whatever Canberra thought it was causing them to do."


Since CSR is really PR, it's perfectly understandable that corporations wouldn't want governments in charge of it. For one thing, governments always try to do PR on the cheap. (Well, the Bushies are a notable exception, but then, they're really more corporation than government in any case.) Corporations seem to prefer that notorious cheapskates run social welfare programs, and leave them to spend freely on manipulating public opinions. Nathaniel Wander