The Washington Post Equates CSR with Charity: #FAIL

The Washington Post Equates CSR with Charity: #FAIL

Was Corporate Social Responsibility responsible for the BP spill? Absolutely! (so says the Washington Post)
Tuesday, July 20, 2010 - 8:06am


Realized Worth Blog

CSR? Don't quit you're day job!

I was flabbergasted. I had to read the article three times just to be sure I wasn’t missing some essential qualifier. Here was the Washington Post equating Corporate Social Responsibility with charity and philanthropy.

“But the gulf oil spill and the financial crisis have taught us, rather brutally, that the heart of the relationship between business and society doesn't lie with the charitable deeds that companies do in their off-hours but whether they are doing their day jobs in ways that help -- or hurt -- the rest of us.”

Chrystia Freeland, global editor at large for Thomson Reuters, wrote the article “What’s BP’s social responsibility?” (Sunday, July 18, 2010). Google reader brought it to my attention and halfway through the first paragraph I was hooked - particularly at the point where Chrystia suggests, “I would like to suggest a third, inanimate culprit: the cult of corporate social responsibility.”

The premise of Chrystia’s article is that the oil spill happened because BP took their eye off the ball of doing business well. And she’s right. BP has made a big deal of their CSR focus, all the while neglecting the basics of good business such as safety standards. Compared even to the likes of Exxon, BP looks quite careless and uncaring when it comes to the triple bottom line of people, profit and planet. In one fell swoop, they’ve compromised the BP brand in all three areas.

Read the rest of the article here.