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Autor     Reinhard Steurer, Sharon Margula, Gerald Berger
Titel    Coordinating SCP and CSR policies with Sustainable Development Strategies
Herausgeber    European Sustainable Development Network
Ort    Paris
Datum    June 2008
Anmerkung    Discussion Paper for the European Sustainable Development Network ESDN Conference 2008 June 29 – July 1, 2008 in Paris, France
URL    http://www.sd-network.eu/pdf/conferences/2008_paris/ESDN%20Conference%202008_Discussion%20paper.pdf

Literaturverz.   

no
Fußnoten    no
Fragmente    3


Fragmente der Quelle:
[1.] Msc/Fragment 077 18 - Diskussion
Zuletzt bearbeitet: 2014-12-23 09:33:46 Hindemith
Fragment, Gesichtet, KomplettPlagiat, Msc, SMWFragment, Schutzlevel sysop, Steurer et al 2008

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Untersuchte Arbeit:
Seite: 77, Zeilen: 18-42
Quelle: Steurer et al 2008
Seite(n): 12, 13, Zeilen: 12: last paragraph; 13: 1ff
CSR policies in Europe, the role of governments and the EU-Member State interface

Why should governments care about CSR? While several actors oppose the view that governments should take action with regard to CSR by emphasising that the concept is widely regarded as a voluntary business or management approach, there are good reasons suggesting that governments should not leave the field entirely to businesses and civil society actors. Among these reasons are, for example, the following:

Since CSR is concerned with managing business relations with a broad variety of stakeholders, the concept obviously reshapes not only management routines, but also the roles and relations of all three societal domains, i.e. businesses, governments and civil society. Consequently, CSR is not only a management approach that can be left to the discretion of managers, but it is also a highly political concept that entails societal conflicts as well as a considerable scope for new government activities.

The widely shared view that CSR is voluntary does not contradict the fact that respective activities are often a response to stakeholder pressure; it emphasises that CSR practices are not required by law but go beyond legal standards. Thus, governments inevitably define CSR negatively with regulations, and they want to define it also positively with softer, non-binding policy instruments.

These CSR policies coincide with a broader transition of public governance altogether, away from command and control towards more network-like and partnering arrangements. In this respect, CSR policies can be seen as a key component of a broader transition to new governance forms that is observed in several policy fields.

In addition, governments care about CSR because respective business activities can help to meet public policy goals of sustainable development without making use of often un-popular (or even politically infeasible) regulations.

Topic 2 CSR policies, the role of governments and the EU-Member State interface

Why should governments care about CSR? While several actors oppose the view that governments should take action with regard to CSR by emphasising that the concept is widely regarded as a voluntary business or management approach, there are good reasons suggesting that governments should not leave the field entirely to businesses and civil society actors. Among these reasons are, for example, the following:

[page 13]

Since CSR is concerned with managing business relations with a broad variety of stakeholders, the concept obviously reshapes not only management routines, but also the roles and relations of all three societal domains, i.e. businesses, governments and civil society. Consequently, CSR is not only a management approach that can be left to the discretion of managers, but it is also a highly political concept that entails societal conflicts as well as a considerable scope for new government activities.

The widely shared view that CSR is voluntary does not contradict the fact that respective activities are often a response to stakeholder pressure; it emphasises that CSR practices are not required by law but go beyond legal standards. Thus, governments inevitably define CSR negatively with regulations, and they want to define it also positively with softer, non-binding policy instruments.

These CSR policies coincide with a broader transition of public governance altogether, away from command and control towards more network-like and partnering arrangements. In this respect, CSR policies can be seen as a key component of a broader transition to new governance forms that is observed in several policy fields.

In addition, governments care about CSR because respective business activities can help to meet public policy goals of sustainable development without making use of often un-popular (or even politically infeasible) regulations.

Anmerkungen

The source is not mentioned.

Sichter
(Hindemith), PlagProf:-)

[2.] Msc/Fragment 078 01 - Diskussion
Zuletzt bearbeitet: 2014-12-23 09:33:42 Hindemith
Fragment, Gesichtet, KomplettPlagiat, Msc, SMWFragment, Schutzlevel sysop, Steurer et al 2008

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Quelle: Steurer et al 2008
Seite(n): 13, 14, Zeilen: 13: 19ff; 14: 1ff
In this context, some authors emphasise that CSR and respective public policies can help to compensate for the failure of governments to achieve public policy goals or solve problems with regulations. Some scholars argue that in the contemporary neo-liberal age, relationships between corporations and societal groups are less likely to be the subject of state interventionism than they were in the Keynesian age, which ended in the late 1970s. A decrease of state interventionism might open up the possibilities for more ‗responsible‘ [sic] forms of interaction between stakeholder groupings, devolved to enterprise level.

In recent years, however, opposing views on the roles of governments with regard to CSR have come to the fore vividly at the EU level. After the Lisbon European Council in March 2000, the European Commission stepped up its activities on CSR in various ways. It, for example, formulated its position on CSR in a Green Paper entitled ―Promoting a European framework for Corporate Social Responsibility in which it framed CSR for the first time in the context of sustainable development. In 2002, the European Commission (2002) released a communication on CSR that explored also some ambitious CSR policy options aiming to increase convergence and transparency of CSR practices and tools across Europe. In the same year, the Commission also launched a multi-stakeholder forum on CSR. The key purpose of the forum was to promote the transparency and convergence of CSR practices and instruments across Europe. In June 2004, the stakeholder forum presented its conclusions and recommendations to the European Commission (European Multi Stakeholder Forum on CSR, 2004). With the change of the Commission in 2004, the EU has changed its CSR policy from a pro-active approach of fostering stakeholder pressure to a passive approach that emphasises businesses self-regulation. In March 2006, Commissioner Verheugen declared openly, Originally, the Commission‘s plans looked very different. The department responsible wanted to publish naming-and-shaming lists [of companies] and to create a monitoring system for the implementation of the CSR principles. I had to halt this enthusiasm for new regulations‖ [sic] (Financial Times, 22 March 2006). Richard Howitt, British Labour Member of the European Parliament commented the new course pointedly: The Commission wants Europe to be 'a pole of excellence' in business, but instead has dumped five years of debate and consultation into a black hole. The Commission says that public authorities should create an enabling environment for CSR yet opts out from any proposals for concrete action for itself, simply repeating generalisations which we have all read before. The failure to build on extensive work since 2001 creates the risk that companies, as well as other interests, will walk away from the debate. If this is all the Commission can come up with, Europe risks being sidelined on a critical issue for the future of business, while the UN Global Compact and the Global Reporting Initiative take the lead on CSR.

Without being able to follow the history of CSR policies at the EU level here in more detail, or to outline CSR policies at the Member State level, we can draw the following conclusion. Although public policies on CSR have a soft-law character, they are nevertheless subject to considerable political controversies, and there is a considerable scope for pursuing a rather passive or pro-active course. Thus, we propose the following discussion question:

In how far can/should national and EU public policies on CSR contribute to Sustainable Development (SD) and Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP)?

National coordination of SCP and CSR policies and respective actors

Member States take different approaches in coordinating SCP and CSR policies. Regarding SCP, three basic options are, firstly, to pursue SCP with separate action plans or frameworks, or, secondly, to integrate SCP into national SD strategies.

In this context, some authors emphasise that CSR and respective public policies can help to compensate for the failure of governments to achieve public policy goals or solve problems with regulations. Some scholars argue that in the contemporary neo-liberal age, relationships between corporations and societal groups are less likely to be the subject of state interventionism than they were in the Keynesian age, which ended in the late 1970s. A decrease of state interventionism "might open up the possibilities for more 'responsible' forms of interaction between stakeholder groupings, devolved to enterprise level" (Mellahi & Wood 2003, 190f; see also Rondinelli & Berry 2000, 74; Banerjee 2002, 8).

In recent years, however, opposing views on the roles of governments with regard to CSR have come to the fore vividly at the EU level. After the Lisbon European Council in March 2000, the European Commission stepped up its activities on CSR in various ways. It, for example, formulated its position on CSR in a Green Paper entitled "Promoting a European framework for corporate social responsibility" (European Commission 2001) in which it framed CSR for the first time in the context of sustainable development. In 2002, the European Commission (2002) released a communication on CSR that explored also some ambitious CSR policy options aiming to increase convergence and transparency of CSR practices and tools across Europe. In the same year, the Commission also launched a multi-stakeholder forum on CSR. The key purpose of the forum was to promote the transparency and convergence of CSR practices and instruments across Europe. In June 2004, the stakeholder forum presented its conclusions and recommendations to the European Commission (European Multi Stakeholder Forum on CSR, 2004). With the change of the Commission in 2004, the EU has changed its CSR policy from a pro-active approach of fostering stakeholder pressure to a passive approach that emphasises businesses self-regulation (Steurer 2006). In March 2006, Commissioner Verheugen declared openly, "Originally, the Commission‘s plans looked very different. The department responsible wanted to publish naming-and-shaming lists [of companies] and to create a monitoring system for the implementation of the CSR principles. I had to halt this enthusiasm for new regulations" (Financial Times, 22 March 2006). Richard Howitt, British Labour Member of the European Parliament commented the new course pointedly: "The Commission wants Europe to be 'a pole of excellence' in business, but instead has dumped five years of debate and consultation into a black hole. The Commission says that public authorities should create an enabling environment for

[page 14]

CSR yet opts out from any proposals for concrete action for itself, simply repeating generalisations which we have all read before. The failure to build on extensive work since 2001 creates the risk that companies, as well as other interests, will walk away from the debate. If this is all the Commission can come up with, Europe risks being sidelined on a critical issue for the future of business, while the UN Global Compact and the Global Reporting Initiative take the lead on CSR".1

Without being able to follow the history of CSR policies at the EU level here in more detail, or to outline CSR policies at the Member State level (for details, see the ESDN Quarterly Report June 2008 by clicking here), we can draw the following conclusion. Although public policies on CSR have a soft-law character, they are nevertheless subject to considerable political controversies, and there is a considerable scope for pursuing a rather passive or pro-active course. Thus, we propose the following discussion question:

In how far can/should national and EU public policies on CSR contribute to SD and SCP?

Topic 3 National coordination of SCP and CSR policies and respective actors

Member States take different approaches in coordinating SCP and CSR policies. Regarding SCP, three basic options are, firstly, to pursue SCP with separate action plans or frameworks, or, secondly, to integrate SCP into national SD strategies (European Commission, 2004b).


1 http://www.euractiv.com/en/socialeurope/ csr-corporate-social-responsibility/article-153515

Anmerkungen

The source is not mentioned.

Note that in the thesis in the first documented paragraph one finds "‗responsible‘" [sic]. These unusual signs are created when one copies and then pastes the correct looking signs in the source. This indicates that the text has been copied from the source via copy-paste. Similarly the sign "‖" is created by copying and pasting a quotation mark in the source.

Note that some quotation marks and references have been removed in the dissertation as compared to the source.

Sichter
(Hindemith), PlagProf:-)

[3.] Msc/Fragment 079 01 - Diskussion
Zuletzt bearbeitet: 2014-12-30 10:39:18 Hindemith
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[A third option is to start out with an] SCP action plan or framework, and to merge it with the SD strategy later on. The third option is, for example, recommended by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). As the figure below illustrates, it depicts SCP policy making as a cycle that moves from a national inventory catalogue of ongoing SCP activities via an SCP action plan to the full integration of SCP in a major national strategy process, such as an Environmental Action Plan or a SD strategy (UNEP, 2008). This step-wise approach was taken, for instance, in the Czech Republic, Finland, and the UK.

Figure 12: SCP policy making as a cycle (author’s illustration, embedded image)

Msc 079a diss.png

If we explore the extent to which the SD strategies of 19 EU Member States refer to SCP in their objectives, the following picture emerges. 18 of the 19 SD strategies refer to SCP in their objectives. Among them, 6 mention SCP between 1-3 times, 8 between 4-6 times and 4 more than 7 times. Member States that have integrated SCP from the outset into their NSDS are, for example, Austria and France.

A similarity in the context of CSR is that EU Member States organise and coordinate CSR policies in very different ways. Apart from this, however, we find a different picture than in the context of SCP. While in most countries several actors pursue a variety of initiatives in a decentralized way, some (mostly leading) countries approach CSR policies in a more coordinated way. The United Kingdom, for example, has appointed a Minister for CSR, and the Netherlands and Sweden have established CSR platforms that bundle several government activities. SD strategies, however, pay hardly any attention to CSR. Another look into the same database on SD strategy objectives revealed that 8 out of 19 SD strategies from across Europe do not contain a single objective on CSR, and most of the remaining 11 SD strategies contain only one vague reference to promoting CSR‖ [sic] with unspecified means. Although SD and CSR both aim to better integrate economic, social and environmental issues, joint efforts obviously still face sectoral and institutional barriers. While the SD agenda is often dominated by environmental issues and ministries, expertise on CSR policies is mainly affiliated with Ministries of Labour and Social Security. It can be concluded that, ― [sic] the close conceptual link between SD and CSR given, ignoring CSR policies in SD strategies is a missed chance of bridging the obvious gap between the two closely related policy fields.

A third option is to start out with an SCP action plan or framework, and to merge it with the SD strategy later on.

The third option is, for example, recommended by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). As figure 4 illustrates, it depicts SCP policy making as a cycle that moves from a national inventory catalogue of ongoing SCP activities via an SCP action plan to the full integration of SCP in a major national strategy process, such as an Environmental Action Plan or a SD strategy (UNEP, 2008). This step-wise approach was taken, for instance, in the Czech Republic, Finland, and the UK (ETC/RWM, 2007).

Msc 079a source.png

Figure 4: National SCP Programme Cycle (Source: UNEP, 2008)

[page 15]

If we explore the extent to which the SD strategies of 19 EU Member States refer to SCP in their objectives, the following picture emerges (for methodological details of the underlying study, click here). 18 of the 19 SD strategies refer to SCP in their objectives. Among them, 6 mention SCP between 1-3 times, 8 between 4-6 times and 4 more than 7 times. Member States that have integrated SCP from the outset into their NSDS are, for example, Austria and France (ETC/RWM, 2007).

A similarity in the context of CSR is that EU Member States organise and coordinate CSR policies in very different ways. Apart from this, however, we find a different picture than in the context of SCP. While in most countries several actors pursue a variety of initiatives in a decentralized way, some (mostly leading) countries approach CSR policies in a more coordinated way. The UK, for example, has appointed a Minister for CSR, and the Netherlands and Sweden have established CSR platforms that bundle several government activities. SD strategies, however, pay hardly any attention to CSR. Another look into the same database on SD strategy objectives revealed that 8 out of 19 SD strategies from across Europe do not contain a single objective on CSR, and most of the remaining 11 SD strategies contain only one vague reference to "promoting CSR" with unspecified means (for methodological details of the underlying study, click here). Although SD and CSR both aim to better integrate economic, social and environmental issues, joint efforts obviously still face sectoral and institutional barriers. While the SD agenda is often dominated by environmental issues and ministries, expertise on CSR policies is mainly affiliated with Ministries of Labour and Social Security. In the ESDN Quarterly Report June 2008 we conclude that, "the close conceptual link between SD and CSR given, ignoring CSR policies in SD strategies is a missed chance of bridging the obvious gap between the two closely related policy fields".

Anmerkungen

The source is not mentioned.

Note that the author claims to have created the graphical illustration in figure 12, which in the original was attributed to "UNEP, 2008".

Note that the signs "‖" and "―" in the dissertation are created by copying and pasting quotation marks in the source.

Sichter
(Hindemith), PlagProf:-)

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