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Some critics of CSR claim it is little more than greenwashing; to what extent do you agree or disagree?
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Some critics of CSR claim that it is little more than greenwashing; to what extent do you agree or disagree?
A good reputation is one of the significant intangible assets of the company which enable it to have the edge over the competitors and enjoy a premium position in the market. A reputed company can charge a high price, has an easy approach to the financial market and attract investors (Elving & Vuuren, 2011). Generally, a good reputation symbolises the perceived success of an organisation in meeting the expectations of its various stakeholders. In other words, the organisation has been able to fulfil its social responsibilities. CSR means that the organisation should align their activities in accordance with their stakeholder's expectations and should be accountable towards them (Aggarwal & Kadyan, 2014). Sometimes an organisation, in order to attain a good reputation, makes misleading or wrong claims about its environmental and social benefits. Such practice is known as greenwashing (Remi Bazillier, 2013). Greenwashing is when a company spends significantly more money on advertising being green than is actually spent upon taking green initiatives (BSR, 2009).
Corporate Social Responsibility is an ethical corporate practice which ensures alignment of operational decisions of organisations with the expectations of the stakeholders (Elving & Vuuren, 2011). It means the company is accountable towards the investors, customers, suppliers, employees, lenders and government. ISO 26000 also emphasises that the operations of an organisation should be aligned with the stakeholder’s expectations (ISO, 2016). The companies are going green to be competitive, and thus sustainability reporting and green marketing concepts have become quite popular (Aggarwal & Kadyan, 2014).
Sustainability reporting is a practice of measurement and disclosure of social and environmental initiatives taken by an organisation and green marketing is a practice of advertisement or promotion of the eco-friendly image of its products, processes and operations and of the organisation as a whole (Aggarwal & Kadyan, 2014). But nowadays, the practice of green marketing is being misused by organisations in order to build a false image of their products, brands in the eyes of customers and investors. That is why it is often said that green is now a new black (Delmas & Burbano, 2011).
Corporate Social Responsibility represents the intentions of an organisation to do well with the business operations in such a manner that it is beneficial for the business as well as its stakeholders. It represents an organisation as a good corporate citizen.