During recent decades, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has grown at an explosive rate, and global CSR frameworks have proliferated. This chapter provides an overview of these initiatives which include the United Nations Global Compact, the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, and the Global Reporting Initiative for non-financial reporting. It then focuses on EU-level CSR. Two lessons emerge from this analysis. First, CSR is dynamic and constantly evolving. Second, CSR is contested and conflictual. Stakeholders disagree over whether CSR is by definition voluntary or involves some degree of regulation by public authorities. One example of this is the change in the European Commission’s definition of CSR between 2001 and 2011. Civil society groups were unhappy with the EU’s first definition, and business organizations are unhappy with the second one. There is much at stake in these conflicts: as a result of business and German government resistance, the scope of the EU Directive 2014/95/EU which mandates non-financial reporting for large companies has been significantly reduced.
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- Global and EU-Level Corporate Social Responsibility: Dynamism, Growth, and Conflict
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