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Beyond Corporate Social Responsibility: Ethics in Action

GVER, Vol. 6 No. 4, (2014)

The concept of sustainability, as originally developed in environmental ethics and associated with sustainable development (SD), is gaining attention in the business sector. Ethical responsibilities of a business actually address sustainable development in three dimensions: economic, ecological and social. The SD framework gives a new direction to the way Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) was previously comprehended. This paper argues that the SD framework of sustainability and sustainable development is a more appropriate choice.
This article reviews the CSR evolution and finds its essence at every decade for the past seventy years. The next section of the article discusses the limitations of the CSR approach, the importance of sustainability in business and introduces the sustainable development framework as a guideline for better social responsibility. There is a need for strong policy formulation for well-structured sustainable businesses where there is balance between all three pillars of profitability, society and environment. Mere CSR policies would not make a company sustainable.

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