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Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Sustainability

Does Corporate Social Responsibility Affect the Bottom Line? Yes....and No

Corporate Social Responsibility is not an option. Even companies with poor CSR performance rankings are scrambling to get it right. This may become the most important business strategy on the horizon.

The question everyone is asking

Does CSR help or hurt the bottom line? The Washington Post asked this question yesterday in an article by Christopher Flavelle. It covered some of the same territory as my post here from the Friday before - Corporate Social Responsibility is Just Self-Interest. Given the present financial disarray and wide-spread operational belt-tightening, will Corporate Social Responsibility programs be the first things dismissed as optional? (See - Cutting Back on Charitable Donations - a No-brainer?)

Utilizing an interactive tool - the Socially Responsible Investing Stock Screener available on they decided to put the question to a scientific test:

We took the 100 most responsible companies and the 100 least responsible and randomly selected a sample of 25 from within each group. For each of those companies, we compared the stock price on Feb. 11, 2008, before the worst of the economic crisis, and 12 months later, on Feb. 10, 2009. Then, for each of those two groups of 25, we calculated the average change in stock price. Had one group been harder hit by the downturn?

The results? Interesting.

The most interesting outcome? The interviews with the three worst ranking companies on the list - Eastman Chemical, Lockheed Martin, and ExxonMobil.

Read the full article here.

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