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You might have come across CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility), a term which is becoming widely used in our companies, but what is it and what can it do for you?
CSR can make a significant contribution towards sustainability both in Europe and globally, and is a competitive advantage. "A concept whereby companies integrate social and environmental concerns in their business operations and in their interaction with their stakeholders on a voluntary basis."
To effectively "think" CSR, companies look at two operational aspects: the quality of their management - in terms of both people and processes (the inner circle); and the nature of, and level of, their impact on society across various areas, such as the environment.
We know external stakeholders are taking an increasing interest in the activities of companies – ready to praise or criticize. At the same time internal stakeholders are not only interested in the financial future of the company but also in their well-being within it, its values or whether it respects the environment.
This is one of many challenges in a changing world which will have an impact on our decision-making processes and the regulatory framework in which we function. Recently in Belgium, measures have been taken to strengthen the governance for listed companies. Further measures are expected in other areas of the law: safety, environment, public procurement, etc. As lawyers, we aim to keep you abreast of those developments; we will inform you about those projects and try not only to explain the existing regulations but also to give you the broader picture.
Stanislas van Wassenhove
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