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CSR, Sustainable Development, and the Future of Businesses

24 February, 2015 - 17:30

Peter Drucker, in his article, The New Meaning of Corporate Social Responsibility, explained that “the proper social responsibility of business is to tame the dragon that is to turn a social problem into economic opportunity and economic benefit, into productive capacity, into human competence, into well-paid jobs, and into wealth” (Berkhout,2007).

As evidenced in the case of Tetra Pack Colombia, a company with CSR and sustainable development aligned into its strategy can be effective in working with its community to solve a social problem. In this case, Tetra Pack Colombia was able to utilize waste that impacted the environment; worked with the government to coordinate efforts to improve the welfare and the quality of life of its community; worked with companies in the community to develop knowledge and new technologies; and create new jobs and alternative, environmentally friendly new sources of material.

According to the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, “By 2050, 85% of the world’s population of some nine billion people will be in (less industrialized) countries. If these people are not by then engaged in the marketplace, business cannot prosper and the benefits of a global market will not exist. Clearly it is in our mutual interest to help societies shift to a more sustainable path.”

Companies will increasingly be called upon to participate to address challenges of social and environmental roots, both locally and globally. Sustainable development business opportunities exist everywhere and in all forms. Such opportunities include recycling, reducing, and reusing. Improved efficiencies, biotechnology, and miniaturization are other ideas. Innovative leadership in life equality issues is becoming more and more of a trend today. It is no doubt that unique economic and environmental needs exist in industrial and less industrialized countries. CSR opportunities and challenges include promoting good labor practices and diversity, supporting health and education programs in the community. There are few limits in the design and implementation of socially responsible initiatives for a company.