Finance directors have warned the government against introducing legislation
to encourage more socially responsible business practices.
Industry should be provided with tools and guidance to manage their corporate
social responsibility initiatives, but without the government’s interference,
according to a roundtable series capturing the views of 60 senior finance
managers in industry.
Half study, Corporate Responsibility and the Modern Business
Leader, also found that corporate responsibility practices helped with
staff retention and recruitment.
FDs were also demanding better measurement and reporting in order to identify
best CSR practice, and demonstrating this to shareholders.
‘Phil Sheridan, UK MD of Robert Half, said: ‘Corporate responsibility and its
impact on business today is very much at the forefront of corporate and
government agendas. The role of the accounting and finance team in this agenda
is becoming more significant, and indeed beneficial, as corporate responsibility
becomes a part of day to day business life.’
Investments in environmentally friendly products and business technologies,
create shareholder value, according to roundtable participants, and they thought
there was a growing philanthropic mindset among business leaders, customers and
suppliers. This was prompting organisations to adopt formal corporate social
responsibility programmes, they said.
‘As society increasingly recognises the need for a world that is sustainable,
consumers and shareholders will, in my view, attach a premium to those groups
with the best corporate responsibility records,’ said Robin Fieth, ICAEW
executive director for finance and operations at the ICAEW.
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