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Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is referred to in the US as ‘corporate responsibility’ and on the Continent it is subsumed under the wider concept of ‘sustainable development’. Whatever the tag, it boils down to the same thing. Whereas historically businesses have focused on maximising shareholder value, now shareholders are only one of a number of ‘stakeholders’ whose interests companies must answer to – others include suppliers, customers, the wider community and workers. In addition to financial performance, businesses should concern themselves with their social and environmental impact. Hence the so-called ‘triple bottom line’.

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