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CSR and sustainable development: are the concepts compatible?

Abstract : Purpose – In France, an application decree from February 2002 enumerates a series of operational indicators that companies must offer, including a number of accounting and financial items. The information expected notably includes working time organisation, gender equality, health and safety, disability policies, subcontractor arrangements, water, raw material and energy consumption and biodiversity efforts. The present study aims to account for the diversity of the social and environmental information that companies supply by focusing on three stakeholder categories: suppliers; customers; and employees. It also seeks to highlight possible variations among different sectors of activity; influence of three pillars of sustainability (economic, social and environmental); timeframe (short-term, long-term, analytical); and type of discourse (situational or action variables). Design/methodology/approach – Based on 40 French companies as a qualitative approach, the purpose of the present communication is to offer a discussion of the structuring modes applied to the information found in sustainability reports targeting stakeholders for all the companies belonging to the CAC 40 index. Findings – Mobilizing a structural contents analysis, its findings identify differentiated communications practices among the 40 companies in question. The study also unveils the existence of shorter-term approaches to sustainability action, contrasting to more long-term and/or analytical orientations. Finally, the reports in question all emphasized sustainability's " economic " dimension, with its " social " dimension being considered secondary and its " environmental " dimension coming last. This inquiry demonstrates that, in the French context, there is a far cry from corporate social responsibility (CSR) dimension and sustainable development (SD) vision. Originality/value – The paper provides an in-depth method to analyze CSR and SD reports through its structural discourse.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, February 14, 2018 - 5:43:31 PM
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Jocelyn Husser, Jean-Marc Andre, Guillaume Barbat, Véronique Lespinet-Najib. CSR and sustainable development: are the concepts compatible?. Management of Environmental Quality: An International Journal, Emerald, 2012, 23 (6), pp.658-672. ⟨10.1108/14777831211262936⟩. ⟨hal-01702562⟩



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