Chapter 1: CSR and Integrated Triple Bottom Line Reporting in Italy: Case Study Evidence
Andrea Melis, Silvia Carta, Silvia Del Rio INTRODUCTION Corporate social responsibility (hereafter CSR) is a term that involves several different concepts and definitions (for example, Carroll, 1979, 1999; Crane and Matten, 2004). The definition provided by the Green Paper (European Commission, 2001: 8) seems to summarize the essential points of the concept, as the integration by companies of: social and environmental concerns in their business operations and in their interaction with their stakeholders on a voluntary basis. Being socially responsible means not only fulfilling legal expectations, but also going beyond compliance and investing ‘more’ into human capital, the environment and the relations with stakeholders. Socially responsible companies are expected to integrate economic, social and environmental concerns into their business strategies and their activities, going beyond compliance with the law. CSR is not philanthropy. Parmalat was very philanthropic, but was not socially responsible, as emerged from the 2003 scandal. In Italy the social responsibility of firms has roots dating from long before the emergence of the CSR movement during the last decades of the twentieth century. Article 41 of the Italian Constitution, promulgated in 1948, provides a basis to foster the social responsibility of private corporations, as it underlines how economic activity should not be undertaken if it conflicts with social usefulness or in any way that it brings any form of damage to human security, freedom and dignity. Furthermore, the same article clearly states that ‘the law may determine suitable programmes and controls so that the economic activity could be...
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