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EU talked about CSR and sustainability this week

Vice President Antonio Tajani, European Commissioner for Industry and Enterprise, presented this week a communication on a renewed industrial policy. Reinforcing the EU’s strengths in producing high quality goods will be crucial for economic recovery and for putting Europe on a path towards resource efficiency and sustainability.

The communication aims to improve the framework conditions for European industry and facilitate the transformation towards a low carbon economy, mastering globalization and innovation.

"An industrial policy for the globalisation era" is a flagship initiative of the Europe 2020 strategy adopted by the Commission last March. Together with the other Europe 2020 initiatives, it aims to boost growth and create additional employment in Europe. The private sector is recognised as a driver of innovation and a provider of solutions to the challenges facing our societies.

Why is it important to CSR?.

The official communication says that "Building on Corporate Social Responsibility Corporate social responsibility can contribute to the competitiveness and sustainability performance of European industry. It helps to strengthen trust in business, which is important for the creation of a business environment in which industry can thrive. The financial crisis showed a new approach is needed to the balance between short-term profit maximisation and sustainable value creation in the longer run. European companies need to take into account their contribution to sustainable growth and job creation and consider the interests of the employees and citizens affected by business decisions. Sound business ethics and values can contribute to the recovery from the crisis.

Corporate social responsibility can position European companies as leaders in markets that are putting an increasing premium on social and environmental issues. EU industry has already launched a number of significant initiatives aimed at resource sustainability, including the chemical industry’s Responsible Care initiative, the Global e-sustainability initiative, and the Materials Stewardship Policy of the International Council on Mining and Metals. Encouraging sustainable growth implies giving consumers the information they require to purchase environmentally friendly goods and services. This should include information on the ecological footprint of products and services. The Commission will work on a common European methodology for assessing environmental impacts associated with consumer products, based on life-cycle analysis and objective criteria".

The Commission Role

Even more. The Commission define its role and commitments: (1) put forward a new policy initiative on corporate social responsibility addressing emerging issues such as business and human rights, and company disclosure of environmental, social, employment-related, and governance information (2011); (2) monitor EU industry’s voluntary initiatives aimed at resource sustainability. (2011onwards); (and 3) examine before 2012 the possibility of an initiative on the Ecological Footprint of Products.

Good news I think for CSR and Sustainability.

PD. Thanks to my Telefónica's mate Esther Val for send us this information

Published in Telefónica's CSR Blog, October 2010

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