The state of corporate social responsibility and the potential of corporate sustainability in the Philippines
Linden, A.G. van der
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Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is a topic of rising interest as the impact of the private sector continues to grow. Many multinationals now have supply chains spanning continents and their impact on societies and the environment is significant. Historically, CSR has always been the manner in which company goes beyond its core business in interacting with society at large. However, there is no universal definition for CSR and various forms exist today. Nevertheless, one brand of CSR best incorporates the tenets of sustainability, termed in this paper as Corporate Sustainability (CS). The gap in knowledge that this paper addresses is the potential of CS in the developing world, using the Philippines as the case study. This research was done primarily by interviewing 10 top companies from different industries in the capital city of Manila. The results show that there is only moderate CS adoption (56/100) in this context. The main factor that was deemed most supportive of CS is Filipino business ethics. The main factor inhibiting CS adoption was a lack of understanding of sustainability at the board-level. This barrier is speculated to be connected to the socio-economic situation of the Philippines. What this study aims to show is that the Western-based model of CS does not fit perfectly in this context, and a deeper understanding of this shortcoming is needed if the private sector in the developing world is to have a sustainable impact.