Corporate Social Responsibility and the Role of Voluntary Sustainability Standards

Daniele Giovannucci, Oliver von Hagen, Joseph Wozniak
DOI number
#Sustainability standards
#Corporate responsibility and lead firms

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is becoming a standard feature particularly for large and consumer-oriented firms. What started in the late 1960s as something closer to charity or philanthropy has evolved dramatically in recent years. Yet, as actualization of the CSR concept is increasingly explored and becoming better-defined, there is limited understanding of how to operationalize CSR and how to manage it for desirable results at the ground level. This gap is particularly salient in the purchasing relationships with producers in developing countries. Voluntary Sustainability Standards (VSS) such as Organic, Fairtrade, Rainforest Alliance, Forest Stewardship Council, Ethical Tea Partnership, Global G.A.P., and UTZ Certified present an important step in this process but, like many tools, require some learning.


Joseph Wozniak

International Trade Centre

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