Shared Value? I’ve Heard This Before!

Over the weekend I had a chance to read Michael Porter’s Creating Shared Value. I enjoyed the article and felt it had some good insight as to how businesses today are creating social value and enhancing public good, but underneath I thought it was a fairly dim outlook on corporate America.
The entire concept of shared value is not new; in fact it has been the underlying argument of every economist for the past half century. Companies will not engage in CSR, nor change their business practices for the betterment of society unless they see value and increased returns for their shareholders.
We need to be looking at to those companies whose socially responsible practices are clearly hurting their bottom, not helping it. We as consumers need to be the engine of change through awareness and informed purchasing. WE need to be the ones who change! Price should not be the number one indicator of our purchasing habits. I propose a CSR rating requirement on every product package, not buried in an earnings report.
With fairly limited barriers to information these days, we have the opportunity to foster a real and tangible movement towards socially responsible business practices simply through basic supply and demand economics. If in aggregate we chose to buy Timberland work boots because of their commitment to community building and energy consumption reduction, an efficient market takes over. Here is a link to one of many articles on Timberland:
http://www.greenbiz.com/news/2011/08/01/timberland-keeps-stretching-ambitious-2015-csr-goals
Please share others for your favorite companies!

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