Everyday, communities, the media, NGOs, consumers, and civil society in general are demanding more and more from brands and companies. They are always expecting business be carried out in an ethical and socially responsible manner. Today, many companies are recognizing the need to balance environmental, social, and governmental issues. And, even most of them have begun to implement practices in their day to day operations, demonstrating how Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) should be a fundamental value. Today, we will guide you through a brief journey through the history of CSR for you to see how it has evolved and changed according to the societies’ needs.
In 1960, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development convention was created to promote policies with the intention to achieve sustainable economic growth and employment; all this with a high standard of living in member countries, while maintaining financial stability.
In 1975, the “Impact and Benefit Agreements” between Canadian Aboriginal groups and extractive sector companies started. The aim was to create commitments by the company for employment, and training about projects constructed near aboriginal communities.
Five years later, the International Union for Conservation of Nature created The World Conservation Strategy, which identified the main responsible actors of habitat destruction such as:
- population pressure,
- social inequity, and
- the terms of trade.
After that, the UN Earth Summit was held in Brazil, where a new business model, as well as the idea of using sustainable development to a company’s competitive advantage was applied.
In 1993 the launch of the Whitehorse Mining Initiative took these initiatives to the signing of the WMI Leadership Council Accord in 1994 in order to achieve a sustainable mining industry within the framework of an evolving and sustainable Canadian society. Five years later, Canada, along with Natural Resources Canada, IDRC, and the leadership of IISD, organized a workshop in Peru. The event brought together 11 countries from Latin America and Canada in order to work towards a sustainable future in the region.