INSIGHT: Sustainability or CSR - is it all just good PR?
12 June 2012 16:11 [Source: ICIS news]
By Nigel Davis
LONDON (ICIS)--Some chemical companies simply get on with it while others like to talk more openly about what they do – in a closely managed way, of course.
The two approaches are reflected in producers’ attitudes towards public relations and towards sustainability and sustainability reporting. Particularly in the west, some have embraced sustainability openly; even going to great lengths to produce good looking and, they think, persuasive financial and sustainability reports. Others simply do not bother.
These differences have to do with history, ownership and cultural differences, Eric Johnson of Atlantic Consulting suggests in his book ‘Sustainability in the Chemical industry’, published earlier this year by Springer. But it doesn’t mean that they operate in different ways.
Johnson has amassed the data and considered chemical producers’ attitudes towards sustainability, corporate social responsibility (CSR) and public relations. Not everyone will be welcome his conclusions: that sustainability reporting is just PR in another form. There is nothing wrong with that, of course. The chemical industry has never attracted the most welcome attention. And it can do with all the friends it can get.