Social Responsibility Reports

I’m thinking a lot about social responsibility reports these days.

The vocabulary varies, but the reports I’m talking about are generally annual publications that document a corporation’s social performance. (These get called Corporate Social Responsibility Reports, Sustainability Reports, Triple Bottom Line reports, and so on.) This is part of a larger movement that sometimes goes by the acronym SEAAR: Social and Environmental Accounting, Auditing, and Reporting. The general idea is that a company’s performance can be measured (loosely speaking) not just in financial terms, but in ethical (social and environmental) terms, too.

Such reporting is, of course, not uncontroversial. Some regard it as a crucial part of increasing corporate transparency. Others see such reports as window-dressing. (The reports are, after all, generally written by the corporation itself, rather than by an external assessor.) Also, there is legitimate difference of opinion as to what sorts of measures are the best indicators of good social performance.

Here’s a website that archives social responsibility reports for a lot of companies:
(Note: the site gives reports for the years 2000-2005, but some years there are more than others. For example, there are only 6 listed for 2005, but nearly 40 for 2004.)
And here’s a page I’ve begun, listing CSR reports for companies in the industry that most interests me,Biotechnology.

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