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CSV vs CSR – does it matter?

Interesting discussion on a Guardian blog on CSV vs CSR. ‘CSV’ stands for ‘creating shared value’ and is being proposed by Michael Porter and Mark Kramer in the US as an alternative to CSR (which stands for ‘corporate social responsibility’).

‘CSR’ and ‘CSV’ are more than labels, they are also sociological phenomena. There is no reason to expect coherence about what is done in the name of either: CSR runs from philanthropy to human rights and we have yet to see the diversity of CSV.
Although it is great fun to debate definitions (I love it), it is more important to look at why people care about them. It seems to me that ‘CSV’ is an attempt by the US to get in on the game that has been going for some time in Europe and elsewhere. Redefining terms is part of the strategy. As the price for bringing US firms to take more of the issues of sustainability more seriously, it is worth paying.

Is CSV likely to stay the course? Well, it is premised on win-win: both company and stakeholder/environment should gain. The huge hole in that is what should  happen when the company has to lose in order for society to gain. We only have to imagine a world in which all companies had adopted CSV, to know that it would not be enough.