Daily Update: Changing how businesses think about CSR

By Ed Saunders

After last week’s blog on how Santander is doing its bit for social enterprise, I was delighted to see Sir Andrew Witty, CEO GlaxoSmithKline, recognize the importance of social enterprise in his speech at the 2nd Annual Pears Business Schools Partnership lecture. Acknowledging that the last 20 years have seen trust in the private sector worn away, he called on leaders of the business world to pay more thought to their CSR policies, and to lead by example in giving something back to the community. It is good to see such a well known individual lending his support to such a good cause – some big names in the corporate world are already really thinking about maximising the good their CSR does – PwC, Santander, and HSBC, to name but a few – but headline speeches like this will make even more corporate giants sit up and listen. The speech was delivered at Cranfield business school, and was broadcast live to business schools across Europe.

As Pamela Hartigan of the Skoll Centre at Oxford University’s Said Business School afterwards commented, “We need to find a way to clone Sir Andrew!” Getting big names in the private sector to instigate discussion on how best to use CSR can only be a good thing for the Third Sector. Did you hear Sir Andrew’s speech? How do you think corporates should maximise the potential of their CSR budget? Let us know!

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