A European clothing company assembles its products in China with resources from Bangladesh and sells its products in Mexico and around the world, except in China and Bangladesh. The example, although simplified, is a sample of how many of the large corporations work today; all under the idea of the old paradigm of cost reduction and speed in production. In summary: the faster and cheaper, the better.
Knowing all this, then we must ask the question: where is the key to Social Responsibility for these production models? Where can responsibility be a term understood by any global entity? There are keys that make social responsibility truly unique. The keys make it different from other tools and other moments in the history of the company. And it is important to see that these keys do not reside exclusively in: 1) the good will of the people, 2) narrow political reforms and 3) moralist ideology of the companies. In contrast, the key to Social Responsibility lies in the fact that for the first time in history, sustainable practices are instruments of competitiveness. Social responsibility is a tool that helps to be competitive, and sustainability is the way to be more competitive at this time.
The past rules included instruments such as advertising or marketing. And social responsibility has been used badly as an empty marketing strategy or face-washing, in turn damaging the image of social responsibility and raising eyebrows about the benefits that this can contribute. But even these bad practices show that social responsibility is an issue that is on everyone’s lips. And it will be even more over the years and will be increasingly necessary for all entities on the planet, be they companies, government entities, societies and future generations.
When talking about Social Responsibility, reference is usually made to the following terms: sustainability, labor rights, respect for the environment, concern for the future, ethical practices, ecology, efficient uses of water and energy, corporate governance, social integration- environmental, animal rights and many other things.
All these aspects are important for Social Responsibility but they are neither novel nor is it free to talk about them now. Ecology has been talking for decades and also known as long ago Good business practices. However, it is now that all these issues take a special and deeper connection. Now it is finally interrelated at a time when the world, the market, is willing to benefit those companies that wish to compensate the damages generated, avoid negative impacts and regenerate damaged processes. This is the world of social responsibility.