For years, Volkswagen’s record for ethics and sustainability were exemplary, at least according to the company’s social responsibility reports. Then, the world learned that the company was cheating on emission tests.
British Petroleum changed its name to BP in 1998 and soon began promoting that it was moving Beyond Petroleum. The company portrayed itself as the world’s socially responsible large oil company. Then the Deepwater Horizon exploded, and the world learned how the company prioritised profits over safety.
Both Volkswagen and BP were trying to win customers by joining the 93 per cent of Fortune 250 companies that report how well they treat the environment. They promise that they care about our community, our future. But too often, corporate social responsibility reports are nothing more than public relations exercises with little substance.
The original article can be found at www.smh.com.au