Corporate responsibility – the facts

the industry...


*The number of companies reporting on their Corporate Responsibility activities has shot up in recent years, which at least demonstrates its growth in popularity as a PR tool.*

the reality...

Tax avoidance

*Corporations may be boasting about their social responsibility like never before, but their financial contribution to society in the form of taxes has plummeted.*

Profits and pay

Corporate profits in 2006 and 2007 were the highest on record. Pay for top executives in May 2007 was around *double what they earned 10 years ago*.^9^

  1. Ethical Investment Research Association, ‘The state of responsible business: global corporate response to environmental, social and governance challenges’, September 2007,
  2. Ernst & Young, ‘Corporate Social Responsibility: a survey of global companies’, 2002,
  3. Econtext, ‘Reporting in Context: Global Corporate Responsibility Reporting Trends 2006’,
  4. KPMG, ‘KPMG International Survey of Corporate Responsibility Reporting 2005’,
  5. Andrew Murray-Watson, ‘Give us all the super-wealthy’s tax breaks’, _The Independent_, 2 September 2007; Richard Murphy, ‘Mind the Gap’, 2006,
  6. International Confederation of Free Trade Unions, ‘Having their cake and eating it too: the Big Corporate Tax Break’, July 2006,
  7. War on Want, ‘Tax havens and tax companies: one rule for the poor, no rules for the rich’, 2003,; Oxfam Great Britain, ‘Tax havens: releasing the hidden billions for poverty eradication’, 2000,
  8. Institute for Policy Studies/United for a Fair Economy, ‘Executive Excess 2007: The staggering social cost of US business leadership’, August 2007,
  9. Economic Research Institute and, ‘May 2007 Executive Compensation Study’,
  10. Julia French and Simon Bowers, ‘Directors’ earnings break through the £1bn barrier’, _The Guardian_, 29 August 2007.

Additional research by *Silje Vold*.

New Internationalist issue 407 magazine cover This article is from the December 2007 issue of New Internationalist.
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