Region vs nation – csr regulation quo vadis?

Last week I wrote a blog post about a new CSR regulation pushed by the Spanish province of Extremadura. Since then, the discussion has intensified and it has become clear that not only the business world, but also trade unions, think tanks, academics and managers of all sorts are anything but happy about it. This post follows up on the issue by summarizing a comprehensive article by Alberto Andreu Pinillos, Professor at IE Business School and Director of CSR at telecommunications giant Telefónica, published at the corporate responsibility blog of the very same business school (in Spanish).

For Pinillos, the reasons why the CSR law worries all sorts of stakeholders are manifold. Politics aside, he writes, fragmentation, market obstacles, implementation costs and the possible counter effect are the most worrying issues associated with the new regulation. For example, the law affects all companies with business activities in Extremadura but not necessarily those registered there as tax payers. This leads to the question whether the law of one autonomous province can technically apply to businesses registered in one of the other 16 Spanish regions and which authority would control what kind of CSR data.

In practice, a company that wants to operate nationally would have to undergo certification in 17 autonomous regions, which means realizing 17 audits in a time of economic instability, Pinillos warns. At least, he argues, regional governments should focus on the businesses registered there, for example by promoting CSR with small and medium sized enterprises SME as is the case in Euskadi the Basque Country.

Read more at SustainabilityForum.com

Regional versus global CSR initiatives and regulations – which is better and why? Write a comment!

Picture credit http://extremadurasolohayuna.wordpress.com/2008/10/

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