What Is "Corporate Responsibility"?

More companies are reporting on what they're doing for human rights and the environment. The only problem: No hard-and-fast standards

In a year when a raft of scandals has further lowered the public's estimation of the ethics of Corporate America, some companies are trying to show they care. How? In addition to annual or semiannual reports, they're putting out so-called corporate responsibility reports chronicling data that show they're sensitive to social or environmental concerns. In 2001, 45% of the 250 largest global companies published such reports, up from 35% three years ago, according to a triennial study by KPMG. Says Eric Israel, a partner at the firm, which tracks such reporting: "It's a trend that's here to stay."

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