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Corporate social responsibility, business strategy, and the environment

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  • Forest L. Reinhardt
  • Robert N. Stavins

Abstract

We examine the concept of firms sacrificing profits in the social interest within the environmental realm, with particular focus on the case of the United States by addressing four key questions. May they do so within the scope of their fiduciary responsibilities to their shareholders? Can they do so on a sustainable basis, or will the forces of a competitive marketplace render such efforts and their impacts transient at best? Do firms, in fact, frequently or at least sometimes behave this way, reducing their earnings by voluntarily engaging in environmental stewardship? Should firms carry out such profit-sacrificing activities (i.e. is this an efficient use of social resources)? We address these questions through the lens of economics, including insights from legal and business scholarship. Copyright 2010, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Forest L. Reinhardt & Robert N. Stavins, 2010. "Corporate social responsibility, business strategy, and the environment," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 26(2), pages 164-181, Summer.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:oxford:v:26:y:2010:i:2:p:164-181
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/oxrep/grq008
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Patricia Crifo & Vanina Forget, 2012. "The Economics of Corporate Social Responsibility: A Survey," Working Papers hal-00720640, HAL.
    2. Curran, Giorel, 2017. "Social licence, corporate social responsibility and coal seam gas: framing the new political dynamics of contestation," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 101(C), pages 427-435.
    3. Marcelo Cajias & Franz Fuerst & Sven Bienert, 2014. "Can investing in corporate social responsibility lower a company's cost of capital?," Studies in Economics and Finance, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 31(2), pages 202-222, May.
    4. Soon-Beng Chew & Wei Quan Jeffrey Huang & Hui Ching Chia & Huang Chi Soh, 2016. "Determinants of Corporate Social Responsibility of a Social Enterprise: An Empirical Analysis," Review of Pacific Basin Financial Markets and Policies (RPBFMP), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 19(03), pages 1-20, September.
    5. repec:spr:inrvec:v:64:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1007_s12232-017-0276-5 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Christian Le Bas & Nicolas Poussing, 2013. "Firm voluntary measures for environmental changes, eco-innovations and CSR : Empirical analysis based on data surveys," Working Papers 1322, Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique Lyon St-Étienne (GATE Lyon St-Étienne), Université de Lyon.
    7. repec:spr:epolin:v:44:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s40812-016-0064-3 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Patricia Crifo & Vanina Forget, 2013. "La responsabilité sociale et environnementale des entreprises : mirage ou virage ?," Working Papers hal-00830642, HAL.
    9. Nollet, Joscha & Filis, George & Mitrokostas, Evangelos, 2016. "Corporate social responsibility and financial performance: A non-linear and disaggregated approach," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 52(PB), pages 400-407.
    10. Patricia Crifo & Vanina D. Forget, 2015. "The Economics Of Corporate Social Responsibility: A Firm-Level Perspective Survey," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 29(1), pages 112-130, February.
    11. Enrica Sepe & Margherita Smarra & Marco Sorrentino, 2015. "Does Ethic Rating Decrease Firms’ Cost of Capital? Empirical Insights from the Italian Setting," International Journal of Academic Research in Accounting, Finance and Management Sciences, Human Resource Management Academic Research Society, International Journal of Academic Research in Accounting, Finance and Management Sciences, vol. 5(4), pages 54-68, October.
    12. Scholtens, Bert & Kleinsmann, Renske, 2011. "Incentives for subcontractors to adopt CO2 emission reporting and reduction techniques," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 1877-1883, March.
    13. Christian Felix Böttcher & Martin Müller, 2015. "Drivers, Practices and Outcomes of Low-carbon Operations: Approaches of German Automotive Suppliers to Cutting Carbon Emissions," Business Strategy and the Environment, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 24(6), pages 477-498, September.

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