Corporate Social Responsibility


Corporate social responsibility (CSR) has been a much discussed theme in the public arena in recent years.  Accepting responsibility vis-à-vis people, nature and community is a demand addressed to a broad constituency - to businesses and academia, to federations and organisations.  And CSR is in no way a new theme, especially in companies.  Businesses which behave “decently”, which are socially committed and which strive for better working conditions for their employees have existed since the first steps towards industrialisation.  More recently, in the 1950s, the concept of “social responsibility of the businessman” born in the USA was rapidly taken up in Germany.  Leading German business people, including many members of Markenverband, were then pioneers in their commitment to improved working and living conditions for their workers.  In the 1980s, the issue of ecological responsibility was added.  Changed conditions, in particular globalisation, environmental protection and improved information and communication technology sharpened the vision of companies for this important societal theme.

Today, CSR is lived actively: brand-oriented businesses in particular work on the basis of concepts which, on a voluntary basis, integrate social and ecological concerns in their business activity and in their interactions with stakeholders.  In this way, business people assume their responsibility vis-à-vis customers, partners, consumers and society at large.  For strong brands, the symbiosis between business and society is indissoluble, an ethical conscience is indispensable.  There is an endless list of initiatives for man and environment developed by companies.  Prevention campaigns by makers of addictive products, promotion of art and art education as an investment in the future, promotion of ethical principles in trade with international producers and suppliers - these are just a few examples of efforts by German brand businesses in favour of social and ecological interests.  And clearly, training, motivation and integration of employees in society are right at the top of the list of corporate activities in the framework of CSR.

Markenverband itself supports a voluntary commitment by companies to society and the environment, and is active at many levels in this area, for instance in coordination of codes of conduct or cooperation discussions with NGOs.  Social responsibility will continue to be an issue and major challenge into the future not only for companies.  Federations are also confronted with growing and ambitious tasks.  Markenverband can and will make an important contribution here.