Corporate citizenship – fact or phoney?

Actions speak louder than words they say. Quite so! And while I might not want to overplay that particular saying (I do after all make my living from words), there is no area like corporate citizenship (or corporate social responsibility) that can highlight the seemingly contradictory nature between what a company says it will do and what it actually does.

For instance, I recently received a new piece of audio visual equipment (a dictaphone if you must know). Having broken into the virtually impenetrable plastic sarcophagus shielding the dictaphone from any passing radioactive storm, I was pleased to see that the manufacturer had been thoughtful enough to include printed instructions in English. Unfortunately they had also seen fit to print out and enclose the instructions in at least eighteen other languages in separate brochures.

Turning to their website, I see they’re aiming to have a zero environmental footprint. Great words, but their packaging says something far more revealing about their approach than any expensively produced CSR report.