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Is CSR Part of the Compliance Operation?

Howard Stock | May 19, 2015

Corporate social responsibility is big business in Europe. In November last year, French energy company Electricite de France launched a €1.4 billion green bond to fund renewable energy projects that would further the company’s business ambitions. The issue was twice oversubscribed, an indication of just how highly European investors now value CSR initiatives at public companies.

Given this focus by the market, companies are understandably eager to communicate the extent of their CSR achievements. The question is, who should oversee the reporting, communication, and implementation of a company’s CSR programs? While some companies have created a specific executive function to handle the role, other companies consider CSR as under the purview of compliance.

“We have seen quite a wide diversity of options,” says Vincent Brenot, a partner at law firm August & Debouzy in Paris who advises corporate clients on environmental reporting issues. “CSR is handled either by...

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