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Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is usually defined as a company’s obligation to all of its stakeholders across all of its activities with the aim of achieving sustainable development in the economic, the social, and the environmental dimensions.

You may also see CSR referred to as sustainability, sustainable development, or corporate responsibility.

The idea of stakeholders is important in CSR and the term can include employees, customers, suppliers, community organisations, the environment, subsidiaries and affiliates, local neighbourhoods, the planet, and investors, as well as shareholders.

The definition is redefined depending on changing needs and times. For example, the responsibilities of a mining company are different from those of a food processing company.

ACCA has been actively involved with the unfolding debate on corporate social and environmental responsibility since 1990. See what ACCA has to say about sustainability and sustainable development issues via the 'related links' on this page.

Last updated: 29 Jul 2014