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Jakarta Post

Commentary: When CSR is neither profit nor public good

Jakarta   /   Thu, August 28 2008   /  10:06 am

Moving in and out of hotels, Jay Westerveld noticed the prevalence of promotional "green cards" placed in guest rooms to promote water conservation and other environmental practices such as reusing towels. Oddly, the New York-based environmentalist found a disconnect between the hotel's promotion and its backroom practices. Thus the term "greenwashing", an amalgam of "green" and "brainwashing" -- defined as "expressions of environmentalist concerns especially as cover for products, policies or activities" -- was born. That was more than two decades ago. Like born-again Christians, today's corporations have found a conscience: A rite born out of the "triple bottom lines" and "ethical supply chain management" from the gospel of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). Guided by such a c...