In the last decade we’ve seen a whole raft of social and environmental issues gain and maintain a central position in the public consciousness. Climate change, poverty, and HIV/AIDS are only the most high-profile of a list that ranges from obesity, to child labour, to ethical sourcing.
For major multinational companies the consequence has been a new and unprecedented level of global scrutiny. The NGO community in particular is increasingly media-savvy, and increasingly adept at using that expertise to exert both positive and punitive pressure. The carrots have come in the form of high-profile awards and indices for corporate responsibility (or CR); the sticks make themselves felt in a degree of external pressure that has seen sector after sector targeted on specific social and environmental practices.
For further insight, see the one-page article.