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Corporate Social Responsibility in the Canadian Landscape “Our biggest challenge this century is to take an idea that seems abstract – sustainable development – and turn it into a reality for all the world’s peoples.” Kofi Annan, former UN Secretary General


orporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is defined by Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade as the way companies integrate social, environmental, and economic concerns into their values and operations in a transparent and accountable manner. It is integral to long-term business growth and success, and it also plays an important role in promoting Canadian values internationally and contributing to the sustainable development of communities globally. On Canada’s west coast, Vancouver Island University (VIU) Master’s Degrees in Business (MBA) and Sustainable Leisure Management (MA) prepare graduates to manage and lead their organizations to long term growth and success through sustainable development initiatives. To provide insight into the role of CSR in industry and education in Canada, we interviewed Professor Ken Hammer who teaches CSR courses in both the MBA and MA programs:

What is corporate social responsibility and why should organizations be concerned about it? Corporate Social Responsibility, or CSR, means doing the “right thing” for all of your stakeholders. Doing the “right thing” means you treat the environment and people with fairness, dignity and respect. Businesses, governments and NGOs, need to embrace CSR for profitability and sustainability. An organization neglecting social responsibility will

soon be out of business and out of favor with employees and other stakeholders.

What are leisure management organizations or businesses doing to fulfill their CSR roles and responsibilities? Like any other organization or business, the leisure industry is embracing a variety of CSR strategies. Eco-tourism is one example of the industry looking for ways to limit negative impacts on the natural environment. Many organizations are implementing global industry standards with respect to the environment (water conservation), treatment of employees (minimum wages) and relationship within the communities (community engagement).

Why should business and leisure management students study Corporate Social Responsibility? Without studying and practicing CSR, business and leisure management students will not be as employable and will not be as effective as those who do. As well, society as a whole will be at risk in terms of environmental degradation, rampant corruption and global discontent.

How do you engage students at VIU in the concepts of CSR? The best way to make CSRS relevant to them is to help them understand their personal social responsibility (PSR). As an individual you have a responsibility to your environment,

Responsabilidad Social y ambiental de Biocentinela

your colleagues and your communities. In addition, businesses are looking for new employees who embrace the principles and practices of CSR. In other words, they will be more employable if they learn about CSR.

What kind of cases do you introduce students to? Cases can be found in the current media. Reports of good and bad CSR practices are found in various forms of media (newspapers, internet, and television). Students also bring their experiences from their home countries. Case studies focus on organizational issues (e.g. employee relations), economic issues (e.g. fair trade, product safety) or societal issues (e.g. accountability, environmental sustainability).

What are some trends or initiatives that you see by university students in Canada to promote Corporate Social Responsibility? Many campuses have student environmental clubs and organizations that support CSR initiatives. As well as these clubs and organizations, individual students are demanding that their universities adopt environmental standards and practices as well as equality and equity for students and staff.

What is the future of CSR in Canada? On a global scale? What challenges or opportunities do you see for businesses and/or new graduates in the realm of CSR? CSR in Canada and all parts of the world will become even more important. Globalization has led to global standards for the environment and business and human resources practices. Businesses and new graduates will be challenged to keep up with changes that CSR is bringing to businesses, governments, NGOs and the world.

Abg. Javier Barragán CEO


ioCentinela es una empresa ecuatoriana dedicada a la producción y exportación de camarón orgánico y larvas de camarón bajo la premisa de que es posible desarrollar un modelo responsable de la acuicultura sostenible que incluya un compromiso social y ambiental. BioCentinela está certificada bajo las normas de Naturland, AB, UE, BioSuisse y Soil Association, por sus prácticas de acuicultura responsable. Sostiene, además, la primera certificación Acuícola mundial de Comercio Justo, Fair for Life, por su política de responsabilidad social. BioCentinela se ha comprometido a alcanzar los más altos estándares de responsabilidad empresarial y social. En un esfuerzo para apoyar este compromiso, ha desarrollado y supervisado proyectos que han tenido un importante impacto social en sus empleados, socios orgánicos, y la comunidad de Río Hondo en la Isla Puná. Entre los más importantes está la construcción de una cisterna para proveer agua potable, terminada en el año 2011 y una campaña de salud

gratuita para los comuneros. Un médico de BioCentinela visita la comunidad regularmente, les proporciona cuidado médico, vacunas y medicamentos. Se han desarrollado clínicas de prevención para mantener un control estricto sobre la higiene y enfermedades. Además de ofrecer servicios de salud que tanto necesitan y los recursos, la empresa ha fomentado una relación con la comuna a través de su inclusión en actividades deportivas, educativas, culturales y sociales.

tion and exportation of organic shrimp and shrimp larvae. We operate under the premise that it is feasible to develop a responsible model for sustainable aquaculture that includes social and environmental commitment. We are certified under the standards of Naturland, AB, EU, BioSuisse, and Soil Association, for our responsible aquaculture practices. As well we hold the first worldwide Aquaculture Fair Trade Certification - Fair for Life, based on our social responsibility politics.

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We are committed to achieving the highest standards of corporate social responsibility. In an effort to support this commitment, we developed and oversaw projects which have had significant positive impacts on our employees, organic associates, and the nearby community of Rio Hondo in Puná Island.

Biocentinela's environmental and Social Responsibilities BioCentinela is an Ecuadorean company dedicated to the produc-

Our most notable projects are: construction of a cistern to supply fresh water, completed in 2011, and a free health campaign for Rio Hondo. A doctor from BioCentinela visits the community regularly, providing medical care, vaccinations and medications. This project has developed regular prevention clinics to maintain control over hygiene and diseases. In addition to providing much needed healthcare and medical resources, we have fostered a relationship within Rio Hondo. We encourage this relationship by inclusion in sporting, educational, cultural, and social activities. For more information


Join the movement toward Corporate Social Responsibility to help you and your organization become more innovative, productive, and competitive in today’s global marketplace.