The term Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) stresses the social responsibility of companies and is discussed intensively by amongst others the European Commission, the United Nations, various Federal Ministries and a large number of environmental associations and trade unions.
In the forefront is the requirement to create new instruments to define the demands for social commitment by companies. Behind this lies the view that especially abroad, companies do not make a sufficient commitment to environmental protection, employees and society.
CSR is incorporated as an international goal in the action plan of the World Summit on Sustainable Development which was held in Johannesburg in 2002. In addition, the European Commission passed a Green Paper (2001) and a memorandum (2002) on CSR.