CSR Market Place

CSR Market Place

CSR MarketPlace Initiative

What is CSR MarketPlace?

The CSR MarketPlace on Corporate Social Responsibility, initiated by CSR Europe in 2005, is an innovative forum for sharing solutions to business challenges in an informal, exchange-driven and creative environment.

At the MarketPlace, business practitioners present their company's solutions to CSR challenges and share experience with their peers.

The MarketPlace consists of small stands organised according to several topics. Companies present various challenges in CSR and also possible solutions. The MarketPlace allows managers to find practices suited to different CSR issues.

The MarketPlace gives CSR managers an excellent opportunity for an informal exchange of experience and knowledge of new solutinos in CSR.

Selection of best practices

The examples of best practice presented at the MarketPlace are selected by a jury of experts from cases submitted by NPOs and other candidates. The jury is composed of members of companies, NPOs and external stakeholders. The best practices are also presented in a printed catalogue.

Selection criteria:

  1. Significant: solution for a significant problem
  2. Innovative: from the point of view of process and results
  3. Adaptable: easy to adapt to other situations and sectors

CSR Marketplaces


CSR Europe hosted its first European MarketPlace on Corporate Social Responsibility in March 2005, in Brussels. It was followed by several similar programs on a European level and also on a national level, in various countries.


If the other aspects of corporate social responsibility are about doing what you do right, then the marketplace issues are about doing the right thing. Doing the right thing can be the single most important aspect of your business in terms of securing its longer term viability.

It's your business

How much value do your goods and services create? What are the costs they impose on society? Do you approach the selling process with integrity and honesty? Do you buy from suppliers fairly and with due diligence?

If you get it wrong, the costs can be high. Over the last few years, there have been high profile casualties - Monsanto on GM; Shell on the Brent Spar; Nike on human rights; and most recently Camelot on an issue relating to integrity in the supply chain.

None of these companies ever imagined they would suddenly find themselves on the wrong end of consumer opinion in a way that would damage their business. None of them believe they were operating in an unethical way - but all of them got caught by changing perceptions and emerging issues for which they were not ready.

What's the benefit?

Please your customers! Customers are becoming increasingly demanding. As price and quality become more equal, they are looking towards brand values which match their own, and companies whose activities they can respect. A huge amount of a company's market capitalisation can be what are called "intangibles" - 96% of Coca Cola's, for instance - and such intangibles are hugely tied to corporate reputation.

Manage risk! Whilst you may want your customers to remember best the good things you do, you can be sure they'll remember most the times you mess up. One oil spill, one case of a supplier abusing human rights, one piece of negative publicity about discrimination - and you'll feel the pain. Being on top of the emerging trends can help you to prepare for the events that would blow others off course.

Attract investment! An increasing number of investment companies look for safe investments and define these in terms of good management of intangibles.

What are the issues?

  • The impact on society of your core products and services
  • Ethical trading
  • Ethical advertising
  • Treatment of, and vetting of, suppliers


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