Inderscience Publishers

From sustainable development to corporate social responsibility: an application to the European aluminium sector

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This paper discusses the stakes, opportunities and methods appropriate for developing a strategy of corporate social responsibility within the aluminium industry companies in Europe. It draws on institutional and documentary analysis, as well as on results from empirical work testing participatory procedures for development of corporate social responsibility strategies and performance indicators carried out at three industrial sites in France. Arguments are presented to justify the development of a proactive strategy of corporate social responsibility for European aluminium enterprises. Distinct models of social responsibility that might be adopted by European aluminium companies as a function of differences in institutional, geographical and other contextual variables are then outlined. Empirical findings from the work on pilot sites in France reinforce our recommendations based on institutional and theoretical considerations that the 'extended stakeholder participation' model is an appropriate one for European aluminium companies to follow. The participatory approach unites 'top-down' and 'bottom-up' styles of management, and provides flexibility for innovation in response to emerging problems and new challenges.

Keywords: aluminium, corporate social responsibility, environmental quality, focus groups, indicators, participation, social performance, stakeholders, sustainable development

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