From CSR to public ethics – an ethics of care?

Wednesday, 7 October 2020 @ 13:00

Lord Green

About this event

Over the last two decades, corporate social responsibility has become, from an insignificant side thought, a key preoccupation for consumers – and therefore, increasingly an item on the agenda at board meetings. But debate does not guarantee action – and certainly not the ‘right’ kind.

CSR continues to be whatever company directors want it to be, rather than a principle- or value-based morality. So, how do we make the transition from the former to the latter?.

Especially in today’s world, where both the individual and the collective are feeling the effects of multiple global threats like the pandemic, radical climate change and ideological extremes, there seems to be a need for some form of global ethics that can act as a meaningful guide in public life. But what kind of principles or values could claim sufficient universality, to become the basis for such an ethics? Is there anything solid enough to enjoy a genuine commitment from both individuals and organisations?

One suggestion is that inter-personal values such as care and support would be good candidates. But how would these translate into company strategy? And would they have the force to become active at every level of company operations and supply chains?


Dr Ana-Maria Pascal, Reader in Philosophy and Public Ethics and Course Leader for Regent’s BA Philosophy, Politics and Economics.

Lord Green served as chairman of HSBC (2006 – 2010), and minister of trade and investment in the British government, retiring in 2013. He is currently Chair of Asia House and the Natural History Museum, an ordained priest in the Church of England, and a member of the House of Lords. His most recent book, A Human Odyssey: East, West and the Search for Universal Values, which came out on 19 September 2019 at SPSK Publishing, is a tour de force through both geopolitics and intellectual values.

Chair: Dr Kit Barton, Principal Lecturer in Leadership, Management and Business Ethics at Regent’s University London.