Alison Taylor on Corporate Social Responsibility and Compliance [Podcast]


By Adam Turteltaub

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) poses an interesting conundrum for compliance and ethics professionals.  Both CSR and compliance are, or should be, firmly grounded in an organization’s values.  But from there things start to diverge.  Compliance is charged with doing what is required, typically by law.  CSR, though, has a broader mandate.

As Alison Taylor, Managing Director, Sustainability Management at Business for Social Responsibility explains, CSR is a series of processes to ensure that corporations pay attention to existing and emerging social concerns about the environment and other issues, including human rights.

This may seem a bit abstract, but in practice many CSR issues – think anti-corruption and human trafficking/modern slavery – become compliance issues over time.

In her podcast with us, she provides her thoughts about what CSR is and isn’t, some of the challenges it has, and how CSR and compliance teams can and should work together.

She also shares insight into the hot CSR topics that may soon be compliance issues.

Listen in to better understand what every compliance professional should know about CSR, and potential emerging compliance risk areas.


  1. Hi Alison
    I am one of the few (probably) who works in both CSR and compliance/ethics roles, and I totally agree with what you said about the trend that CSR issues often become regulatory and compliance issues – like human rights.
    And also it is true that those two functions may have the same aspiration but have different roles to play.
    I can’t agree more that the companies should look into the overlap in tools and activities in supply chain management (which is dominantly covered by CSR) and third party management (by compliance). Personally, because of my dual role, I see both CSR questionnaires to suppliers and due diligence questionnaire to agents, and definitely see the room for improvement/collaboration — if only these two functions could work together, not in silos….!
    Anyway, thanks a lot for the podcast. It was reassuring to me 🙂

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