Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)

The term Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) describes the responsibility of a company towards society. Reports on irresponsible actions of companies, particularly by their suppliers, have increased public awareness of CSR in recent years. Many businesses have introduced CSR guidelines (so-called Codes of Conduct) for their staff. Often they also ask their business partners to comply with the principles of their CSR regulations.

Though CSR was at first understood purely as voluntary acts by businesses, it is now increasingly the case that legal aspects of CSR are becoming prominent. Violation of CSR principles is now of legal relevance in several respects and can not only involve damage to the company’s image but also liabilities. There are many legal aspects of CSR where legal advice is required for business practice, for instance compliance with CSR guidelines and contractually passing these on to contractual partners (eg. suppliers).

Advice we offer on CSR primarily covers the following areas:

  • Selection and implementation of CSR Codes of Conduct (so-called ethical guidelines)
  • Incorporation of CSR business guidelines into contractual relations with suppliers (CSR in the Supply Chain)
  • Reporting on business CSR
  • CSR in competition law

Dr. Andreas Rühmkorf is an expert in legal issues affecting CSR. He is the author of a book on the topic. His book “Corporate Social Responsibility, Private Law and Global Supply Chains” addresses CSR from several legal perspectives (corporate law and corporate governance, supplier contracts, competition law and tort law) and will be published in 2015 by British publishing house Edward Elgar.

For more information about advice offered by Andreas Rühmkorf on CSR please click here.

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