How will CSR fare in the face of government cutbacks in the UK?

Since moving to London, I have tried to get myself acquainted with what is going on in the CSR scene by meeting with a couple of CSR practitioners. One thing that has been particularly interesting for me to ask is people’s opinions on how the government cutbacks will affect CSR in general. Rather ominously, the Sustainable Development Commission was axed as part of the cutbacks…. so what does that mean?

In the corporate sector, not a lot. I have been finding that most people have been pretty bullish (bear in mind the small sample size), particularly for companies that are based out of London. Responses have been along the lines of:

– It won’t matter, since companies are not the ones that will be receiving cuts to funding;
– Most companies have been hoarding cash in the recession so they’ll be spending more;
– There may be an opportunity for companies to take on a more strategic, social innovation role that in a way “replaces” the government;

However, it sounds like non-profits and charities who receive government funding, particularly the ones that are outside the London bubble, have already seen some negative movement. There is a huge opportunity for corporations to help out during this time.


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