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CSR or PR?

One of the problems emerging from the current buzz around green issues and sustainability is that it leaves the door open for companies to claim that something is more than it actually is.

Of course, in many instances, this is perfectly acceptable: taking steps to cut carbon emissions, for example, can deliver good bottom line energy savings—and also lead to good PR. But the chase for the latter can sometimes leave the room for interpretation a little blurry…

One example of this comes from a new ‘corporate responsibility’ report issued by telco giant Vodafone. To be fair, there’s plenty of good stuff: energy efficiency in network kit is up 25%, handsets collected for reuse or recycling up 59%, and so on. But one of the report’s ‘highlights’ notes that the firm has cut the average cost of roaming calls in Europe by 40%.

Of course, we’re all in favour of cheaper calls, but one wonders if that isn’t simply the same price cut that all telco operators have been forced to make by the EU, as of last month? Or maybe we’re just a little cynical…

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