Tomorrow’s Company, an independent business-led UK think tank, identifies two paths for CSR.

The author, Mark Goyder, worries that current CSR trends point in the direction of “compliance CSR”, which means that companies are merely stating their compliance with the expectations of society, as opposed to expressing the company’s true purpose and values. He says that making social or sustainability reporting mandatory would mark a further move in this direction.

On the other hand, only few companies follow the path of “conviction / values-led CSR”. This means that most companies fail to communicate their corporate personality. Due to the lack of more honest statements from companies, the ultimate issue, the crisis of trust that companies are facing, remains unresolved. “Trust is not restored by ritual compliance: trust is restored by integrity – which literally means wholeness. It is the task of leaders to inspire and lay the foundations for trust,” says the author.