Simon Zadek, CEO of AccountAbility and Aron Cramer, CEO BSR said “Leadership companies are taking a hard look at how their business can improve their contribution to economic development. This research provides insight from business managers and stakeholders that will help others move forward.”

Managing the economic impact of business is mixed across sectors. Many businesses are weak on managing their impact on, and the economic development of disadvantaged communities where they operate. There is a handful of companies that have started grappling with this dilemma in terms of how their economic footprint leads to social and environmental benefits for the disadvantaged. Banks and pharmaceutical companies are asking themselves how they can make their products and services accessible to the poor whilst remaining commercially viable. For mining and agriculture companies, their key economic impacts focus on production, employment and supply chain issues in the placed where they directly impact the communities where they work.

Two global corporate responsibility groups; AccountAbility and Business for Social Responsibility release this challenging and important report today, in association with Brody Weiser Burns. Funded by USAID and The Ford Foundation, “Business and Economic Development: The Impact of Corporate Responsibility Standards and Practices”examines the economic effects of core business activities of four key sectors around this economic development challenge.

The reports are based on insightful discussions with global corporations and companies in the four key sectors. Research was conducted in collaboration with: African Institute for Corporate Citizenship, Centre for Social Markets, Instituto Ethos, PALtrade, and PROhumana. The case studies in the report draw on the experience of companies such as GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer, Starbucks, Barclays Bank, Unibanco, Antamina mine and other corporations, as well as governments and investment organizations.

The first report, the Finance report goes on-line today, with others following shortly.