Companies and ethic/sustainability aspects

through Corporate Social Responsibility



By Marie Dasque

SKEMA Business School

Lille, France



As big companies have been facing many issues on ethic or sustainability aspects that put them into embarrassing positions with their stakeholders, corporate social responsibility (CSR) gets more and more attention with companies are government legislation.

The purpose of this work is to analyze if those regulation works effectively and if in this way sustainability performance has raised or not, and what can companies do according to the result.

In this paper, we have used a comparison method about the alternatives we proposed to face weaknesses in CSR in contracts.

The main findings of this analysis showed us that the bets alternatives for the companies would be to get a sustainable procurement response.

This represents such efforts but many solutions remain and companies can have the all control on it and could benefit from many tools.

Key words: Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), Social contractuel clauses (SCC), Social engagement, Environmental engagement, Contracts’ regulation and laws, Ethical requirements


Apple, in its 2017 CSR report is writing: “Apple Inc. is committed to protecting the environment, health, and safety of our employees, customers and the global communities where we operate”.

Nowadays, we witness an increase of awareness of CSR in countries and companies, an approach that evaluates and takes care of the social and environmental impact of business practices. Companies and government with laws to discourage unethical behavior have both evolved in a positive way to reverse the trend. The improvement of CSR strategies related to Project Management brings many changes in contracting’ scope for a company. In fact, contracts correspond to the objectives of a project, the way stakeholders will manage it, what they are obliged to do and what is forbidden. Then, as far as CSR is progressing, contracts are evolving too, with more ethical and sustainable clauses than before. To make progress on it, companies and governments mention new topics such as Ethical requirements, Sustainability contractual clauses (SCC), promotion of social and environmental standards etc. However, despite these positive changes, many issues remained on adapting sustainable and ethical ideas in global and constantly changing market and businesses. To survive in a very competitive world, companies need to provide projects (products or services) with the highest quality, in the shortest time and at lower price. Then, that “law” sometimes led companies to act in an unethical and unsustainable way when contracting.

For example, bid shopping might be in practice coming from the contractor to get the best price and the subcontractor to get the contract might use bid peddling. Even if regulations occurred to stop those business fashions, they still remain used. Another example would be regulations in countries: To get more benefits, and win time avoiding administrative issues in their own countries, companies often outsource with business ‘partners abroad for cheaper labor, where the subcontractor might not have the same contract regulations as in his country.

This is one of the biggest problems in sustainability clauses in CSR. In fact, disparity remains between countries. While states (developing countries most of the time) are more and more introducing CSR and with ethical and sustainable values in their government policies, companies do not have the possibility to ensure the same regulations when contracting with a foreign partner.

Then as Apple includes employer safety in its CSR clauses, labor workforce is working in inhumane conditions in manufactures abroad.

According to these problems recognition, the question is how can companies improve their ethics and sustainability aspects through CSR clauses in contracts?


To read entire paper, click here


Editor’s note: Student papers are authored by graduate or undergraduate students based on coursework at accredited universities or training programs.  This paper was prepared as a deliverable for the course “International Contract Management” facilitated by Dr Paul D. Giammalvo of PT Mitratata Citragraha, Jakarta, Indonesia as an Adjunct Professor under contract to SKEMA Business School for the program Master of Science in Project and Programme Management and Business Development.  http://www.skema.edu/programmes/masters-of-science. For more information on this global program (Lille and Paris in France; Belo Horizonte in Brazil), contact Dr Paul Gardiner, Global Programme Director [email protected].

About the Author

Marie Dasque

SKEMA Business School
Lille, France


Marie Dasque
is a French student in her last year before being graduating from the programme Master of Science in “Project and programme management and Business development” provided at Skema Business School (France). This program is also providing AGILE and PRINCE2 certification opportunities. Marie now has more than one year of experience in project management that she experienced during internships in different fields: Car industry, banking, and public administration (Schedule, cost, organisation and transformation, event planning, contract strategy, etc.). Marie can be contacted at: [email protected]