Monday, November 24, 2008

Corporate Social Resposibility? More Like Community Sincerity Reduction!

Dear Fellow Shareholders,

As the Taipan of Hong Kong’s most distinguished trading house, I am frequently asked why my company spurns opportunities to participate in CSR programmes. My answer is as follows.

If a company engages in CSR it does so for two reasons. It is: (1) making hideous amounts of money; (2) ashamed of how it has aggregated this largesse. CSR is then engaged as a means of disconnecting points (1) and (2).

Now recall from your memories some of the highest profile CSR programmes in Hong Kong. Undoubtedly, Standard Chartered’s sponsorship of the Hong Kong Marathon springs to mind. You may also recall Cathay Pacific’s carbon offsets – or their Asian Waterbird Conservation Fund. The CSR smokescreen is ineffective in both cases.

Everyone knows that the average Standard Chartered banker would never break sweat (unless they were late for a client meeting with a Taipan). Similarly, Cathay’s offsets are largely insignificant against a fleet of 747s which inject tonnes of CO2 into the stratosphere on a daily basis – and kill birds through a phenomenon known as bird strike.

Shareholders, fear not - Gornt is not going soft! Your Taipan merely wishes to highlight the lack of sincerity that lurks uncomfortably behind such campaigns. On the contrary, Rothwell-Gornt seeks to be honest with the community – “We are getting rich - it is glorious, and we are proud of it!”

Best of joss,

Quillan Gornt
CEO and Taipan
Rothwell-Gornt Holdings


gweipo said...

hmmm, now that is ever so slightly unfair... my ex-running partner, bless his soul, his large belly and gout in his toe, did in fact run the Std chartered marathon, and did so helping a blind person along the way.
Not all bankers are created alike.
But the 'business' of CSR, well, that's another story.

Private Beach said...

Companies that employ child labour, pay slave wages and pollute the neighbourhood are surprisingly unpopular these days - must be all this education young people get nowadays. CSR lets them pretend to be concerned about these issues, so the activists will leave them alone to keep exploiting the masses.

Cynical? Moi?

Word verification for this comment: reverter. Must mean something.

Quillan Gornt said...

Madam - You will find that I chose my words wisely on this one ("the average SC banker"). Your well fed friend is clearly the exception to the rule!

Sir - Could this be the same Private Beachside Villas manager that was harping on about "ethical investment" in Hong Kong properties? Changed your tone, old chap?

May G.P. Educational and Private Beachside Villas both enjoy unanticipated joss,

ulaca said...

Spare a thought for those who have to read and write this dross.

Quillan Gornt said...


Bad dross, old chap - if you will excuse the pun!