System Feature: Element, Structure and Function of Corporate Environmental Responsibility
Pp. 62-75 (14)
The main feature of a system includes the element, structure and function.
Accordingly, the internal and external elements of CER are important components of
CER system. The internal elements refer to the social and natural capital, such as the
resources, staff, technology, products and waste, etc. The external elements refer to the
investors, community, partners, government, customers and other stakeholders. CER
can be classified into four levels of economy, law, ethics and beneficence, in light of
the pyramid structure of CSR. Each level has its unique function. In the first place,
enterprises directly taking environmental responsibility can help reduce social cost and
increase social resources allocation efficiency in the long run. In the second place, the
legal CER can regulate the company to externalize the environmental cost. In the third
place, the ethical CER can ensure the harmonious and just relationship between human
being and natural environment. In the fourth place, the charity act of CER can improve
the business reputation and credibility and creates a real impact on the social themes of
the local communities. In light of SDS, the four levels of CER—economic level, legal
level, ethical level and philanthropic level—make progressive development from basic
class to advanced class. The capabilities of CER will also continue to upgrade and
extend. When companies practice CER, they must recognize the objective relationship
between nature and human society and perform well with the four principles of
dependence, coordination, symbiosis and sustainability.
CER, CSR, Element, Function, Principle, Structure, System.
School of Economics, Shanghai University, China.