Michael Skapinker of the Financial Times has written a recent useful summary of the recent big business moves in the field of corporate social responsibility / sustainability.
Skapinker, in an article titled "Why corporate responsibility is a survivor", argues the business case is now clearer than ever, despite the odd dip in sales for some ethically-minded produce.
He writes that the key for companies is that: "They have worked out how to make it pay. Many of their initiatives help to cut costs or sustain supplies. They allow customers to continue to regard themselves as ethical during difficult times. They also help the companies to improve their public reputations at a time when business is widely held to be responsible for the downturn."
Nice pithy summary. Of course he doesn't address the elephant in the room: The lack of serious capital intensive investment in lower carbon technologies, products and supply chains. There's an area that still needs major work by Government.
Many companies are waiting for the incentive structures to be improved, or clear regulatory frameworks to be put in place that they can plan and/or raise capital against.