Corporate Social Responsibility at Carrefour

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Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) at Carrefour Introduction: In an era of globalization, international trade deregulation and continual push-and-pull between industry and environment, it can be extremely difficult for a multinational corporation to maintain a competitive business model in balance with a meaningful sense of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). This is especially true for the largest retail companies in the world, which typically depend on the retention of extremely low production and supply chain costs in order to pass on low costs to the consumer. The pressures to utilize labor and facilities in developing countries with poorly defined labor laws, flimsy environmental laws and the absence of a proper living wage standard all have created a highly competitive retail pricing environment within which the practice of meaningful Corporate Social Responsibility can be extremely challenging. This is the context within which the present analysis of Carrefour is conducted. As one of the largest retail or 'hypermarket' chains in the world, the French based Carrefour is dominant in Europe and operates in more than two dozen other countries in Asia, Africa and the Americas. The discussion here will assess Carrefour's CSR practices in both its domestic and international orientation. Background: According to Vaxelaire & Discours-Buhot (2008), Carrefour was founded in France in 1959 and has grown today to operate in 29 countries. According to the source,
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