A process for identifying social and environmental issues: a case of the US forest products manufacturing industry

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Abstract

  • Application of an issues management approach to corporate social responsibility consists of identifying, evaluating and responding to those issues that an industry must address in order to be socially responsible. This research focussed on identifying social and environmental issues relevant to the US forest products manufacturing industry. Towards this end, 14 interviews were conducted with key-informants drawn from non-government organizations, government and political offices, forest products associations, a multilateral organization and an extension expert. A rich set of issues was generated covering social and environmental issues. However, such a set may contain issues that are far too radical and may be challenging for companies to pursue. Accordingly, in order to develop a doable, socially credible and concise set of issues, a Delphi technique was employed consisting of forest products management and marketing academicians from various US universities. A two-round Delphi resulted in identification of six social and six environmental issues that the US forest products manufacturing industry must address in order to be socially responsible. This proposed two-stage process may have special relevance for companies that are entering into new markets overseas.

Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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