There are few companies that can afford to not label themselves as green and something similar is happening to the word social. From corporate social responsibility to social business to social investment, previously limited to charitable activities and workers' rights, social is on the march to becoming the new green.
As with any label, ubiquity is as much a measure of success as a sign of abuse. And as with green we have to smarten up and learn to ask the right questions. For social impact some judge by good intention, while others measure by human development indicators or complicated calculations on social rates of return.
Yet all of these are lacking in precision or comparability. Can there be a common denominator for a celebrity-packed fundraising campaign and a local after-school initiative for kids from broken homes?
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