While most CSR definitions mostly evolved around the concept that business can and should act in a manner that respects the legitimate goals and demands of all stakeholders, more recently the concept was enhanced to recognize and include social responsibility and sustainability as an integral part of the business model, fitting and tuned to the core business strategy and thus directly and effectively contributing to the long-term success of the enterprise.

This seeks to refocus the meaning of CSR and avoid the unfortunately numerous abuses when it was used for window dressing, ticking boxes of different local regulations to avoid certain taxation burdens or defensive measures for protecting image and reputation. The key challenge is to turn CSR into a true and powerful tool to a proactive cost-benefit calculus that factors in financial gains from productivity improvements (eg. resulting from enlightened human resource management or from higher energy or material efficiency) and ultimately becomes the basis for brand equity and the driver of organisational learning, innovation and technology management.
The new and simpler definition put forward by the European Commission refers to CSR as "the responsibility of enterprises for their impacts on society and outlines what an enterprise should do to meet that responsibility.

The European Commission's new strategy on corporate social responsibility (CSR), part of a package of measures on responsible business, aims to help enterprises achieve their full potential in terms of creating wealth, jobs and innovative solutions to the many challenges Europe's society is currently facing.

This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

Project Nr. 2014-1-TR01-KA200-013388