Is our understanding of responsibility too narrow?

Is our understanding of responsibility too narrow?

  • Customers have responsibility too when it comes to sustainable products and value chains
  • Every time a customer buys a product, he is also responsible for how it is made
  • The education about what is behind products and value chains should start in school


The terms corporate social responsibility and corporate responsibility have been around for some time now. Companies have taken various levels of depth and effort to ensure that they take care of employees, environment and society while conducting business.

But why should the responsibility for how a product is made, what ingredients it has and the environmental and societal impact it has caused, solely be left to the company producing it? Why is the entire discussion so focused on the producer and not on the person/organization buying the product?

I believe that Corporate Responsibility should be Customer Responsibility as well.

Every time a customer (a term that I prefer over consumer and that works well in a business to business context) buys a product or service, he/she has a responsibility for how it is made!

To educate customers about their responsibility and what story is behind each product, there should be value chain transparency and customer education (which actually should start in school!)

I’m interested in what you think is the best way to get customers to live up to their responsibility?

Please comment here.