And while it was never a legal requirement, Corporate Social Responsibility has regularly featured on glossy reports and accounts as corporates chased the so-called "triple bottom line" of profits, people and planet.
Yikes. I wonder how long corporates will continue to pursue such dreams in the wake of this week's alternative CSR, the Comprehensive Spending Review.
The coalition government is attempting to complete a multifaceted mission every bit as challenging: to stimulate business while slashing costs aided, it hopes, by the Big Society. But, while there were some signs of innovation in its support for both business and education, it has definitely ditched any pretence of saving the planet.
In an outrageous disincentive to environmental innovation and efficiency, the Carbon Reduction Commitment is now a stealth tax.
The market must hold its breath as the impact of the CSR together with increases in VAT, commodity prices and fuel costs plays out. After the stimulus, will the surgery work? Although some grocery leaders offered their support Asda CEO Andy Clarke talked this week about the need to take the pain for the sake of our "children's children's children" no-one can predict the effect of these measures on the economy, or Big Society, or the planet for that matter.
I can just as convincingly speculate that the strikes in France which held me up for several hours while I was attending the Sial show in Paris this week will come to the UK. I just hope innovation as identified at Sial (p12), and in general, can provide the industry with some sort of route out of the mess.
In this market, there's no point relying on others. All you can do is innovate your way to success. And to trade.