“Doing no harm, however, is not merely a zero-sum game if there is evidence of preventing negative consequences and producing positive societal impact. For example, if a company is an extractor of natural resources and its actions left unchecked could devastate ecology, and the company invests in and implements systems to preserve and sustain that ecology, doing no harm goes beyond being defensive. It is a proof that business and the natural world can productively co-exist.
This suggests that the most creative role for corporate social responsibility and philanthropy goes far beyond being an act of redress, correction, amendment, or atonement for a misdeed. The toughest ROI for this work, but perhaps the most important, is right in the ‘heart of darkness’ that every commercial venture must face one way or another. The value added for corporate philanthropy – defined in the broadest terms – is not as frosting on the cake of goodness, but in meeting squarely those aspects that are most troubling. To turn a negative into a positive is a very good thing indeed.”
–Peter Karoff, “CSR Rule #1: Do No Harm,” Stanford Social Innovation Review, 6/28/2012
(Emphasis in original)