In recent years, Nirex has been engaged in a fundamental review of its values, objectives and behaviours. The significant shift to emerge from this review has been a commitment to being a responsible organisation. On both ethical and strategic grounds, Nirex believes it will only have a useful role to play in future radioactive waste management debates if it can show that it is a socially responsive and accountable organisation. Important commitments have already been made, and policies introduced, including a Transparency Policy, and an Environmental Policy. Over the same period, there has been a growing discourse and engagement in the UK with Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). A wealth of organisations and consultants have emerged offering thought leadership and support in this area, some of whom have approached Nirex offering services. The challenge Nirex faces, however, is to understand what relevance and implications the CSR debate has for its work, and its wider commitment to responsibility. Should Nirex have a CSR strategy and produce a CSR report, or does ‘responsibility’ mean something different to Nirex? What would engaging in CSR mean — is there a danger that being responsible would become a stand-alone activity in the organisation, rather than a ‘mainstreamed’ commitment? If Nirex were to produce a CSR report, who would it be aimed at, and how would it fit alongside other corporate communications? In order to help answer these questions, and to develop a clear position and strategy, Nirex asked the Future Foundation to help facilitate input from consultants and other practitioners who have relevant experience. This paper will describe what was undertaken, the results and some thoughts on what this means for the future.

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