Corporate social responsibility


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Corporate social responsibility

  1. 1. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) articles by MallenBakerWhen the competent become the enemy of the goodBusiness Respect, 17 Feb 2008The challenge - our rapidly changing world is creating the need for businesses to make a stepchange in how they do business. The systems companies use to manage their social responsibilityare maturing, and this is seen as a good thing that will help them to address the challenge. But whatif thats wrong? What if those systems are becoming the enemy of change, not the mechanism for it?Reduced harm tobacco - is it just smoke and mirrors?Business Respect, 3 Feb 2008The debate on socially responsible tobacco has not moved on much in the last six years since BATproduced its first CSR report. At that time, I wrote that the real test was on product harm reduction- and that remains the message today. What progress have we seen in whether the promise ofreduced harm products is any closer?Innovation for sustainability - can we meet the challenge?Business Respect, 20 Jan 2008The business environment is changing dramatically. Climate change and poverty have becomemarket shapers that will not disappear with economic hard times. Adaption and innovation is thesuccessful business response to such changes, so how far can corporate sustainability become afeature of innovation within business?Predicting a Riot - Looking five years forward and backBusiness Respect, 6 Jan 2008Now is the season for predictions for the coming year. However, single year predictions are forwimps - most are simple extrapolations of existing trends which arrive at fairly predictable results.Back in 2001, I made some predictions for the next five years - how well did these stack up againstthe reality, and what might the next five years hold for the world of corporate social responsibility?2007: A review of the yearBusiness Respect, 23 Dec 2007A lot happened in the world of Corporate Social Responsibility during 2007. Did the year reallyrepresent a tipping point as some have suggested? Have all the arguments been won? Or is therestill a long way to go?Crying over spilt milkBusiness Respect, 9 Dec 2007There is no greater myth in corporate social responsibility than the idea that there is always anobvious right thing to do, which will bring reputational and business benefits. And there is no betterillustration of this fact than the way that UK supermarkets have been comprehensively stuffed overthe recent milk price-fixing row.The unnecessary suicide of the organic food movementBusiness Respect, 28 Oct 2007The UKs Soil Association has announced that it will remove its organic certification from any foodswhich have been transported by air freight except for those whose production meets Fairtraderequirements. The move has created huge controversy, and with justification.Climate change: A frontier made of cement and steel
  2. 2. Business Respect, 14 Oct 2007So, to the delight of some and the irritation of others, Al Gore has been given the joint honour of thenobel peace prize, alongside the IPCC. Both have had a huge part to play in raising awareness.Awareness, however, is the easy part.So what is the state of responsible business in the world today?Business Respect, 30 Sep 2007Youve heard the hype, and the theory. But where is corporate social responsibility really strongestacross the world, and which companies are really doing what? New analysis published by researchfirm EIRIS goes some way towards answering the question.Child labour in India – A moral red line set in stoneEthical Corporation, 1 Sep 2007More and more people want their attractive gardens to be an oasis of peace for their children to playand grow up in.The invisible problemBusiness Respect, 8 Jul 2007At first glance, you may not even see them, or notice them. But how you do business may do themdesperate damage, or give them a lifeline. They are your vulnerable customers.How to keep your honour if not your jobEthical Corporation, 1 Jun 2007The contrast could hardly be greater. Paul Wolfowitz has become embroiled in scandal around hisprivate life and its impact on his business and, at the time of writing, is hanging on. Once he was introuble, all those about him have queued up to stick the knife in. John Browne has becomeembroiled in scandal around his private life and its impact on his business and resigned. Those thatknow him have been quick to defend him.Private equity - Agents or destroyers of responsible business?Business Respect, 13 May 2007It has entered the popular consciousness in some areas of debate around corporate responsibilitythat there is a new breed of powerful barbarian at the gates. Good, socially responsible companiesare being taken over by private equity vultures and stripped of assets and any semblance of valuesfor short term gain. But the debate is now being joined with some vigour in defence of private equityactors.Buying into carbon reductionBusiness Respect, 18 Mar 2007In the UK, the Carbon Trust has launched a new approach to raising awareness and givingconsumers information - carbon product labelling. The approach is to be trialled with Walkers crisps,several Boots cosmetics and Innocent smoothies via their website. With Tesco having separatelycommitted to carbon labelling for a wide range of its products, it seems like this is the way of thefuture.Weighing the value of trustBusiness Respect, 25 Feb 2007If one could show that achieving a great reputation for corporate social responsibility wouldautomatically mean a higher share price and greater sales success, you would have your businesscase signed, sealed with a pretty pink bow, and delivered. It doesnt, however, happen like that.Instead it comes down to a more complex relationship of trust with the customer.
  3. 3. Running out of roadBusiness Respect, 11 Feb 2007Every now and then an industry is faced with the challenge to adapt and change at a scale andspeed that demands imagination and commitment. Sadly, the response by many representatives ofthe motor industry to the news that the EU is to raise fuel efficiency standards suggests thatindustry is still in denial about the changes required.The Marketplace Responsibility Principles - shifting the focus to how you make yourmoneyBusiness Respect, 3 Dec 2006On December 1st, Business in the Community launched the Marketplace Responsibility Principles.This is the first framework that describes what leading businesses should aspire to in terms ofresponsibility in the ways that they make their money.Holding your company in trustBusiness Respect, 8 Oct 2006In an ideal world, you would be able to show that the growing interest in the social andenvironmental performance of business had resulted in a direct sales benefit for good behaviour. Inspite of the growing number of successful ethical niche products, this is not something that cancurrently be done - but there is one important correlation and it comes down to trust.Creating the climate for changeBusiness Respect, 17 Sep 2006Its been out for a while in the US, but in the UK we have just had a first pre-screen viewing of AlGores An Inconvenient Truth. It has been a timely reminder of how much the issue of climatechange continues to dominate a key aspect of the agenda for corporate social responsibility.Is there REALLY a fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid?Business Respect, 3 Sep 2006The seminal work by CK Prahalad, arguing the crucial role of multi-national corporations inalleviating poverty by treating the poor as consumers, has been one of the most influential tracts inrecent years. Now, a vigorous attack has been mounted on its underlying assumptions andconclusions.So whats the business case for corporate social responsibility?Business Respect, 13 Aug 2006One of the most asked questions within the literature on corporate social responsibility is: what isthe business case for CSR? The fact that it is so often asked makes it all the more remarkable that itis so often so badly answered.A tool for the companies facing the worst dilemmas in the worldBusiness Respect, 30 Jul 2006There are business opportunities all over the world. But some bring higher risks than others. Howdoes a company best navigate dilemmas in countries where governments are unwilling or unable tofulfil their responsibilities in relation to some fairly basic, accepted norms? In an attempt to answerthis question, the OECD has produced a tool for multinational enterprises operating in what itdescribes as weak governance zones.Corporate personality - does it help companies to play fair?Business Respect, 16 Jul 2006Microsoft has had a tough couple of weeks in Europe, being fined by the European Commission for
  4. 4. not playing fair with its competitors. At the same time, PepsiCo has been bathing in the warm glowof approval after it spurned the offer to benefit from industrial espionage at Coca-Cola. So what doesit really mean, to operate within a culture of fair competition?The crucial role of business in saving the planetBusiness Respect, 2 Jul 2006For decades, the science of sustainability has been obvious to anyone that cared to take an interest.The bit that requires courage and leadership - the politics and the economics of sustainability - hasbeen a lot further behind. We know what we have to do, the question is how and what role doesbusiness have to play.At last - an Accountabiity Charter for NGOsBusiness Respect, 18 Jun 2006Over four years ago, I wrote an article calling for some sort of charter for Non-GovernmentalOrganisations (NGOs) - a suggestion that provoked some controversy at the time, but which provedmerely an early expression of a theme that many others have taken up. Now, a group of respectedinternational NGOs have produced just such a document.Forest Stewardship Council - Facing a Crisis of Confidence?Business Respect, 4 Jun 2006One of the longest established and best respected initiatives on business and sustainabledevelopment is the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). The growth over the last decade of FSCcertified timber has been one of the positive signs about how collaborative standards can be set andchange business practice. Now, a critical report of practice in Uruguay has attacked FSCaccreditation of plantations there as covering up socially and environmentally unsustainable practice.The big supermarkets - now competing on price, quality ... and trustBusiness Respect, 21 May 2006One of the latest cinematic blasts at business has just been released - Wal-Mart, the high cost of lowprices - soon after the company unveiled its new focus on social responsibility. At the same time, theUKs dominant player Tesco has been attacked by the leader of the opposition in the UK Parliamentin the same week as announcing a ten point Tesco in the Community programme covering a rangeof significant CSR issues.Scratching a nicheBusiness Respect, 28 Apr 2006There has been a furious reaction to the shock news that HSBC is to take over the UKs Co-operativeBank in its attempt to reach a new ethical market segment.In search of responsible market leadershipBusiness Respect, 23 Apr 2006Corporate social responsibility remains a disputed term, but increasingly it is now defined by howbusinesses make money, not just by how they give some of it away. What we have lacked to datehas been any kind of framework to map out what the objectives of responsibility in the marketplaceshould be.Measuring corporate social impact - art or science?Business Respect, 7 Apr 2006For years, people wanting to measure and report real performance in corporate social responsibilityhave been frustrated over one area in particular - the apparent impossibility in making any kind ofreal objective measurement of the companys social impact. Now, a new tool claims to solve thisproblem - the Social Footprint.
  5. 5. The first 100 days in the life of the responsible CEOEthical Corporation, 1 Apr 2006A recent report looked at what are the pressures on a new Marketing Director to achieve in the firsthundred days. It got me to thinking what the equivalent advice for the new CEO would be in termsof the corporate responsibility agenda.In search of the business case for responsible taxBusiness Respect, 16 Mar 2006How companies engage in tax planning has become one of the emerging issues in corporate socialresponsibility. Certainly the heat around the debate has risen in recent months, with NGOs,regulators, the media, investors and businesses engaging in heated debate.Mapping out the way ahead for business and human rightsBusiness Respect, 12 Mar 2006John Ruggie, the UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General on the issue of human rightsand transnational corporations, has produced his interim report.The Global Reporting Initiative - Leap forward or last gasp?Ethical Corporation, 9 Mar 2006It was about four years ago that I first wrote an article focusing on the substance behind the GlobalReporting Initiative. Whilst welcoming the mission of the GRI, and acknowledging the wide-rangingapproval that had been granted to its multistakeholder approach, I felt that the quality of the actualindicator framework was poor. A great process that produces a duff product is not a great process atall.Exxon ponders the challenge of ChadBusiness Respect, 8 Mar 2006ExxonMobil is a company that is probably used to the feeling that whatever it does, it can never winin the eyes of its many critics. It is used to difficult and controversial choices. It faces on of its mostdifficult ones now in Chad.Googles growing painsBusiness Respect, 11 Feb 2006According to Reuters, Yahoo has now provided evidence that has jailed a second Chinese dissidentwriter. Allegedly, Yahoos co-operation with the Chinese police led to the arrest in 2003 of Li Zhi,who was sentenced to eight years in prison after trying to join the China Democracy Party.Don’t buy this product!Ethical Corporation, 1 Feb 2006A recent UN Environment Program report poses the question: “Can a company incite customers toconsume less?” Despite first appearances, it is not such a stupid question. We know that it wouldtake around three planets worth of resources to sustain the current world population at the level ofthe average European lifestyle – and around five planets worth to match the US dream.If Roche sneezes, the Pharmaceutical Industry catches a coldBusiness Respect, 30 Oct 2005Some years after the pharmaceutical industry first shot itself squarely in the foot when it tried to suethe South African government, the issue of patents for essential drugs is once again centre stage.This time it is predominantly flu drug Tamiflu maker Roche that has to resolve the dilemmas at theheart of the industry.Can companies that make products that kill be socially responsible?
  6. 6. Business Respect, 18 Sep 2005Killing people is wrong. Thats one of the earliest principles established by any civilised society. Sohow can a company be considered socially responsible if its products - used as instructed - result inloss of human life?CSR Reporting faces its next challengeBusiness Respect, 29 Jul 2005There is some discussion that a number of the people in the leading companies - the pioneers, theCSR enthusiasts, the committed - are getting pretty fed up of being on the hamster wheel ofchurning out annual CSR reports. They spend most of their time collecting data, and not coming upwith new ways to improve business practice. Revolt is in the air.Corporate lobbying - Rising up the CSR AgendaBusiness Respect, 7 Jul 2005Anyone with an eye towards where are the emerging issues in corporate social responsibility willhave registered the question of corporate lobbying of governments. Indeed, it wasnt that long agothat we last dealt with the question here. Since then things have continued to move significantly.Standards of Corporate ResponsibiityBusiness Respect, 15 Jun 2005The International Standards Organisation has just completed a summit meeting in Korea on thefuture development of the proposed Corporate Social Responsibility standard ISO 26000. At thesame time China has announced a new responsibility standard for the textiles and garmentsindustry. Surely such standards represent progress. I wonder.Corporate Social Responsibility in Kazakhstan – a reflectionBusiness Respect, 16 May 2005How far as the movement for CSR penetrated into the consciousness and activity of companiesbased in Kazakhstan? A conference for business practitioners focusing primarily on communityinvolvement that took place in Almaty reviewed some of the evidence.Profitable poverty alleviation creates a ‘new frontier’ for corporate responsibilityBusiness Respect, 12 Dec 2004Last week, the Financial Times carried a story about how GrupoNueva aims to target the world’spoor as a potential market by aiming to design and sell affordable wood and water pipeline productsto this vast segment of the world’s population. The company, it said, was aiming to show howprofitability and corporate responsibility can go hand in hand.Corporate Social Responsibility moves centre stageBusiness Respect, 20 Oct 2004The question of the role of business in society has received a high profile in recent months with acouple of films that have sought to shine a critical spotlight on what many see has the dominantinstitution of our times.Is CSR a movement for change that is underachieving?Business Respect, 22 Aug 2004The corporate responsibility movement is hitting against real limits because of the distance of mostinitiatives from core business. In the face of the Millennium Development Goals, CSR is providingprecious little in the way of a substantial business contribution towards tackling some of the mostsignificant development issues facing human kind.Whats in an award?
  7. 7. Business Respect, 19 Jul 2004The annual Business in the Community awards, which took place on July 6th, saw the usual crop ofexamples of best practice from a range of areas relating to responsible business practice andcommunity involvement. It was however the first time a CSR award made it onto the front page ofthe Financial Times, with the choice of Marks & Spencer as BITCs Company of the Year just as thetakeover battle for the company was reaching fever pitch.Getting fat on a diet of righteous indignationBusiness Respect, 13 Jun 2004Over the last month, particularly in the UK but elsewhere as well, a great deal of nonsense has beenwritten about corporate social responsibility and obesity. It has been a debate that has shown manyof the commentators at their worst.Finding the formula for responsible small companiesBusiness Respect, 23 May 2004One of the common arguments arising from the Corporate Social Responsibility movement -particularly in the developed economies - is that CSR is just as important for small to medium sizedenterprises (SMEs) as it is for the big boys. I wonder why.Oil on troubled watersBusiness Respect, 18 Apr 2004How much are companies responsible for the actions of governments in the countries where they dobusiness? Often it comes down to the degree of collusion required. Companies may argue with somejustice that their presence helps to improve the situation. In other cases, the revenues theygenerate can be clearly seen to go towards unfortunate ends.Behind the Mask: How Christian Aid got it wrong on corporate responsibilityEthical Corporation, 23 Feb 2004I am about to be mean to an organisation whose work I generally respect. But Christian Aid’s“Behind the Mask: The Real Face of CSR” has got my goat.Responsibility without controlBusiness Respect, 22 Feb 2004How much can a company be held responsible when its customers voluntarily misuse productswhich, used properly, are benign or beneficial? It may sound like an arcane question, relevant onlyto a few problem industry companies. But it is at the heart, for instance, of the recent controversyover food companies and obesity, and many others crises that no-one saw coming until too late.The Media and Social ResponsibilityBusiness Respect, 1 Feb 2004The Hutton Report has placed the harshest possible spotlight on the social responsibility of mediacompanies - a light that in the first instance has not been greatly flattering to the BBC. But whathere is the real challenge of corporate social responsibility for media companies?The next five years of CSR - some progressBusiness Respect, 11 Jan 2004In our first new year edition of Business Respect, two years ago, we made a number - nine no less -of predictions about what would happen in the world of corporate social responsibility over thecoming five years. Two years in, and in the spirit of accountability, lets see how were doing.Corporate Social Responsibility in 2003 - A review of the yearBusiness Respect, 21 Dec 2003
  8. 8. 2003 has been a fascinating year for those of us involved in the movement for corporate socialresponsibility. There have been scandals and setbacks, controversy and debate, paragons of goodpractice, and innovation in tools to manage and benchmark progress. It seems that none of theenergy or momentum for improvement has diminished. And yet there is a gradual growing maturityin how CSR is described and put into practice.Korea explores the beauty of corporate community investmentBusiness Respect, 30 Nov 2003Corporate Social Responsibility in South Korea remains predominantly defined by philanthropy. Thefocus of the International Symposium held by the Beautiful Foundation, the fast emerging leadingnot-for-profit organisation in Seoul, certainly reinforced this.The accountability of NGOsBusiness Respect, 16 Nov 2003Burson Marsteller, the major public relations firm, this week released a real dog-bites-man story.Apparently, the majority of campaigning Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) who focus onissues around corporate accountability are sceptical of what companies put into their reports. Thatthis should make the news at all just shows how easy it can be to turn surveys into headlines.Buying into social responsibilityBusiness Respect, 2 Nov 2003The importance of how companies manage social responsibility across the whole of their productionprocess - including that part owned by their suppliers - has been stressed for some years now.Nevertheless, it remains the area where current practice remains pretty poor.The inherent value of jobsBusiness Respect, 19 Oct 2003In the last few days, HSBC has announced that it is to move 4,000 jobs from the UK to a morecompetitive location - ie. in the developing world. The move has caused outrage amongst the tradeunions, who have been quoted as saying that the companys claims to corporate social responsibilitycould effectively now be discarded. Is that right?Managing your indirect responsibility for free choiceEthical Corporation, 1 Oct 2003The truth is, I need to lose a little weight. Some restraint on the old food intake is called for, and areturn to the days when I expended considerable effort in the gym replacing fat with muscle. Ofcourse, I could always sue instead. No doubt those occasional veggie burgers at London’s LiverpoolStreet station while waiting for a train have piled the pounds on. And the fish and chip shop in thenext village has a lot to answer for. How was I to know such food didn’t constitute a healthy,balanced diet?Corporate Social Responsibility in Asia - a tale of two conferencesBusiness Respect, 23 Sep 2003During the last week, we have seen the Asian Forum on CSR in Bangkok, and the Ethical CorporationAsia Conference in Singapore. You could not have had two more different events had one of themtaken place on the moon.In the market for business responsibilityBusiness Respect, 7 Sep 2003How companies show social responsibility in the marketplace is the key challenge that will come todefine the success or failure of CSR over the coming years. When journalists note in passing, assome have certainly done recently, the triviality of much of what passes as CSR, they are usually
  9. 9. reflecting the relative novelty with which the movement is getting to grips with issues around coreproducts and services.Raising the heat on business over human rightsBusiness Respect, 17 Aug 2003On August 13th, the UN Sub-commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights launchedits document bringing together the range of codes and guidelines to which business should adhere -the Draft Norms on the Responsibilities of Transnational Corporations and Other BusinessEnterprises. On the one hand, the document covers some well trod ground. On the other, somebusiness organisations have reacted with concern that this is the beginning of the slide towardscompulsion on some rather difficult areas.Doing it smallEthical Corporation, 1 Aug 2003Some of the most inspiring examples of socially responsible business for me have been smallcompanies.Redefining CSR as a process that starts at the heart of the companyBusiness Respect, 27 Jul 2003Mark Goyder has laid down a challenge to the movement for corporate social responsibility in"Redefining CSR", produced by the UKs Centre for Tomorrows Company. Widely reported onpublication as an attack on the "box-ticking" approach of some advocates, it is in fact a much morevaluable review of the difference between companies who take the message into the heart of thecompany and those who simply comply with todays expectations whilst leaving the core untouched.Looking for business solutions on CSR reportingBusiness Respect, 13 Jul 2003The recent Business in the Community annual conference saw the beginning of a fascinatingexploration of how companies deal with their marketplace issues, as well as the launch of a wholenew series of best practice case studies associated with the BITC awards.Are the drugs companies just addicted to pain?Ethical Corporation, 1 Jul 2003According to a recent report by the CoreRatings agency, the global pharmaceuticals industry facesreal danger to its entire business model as a result of health crises in the developing world.Interestingly, it is GlaxoSmithKline, the main focus for the protestors in this area, that is consideredto have done the most to address the potential risks. GSK must be ruefully noting that the benefitsof such forward-thinking seem to have been slow to appear.Corporate Community Investment in JapanBusiness Respect, 22 Jun 2003According to a recent report, commissioned by Cable and Wireless, there is an urgent need for arevolution in how Japanese companies approach corporate community investment in response torapid social change and the relatively late rise of the non-profit sector.Bringing corporate lobbying into the lightBusiness Respect, 1 Jun 2003The phrase the business of business is business - familiar to the point of mundanity as it is - isbelieved both by sceptics of corporate social responsibility and some of those CSR champions whoseprincipal focus remains the business case. Nowhere is it held to have more relevance than when itcomes to a question of the role of companies in the formation of public policy.Corporate accountability or public vengeance?
  10. 10. Ethical Corporation, 1 Jun 2003To every complex problem there is an answer that is simple, elegant, intuitive, and wrong. I believethat companies should be held accountable for the damage that they do. In principle, most peoplewould agree. But when you get into the detail, the line between accountability and liability is adifficult one to draw.Managing CSR in the workplaceBusiness Respect, 18 May 2003One of the last bastions of resistance to CSR programmes within corporates often seems to be theHR department. Given the significant range of issues owned here, that can be a real disadvantage.What are the corporate social responsibility issues that need to be managed in the workplace?Executive remuneration and Corporate Social ResponsibilityBusiness Respect, 4 May 2003It seems that there has been something of a minor revolution in what shareholders are prepared toaccept from business management. In particular, the protests about perceived excessive levels ofexecutive remuneration have swept the recent round of AGMs like the corporate equivalent of SARS.GlaxoSmithKline - Seeking a cure for public mistrustBusiness Respect, 20 Apr 2003There is a real dilemma facing a company like GlaxoSmithKline. On the one hand, the companymakes demonstrably socially desirable goods - medicines. The companys products save andenhance lives. How absurdly easy, then, for the company to unite around a mission to improve thequality of life, and to fire up some of the best talent in the world to make a profit in this cause.A standard to build trust in company social reportingBusiness Respect, 6 Apr 2003Accountability has released the AA1000 Assurance Standard in an attempt to put some degree ofquality and rigour onto the growing process of social reporting. The question is how well does itsucceed?Wal-Mart - From folk hero to corporate monsterBusiness Respect, 23 Mar 2003Few companies attract as much emotion as Wal-Mart. In a short time it has become the biggest andthe most successful of its kind, striding across the world as a feared giant, the symbol of all thatepitomises the uncaring corporation.Companies struggle with the difficulties of human rightsBusiness Respect, 23 Feb 2003Companies genuinely, and with the best will in the world, struggle with how they can incorporatehuman rights principles into their practice around the world. They struggle particularly with how theycan measure their performance in this area.Is this the First Ever Corporate Social/Environmental Report?Business Respect, 9 Feb 2003If pushed, most practitioners within the field of corporate social responsibility will tell you that thefirst proper social report by a company was the first report of the Body Shop. That most remarkableof companies had, in the mid-nineties, set the standard that others would seek to follow. They wouldbe wrong.Westpac - A Case Study in Socially Responsible BankingBusiness Respect, 9 Feb 2003
  11. 11. The Australian banking sector has had an unmitigated hammering from politicians and public opinionalike for their failings in social responsibility. All the more remarkable, then, that the top scoringcompany in the recent Reputation Index compiled by the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age shouldhave been a bank. Not so surprising when you look into the detail of how Westpac does business.What do the CEOs know about CSR?Business Respect, 26 Jan 2003We usually report the headline results in brief of the various surveys that give snapshots of changingattitudes to corporate social responsibility. However, with some of the worlds most powerful CEOsgathered together at Davos, now seemed like a good time to review the changing attitudes of thisparticular group.The next five years of CSR - some progressBusiness Respect, 29 Dec 2002This time last year, we made a number of predictions about what would happen in the world ofcorporate social responsibility over the coming five years. It may not be five years later just yet -but its worth nevertheless fearlessly casting an eye back on each of these to see whether trendssince that time suggest the predictions will ultimately hold up or not.2002 - A Year in Corporate Social ResponsibilityBusiness Respect, 15 Dec 20022002 was a year that inherited a good many rumbles from the previous year. The full implications ofthe corporate governance debacles of Enron and Worldcom were still working their way through thesystem, but awareness was high that all the rules had changed. The only thing people didnt knowwas just how far, or how quickly, things would go.A tale of two definitions - the European Campaign for CSRBusiness Respect, 1 Dec 2002"It Simply Works Better - Campaign Report on European CSR Excellence 2002 - 2003". Report fromthe European Business Campaign on CSR.But is there a social case for CSR?Business Respect, 17 Nov 2002The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) celebrated the launch of theWalking the Talk book giving an up to date exposition of the business case for corporate socialresponsibility with a debate - an event bringing together the most eloquent sceptics to face two ofthe books authors for a no-holds barred contest.A standard for goodnessBusiness Respect, 3 Nov 2002The International Standards Organisation (ISO) is moving slowly ever closer towards the decision tocreate an ISO standard for Corporate Social Responsibility. For some people, this will represent acoming of age amongst the movement - the development of a standard that can achieve themainstream respectability of an ISO 14001. For others, it will be the kiss of death.Environmental and Social Accountability Report - Musgrave Group 2002Business Respect, 19 Oct 2002Musgrave Group, which was founded in 1876 and is Irelands largest food and grocery distributor,has produced its first CSR report - building from its first environmental report last year. Thecompany believes that this is the first such report from a business based in the Republic of Ireland,and they may well be right.
  12. 12. Do we expect business to save the world?Business Respect, 4 Oct 2002The definition of the responsibilities of business has evolved rapidly over the last twenty or thirtyyears. Initially, the expectation was that businesses would obey the law and follow basic ethicalstandards of behaviour. Other than that, it was pretty much anything goes.The interesting demise of the legend of Jack WelchBusiness Respect, 22 Sep 2002In the very first issue of this newsletter, I wrote a piece pondering the fact that - although weremain convinced that social responsibility is a symbol of true leadership - the two consistently"most highly respected" business leaders in the US were Bill Gates and Jack Welch. Neither hadestablished much of a reputation for caring about their wider impact on society, and yet theirreputations seemed iron clad.The Global Reporting Initiative - Raising the Bar too high?Business Respect, 8 Sep 2002The Global Reporting Initiative has released the latest version of its guidelines, drawing on thediscussion draft of some months ago. It is published against a backdrop of some resistance to theframework from companies who see it as setting the bar unrealistically high. The draft introducedthe move towards a larger number of core indicators, which companies seeking to report inaccordance with the GRI are obliged to follow.Looking for a more mature definition of post-Enron CSRBusiness Respect, 25 Aug 2002In the wake of recent events, one of the most frustrating outcomes has been a certain amount ofhandwringing on the part of the CSR movement, as well as criticism from elsewhere, based on thepresumption that CSR should have been able to highlight Enron and the rest as bad companies.AngloGold - Towards Sustainability. A social investment report 2001 / 2002Business Respect, 25 Aug 2002"In describing our approach and some of our achievements, we do not imply that we do not still facevery substantial challenges in all of these areas or that we have done enough. On the contrary, theexistence of the strategies and plans in this report indicates the extent to which the Board andmanagement of AngloGold acknowledge the difficulty and complexity of the task ahead of us."Russell Edey, ChairmanSouth African Breweries - Corporate Accountability Report 2002Business Respect, 11 Aug 2002"In the complex, fast-changing global economy of today, well run, responsible business can be atremendous force for good." Graham Mackay, Chief Executive, SABmillerBeyond Philanthropy - Pharmaceuticals challenged to go furtherBusiness Respect, 28 Jul 2002Oxfam, Save the Children and VSO have released a new report that seeks to set out the terms ofreference for pharmaceutical companies grappling with the issues around corporate socialresponsibility.