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Social issues in business presentation


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Here's a 24 slide deck of images and text I presented today to about 30 managers in a training session. I tried to cover a fair bit of ground in 45 minutes. I attempted to look at why and how social and environmental issues are increasingly linked in management. I tried to tell some stories of what companies are doing in response to the social - as well as environmental - pressures on them.

Published in: Business, Economy & Finance
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Social issues in business presentation

  1. 1. Social  issues  and  Sustainability   Tobias  Webb,  November  19  2013   Stakeholder  Intelligence  /  Ethical  CorporaDon  
  2. 2. Founded  2001     Business  magazine       Based  in  London,  global   network  of  writers       8000  arDcles  on     Serving  3000  companies     Hosts  Conferences     Publishes  Reports     Interview  hundreds  of     managers  every  year     More  at:      
  3. 3. Social  issues,  business  and   governance     Sounds  a  bit  academic  and  woolly,   right?       So  let’s  break  it  down  to  what  it  really   means    
  4. 4. Where  environment  meets  human   rights     •  30  Greenpeace  acDvists  detained  in  the   Russian  ArcDc   •  Two  aVempted  to  board  a  Gazprom  plaWorm   in  protest   •  All  arrested  in  a  Commando  raid   •  Charged  with  piracy,  now  hooliganism     •  Russia  clearly  trying  to  defend  ArcDc   exploraDon  interests  
  5. 5. Forced/bonded  child  labour   •  168  million  children  engaged  in  child  labour   worldwide  (Uzbek  harvest  every  September)   •  Down  from  215  million  in  2008,  and  245   million  in  2000   •  More  than  half  are  involved  in  hazardous   work,  considered  one  of  the  worst  forms  of   child  labour.  Uzbekistan  a  key  perpetrator  
  6. 6. So  what  can  a  company  do?   •  Clear  policy  of  no  tolerance  of  child  labour  in   their  operaDons  and  supply  chain   •  Due  diligence  on  children’s  rights:  UDlise  the   John  Ruggie  Framework   •  Partnerships  and  lobbying  to  help  formalise   the  informal  economy    
  7. 7. Another  key  issue:  Transparency  
  8. 8. SoluDon?  CollaboraDon   •  ExtracIve  Industry  Transparency  IniIaIve   set  up  in  2003  to  combat  Government-­‐related   corrupDon  in  the  oil  industry     •  “MulDstate  corporate  governance”.  Countries,   NGOs  and  large  companies  all  involved     •  Set  standard  for  disclosure  of  revenues/deals   •  A  long,  slow  and  bumpy  road  for  signatories     •  Now  broadened,  four  EU  states  +  US  to  join    
  9. 9. Why  is  deforestaDon  also  a  social  issue?  
  10. 10. Other  collaboraIon  based  groups  that  are   driving  change:       •  Kimberly  Process:  Conflict  diamonds   •  Sustainable  Apparel  CoaliIon:  Factory  PolluDon  &  Social   Standards   •  Word  Business  Council  for  Sustainable  Development:   Lobbying     •  World  Resources  InsItute:  Research,  policy,  mapping   •  Carbon  Disclosure  Project:  ReporDng  and  accounDng   •  Roundtable  on  Sustainable  Palm  Oil:  Standards,  social  and   environmental  improvements   •  Global  eSustainability  IniIaIve:  CollaboraDon  for  tech   companies  
  11. 11. When  social  issues  go  wrong   •  Nestle:  AVacked  by  Greenpeace  in  2010   Result:  Social  media  reputaDon  meltdown     •  Chiquita:  Sued  by  families  of  Colombians  killed  by   rebel  groups  due  to  ransom  payments  made   Result:  Huge  reputaDon  damage  and  legal  costs    
  12. 12. Coca-­‐Cola:  Mis-­‐managed  media  and  consumer   percepDons  over  India  water  management  in  2006     Result:  BoycoV,  brand  damage,  producDon  halts   and  Indian  management  team  lost  their  jobs    
  13. 13. When  social  issues  go  very  wrong  
  14. 14. Rana  Plaza  April  2013   •  Factory  of  sub-­‐standard  construcDon   collapsed,  despite  warnings   •  1129  people  died,  mostly  young  women   •  Brands  audited  working  condiDons,  not   building  structures   •  Lead  to  creaDon  of  Accord  on  Factory  and   Building  Safety  in  Bangladesh  
  15. 15. Rana  Plaza,  some  posiDve  results   •  Accord  is  a  “five-­‐year  legally  binding   agreement  between  internaDonal  labor   organizaDons,  non-­‐governmental   organizaDons,  and  retailers  engaged  in  the   texDle  industry  to  maintain  minimum  safety   standards  in  the  Bangladesh  texDle  industry”   •  October  2013:  1,600  Bangladeshi  factories   covered,  represenDng  about  a  third  of  the   Bangladeshi  texDle  industry  
  16. 16. Nike:  A  posiDve  story,  eventually…  
  17. 17. Nike:  From  ‘devil’  to  leader!   •  Nike  aVacked  since  1990s  over  labour  condiDons   •  IniDally  defensive,  gradually  opens  up  to   transparency   •  Following  GAP  in  2004,  publishes  supplier  list  in   2005   •  Key  player  in  beZer  R&D  and  innovaIon  for   more  sustainable  products   •  Helps  create  the  Sustainable  Apparel  CoaliDon   •  Donates  R&D,  leads  brand  collaboraDon    
  18. 18. What  about  more  localised  social   impact  work?   •  Community  volunteering   •  NGO  partnerships   •  Matching  employee  donaDons  /  Dme   •  Going  beyond  compliance  with   employees     •  Mapping  country  footprints     (Unilever/Oxfam/SAB  Miller  etc)    
  19. 19. Conclusions   •  Many  companies  do  good  localised  ‘social’   related  work   •  A  trend  of  economic/social  value-­‐add   reporDng  is  emerging  amongst  some  global   firms   •  Global  impacts  &  links  not  well  understood   unDl  recently  (e.g.  Chinese  factory  polluDon)  
  20. 20. Conclusions   •  Today,  in  many  cases,  social/environmental  are  highly   linked,  rather  than  separate     •  The  Ruggie  Principles  now  provides  companies,  since   2011,  with  a  framework  for  managing  human  rights   impacts   •  Sustainability  governance  is  only  a  decade  old,  but  the   debates  and  acDons  (Rana  Plaza,  EITI)  are  acceleraDng     •  We  have  only  just  begun!  
  21. 21. Thank you!