CSR News Stories

Photo outside a WalMex store

Netherlands: Walmart blacklisted by major pension fund

The country's biggest pension fund, Algemeen Burgerlijk Pensioenfonds, has stated that it is to blacklist Walmart for a range of factors concerning its social and environmental practices.

Empty shelves - panic buying

UK: Warning that lean business models present huge national risk

'Just-in-time' business models that lead companies to expect supplies to arrive just when needed, eliminating all reserves, have grown to the point where they represent a major national risk, according to a report by Chatham House.

EDF nuclear power station
EDF

France: EDF fined for illegal spying on anti-nuclear campaign

A French court has found EDF and Kargus, the security firm it employed to carry out the work, guilty of spying on Greenpeace anti-nuclear campaigners. Activities included hacking computers owned by the group.

censorship

US: Surveillance firms attacked for 'we sell to anyone' attitude

A senior advisor to Hillary Clinton has criticised companies which sell equipment that can be used for censorship by repressive regimes. Alec Ross was responding to comments by Jerry Lucas, President of Intelligence Support Systems (ISS) that for-profit companies like his could sell what they wanted to whoever was willing to pay.

Bhopal Dow protest
bhopal.org

UK: Olympics ethical sourcing code attacked for choosing Dow

A decision to use Dow Chemical Company to provide fabric wrap for the Olympic games has sparked protests from groups that continue to hold that the company, having bought Union Carbide in 2001, is responsible for the major chemical accident in Bhopal in 1984.

Fukushima explosion

Japan: Tepco failed to act on risk assessment of tsunami

Tokyo Electric Power Co. was told five years ago that there was a 10 percent chance of a major tsunami event, but failed to act on the information.

Stubbed out cigarettes

WHO chief says tobacco firms using dirty tricks to keep people smoking

The World Health Organisation director-general Margaret Chan has said that tobacco firms are using deep pockets to fund lawsuits aimed at fending off anti-smoking legislation.

Photo outside a WalMex store

China: Wal-Mart apologises for mislabelled pork

Wal-Mart sold pork that was falsely advertised as organic, according to the local government in Chongqing. Thirteen of the company's stores have been temporarily closed and some of its employees have been arrested.

Photo of chemical vials

India: Monsanto sued for biopiracy

The government of India is suing Monsanto for contravening the country's Biological Diversity Act, according to France24. The company is accused of having taking an indigenous aubergine species and used it to create a genetically modified version without permission.

Photo of oil platform in Nigeria

Nigeria: Shell linked to military abuses in 1990s

Shell funded police actions in Ogoniland that led to human rights abuses, according to court documents recently released. Confidential internal communications suggest that the company paid Nigeria's military to stop protests against its presence.

Amazon

US: Amazon slammed for warehouse working conditions

Amazon has been accused of subjecting workers to 'sweatshop conditions' at its warehouse in Pennsylvania where employees have complained of unbearable temperatures, high pressure and mandatory overtime.

Photo of air pollution sunset

World's largest companies taking action on climate change

More than two thirds of the top 500 companies in the world have now put climate change as a key focus in their strategy, according to the Carbon Disclosure Project.

Ikea

Germany: Stasi documents suggest IKEA used GDR prisoners as slave labour

Swedish retail firm Ikea used political prisoners in East Germany to make furniture, according to Stasi documents recently unearthed according to the Daily Telegraph.

Greenpeace detox campaign
Greenpeace

US: Sports brands respond to Greenpeace toxics campaign

Adidas, Nike and Puma have committed themselves to 'Zero Toxic Pollution' by 2020 following a 'detox' campaign by Greenpeace. The companies have been in discussions to create a cross industry standard after the campaign group highlighted chemicals used in textile manufacturing.

Cisco China

China: Attack on Cisco over human rights intensifies

US group the Human Rights Law Foundation has alleged that Cisco tailored its technology specifically to enable its use in human rights abuses. The company has always said that it sold its technology as standard, and could not be held accountable for what the Chinese authorities went on to do with it.

McDonald's Restaurant

China: McDonald's and KFC probed over low wage accusations

The Labour Bureau in Guangdong province has begun a probe into allegations that McDonald's and KFC paid part-time employees less than the minimum wage of 7.5 yuan per hour.

Chocolate

US: Sweatshop protests damage Hershey's sweet reputation

Student protests have highlighted the plight of 400 students who paid up to $6,000 to join the State department's cultural exchange scheme, which led to them working long hard shifts at a factory providing Hershey for which they were paid a pittance. The incident has put Hershey on the defensive, and raised issues around corporate supply chain practices.

Zara shop front

Brazil: Zara held responsible for subcontractor's sweatshop

Fashion chain Zara in being investigated by Brazil's ministry of labour following the removal of 15 workers from a factory claimed to be operating as a sweatshop. The factory was subcontracted by AHA, which is responsible for 90 percent of Zara's production in the country.

Energy pylons

UK: Energy companies dodgy sales tactics pressure customers

A parliamentary select committee has said that energy companies are using sales trickery to push people into switching energy suppliers on the doorstep. It called for the firms to compensate people who were mis-sold gas and electricity contracts.

Monterrico Metals protest

Peru: Mining firm pays out to shot and tortured protesters

Monterrico Metals has paid compensation to 33 protesters who were allegedly shot at, beaten and tortured by police during a protest against the company's Majaz mine in 2005.

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