Business Respect - CSR Dispatches No#105 - 12 Nov 2006

An email newsletter with news and discussion focusing on corporate social responsibility globally, looking at the companies in the news and the emerging issues. Linked to the website at http://www.businessrespect.net and produced every two weeks.

This web page provides news stories and articles from the newsletters. Newsletters also include links to features on the internet, Mallen's blog, and other resources.

In this issue, we look at anti-corruption as part of responsible business practice drawing on some reflections from Nigeria by David Grayson.

Welcome

The best laid plans occasionally go awry. An unwelcome but persistent stomach bug rather interfered with the feature that had been intended for this issue. Fortunately, I had already discussed with author and BITC associate director David Grayson (http://www.davidgrayson.net) his sharing some thoughts from his recent trip to Nigeria. So this issue I am delighted that we have his piece on the focus on anti-corruption as an integral part of responsible business practice. Rarely can there have been a more timely commission!

Normal service should be resumed next issue.

News

South Africa: AngloGold Ashanti suit over employee lung disease could open floodgates

A lawsuit brought against AngloGold Ashanti has been initiated that could set a precedent that would lead to a raft of further actions.

Grameen Bank and its founder awarded Nobel Peace prize

Muhammad Yunus and the Grameen Bank which he founded has been awarded the Nobel Peace prize for his pioneering work as one of the first micro-credit lending schemes aimed at alleviating poverty.

Wal-Mart ordered to pay $78m to workers

Wal-Mart has been ordered to pay compensation to workers who were forced to work during breaks by a US court in Pennsylvania. The company was found to have broken state law by refusing to pay employees for extra work they carried out by demand.

DuPont announces big focus on responsibility in the marketplace

DuPont has announced that it is to considerably strengthen its marketplace activity to offer products that address social and environmental challenges. The company said it has a forecast for $6bn additional revenues from the move.

UK: Compass Group settles corruption UN lawsuits

Compass has settled a lawsuit with two of its competitors over allegations of corruption in the awarding of contracts in Liberia to supply UN peacekeepers with provisions.

Shell says Sakhalin-2 environment concerns have been resolved

Shell has said that concerns from Russia over the environmental impact of its Sakhalin-2 energy project have been "fully and transparently addressed".

Disney to end associations with fast foods

Disney has announced a change of policy that means it will no longer allow its characters to be associated foods that fail to meet certain nutritional requirements.

Total bribery investigation under way

French oil company Total has said that its head of exploration and future CEO Christophe de Margerie is being investigated for claims that he paid bribes in order to win bids in the Iraq oil-for-food programme.

China: CSR federation established

A new coalition to promote corporate social responsibility in China has been established, the Chinese Federation for CSR. The group has held its inaugural meeting at Beijing University.

BP knew of safety concerns according to US

US safety investigators have said that they believe that BP's global management team was aware of safety problems before the explosion took place last year.

Starbucks in row over Ethiopian trademark move

Oxfam has launched an attack on Starbucks for what it says is an attempt by the company to oppose a plan by Ethiopia to trademark speciality coffee names that it believes could bring farmers nearly 50m uk pounds.

Australia: Gunns fights environmentalists over pulp mill plan

Timber giant Gunns has attacked environmentalist claims that its proposed $1.5bn pulp mill in Tasmania will provide to be an environmental disaster, and has defended its pursuit of legal action against 20 environmentalists that may ultimately cost up to $2m.

Vodafone overtakes BP on Accountability rating

Vodafone has been ranked number one in the annual Accountability Rating - a benchmark that compares a range of companies against a number of accountability measures. The company, which has had troubled times financially, overtakes the oil giants BP and Shell, which become numbers two and three respectively.

Article

Tackling corruption - an integral part of the responsible business agenda

Author: David Grayson, dated 12 Nov 2006

You are approached by a business-person from Nigeria with a request to do business. Do you (a) listen carefully and positively; or (b) run a mile? Stereotypes are hard to break; but a small, committed NGO in Nigeria: CBi: the Convention for Business Integrity aims to do just that.

Previous edition - No 104 | Following edition - No 106