Business Respect - CSR Dispatches No#109 - 18 Mar 2007
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 consider the recent initiative to introduce carbon labelling for products.
Is the recent announcement that certain products will carry a label indicating how much of a 'carbon footprint' the product has a revolutionary step towards the future, or a misplaced initiative that will fail in the face of consumer confusion? We consider the question in this issue's lead feature.
The subject is not so very far away from the focus for the current website vote. If you recall, the question and current answers look like this:
Recent announcements by the big supermarkets about environmental practices represent:
A real shift towards sustainable practice 37 (17%)
A small step only, with much more needed 106 (49%)
Nothing but cynical public relations 74 (34%)
Thanks to the 217 people that have voted so far. There is still time to make your voice heard!
UK: Private equity companies to produce voluntary code on disclosure
The private equity industry has responded to attacks in recent months with an agreement to produce a voluntary code that will improve the disclosure of businesses privately owned.
India: Campaigners attack Tata's clean up offer at Bhopal
Campaigners have demonstrated against the offer by Tata Group to pay for, and clean up, toxic waste left by the 1984 gas leak disaster in Bhopal. The company was accused of seeking to let Union Carbide off the hook and pave the way for its new owner Dow Chemical to return to India.
US: Charges dropped against former Hewlett Packard chair
Criminal charges brought in connection with the corporate spying scandal at Hewlett Packard against Patricia Dunn, former chair, have been dropped.
Colombia: Chiquita says it paid criminals for protection
Banana firm Chiquita Brands International has said that it paid 'protection money' to a terrorist group in Colombia after threats had been made to staff.
Gore targets investors on sustainability
Former US Vice President Al Gore has urged investors to consider climate change factors when making investment decisions.
Germany: BMW chief executive attacks EC emissions targets
Norbert Reithofer, the new chief executive of BMW, has attacked targets set by the European Commission for fuel emissions as "physically impossible" and "economically unsound".
UK: Carbon labelling scheme for products launched
A labelling scheme to show the carbon footprint of individual products to help customers choose what they buy is to be launched in the UK.
Japan: Livedoor boss found guilty in fraud trial
Takafumi Horie, the former boss of internet firm Livedoor, has been found guilty of fraud following a high profile trial that has seen the company dubbed 'Japan's Enron'
US: Wal-Mart backs down over in-house bank
Wal-Mart has withdrawn its application to create an in-house bank after the controversy provoked by the move threatened to result in an approval process that would last years not months.
Buying into carbon reduction
Author: Mallen Baker, dated 18 Mar 2007
In the UK, the Carbon Trust has launched a new approach to raising awareness and giving consumers 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 separately committed to carbon labelling for a wide range of its products, it seems like this is the way of the future.
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