Business Respect - CSR Dispatches No#118 - 6 Jan 2008

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 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 make predictions for the next five years, and we welcome our first corporate sponsor, the Change for Good network.


A happy new year to all readers - I hope that the holiday has been good to everyone. 'Tis now the season for looking forward to the year ahead, and you will have read by now a fair share of "what does 2008 hold" type reflections in newspapers and journals. Well, it's been a while since I did the same - six years, in fact. But the difference is that the last time I did it I looked ahead to the coming FIVE years, not just one.

We are well overdue for a review of what did I get right, and what was hopelessly wrong. So that is combined in this issue with a new set of predictions for the next five years. Some of them are counter-intuitive, perhaps controversial. Hopefully they will spark some thoughts of your own, so feel free to share them and I will put some here.

Looking forward is something I have been doing a lot of recently, since from this point forward I go part time in my role with Business in the Community to allow me the space to develop this newsletter, the website, and my role in speaking, writing and providing strategic advice on CSR broadly. The website is overdue to be modernised and refreshed, and having spoken to a number of events, conferences and corporate in-house audiences in different parts of the world, I am now working on a more far-ranging definitive presentation about CSR that may pull together all those fascinating bits I have never previously had time to develop. More about this in due course.

All of which explains the announcement last issue that this newsletter would accept sponsorship and advertising for the first time, having previously had a policy not to.

And I am delighted to welcome Business Respect's first corporate sponsor. The Change for Good Network is a new initiative, masterminded by John Drummond and his firm Corporate Culture. It is all about bringing together individuals committed to change - which makes it an apt first sponsorship since that is a fair description of just about most of the readership of this newsletter in different ways. I hope you will give the initiative a look.

Discussions with several other potential sponsors are under way, and I hope to be able to announce at least the second sponsor in the next issue. Remember, sponsorships are set for a period of one year and the maximum number of sponsorships at any one time will be four, so if you think this might be an opportunity for you, it would probably be advisable to get in reasonably quickly.

I am also happy to welcome our first advertiser. As many of you will know, I produce a monthly column for Ethical Corporation. As well as the first class magazine, they also run conferences - see the ad below for information about one interesting forthcoming event. These one-off adverts are restricted to one per issue, so if you think there's something you're organising in the future that will be of interest to the readership, it will pay to book ahead.

Voting has been continuing on the current website vote. To remind you, it reads: Which of these groups has done the most so far to respond to the challenge of climate change?

The result currently stands at: Governments 203 (22%), Business 285 (30%), Citizens 447 (48%). Thanks to the 935 people that have voted so far. There will be a new vote next time, so this is now your last chance to be heard on this one!

Have a great 2008!


Japan: Toyota executive to advise on climate change

The Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda has appointed Hiroshi Okuda, a senior advisor for Toyota, to become a special advisor to the Cabinet on the economy and global warming.

Iraq oil for food allegations hit pharma companies

GlaxoSmithKline and AstraZeneca have been approached by the UK's Serious Fraud Office following allegations of bribes paid to secure contracts in breach of Iraq's oil for food programme.

Canada: First region legislates against trans fats

The Calgary region is to force a major reduction in the use of trans fats in foods sold in restaurants and by similar businesses. Trans fats are thought to contribute to the deaths of up to 5,000 Canadians a year through heart disease.

Green issues hover around seasonal buying decisions

More holiday shoppers express a willingness to pay more for eco-friendly products and take note of the country where items are made, according to the 2007 Annual National Shopping Behaviour Survey carried out by KPMG.

Philippines: Communist group attacks Xstrata mine

Communist group the New People's Army has raided the Tampakan mine, which is majority owned by Swiss company Xstrata. The group has said that it will carry out further attacks against what it described as "the destructive operations of big foreign mining companies".

Alcatel-Lucent fined over bribery of Chinese officials

Alcatel-Lucent has agreed a settlement of $1m over allegations that Lucent Technologies had violated the federal Foreign Corrupt Practices Act by bribing Chinese government officials.

Intel pulls support from One Laptop Per Child organisation

Intel has said that it is withdrawing from the One Laptop Per Child educational computer organisation, which it joined last year. The initiative's aim of producing a $100 laptop was seen as a potential competitor for Intel and Microsoft in the developing world.


Predicting a Riot - Looking five years forward and back

Author: Mallen Baker, dated 6 Jan 2008

Now is the season for predictions for the coming year. However, single year predictions are for wimps - 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 against the reality, and what might the next five years hold for the world of corporate social responsibility?

Previous edition - No 117 | Following edition - No 119

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