Business Respect - CSR Dispatches No#150 - 30 Mar 2009

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 look at Procter & Gamble's progress on sustainable products


Many thanks to those of you that gave feedback and congratulations over the new websites - after all the work, it's hugely encouraging to get the positive vibes.

Days after the site launched, the first update was installed - a new CSR jobs section. Three great jobs on there at the moment, the most recent one added today - have a look at:

Looking at hiring into your corporate CSR team, consultancy or other relevant position? Until April 16th listings are free. After that, the rates remain amongst the most reasonable you will find. Have a look at the website for details, and contact us if you want to get your vacancy wider circulation.

This issue, the main feature is a look at where Procter & Gamble is following their recent sustainability report.

This came about because I read yet another report review that talked about whether or not the report was using GRI, whether it had third party assurance, and whether it measured and reported on KPIs - but it didn't talk about how well the company was doing! So I decided it was time to put up or shut up, and to write the sort of review I thought should be seen when CR / sustainability reports come out.

I invited a few colleagues for comments - and the approach got generally positive feedback, with one person commenting that they didn't see the relevance of the stuff about personnel changes at the company at the end of the review. For me, this is crucial stuff - but I would be interested to know what you think. Have a look, and feed back on the website if you would like to add your comments.

There are 24 events on the CSR Calendar at the moment, in locations all over the world - and the calendar is one of the big draws for the new website at the moment. Want to advertise your event there? It's free - just register, and get posting. You can have logos, sliding scale cost rates, early bird rates - it's designed to be powerful on your behalf - and will become even more so in the coming months.

Want to keep up to date, but only on the areas that most interest you? Don't forget if you register you can create a customised RSS feed based on what YOU want to know.

Oh - and all of you that were bugging me last year to get on and produce an html version of the newsletter - it's available now! Get to the website and register your preference. You can get the full newsletter, plain text or HTML, or just a summary newsletter with links to the website, plain text or HTML.

Enough already. Have a great week.


UK: Shell angers campaigners with renewables shift to biofuels

Royal Dutch Shell has said that it is to reduce future investment in solar and wind power to focus its renewable energy activity more on biofuels. The company has said that it is pursuing its priority of giving best returns to shareholders, and returns on other alternatives, even with considerable public subsidy, are not sufficient.

US: Google web services should be shut down - complaint to FTC

Google web services should be shut down because there are not sufficient mechanisms in place to protect confidential information, according to a formal complaint made to the US Federal Trade Commission by a privacy group.

Peru: Oil company EcoPetrol to explore in region with uncontacted tribes

Survival International has said that Ecopetrol's agreement with Brazil's Petrobras to explore in two regions of the Peruvian Amazon, will put it into territory inhabited by some of the world's only remaining uncontacted Indians - who may be especially vulnerable to exposure to the company.

UK: Business charity giving cut by a third

According to a survey of 450 business leaders, corporate giving to charity is expected to drop by a third this year as community budgets suffer the same fate as many other corporate budgets in the face of the recession.

Jordan: CSR advocacy body launched

A new body to promote business engagement with the local community has been launched as the National Forum for Social Responsibility. It brings together 50 public, private and civil society founding members.

Hong Kong: Most garment firms show poor transparency on supplier standards

Although Hong Kong's companies have made some progress, the majority are still failing to give account of labour standards in their supply chain, according to a new report released by Oxfam Hong Kong.

UK: Former BP CEO says market is failing on clean energy

Lord Browne, the former CEO of oil giant BP, has said that market mechanisms are falling well short of delivering the growth in renewable and clean energy that is required, and the government needs to intervene.

France: Government to ban bank bonuses

The French Government has said that it is to issue a decree banning bonuses for bank executives for firms that have received government aid.

Peru: Doe Run environmental record focus as company fights for survival

Doe Run Peru, which has brought most operations to a standstill whilst it tries to secure government financing, has been forced to defend failings on promised environmental clean-up operations.

Germany: Deutsche Bahn CEO goes in spying row

The chief executive of Germany's railway firm Deutsche Bahn is to leave after revelations that thousands of employees were spied upon during an operation intended to reduce corruption.


Procter & Gamble - how far does the sustainable product revolution go?

Author: Mallen Baker, dated 24 Mar 2009

Two years ago, Procter & Gamble made an interesting announcement - they were setting a sales target for "sustainable innovation products". $20bn by 2012, which sounds a lot. According to the company, they are on track to meet this. The story behind the figures is one of how a major products company grapples with the dilemmas inherent in the challenge of sustainability.

Previous edition - No 149 | Following edition - No 151

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