Business Respect - CSR Dispatches No#164 - 18 Feb 2010

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 ask what went wrong with Toyota's crisis management?


Back in January 2008, I made some predictions for the coming five years in corporate responsibility. One of those was that a current shining star in the CSR firmament - some company with a great reputation - would come crashing down.

I had my own suspicions as to who that might be at the time - a company that since that moment has laid off many of its CSR team and apparently lost its way - it may well go on to live the prediction.

But arguably, Toyota has beaten them to it. The company whose innovation and vision had wrong-footed its slower rivals, and which had put the hybrid car on the map - has blown it by failing to understand basic crisis management principles.

What we know about crisis management as a part of CSR - and how it applies to Toyota - is the subject of this issue's feature.

You may be slightly startled to see this edition in the latter part of the week, for a change. Technical issues. Seem to have been a few of them recently ...


Australia: Google refuses government request to censor videos

Google has refused to block access to videos that fall foul of the Australian government's 'refused classification' category, arguing that to do so would mean the removal of a number of harmless pieces that are considered to be politically controversial.

US: Key companies quit climate change coalition

BP, Caterpillar and ConocoPhillips have said that they are to pull membership of the Climate Action Partnership - the group of companies that had been supporting President Obama's climate change legislation agenda. The companies said they would devote resources to furthering their business interests in other ways.

UK: Alcohol health labelling may become compulsory

The drinks industry may be required to add health warnings to alcoholic drinks according to proposals published by the government, after it was revealed that only a minority of drinks currently carry approved voluntary labelling.

Uganda: Tullow Oil controversially get licence to flare gas

Tullow Oil has reached agreement with the Ugandan government that it will be allowed to flare gas at its operations in the country - a process that would release large quantities of greenhouse gases, according to an NGO report.


Why even some of the best companies fail to keep cool in a crisis

Author: Mallen Baker, dated 16 Feb 2010

Next month, Ethical Corporation will be holding its conference on managing social and environmental risk. It includes a session that focuses on keeping cool in a crisis - what to do when it all goes wrong. Although the event is primarily aimed at the heavy industries, you can't help but feel that Toyota could benefit from booking a couple of places.

Previous edition - No 163 | Following edition - No 165

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