Business Respect - CSR Dispatches No#177 - 13 Sep 2011

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 edition we ask whether the recent initiative by Starbucks CEO Howard Schulz is responsible lobbying or shameless self promotion.

Welcome

When business leaders take a stand on a specific issue related to the public good, it's always interesting. Occasionally, it's inspiring, but more often it's just interesting.

In the last few days, Howard Schultz of Starbucks launched a campaign for big business donors to the US political parties to withhold their funds to both sides until they can come up with a sensible, bi-partisan plan to reduce the deficit.

It may be a good thing, done with good intentions. But I believe it is not going to work - and in the main feature this issue I explore why.

The end of the summer is here, which means we must be in the run-up to Ethical Corporation's annual reporting summit - one of their most successful events of the year. See the ad below for details.

Next issue, we will be focusing on some key issues around reporting - particularly since yesterday the International Integrated Reporting Council released its discussion paper on Integrated Reporting. Until then.

News

China: McDonald's and KFC probed over low wage accusations

The Labour Bureau in Guangdong province has begun a probe into allegations that McDonald's and KFC paid part-time employees less than the minimum wage of 7.5 yuan per hour.

China: Attack on Cisco over human rights intensifies

US group the Human Rights Law Foundation has alleged that Cisco tailored its technology specifically to enable its use in human rights abuses. The company has always said that it sold its technology as standard, and could not be held accountable for what the Chinese authorities went on to do with it.

US: Sports brands respond to Greenpeace toxics campaign

Adidas, Nike and Puma have committed themselves to 'Zero Toxic Pollution' by 2020 following a 'detox' campaign by Greenpeace. The companies have been in discussions to create a cross industry standard after the campaign group highlighted chemicals used in textile manufacturing.

Germany: Stasi documents suggest IKEA used GDR prisoners as slave labour

Swedish retail firm Ikea used political prisoners in East Germany to make furniture, according to Stasi documents recently unearthed according to the Daily Telegraph.

Article

Can companies like Starbucks heal America's broken leadership?

Author: , dated 12 Sep 2011

Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks, is making a stand against bitter partisan divisions in Congress. He published a full page ad listing a hundred business leaders that had agreed - like him - to withhold campaign contributions until legislators sorted out a fair, bipartisan deal in the face of the economic crisis.

Previous edition - No 176 | Following edition - No 178