Business Respect - CSR Dispatches No#178 - 3 Oct 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 issue, we look at Integrated Reporting and whether it deserves to define the future of how companies talk about sustainability

Welcome

History is littered with the corpses of 'the next big thing that never was'. The 'next big thing' in corporate reporting is, we are now routinely told, integrated reporting. If that is the case, what are the implications? And is it all good? That's the subject of the main feature this issue.

What I don't cover, however, is whether it will actually become the actual 'big thing' or join the list of 'if only' initiatives. For all the swelling momentum behind it, I would say the jury is still out. As you will gather from the article below, I would be pleased if it became successful - but it needs to clear up certain ambiguities first.

Since last issue - when I mentioned Al Gore in passing in the blog entry about carbon neutrality - he has held is 24 hour powerpoint frenzy event. By all accounts, it was pretty underwhelming which is a shame, I guess.

I remain of the view that we need a really inspiring, insightful bi-partisan voice to take up the campaign in the US. Al Gore has done as much as anyone could have, but in associating the issue of climate change with one side of the political divide, it is possible his influence has actually hindered progress in the US by polarising opinion disastrously, even as his input has been positively received elsewhere in the world.

It's a tricky one - when someone that has been campaigning on an issue with passion and skill for so long might need to be told that, if we want to succeed, his voice might have to give way to others with more influence in the areas where hearts and minds need to be reached.

It remains a pretty theoretical discussion unless those alternative voices step forward, frankly. Business, with its bi-partisan pragmatic base, could be the breeding ground for that voice ...

News

World's largest companies taking action on climate change

More than two thirds of the top 500 companies in the world have now put climate change as a key focus in their strategy, according to the Carbon Disclosure Project.

US: Amazon slammed for warehouse working conditions

Amazon has been accused of subjecting workers to 'sweatshop conditions' at its warehouse in Pennsylvania where employees have complained of unbearable temperatures, high pressure and mandatory overtime.

Nigeria: Shell linked to military abuses in 1990s

Shell funded police actions in Ogoniland that led to human rights abuses, according to court documents recently released. Confidential internal communications suggest that the company paid Nigeria's military to stop protests against its presence.

Article

The truth and illusion of integrated reporting

Author: , dated 3 Oct 2011

"The world has changed, reporting must as well!" So declares the International Integrated Reporting Committee in its press release launching its latest report into the future for corporate reporting.

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