Business Respect - CSR Dispatches No#186 - 28 Mar 2013

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 introduce the 'Getting to Grips with CR' online training course, and focus on the inherent lack of robustness in modern supply chains.

Welcome

Ouch. The description for the newsletter says that it's sent "fortnightly". To say the least, it's been rather longer than a fortnight since the last one. I'm currently looking at what might need to change in terms of content approach that might make it easier to keep to schedule.

Things have been busy! The new digital agency specialising in CSR communications Daisywheel Interactive has just gone live with the European Sustainability Academy's new website (http://eurosustainability.org), as well as a Wordpress implementation for sustainable business expert Dr Carol Adams (http://drcaroladams.net) and we're hard at work on some immersive CR reporting for a couple of clients.

But the big thing really taking time in the last month has been the new online CSR training course - Getting to Grips with Corporate Responsibility - on which I'm collaborating with Ethical Corporation's Toby Webb.

The course provides the sort of basic foundation and grounding in CSR that will be really helpful to someone moving into the field, or someone at a functional level in a CSR team looking to move forwards. It draws from the years of experience that Toby and I share on the agenda (I'd rather not calculate just how many years that comes to!) and uses video on-demand to make a relatively low cost, full course which can work as well for you whatever time zone or working schedule you're in.

The course is made up of 8 modules covering the full range of issues and activity of corporate responsibility. Each module is made up of video lectures, broken up into small chapters, which enables you to watch at the time that is convenient for you. Each module will include an assignment designed to get you to engage actively with the topic. You can add questions to any of the videos and / or take part in the regular Q&A live video chat sessions.

Have a look at the introductory video that talks about the structure and approach of the course. http://www.getting-to-grips-with-cr.com/fe/39831-introduction.

It's open for registration now and the course itself kicks off on April 15th. Its eight modules run over a four month period. We've had a few companies wanting corporate deals for groups, and we can discuss deals of this sort if that's of interest.

The standard price is €399 for people from OECD countries, and €299 from non-OECD countries. I've seen hour-long online lectures offered at half that price - so for a full course with 20+ hours of video content, plus live q&a, that's about as low a price as we could get to.

One of the modules of the course deals with supply chain. And we're constantly reminded in the news by how central issues around supply chain really are - and that's the subject of the key feature in this issue.

News

Indonesia: Asia Pulp & Paper to stop cutting natural forest timber

Asia Pulp & Paper, one of the most controversial companies worldwide for its forestry practices, has said that it is to stop using timber from Indonesia's natural forests, instead using only trees from plantations.

US: Las Vegas Sands owns up to bribery of foreign officials

Casino operator Las Vegas Sands has told the Securities and Exchange Commission that it has "probably" violated the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

US: BP kicks back over 'fictitious' compensation pay-outs

BP is taking legal action to prevent administrators for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill compensation fund from paying out to people and companies that it said had suffered no damage.

Peru: Pluspetrol in spotlight over Amazon rainforest pollution

Argentinian firm Pluspetrol is in the firing line after Peru declared an environmental state of emergency in the Amazon rainforest. High levels of barium, lead, chrome and other petroleum-related chemicals have been found. Pluspetrol has operated the oil fields nearby since 2001.

Article

Supply chain integrity - life or death for your business

Author: Mallen Baker, dated 27 Mar 2013

Supply chains have, in one way or another, been much in the news recently. The wave of shock in a number of European companies on the revelations of horse meat contamination was one. In the UK, right now, people are fretting about the longer-than-usual cold spell resulting in possibly running out of gas. Oh, and as a side show profitable Laura Ashley have told its suppliers to pony up 10% of the value of any contracts with them to bolster those profits even further.

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