Business Respect - CSR Dispatches No#187 - 24 Sep 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 look at how to use your CR report to actually reach the audiences you care about.

Welcome

There's no doubt that the 'fortnightly' description for this newsletter is currently, ahem, aspirational. But there are good reasons why we may hope to get back on track.

Things have been busy though. My company, Daisywheel Interactive, has just launched the new Sustainable Palm Oil discussion and debate website (http://betterpalmoildebate.org), working with Toby Webb and on behalf of the RSPO. It's an interesting experiment - an independent site that aims to host informed discussion around a topical issue of concern.

There's no reason why it couldn't become a model for similar such sites focusing on other key issues. I would be interested in your thoughts.

There was an interesting piece by Marc Gunther (who writes an excellent blog at http://www.marcgunther.com) on 'how to read a CR report'. It undoubtedly contained lots of wise advice, but the casual observer would have concluded that reading a CR report in the "right" way is a pretty exhausting activity! It sparked some thoughts of my own - and these are the focus for the main feature in this edition.

In the mean time, we are just a week away before launching the second intake for the Getting to grips with Corporate Responsibility online course. This course, a collaboration between myself and Toby Webb, gives a thorough grounding in CR for anyone that is moving into the field or wants to broaden their knowledge before their next progression.

It covers an introduction to key concepts, the business case, CR reporting, supply chain, CR communications and responsible marketing, dealing with NGOs, employee issues and engagement, and then - most importantly - making it happen for your business.

It's video on demand, so it can fit around your timetable. But it also has the ability to ask questions of the tutors, and there are several live Q&A sessions included - to really try to get the best of both worlds - the convenience and affordability of online video, with the ability to interact you might experience at a live event.

The first run-through got lots of participants, who seemed to get a lot out of it. You can see more details, along with some of their responses, at the site at http://getting-to-grips-with-cr.com.

The course starts on September 30th - so you need to act quickly if you'd like to be included.

News

US: Shell Nigeria case blow for Alien Tort campaigners

The US Supreme Court has thrown out a case against Shell alleging human rights abuses in Nigeria. The nine justices were unanimous in their view that the use of the Alien Tort Statute was not intended to be applied outside the US.

Scam CSR conference uncovered

A website, claiming to be for an Energy Experts Annual Environmental Conference, has been shown to be a sophisticated scam targeting potential delegates from developing countries. The site falsely claims to have Business Respect endorsement as a supporting partner.

Norway: 'Ethical' Oil Fund under attack

The Government Pension Fund of Norway, otherwise known as the Oil Fund, has been criticised for having fallen behind the times when it comes to one of its advertised strengths - that of ethical investing.

Japan: Yahoo affiliate under fire for whale meat ads

Yahoo! has found itself embarrassed by its Japanese affiliate which is promoting tinned and fresh whale products, despite the company's ban on such sales anywhere else in the world. The company has said it has no power to impose its policies onto Softbank, which runs the site in Japan.

Brazil: Samsung faces $110m claim for labour violations

Samsung is being sued by the Brazilian government over allegations of poor working conditions at its plant in the Amazon rainforest. The 5,600 workers are said to be made to work up to 15 hours a day, sometimes for extended periods with no days off.

Chad: China's CNPC suspended for environmental harm

The Chinese state-run oil frim China National Petroleum Corporation has been suspended from operating in Chad following an oil spill in sites near to forest. The government has not said how long the suspension will remain in effect.

CEOs struggling to make the business case for Sustainability

According to the United Nations Global Compact, chief executives are finding it progressively harder to make the case for substantial action on sustainability. They are increasingly looking toward governments for active policy leadership.

Article

CR Report reading for dummies

Author: Mallen Baker, dated 23 Sep 2013

Marc Gunther (who writes an excellent business sustainability blog) recently wrote an article titled 'how to read a sustainability report'. It was full of eminent good sense, but at the same time highlighted exactly why the state of the art is so immature.

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