Business Respect - CSR Dispatches No#58 - 22 Jun 2003

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 review the challenge facing corporate community involvement in Japan.

Welcome

Sharp eyed readers will have spotted that there has been three weeks since the last issue, rather than the usual two. Having held the fortnightly timings for two years without pause, the need for a break finally catches up with us all! There will be another three week gap between this edition and the next, and then we will be back on track.

Last issue we talked about companies and political lobbying, and established a new vote on the subject. The results so far are as follows:

When it comes to lobbying on matters of public policy, companies should:

* Lobby away and / or pay donations - legislators are grown-ups
9 (9.28%)
* Lobby and / or pay donations - but they must disclose what they do
60 (61.86%)
* Do nothing - corporate lobbying should be banned
28 (28.87%)

97 people have voted so far, but still time to make your own views known! Thanks as always to those who have taken part.

We have had several requests recently for translations of some of the website content around corporate social responsibility. Any bilingual readers out there who would like to volunteer their services to produce different language translations of - say 10 key pages - would be welcome. Some time ago we tried some of the free translation engines out there - but these tools remain higher on entertainment value than they do on good communications!

News

New Zealand: Survey finds business good only if socially responsible

A new survey carried out on attitudes to business amongst New Zealanders has found that very few believe that business is a good thing - with nearly half seeing it as a 'necessary evil'. However, social responsibility made the difference, with nearly 90 percent saying that business is good if it contributes to the well-being of communities.

Nike, Reebok, Levi Strauss et al disclose factory violations

The US Fair Labor Association has released a report detailing independent audits of seven major footwear and apparel companies looking at the protection of workers rights in their global operations on a factory by factory basis.

Unocal fights Myanmar charges

The US Appeal Court is to rehear arguments on the Unocal Myanmar case, which alleges that the company aided and abetted the military to undertake acts of brutality against villagers.

Ten leading banks sign up to social and environmental principles

Ten leading banks have announced that they have adopted a set of principles to govern how they manage social and environmental issues relating to the financing of development projects.

Bank of China announces fraud investigation into former CEO

The Bank of China has said that it is actively supporting an investigation into a potential fraud case involving former chief executive Liu Jinbao and loans made by the bank in Hong Kong and China.

Court upholds Exxon overcharging case

A US appeals court in Atlanta has upheld a judgement that Exxon overcharged 10,000 gas station owners over a 12 year period.

AstraZeneca admits health care fraud

AstraZeneca has pleaded guilty in the US to health care fraud and is to pay $355m in settlement of accusations it took part in a scheme to inflate the prices paid to doctors by the government for use of its prostate cancer drug.

Nestle sued over Poland Spring Water

Nestle has been accused of misleading claims in its selling of Poland Spring bottled water by a class-action lawsuit. The sources, allegedly, come from areas surrounded by parking lots or otherwise at risk of contamination.

UK: MP's Corporate Responsibility Bill would hit small firms

The British Chambers of Commerce has attacked a parliamentary bill on corporate responsibility tabled by the Labour backbencher Linda Perham MP.

Boards 'not engaged' in ethics

81 percent of firms have carried out ethics and compliance training for some employees, but most still say that the board is not engaged enough with ethical issues according to a survey by the Conference Board.

Florida Power & Light pollution reduction plans miss the target

Environmentalists have criticised the plans of Florida Power & Light for reducing emissions of soot from its plant at Port Everglades.

Article

Corporate Community Investment in Japan

Author: Mallen Baker, dated 22 Jun 2003

According to a recent report, commissioned by Cable and Wireless, there is an urgent need for a revolution in how Japanese companies approach corporate community investment in response to rapid social change and the relatively late rise of the non-profit sector.

Previous edition - No 57 | Following edition - No 59

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