Business Respect - CSR Dispatches No#68 - 21 Dec 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 events in corporate social responsibility during the previous year.

Welcome

As the year comes to a close, we have done our traditional 'review of the year' article, which pulls into one place some of the highlights and lowlights on CSR during 2003. You only have to review the territory that has been covered to see just how much has happened in such a short period of time. Our only regret is not being able to have done justice to all the quiet victories, the impact on the ground, the examples of inspiring leadership that have been just as much a feature of the year. Sadly, such things often don't make the news.

Happy festivities to all those that are celebrating them!

News

Responsible gambling promoted by casino bosses

The American Gaming Association, the industry association for US casinos, has launched its code of conduct for its members to target problems with compulsive gambling in a move that takes the industry's commitments beyond legislative compliance.

Malawi: Vice President launches Global Compact

Vice President Justin Malewezi has launched the Global Compact in Malawi, adding the country to the growing number of African nations that have built business networks around the Compact, including South Africa, Mozambique and Lesotho.

Business Ethics awards winners announced

US-based Business Ethics magazine has announced the winners of its annual awards, which cover four separate categories covering environmental performance and social impact.

Critics of Nike move into selling shoes

Anti-Nike activists are to take their protests about the company to the next level - by producing their own 'black spot' shoes to sell in competition with the famous global brand.

Ghana: President urges mining companies to be good corporate citizens

President John Agyekum Kufuor has called for mining companies to adopt strong principles of corporate citizenship in the way that they deal with the local communities where they operate.

India: Coca-Cola ordered to stop extracting water in Kerala

The Kerala High Court has ordered Coca-Cola to stop extracting the ground water for its controversial bottling operations that have seen accusations that the company is draining the region's natural resources and despoiling the environment.

Kenya: Code of Conduct launched for the coffee growers

A new code of practice has been launched by the Kenya Coffee Growers and Employers Association aiming to avoid future boycotts of Kenyan coffee arising from growing ethical concerns.

Poland: Few firms yet publish environmental or social information

A new survey has shown that no more than 20% of the major banks, financial institutions or listed companies in Poland publish environmental or social information, putting the country firmly in the slow league of European countries in this regard.

Diageo to provide data on product labels

Drinks giant Diageo has said that it is to voluntarily print alcohol content and nutional data on the labels of its spirits and other beverages, including brands such as Guinness, Johnnie Walker, Captain Morgan and Smirnoff.

Dow AgroSciences fined $2m for misleading pesticide labelling

Dow AgroSciences, a subsidiary of Dow Chemical, has been fined $2m in New York for illegal safety claims that may have misled customers about the dangers inherent in the use of the products.

Russia: LUKoil to invest in environmental performance

Russian oil giant LUKoil has said it plans to invest around $1bn (34.5bn roubles) in a programme to improve the environmental performance of its core business operations.

Article

Corporate Social Responsibility in 2003 - A review of the year

Author: Mallen Baker, dated 21 Dec 2003

2003 has been a fascinating year for those of us involved in the movement for corporate social responsibility. There have been scandals and setbacks, controversy and debate, paragons of good practice, and innovation in tools to manage and benchmark progress. It seems that none of the energy or momentum for improvement has diminished. And yet there is a gradual growing maturity in how CSR is described and put into practice.

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