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The Centre has offices in Australia (Sydney and Melbourne) and has an associate in Hong Kong. The Centre’s team manages activities, research and peer-to-peer networks across the Asia Pacific region

The Centre for Corporate Public Affairs is the only entity of its type internationally, connecting, via corporate membership, the corporate public affairs function in Australia, Asia, New Zealand and across the world. We work in the Asia Pacific to assist our member organisations embrace best practice public affairs structures, strategies, approaches and modus operandi.

Our research, professional development programs, events and international thought leadership opens doors to help organisations and practitioners build and apply corporate public affairs as a core management tool and function.

The Centre is the organisation for professionals working in corporate environments in government affairs, media and stakeholder relations, corporate social responsibility/corporate citizenship, issues management, internal communications and reputation management. We are also developing a Chapter of the Centre for public sector organisations and agencies with public affairs management functions.

Our regular professional development offerings and connection events to bring the profession together have been cited as best practice internationally.

Profits and CSR closely linked - reportND


Pro Bono Australia, 12 December 2012

A global survey of corporate social responsibility executives within the Fortune 1000 organisations has revealed that profits and CSR are closely linked, and many businesses evaluate the relationship between these two variables when developing strategy. When evaluating motivations behind CSR policy, results signal that the primary motivation behind CSR initiatives lies in the company’s reputation (88%), followed by the company’s competitive positioning and social consciousness (71%). Significantly, profitability (38%) and pending or existing legislation (32%) were determined to be motivating factors. The study also sought to determine the level of importance of the views of specific audiences, both internal and external, when creating and measuring the results of CSR strategies, as well as specific issues that CSR initiatives often focus on. For more information see www.probonoaustralia.com

Claims, purpose-drive marketing and consumer trust – where are we in Asia?ND


Rikke Netterstrom, CSR Asia, 25 July 2012

The misrepresentation of many products and services as ‘green’, ‘ethical’, ‘sustainable’, including mis-selling and misleading claims is a major issue in Asian markets. However, in China, India, Indonesia and Singapore and Malaysia, 65% or more still trust business to ‘do the right thing’ – this is much higher than the global average of 53%. Implications for businesses who want to avoid losing trust and tap into the ethical and consumer- conscious market are two-fold: purpose-driven marketing require new products and services, and businesses need to step up accountability for claims. For more information see www.csrasia.com

Corporate social responsibility in Japan: family and non-family business differences and determinantsND


Bruno Amann et. al., Asian Business and Management, 7 July 2011

This article seeks to address two main questions: whether family and non-family businesses differ with their CSR policies, and what are the main determinants of CSR in Japan. This article addresses these differences and explores the main determinants of CSR in Japan, using a sample of 200 Japanese firms. In contrast with previous research, it was found that the characteristics of either family or non-family businesses do not influence CSR policies in general; however, when they do (for example, in human resources management), the influence is less strong for family businesses. It was also found that firm size and innovation inclination are explanatory factors for CSR, supporting prior research in contexts other than Japan. For more information see www.palgrave-journals.com/abm

Sustainability-focused companies outperform their peersND


Mara Chiorean, CSR Asia, 13 June 2012

A recent Harvard Business School study shows that sustainability-focused companies outperform their peers. According to the data, investing $1 in the beginning of 1993 in a portfolio of High Sustainability firms would have grown to $22.6 by the end of 2010. In contrast, investing $1 in the beginning of 1993 in a portfolio of Low Sustainability firms would have only grown to $15.4 by the end of 2010. High Sustainability firms also perform better when considering return-on-equity (ROE) and return-on-assets (ROA). This performance differential may be explained by the fact that companies with a strong sustainability culture are able to attract the best talent, establish reliable supply chains, avoid risk related to boycotts and community conflicts, and use innovation as a way to gain competitive advantage. For more information see www.csrasia.com

Is charity work a must-have on executive CVs?ND


Natasha Stidder, Financial Times, 15 June 2011

Some companies in the US will not even consider candidates unable to show a record of volunteering. Is Szoneberg, director of volunteering charity CSV says skills in conflict resolution, leadership and negotiation can be gained through volunteering. TimeBank and Reed Executive’s recent survey on 200 leading UK businesses found employees committed to voluntary work developed new skills and 94 per cent of them progressed to receive a promotion or pay rise. With companies more attentive to CSR, voluntary work is part of the corporate strategy, an individually satisfying experience and an inspiration to colleagues. For more information see www.ft.com

Comparing Japanese and Chinese post-earthquake CSRND


Zheng Wei, CSR Asia, 26 April 2011

China and Japan have both experienced large-scale natural disasters in the past few years, however the response to CSR issues has been quite different. In Japan, business has been very creative in lending assistance to the disaster relief effort; providing products such as cars and mobile phones. However the Japanese government has come under criticism for its disaster response, resulting in decreased public faith in the government but increased public faith in business. In China, the government came under initial criticism for its disaster response, but later gained more support; and began facilitating methods for businesses to contribute to the disaster relief. For more information see www.csr-asia.com

The rise of SRI and what it means in MalaysiaND


Sharmel Ali, CSR-Asia, 13 April 2011

SRI — socially responsible investing — is a rising trend in investment practices that aims to maximise financial return and social good. While investors choose a broad range of issues to invest in, there are various criteria that investors look for; including transparency and strong governance. The demand for SRI in Malaysian business is growing. Bursa Malaysia is planning to launch an environmental, social and corporate governance index by 2012. Eventually, it is hoped that increased SRI will have a positive impact on national economic growth, and will drive long-term sustainability practices in companies. For more information see www.csr-asia.com

Four myths about business ethicsND


Chris MacDonald, CSR-NEWS, 6 December 2010

Four major myths about business ethics have been identified and debunked. The first is that the term ‘business ethics’ is an oxymoron. This is incorrect, as commerce is quite literally impossible without ethics. Every single commercial transaction requires some level of trust, which requires a shared commitment to ethical behaviour. The second myth addressed is the idea that ethics is ‘just a matter of opinion’. In fact, on many ethical issues there are actually better and worse answers which need to be talked through. The third myth is that there’s no such thing as ‘business’ ethics, as ethics should be consistent everywhere. In fact, business has unique characteristics, such as the fact that large companies have the potential to do significant harm to stakeholders and the environment. The final myth addressed is the perception that business ethics is just a matter of regulation. The reality is that there are behaviours that are legal but unethical, and also those that are illegal but ethically okay. For more information see www.csr-news.net

Coca-Cola on the Yangtze: a corporate campaign for clean water in ChinaND


Knowledge @ Wharton, 18 August 2010

Coca-Cola has began working with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) to improve the water quality in China’s Yangtze river, which has been noted by WWF to be at the top of the list of the 10 most threatened rivers in the world. The partnership involves projects such as working with rural farmers to turn animal waste into biogas, instead of allowing it to enter the river, as well as community education projects on environmental issues for rural farmers. While the partnership between Coca-Cola and WWF has been criticised by some, ultimately WWF recognises the value of the partnership in promoting community awareness as well as providing tangible support. The partnership also assists Coca-Cola to build its image and credibility in China, which will be beneficial in allowing Coca-Cola to expand its operations. For more information see www.knowledgeatwharton.com.cn

Partnerships in three different settings — Do you know what kind of cross-sector partnership you are in? ND


Motoyo Kamiya, CSR Asia, 10 February 2010

The nature and relationship features of a partnership change according to the setting under which the partnership takes place. ‘Policy making’, ‘gift giving’ and ‘operation/implementation’ settings focus primarily on different concerns, such as decision-making powers, philanthropic donations and strategic sponsorships, or multiple collaborations to achieve a common goal. Classifying the partnerships into their correct setting type may help to clarify confusing cross-sector relationships. For more information see www.csr-asia.com

Measuring good-cause effects ND


Raymond Fisman, Forbes, 28 December 2009

Companies should reassess the benefits that corporate philanthropy actually brings to their business. A study on Ebay’s charitable giving program finds that while consumers prefer sellers who contribute to charity, the increase in profits generated is lower than the amount given away. However, sellers with lesser known brands and reputations benefit most, as a link with charity increases trust and credibility. For more information see www.forbes.com

Report urges more link-ups between firms and charitiesND


Roland Gribben, The Telegraph, 21 July 2001

A report by the Cabinet Office has urged the third sector to develop programs to channel their requests for aid from business, as well as recognise that business can offer more than simply monetary support. Local charities should move away from traditional donor-recipient approaches by fostering cross-sector collaboration and partnerships with business. The government has provided funding and several initiatives to assist unemployed people to take up charitable work. For more information see www.telegraph.co.uk

Lobbying for goodND


Kyle Peterson & Marc Pfizer, Stanford Social Innovation Review, Feb 2009

Corporations should apply their special political skills and resources to lobby for non-profit socially good causes. It is argued that the most effective CSR lobbying initiatives, benefiting both business and society, are ones that reflect a company’s core business. Corporate advocacy may target both domestic and international laws, and help to reduce negative value chain impacts, create more favourable operating environments, improve local workforce issues as well as build better relationships with government. For more information see www.ssireview.org

Ailing firms still willing to help charitiesND


Yoo Soh-jung, The Korea Herald, 16 December 2008

The majority of companies surveyed by the Federation of Korean Industries expressed an intention to maintain and further expand their CSR activities despite the recent economic turmoil. The survey found that the significance of CSR within companies is influenced first by the CEO, followed by social moods and consensus among employees. Business philanthropy is currently directed towards young children and adolescent groups, the elderly and the physically challenged in that order. For more information see www.koreaherald.co.kr

Education initiatives and CSR strategiesND


Maria Lim-Ayuyao, Philippine Daily Inquirer, 19 July 2008

Comments from the 2008 Asia Pacific Corporate Social Responsibility conference highlight that companies are turning to education related CSR programs. Education is a complex issue, and successful programs must be carefully planned to produce genuine results — as demonstrated by the Hongkong Shanghai Banking Corp’s successful Read-With-Me initiative, which set reading diagnostics and learning goals based on the standards set by the local Department of Education. For more information see www.media.inquirer.net

Scepticism grows over claims on ethicsND


Financial Times, 27 May 2008

While consumers are increasingly favouring ‘ethical’ brands, there is growing public scepticism on the level of ethical credibility by companies. This highlights a need for businesses to back up their CSR marketing claims with solid evidence. Changing consumer ethical priorities — concerning health, environment and fair-trading issues, also hold ramifications for globalised businesses. For more information see www.ft.com

Online communications – Corporate social responsibility 2.0ND


Solitaire Townsend, Ethical Corporation, 5 April 2007

Web 2.0’s potential for corporate social responsibility communications includes setting up a corporate responsibility blog and asking contacts to join in (Ford, Nike and HP all have blogs), building a viral game about corporate responsibility, getting involved in online debates and harnessing staff as advocates. The author suggests that CSR is the only corporate theme with the potential to fully exploit the peer-to-peer world because it has the power to be personal. For more information, see www.ethicalcorp.com

Not for profit: non-profit sector in the frameND


Emily Piesse, WA Business News, 23 November 2006

Changing perceptions of corporate social responsibility and work-life balance are changing corporate approaches towards volunteering. Instead of casual dress days and informal fundraising, companies are increasingly setting up corporate volunteering programs. Younger people are also looking at the wider culture of an organisation which is now important in attracting new employees. This approach to volunteering also benefits the company as well as employees and nonprofits, with workers developing invaluable skills assisting their own learning and development. Kylie Cirak, manager of the Alcoa Foundation and environmental partnerships manager, says that corporate volunteering ‘helps us to have our employees more in touch with the community – it makes us more rounded individuals.’ For more information, see www.wabusinessnews.com.au

Corporate dreamers: Do-gooders at the top end of townND


Andrew Cornell and Fiona Carruthers, The Australian Financial Review, 14 January 2006

This article profiles Australian business leaders and their commitment to corporate social responsibility. Companies are reporting the benefits and stockbrokers say that employee engagement correlates with shareholder returns. Potential employees also value the ethical status of their potential employers. For more information, see www.afr.com.au

Up to Code: does your company’s conduct meet world-class standards?ND


Lynn Paine, Rohit Deshpande, Joshua Margolis and Kim Eric Bettcher, Harvard Business Review, December 2005

Good corporate citizenship, transparency with stakeholders (including suppliers) and being responsive to stakeholder needs and concerns are three of seven standards that Harvard Business Review lists as widely endorsed corporate ethical guidelines. The authors have developed a ‘Global Business Standards Codex’ that lists the seven principles for good corporate behaviour as: Fiduciary Principle, Property Principle, Reliability Principle, Dignity Principle, Fairness Principle, Citizenship Principle, and Responsiveness Principle. ‘Our Global Business Standards Codex,’ write the authors, ‘is intended not as a “model code” that companies should adopt as is, but as a benchmark for those wishing to create their own world-class code.’ For subscribers to HBR or HBR online, the Codex article is online: http://harvardbusinessonline.hbsp.harvard.edu/b02/en/common/item_detail.jhtml?id=R0512H. If you are not a subscriber, the article can also be purchased from this site.

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About The Centre

The Centre for Corporate Public Affairs is the only entity of its type internationally, connecting, via corporate membership, the corporate public affairs and communication function across Australia, New Zealand and Asia. We assist our members embrace best practice public affairs structure and strategies.

Our research, professional development programs, events and international thought leadership opens doors to help organisations and practitioners build and apply corporate public affairs as a core management tool and function.

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