Knowledge Centre:
News Digests

Stay abreast of what’s happening internationally with developments in corporate public affairs. Here is news that you may find useful and interesting:

Get in the business of being greenND


HR Magazine, June 2008

The corporate sustainability movement sees more companies investing in environmental programs in the US. Environmentally responsible workplaces attract younger workers and improve worker retention. HR professionals can support company sustainability strategies by providing training, education, and rewarding employee eco-friendly behaviours. For more information see www.shrm.org

Philippines: Philippines, Indonesia are only models for CSRND


Thai News Service, 20 June 2008

Initial findings from the ASEAN Foundation indicate that the Philippines and Indonesia have the most developed business CSR programs among the ASEAN member countries. The ASEAN foundation will conduct a study measuring the contributions of CSR programs for growth and provide recommendations to assist successful implementation of programs for countries within the region. Leading companies also emphasise that their CSR commitments exceed mere financial investment, but also less measurable investments such as kind services and employee involvement. For more information see www.einnews.com/thailand

Marriage of mission and best practicesND


The CRO, June 2008

A successful corporate social engagement model requires a customised program that reflects the missions, values, and long-term goals of an organisation. Effective programs should also be holistically integrated, embrace diverse perspectives within the organisation, and involve participation by management. For more information see www.thecro.com

Doing their partND


Bao Wanxian, China Business Weekly, 9 June 2008

China is becoming part of the Cargill’s global citizenship network. Cargill China’s 2008 World Earth Day campaign launched a series of environmental protection activities in 24 major cities across the country. The programs not only demonstrate Cargill’s commitment to environmental CSR, but also their acknowledgement of the Chinese government’s concerns over energy conservation and emissions. The activities, which necessitated cooperation with the local governments and citizens, also provided an opportunity for Cargill to build relationships with its local communities. For more information see www.chinadaily.com.cn

Oil and gas industry renews commitment to do CSRND


Benget Besalkico, The Jakarta Post, 4 June 2008

Discussions from the Indonesian Petroleum Association’s (IPA) Convention and Exhibition stress that community development projects allow businesses to become legitimate members of the society. International petrol conglomerates such a s Chevron, ExxonMobil and BP recognise that while developed countries value rights, ethics and regulation related CSR, programs that address the main necessities of life such as health, education and infrastructure are more salient in developing countries. For more information see www.thejakartapost.com

Future supply chains will need extensive collaboration: report ND


GreenBiz, 29 May 2008

The ‘Future Supply Chain 2016’ report calls for companies to reassess the environmental impact of their supply chain operations. External factors such as resource scarcity, urbanisation and sustainability regulations highlight a need to reform the transportation methods used by urban retailers. Improved operation methods would reduce the carbon footprint and costs for companies. For more information see www.greenbiz.com

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

Swapping over to green suppliers is a fair tradeND


Emily Ford, Times Online, 22 May 2008

Companies are increasingly concerned with issues relating to their supply chains; especially human rights, environmental impact and bad governance. Instead of threatening or ‘punishing’ suppliers for not meeting high standards, forward-looking organisations work with their suppliers to help them advance in responsible business practices. For more information see www.timesonline.co.uk

China checkupND


James Hyatt, The CRO, 15 May 2008

Companies are moving beyond supplier codes of conduct and human right policies to a continuous improvement model to monitor and clamp down rogue supply chain practices. There are probably now more foreign auditors and inspectors paid by multinationals to visit Chinese factories than Chinese inspectors visiting factories. Also, the supply chain crisis offers numerous business opportunities to management consultants. For more information see thecro.com

Corporate responsibility’s staying powerND


Oliver Phillips, The CRO, 15 May 2008

Governments are collaborating with big corporations to solve major social issues. Many NGOs also partner with corporations to deal with social issues of joint concern. Corporations are realising that the most successful corporate responsibility programs are authentic, organic and rely on an effective partnership. For more information see thecro.com

Indonesia chooses green actions not wordsND


Sumathi Bala, The Financial Times, 15 May 2008

Forty Indonesian CEOs met recently to address local environmental sustainability. The meeting, hosted by Asia-Pacific Resources International, spearheaded the development of a regional chapter of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. Businesses in the region are under increasing pressure to ensure best practices. For more information see www.ft.com

Climate Counts Company Scorecard Report: Consumers and companies together fighting to stop climate changeND


ClimateCounts.org, May 2008

This scorecard aims to provide consumers with a tool to gauge the commitment of companies to the environment, particularly reversing climate change. Fifty-six companies from across nine sectors, including Google, Nike, Canon, Burger King and Levi Strauss, are graded in terms of their environmental performance and carbon footprint. For more information see www.climatecounts.org

Strategic corporate philanthropyND


Bill Gates, Wall Street Journal, 10 May 2008

Access to information technology can be a distinguishing factor between fast-growing developing economies and slow growing ones. Microsoft works with nonprofit and governmental organisations to help build a technologically literate workforce in developing countries, as part of its strategic corporate philanthropy effort. For more information see online.wsj.com

Campaign strategies: A platform for engaging with NGOs when they elect to target companies’ operationsND


Sandra Taylor, The CRO, May 2008

NGOs with public credibility can damage a company’s brand and reputation. Leading companies that understand this, are engaging with NGOs to resolve issues, and create relevant business and CSR strategies, by opening up dialogue early, learning about each other, and building trust. For more information see www.thecro.com

The latest office perk: getting paid to volunteerND


Sarah Needleman, The Wall Street Journal, 30 April 2008

Corporations are increasingly involved in skills-based volunteering programs that allow their staff to share their skills and knowledge with nonprofits and small businesses around the world. By doing this they broaden their employees’ perspective of doing business, and also gain competitive advantage when recruiting young individuals interested in corporate social responsibility. For more information see www.online.wsj.com

Companies underestimate benefits of employee volunteer programs, report saysND


Audrey Hill, The Chronicle of Philanthropy, 29 April 2008

Volunteerism can be an effective way to develop business skills, according to 91 per cent of a recent survey’s respondents. Despite this view, only 16 per cent of the respondents had a system to promote skills-based volunteer opportunities. For more information see philanthropy.com

Tesco to put carbon scores on goodsND


Harry Wallop, The Telegraph, 28 April 2008

Tesco will start printing ‘carbon scores’ on some of its goods that will detail how many grams of CO2 were created in their production, packaging, distribution and disposal. Consumer groups believe this kind of effort will confuse consumers and distract away from the company actually trying to reduce its own emissions. For more information see www.telegraph.co.uk

Virtue’s reward? Companies make the business case for ethical initiativesND


Michael Skapinker, The Financial Times, 27 April 2008

Companies are starting to realise the business benefits of behaving ethically. CSR allows companies to maintain their legitimacy, manage any risk in their reputation, but also develop new products, or even markets that can prove essential to their financial sustainability. For more information see www.ft.com

Climate change ‘may put world at war’ND


Charles Clover, The Telegraph, 23 April 2008

A leading defence think tank has warned that climate change could cause global conflicts, and nations have failed to prepare for such worst-case scenario. The think tank urges further investment in energy research, that is anyway needed for technological advances in nuclear power, biofuels, carbon capture and renewables. For more information see www.telegraph.co.uk

Report urges firms to ‘edit’ out non-green choicesND


Business Green, 17 April 2008

A new guide sets out best practices firms should follow when adopting eco-labels. The guide urges firms to understand the true environmental credentials of their products and consider removing products out of their portfolio that are not environmentally sustainable. For more information see www.businessgreen.com

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