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:

CSR guideline spurs sustainable developmentND


Liu Jie, China Daily, 14 April 2008

Eleven national industrial federations and associations issued China’s guidelines for CSR in early April. The guidelines urge companies and federations to establish a CSR system that focuses in management, execution, information and supervision. The guidelines also recommend that companies abide by laws and social ethics, design CSR strategies in accordance with Chinese conditions, and insist on principles of reliability and openness for their operations. For more information see www.chinadaily.com.cn

More than a helping hand for charitiesND


Sacha Pfeiffer, The Boston Globe, 12 April 2008

Many nonprofits have started to realise the importance of skills-based volunteering — matching their needs to the skills of their corporate volunteers. The involvement is rewarding for both parties: nonprofits improve their organisational functions and volunteers feel they make a more valuable contribution. For more information see www.boston.com/bostonglobe/

Just doing itND


Lui Jie, China Business Weekly, 7 April 2008

Nike’s 2008 CSR China report outlines the company’s efforts to improve employee working conditions through transparent, informed and constructive dialogue with all its stakeholders. Additionally, Nike China will help domestic migrant workers — who constitute a majority of their Chinese factory workforce, by providing facilities to help them better adjust. This approach forms part of Nike’s global CSR targets to eliminate excessive overtime, develop HR management and education training programs. The Chinese government has also demonstrated efforts to improve employee rights through the Labour Contract Law and Employment Promotion law, which was passed in January this year. For more information see www.chinadaily.com.cn

Hyundai-Kia will upgrade transparency ND


Kim Yoo-Chi, Korea Times, 6 April 2008

Pressure has been mounting in South Korea for improved corporate transparency amidst the current investigations into the Samsung group’s alleged bribery scandal. The Hyundai- Kia group has announced it will pursue good corporate governance practices based around the key areas of trust management, environmentally-friendly management, and social contribution. Hyundai-Kia’s new management strategy follows confirmation from the nation’s largest lobby group, the Federation of Korean Industries, that it will rate how companies fulfil their social responsibilities. For more information see www.koreatimes.co.kr

The new corporate citizen communications: Spin or transformation?ND


Bradley Googins, Center for Corporate Citizenship, March 2008

Communicating about corporate citizenship is not just a communication issue. It involves matters of organisational transformation, as companies need to practice what they preach in order to appear genuine and believable. For more information see www.bcccc.net

Where does corporate citizenship belong?ND


Sylvia Ciesluk, Center for Corporate Citizenship, March 2008

Companies often wonder where to include corporate citizenship in their organisational framework, or how to integrate it in other aspects of their business. A recent survey by the Center showed that most companies place CSR in corporate/public affairs, and then the communications department. For more information see www.bcccc.net

For CFOs, green is the colour of moneyND


Marie Leone, CFO.com, 27 March 2008

The business case for sustainability is making more sense to CFOs in the US that find revenue-generating opportunities in being green. However, being green is not easy, especially when the basic business activities are out of the company’s direct control. For more information see www.cfo.com

Boardrooms turn corporate shade of greenND


Catherine Turner, MarketingWeek, 26 March 2008

The concept of corporate social responsibility has moved on from community programmes and philanthropy to include a broader set of issues and initiatives, including those relevant to the environment. It has also become part of how businesses manage their organisations and build relationships with their external stakeholders. For more information see www.marketingweek.co.uk

Volunteering abroad to climb at IBMND


Claudia Deutsch, The New York Times, 26 March 2008

IBM is sending its employees abroad, on volunteering programs, to share their skills with businesses in developing countries. The company views this initiative as a management development exercise that will give its employees an opportunity to work with strangers and projects in unfamiliar territories. Employee interest has so far been very high. For more information see www.nytimes.com

Addressing consumer concerns about climate changeND


The McKinsey Quarterly, March 2008

Two recent global surveys indicate that business executives and consumers identify the environment and climate change as the most important issues over the next five years. The surveys verify a connection between consumer trust, corporate social responsibility initiatives, and consumer choice. These results suggest that businesses should consider how environmental issues and climate change fit within their strategies. For more information see www.mckinseyquarterly.com

Business case debate: best defence (no offence) is a good poetND


John Davies, The CRO, 19 March 2008

The debate on corporate social responsibility might just be a matter of definition and language. Too much attention is given in defining the term, rather than concentrating on its practice and results. Businesses need to consider how CSR can connect to their bottom line, instead of worrying about how to describe it. For more information see www.thecro.com

Business case debate: looking beyond share price, salesND


Neil Smith, The CRO, 19 March 2008

Supporting a universal business case for corporate social responsibility can be difficult. CSR does not offer immediate results, the same way acquisitions or laying off personnel can do, nor can it be the sole determinant of a rising stock price. But CSR is connected to reputation and proactive corporate culture; essential to a company’s success. For more information see www.thecro.com

Offsetting your carbon is ‘confusing’ND


Sophie Borland, The Telegraph, 19 March 2008

According to a consumer watchdog, carbon-offsetting websites are confusing and inconsistent. The websites fail to give information on the projects they support or their administration fees. They also differ in their estimations and charges. The Government is already pressing for a voluntary code of practice. For more information see www.telegraph.co.uk

Carbon reduction starts at the topND


Andrew Cave, The Telegraph, 17 March 2008

Top-level engagement many times defines the extent of climate change initiatives in a company. Philip Green, chief executive of United Utilities, views climate change as a chance for executives to display leadership. Mr. Green believes that climate change initiatives make moral and business sense, and at the same time invigorate and engage staff in the business. For more information see www.telegraph.co.uk

Green fund to lure innovative car makersND


Tracy Sutherland and Mark Skulley, The Australian Financial Review, 10 March 2008

The Australian government will contribute one third of private investment into environmentally friendly vehicles. The $500 million green car fund will start in 2011. Operation details for the fund are not final, but it will feature co-investment arrangements. For more information see www.arf.com

Reporting – Communications – How to measure what mattersND


Kathee Rebernak, Ethical Corporation, 10 March 2008

CSR reports often lack in materiality — reporting on what matters most to stakeholders. Materiality analysis can help companies concentrate on the right sustainability strategy and report accordingly. It also helps facilitate the assurance process, and provides benchmarks for evaluation. For more information see www.ethicalcorp.com

What is the meaning of ‘green’? ND


Clare Davidson, BBC News, 08 March 2008

There is still no clear understanding of the term ‘green’, especially in the way its is used in corporate communication and advertising. Firms are making ‘green’ claims but most of them lack any consistency or scientific validity. While claiming to be ‘green’ might be easy, being so is not. For more information see www.newsvote.bbc.co.uk

Food crisis will take hold before climate change, warns chief scientistND


James Randerson, The Guardian, 7 March 2008

UK’s Chief scientific adviser, John Beddington, argues that food security and rising food prices will create a crisis more imminent than climate change. Beddington also criticises the biofuel industry’s lack of sustainable practices. For more information see www.guardian.co.uk

No excuse for absence from lessons in right and wrongND


Alison Maitland, Financial Times, 7 March 2008

A survey by the UK Institute of Business Ethics shows that more companies are training employees in how to apply ethical codes. 70 per cent of large UK companies are conducting training, compared to less than 50 per cent around four years ago. However, the Institute points to a gap in training at board and senior level. For more information, see www.ft.com

Tax reward for ‘green’ driversND


Jim Pickard, John Reed and George Parker, Financial Times, 7 March 2008

The British government is expected to ‘punish’ drivers of high carbon-emitting vehicles by increasing their vehicle excise duty, while at the same time lowering it for green vehicles. The government will also announce support for the development of green engine and fuel technologies. For more information see www.ft.com

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