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:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For CFOs, green is the colour of moneyND

Marie Leone,, 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

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

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

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