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Canada to get annual CSR health check

September 2003

A snapshot of how different industry sectors in Canada, the world’s seventh-largest economy, are performing on social and environmental issues is expected to be published next spring.

The first National Corporate Social Responsibility Report will assess the performance of 300 Canadian corporations, although details of how individual firms fare will not be revealed.

The Conference Board of Canada, which is behind the initiative, hopes to produce the report annually, allowing interested parties to see whether industry’s overall record is improving from year to year. Companies will be assessed using indicators covering six areas: governance and management practices; human resources management; human rights; health and safety; community investment, and involvement in policy debates.

The management assurance system has been devised by the Imagine consultancy and the Board, which is a non-profit research body with an annual budget of $30million (£19m).

Its senior research associate David Greenall said: ‘We want to look at what a specific industry is doing, in what areas, what issues it faces, and how it is responding. Our interest is not in trying to compare apples with oranges [by comparing companies in different industry sectors], or to apply inherently subjective ranking criteria’.

A ten-person advisory council will oversee the report, which will also assess government action on CSR. Sponsors include the government and two firms with reputational challenges – Imperial Tobacco and Talisman.




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