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Brace yourself: get your telecoms and procedures ready for MiFID II - news

By Dave Millett, Equinox — MiFID (The Markets in Financial Instruments Directive) applied in the UK from November 2007. Ten years on, in the light of the financial crisis, it’s being...

EU Commission issues guidelines to strengthen CSR reporting - news

By Vikas Vij — Non-Financial Reporting (NFR) is an effective way for businesses to integrate sustainability into their decision-making processes. NFR can help companies identify critical...

GSK reduces supply chain emissions with help from Schneider Electric - news

By Vikas Vij — A PLoS ONE study published last year showed that if the US healthcare sector were ranked as a nation, it would be the world’s 13th-largest carbon emitter, more than...

Pat Harned guides ethics in business - news

By Adam Woodhall — Pat Harned leads the Ethics and Compliance Initiative (ECI), regularly engaging with leaders of global corporations and the US Department of Justice as well as...

Women-owned businesses supported by UN Women - news

By Brian Collett — Companies are being encouraged by the UN to trade with women-owned businesses and integrate them into their supply networks.           The...

Housing crisis offers an opportunity to implement electricity demand management - news

By Simon Anderson, Chief Strategy Officer, geo — In my last article for Ethical Performance I outlined what the near future will look like if our demands for electricity outstrip supply...

East Capital’s new Sustainable Emerging Markets Fund leverages proprietary ESG for alpha - news

By Roger Aitken — East Capital, an independent asset manager specializing in emerging and frontier markets that manages €2.7 billion (c.$3.08bn/£2.38bn) in public and private...

NatWest Great British Entrepreneur Awards recognise the power of family businesses - news

By Sangeeta Waldron — Some of the UK’s largest and most successful businesses are family-owned, including some of the country’s most recognisable and well-loved brands. Two...

De Beers innovates to become carbon neutral - news

By Brian Collett —  De Beers, the world’s leading diamond company, has begun research that could make some of its mines carbon-neutral within five years.    ...

Growing sustainable business leaders - news

By Mac Macartney — Business leaders across all sectors are feeling the tug, the dip and pull of something deep beneath their feet. A future so uncertain they can no longer ignore it. It is...

How can online companies tackle delivery problems? - news

By James Middleton, Street Stream — Delivery problems have been the bane of the ecommerce market since people started selling online. You can have a website with amazing UX, superb...

Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil Europe conference Europe highlights partnerships - news

By Brian Collett — The importance of strength in numbers in encouraging responsible practice was emphasised by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil at its Europe conference.  ...

Global apparel industry takes steps toward better performance - news

By Brian Collett — The global apparel industry is making changes to promote better practices.   A pact to improve garment factory working conditions worldwide has been signed...

Vitae London: the watch brand with heart - news

By Sangeeta Waldron — Will Adoasi, the entrepreneur behind the philanthropic watch brand Vitae London, is set to launch his Season IV, a unisex range of watches that is backed by Sir...

Another record-breaking year for renewable energy: more capacity for less money - news

By Adam Woodhall — Just prior to the launch of their Renewables 2017 Global Status Report , which found there was a record of 161 GW added to global power capacity, for 23% less...

How creating a healthy work force makes all the difference - news

By Deborah Astles, Unipart — Unipart Group is one of Europe’s leading private manufacturing, logistics and consultancy companies and we often get asked how we went about creating our...

EC considers new rules for Internet companies - news

By Brian Collett — New rules preventing web platforms such as Google and Amazon from offering unfair terms to small businesses selling or promoting products are being considered by the...

LSE’s ‘1,000 Companies to Inspire Britain’ recognizes fast growing green enterprises - news

By Roger Aitken — The London Stock Exchange’s latest annual ‘1,000 Companies To Inspire Britain’, has, for the first time, profiled in detail some of the enterprises...

Certified Sustainability Practitioner Program, Advanced Edition - news

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) articulate an agenda for the next 15 years (to 2030) with a view to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all. The agenda requires...

Human rights rise to top of business agenda - news

By Tom Idle — Business respect for human rights has been given a big boost with the “historic step” taken by the French Parliament to green light the much-awaited corporate...

Green hotel award winners announced - news

By Brian Collett — Employees at the Landgut Stober hotel at Nauen, near Berlin, including a number of refugees, have become a “nurturing family”, said the judges of the Green...

Heineken reports progress in reducing carbon emissions - news

By Gina-Marie Cheeseman — At a time of uncertainty about governmental commitments to the Paris Climate Agreement, Dutch beer brewer Heineken is among those companies that are continuing...

National CSR Awards 2017 winners revealed - news

The National CSR Awards 2017, sponsored by Revive and now in their third year, were held at the impressive Lord’s Cricket Ground last night (18 May) and saw businesses of all sizes...

Future business models must consider use of natural resources: report - news

By Brian Collett — The world’s manufacturers are likely to triple their use of natural resources and quadruple their gross domestic product by 2050.    This scary...

  Innovations to make fuel, packaging, and products from waste - news

By Brian Collett — A sustainable fuel from wastewater is being developed by the SEAT S.A. car maker and the Spanish water management company Aqualia.        ...

EU calls for ban on vegetable oils in biofuel - news

By Brian Collett—The EU is on course to ban vegetable oils, including palm oil, in all biofuel.   Members of the European Parliament have called for the ban on the grounds...

Human rights rise to top of business agenda - news

By Tom Idle — Business respect for human rights was given a big boost with the “historic step” taken by the French Parliament to green light the much-awaited ...

150 French corporations required to report on human rights and environmental policies - news

by Brian Collett — Large French companies will soon be subject to a tighter law compelling them to report on their human rights and environmental policies.    The...

Minimum wage policy under review in Myanmar - news

By Brian Collett — A high-powered committee is to take the first steps towards fixing a minimum wage in Myanmar.    The committee, newly formed by the government, will...

Carbon tax adopted by Singapore - news

By Brian Collett — Singapore is to become the first nation in south-east Asia to introduce a carbon tax. The decision represents a reversal of the policy of a few years ago when the...

UK citizens among WEF’s “Young Global Leaders” - news

By Sangeeta Waldron — The World Economic Forum is now in its 47th year. It’s famous for its annual summit in Davos attended by luminaries in multiple industries. But It is also known...

Kraft Heinz makes move toward sustainable sourcing of palm oil - news

By Brian Collett — Kraft Heinz, the world’s fifth largest food company valued at $26bn (£21bn, €24.3bn), has announced it is to source all its palm oil in an...

Imperial’s new climate finance centre to ‘recalibrate’ investors’ understanding of risk - news

By Roger Aitken —  A new centre designed to help businesses make more informed green investment decisions has been launched at Imperial College Business School in London. The centre...

The importance of UN Sustainable Goals in corporate strategies and reporting  - news

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) articulate an agenda for the next 15 years (to 2030) with a view to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all. The agenda requires...

Renewi opens trading at London Stock Exchange - news

By EP Staff — Renewi, a waste-to-product business, opened the London Stock Exchange on March 20 to celebrate its creation as the result of last month’s merger of Shanks Group plc and...

Is the corporate responsibility and sustainability profession just another elite?  - news

By Tom Idle — The recent EU referendum demonstrates the national divides we have in the UK – and  plenty of evidence  shows that we have one of the lowest social...

Whitbread's Environmental Leadership - news

By James Pitcher — Whitbread is the UK’s largest and fastest growing hospitality company and we have ambitious plans for our two leading brands, Premier Inn and Costa. By 2020, we...

Hellmann’s hits egg-free target three years early - news

By Brian Collett — The Hellmann’s food company has hit its target of using only eggs from cage-free hens in all its mayonnaise and other dressings sold in the US – three years...

ESG factors drive stronger performance in emerging markets equities - news

By Roger Aitken— Investing in emerging markets (EM) equities with high environmental, social and governance (ESG) ratings leads to “better performance” when adjusted for...

Costa steps up recycling of used cups - news

By Brian Collett —  Costa, Britain’s largest coffee shop chain, has begun a scheme to recycle all its used takeaway cups. The company expects at least 30 million cups will be...

Veolia, BITC Responsible Business of the Year 2016, buys into the circular economy - news

By Tom Idle — Talking about the so-called circular economy and all the potential economic and environmental benefits it might bring is not to speak of a distant future, says the woman...

Olam International and NGO Mighty agree to “re-set terms for responsible development - news

By Brian Collett — A project to create the world’s largest palm oil plantation that could involve heavy deforestation in the West African country of Gabon has been set on...

Coca-Cola Great Britain launches deposit return scheme in Scotland - news

Coca-Cola Great Britain is initiating a trial of what it describes as a “well-designed” deposit return scheme (DRS) in Scotland. The plan builds upon over twenty years of work by the...

GSK's innovative business model for marketing and sales - news

By Tom Idle —  It is hard to think of a more contentious business practice than the one historically used to sell pharmaceuticals. For the past 50 years, sales representatives have...

Should the UK private sector align its strategies with the UN's Sustainable Development Goals? - news

By Rachel Whale, Founder and CEO, Koreo — The Women’s Marches which took place around the world on January 21st were a reminder of the power of international narratives for social...

Big oil companies turn to offshore wind - news

By RP Siegel — Despite what we might expect to see soon, in the form of furious efforts on the part of a handful of politicians to reverse the inevitable, the tide has already turned...

New EU reporting rules for large companies take effect - news

By Brian Collett — UK businesses with 500 or more employees must now disclose non-financial information in their annual reports under new EU-directed legislation.    The...

20 brands protest detention of garment industry trade union leaders in Bangladesh - news

By Brian Collett — More than 20 international brands have protested to the Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina over the detention of trade union leaders in the garment industry. ...

Alternative investment funds surge predicted via UCITS and AIF frameworks - news

By Roger Aitken — Almost four-fifths (77%) of institutional investors “expect to see” more US and Asia asset managers launch alternative investment funds through UCITS and AIF...

Slovak’s EU presidency focuses on transition to low carbon economy - news

By Roger Aitken — The Environment Council agenda under the Slovak Presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU) has been focusing on creating conditions for a “gradual...

"Collaboration is the only way for business to solve today’s sustainability challenges" - news

Interview by Tom Idle Hans Daems , the newly elected chair of CSR Europe, couldn’t have chosen a more pertinent time to take up the position with the business network. Daems, who is...

Companies may have to reveal pay gap between executives and employees - news

By Brian Collett — Britain’s biggest companies may have to reveal the gap between their senior executives’ remuneration and the average pay of their employees.   ...

Provocation and innovation at XEnergy - news

By Adam Woodhall — Practical provocation and tangible innovation were the motivational themes explored by some of    the best minds in the UK energy industry at the recent...

The good purpose guide – 9 ways to turn purpose into action within your business - news

By Charlotte West — Business is increasingly required to play a role in society which goes beyond maximising stakeholder profit. So it’s perhaps no surprise that 'purpose’...

Finland lists first green bond on LSE with $500m issuance - news

By Roger Aitken — Finland’s leading provider of financial services in the country to local government and public housing sectors, Municipality Finance (MuniFin), opened trading on...

Business leaders split on effect of Brexit on ethical governance - news

By Brian Collett — The ways in which Brexit will change the ethical conduct of businesses in the UK are as uncertain as the issues that will affect their trading.    The...

Science-based targets guide business in setting carbon reduction goals - news

By Tom Idle — As we prepare for the cold days of winter, we might fondly recall the hot days of summer – some of the warmest on record for the season. The warning signs were...

Stop Slavery Network formed by hotel industry - news

By Brian Collett — Hoteliers in the UK have combined to stamp out modern slavery throughout their industry. The Stop Slavery Hotel Industry Network has been formed to tackle the risks...

Tax authority collects £3bn from avoiders - news

By Brian Collett — The UK tax authority HM Revenue & Customs has collected a total of £3bn ($3.64bn, €3.32bn) in two years from users of avoidance schemes.   ...

Refreshing the business contract with society - news

By Adam Woodhall   “Can business refresh its contract with society before it’s too late?” was the stimulating question with which the CEO of The Crowd , Jim...

Microloan Foundation boosts trustee board with Step on Board programme - news

‘Step on Board’ is a board-level volunteering programme, run by Trustees Unlimited and the National Council for Voluntary Organisations, which is being embraced by a number of...

Riversimple adopts circular economy to create a cutting edge eco-auto  - news

By Adam Woodhall — A passion for racing cars and environmentalism aren't usual bedfellows. Hugo Spowers is not an usual entrepreneur though, and the business he has created,...

New call for sustainable sourcing of palm oil - news

By Brian Collett — An international group of scientists, food manufacturers, nutritionists, NGOs and policymakers has urged all farmers to produce palm oil in an environmentally...

Praxis Mutual commits to impact bonds from India, Starbucks, and European Investment Bank - news

By Roger Aitken — Following a number of positive impact bond purchases, Praxis Mutual Funds, a leading faith-based and socially responsible family of mutual funds advised by Everence...

Taking the lead in stormy times - news

By Adam Woodhall — How are corporate sustainability professionals—and the organisations they work with—to lead through this post-Brexit period facing our society? How are they...

Call for global laws compelling corporations to observe human rights - news

by Brian Collett — Global laws compelling national and transnational corporations to observe human rights have been urged by a senior UN official on his retirement.   ...

PM wants UK to lead global fight against human trafficking - news

by Sangeeta Haindl — During a service at Westminster Abbey earlier this month, held to remember 18th Century anti-slavery campaigner William Wilberforce whose work led to the abolition of...

Assessing the landscape of corporate-NGO partnerships  - news

by Tom Idle — The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), launched at the beginning of this year as a concrete set of 17 global ambitions, offers a quick guide to...

Online job sites dominate UK recruitment market - news

by Vikas Vij — Recruiters need to gear up to the needs of today’s connected generation, which Google calls as Generation “C”. With significant differences in attitudes...

Entrepreneur Awards finalists announced - news

The presenters of the Great British Entrepreneur Awards have announced over 100 finalists who are competing for recognition at its Gala Final, which takes place 22 November in London. The...

How HR capacity planning can help you survive Brexit  - news

by Rita Treharn — The votes have been cast, and the majority has spoken: Britain is leaving the EU, and all hell has been let loose. While Sterling sinks and the country tries to figure...

The Shareholder Revolution? - news

by Adam Woodhall — At the recent The Crowd  event, the title was "The Shareholder Revolution?" . The question mark was particularly important because, as was made...

Finland lists first green bond on LSE with $500m issuance - news

by Roger Aitken — Finland’s leading provider of financial services in the country to local government and public housing sectors, Municipality Finance (MuniFin), opened trading on...

The natural capital concept can guide decisions and assess environmental risk. - news

by Elisabeth Jeffries — After constructing a plant in an arid part of India, buildings materials manufacturer LafargeHolcim opted not to buy efficient water equipment. Instead, it helped...

Companies driving progress on UN SDGs - news

by Vikas Vij — The world’s current rate of action may not be enough to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030. To reach the goals, the private sector,...

Brexit mustn’t mean wreckxit - news

by Adam Woodhall — A Baroness, professor, a past CEO of the Environment Agency and Boris Johnson’s father were just a few of the assembled luminaries who gathered to discuss and...

The future of power, death & money - news

by Adam Woodhall — “Power, Death and Money” was the provocative title of the first event run by The Future Men .  They promised a rampage through the frustrations of...

Past and future of sustainability with the RSA - news

by Adam Woodhall — The Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce, or RSA for short, was founded in 1754, and has an impressive history.   ...

Companies alerted to human trafficking by RepRisk report - news

by Brian Collett — Companies are told in a new report to investigate their supply chains more robustly so that they avoid profiting from the human trafficking that now locks in nearly 21...

Extel’s 14th SRI & Sustainability Survey highlights need to do more  - news

by Roger Aitken — This year’s annual WeConvene Extel and UK Sustainable & Finance Association (UKSIF) SRI & Sustainability survey reveals that while almost 40% of asset...

Compensation awarded to Bangladeshi apparel workers - news

by Brian Collett — Compensation has finally been paid to all the workers injured and the dependants of those killed in the Tazreen Fashions fire in Bangladesh four years after the...

New ideas for a new economy - news

by Adam Woodhall — The British are historically world leaders at creating solutions to problems. For example, when in the UK we started running out of wood to build ships and burn for...

Business vs. The State: new roles for social action - news

by Tom idle — We live in politically fascinating times. A coup attempt in Turkey; recurrent terrorist attacks on the streets of Europe’s cities; forthcoming bitter presidential...

The Cherie Blair Foundation mentors women entrepreneurs through technology - news

The Cherie Blair Foundation released a report for its Mentoring Women in Business Programme at an event in Johannesburg, South Africa in late June. On the occasion, Blair delivered a keynote...

Cheers! Friday 16th is Global Beer Responsibility Day - news

by Antonio Pasolini — Friday evenings are traditionally a? time? when, in alcohol-friendly cultures, people get together with their workmates for a beer or two—sometimes, maybe more...

COP21: Getting down to business - news

by RP Siegel — COP21 has been hailed as a historic event because of the way it facilitated 196 countries to come together in support of a shared ambition to head off accelerating climate...

International Tourism Partnership launches Hotel Water Measure Initiative to set industry standards - news

by Brian Collett —Thousands of hotels throughout the world are expected to combine in a drive to cut water consumption.      Along with conservation measures, they...

Is the UK too reliant on EU workers? - news

By Rita Trehan — The UK economy depends on EU workers. Talented, highly educated, mainly young people from across the EU have flocked to London. They work in finance, professional services...

Nike expands sustainable distribution centre in Belgium - news

by Brian Collett — Nike, the multinational footwear and apparel group, has opened an expanded distribution hub at its European centre with the claim that it has taken 14,000 annual lorry...

Sustainable packaging regulation for Singapore companies - news

by Vikas Vij —  As urban populations grow and become more densely packed, major cities around the world struggle to manage packaging waste. Reducing packaging waste is a part of a...

COP21: Getting down to business - news

COP21: Getting down to business By RP Siegel — COP21 has been hailed as a historic event because of the way it facilitated 196 countries to come together in support of a shared...

Beer-making without impact, the Heineken way - news

by Tom Idle —   For the past six years, Heineken’s approach to environmental and social issues has been informed by its structured Brewing a Better world strategy. And it is...

Standish Mellon joins climate bond partnership intensifying ‘sustainable investing’ commitment - news

by Roger Aitken—Standish Mellon Asset Management (‘Standish’), a BNY Mellon investment boutique with around $158 billion (£121bn, €143bn) of assets under management,...

Food labelling transparency links supply chain and consumer - news

by Elisabeth Jeffries — A social media campaign swept across the planet in 2010, clamouring for a halt to the use of palm oil in Kit Kats. Six years on, manufacturer Nestlé now...

What Brexit means for UK business - news

by Martin Baxter, Chief Policy Advisor, Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment — The referendum vote in favour of the UK leaving the EU raises significant questions for...

ESG risks should be disclosed: environmental groups petition Securities and Exchange Commission - news

by Brian Collet — All companies should disclose the environmental, social and governance risks of their activities to aid investors in making choices. This recommendation has been...

Royal Mail doing business in a responsible way - news

by Sangeeta Haindl — The UK postal service, the Royal Mail, is celebrating its 500th birthday of connecting millions of customers, businesses, organisations and communities, including...

Brexit could be bad for the environment - news

By Reynard Loki — A new report by Sustainalytics, a sustainability research and analysis firm, suggests that Brexit could prompt British companies to slack off on green schemes, which...

Ontario unveils plan to promote social enterprises - news

Social enterprises use business strategies to achieve a social or environmental impact. While generating revenues from the sale of goods and services, social enterprises also expressly intend to...

Wind power: less noise, happier neighbors - news

by Antonio Pasolini — Wind power is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to renewable energy. It currently accounts for 41.1 percent of all energy produced in Denmark (2015 data)...

Ginkgo 2 Confirms €140m Fundraising Target - news

by Roger Aitken — Europe’s answer to speeding up the decontamination of old industrial sites—revamping and greening them into sound places to live and work—took a further...

Brexit means a world of uncertainty. But in CRS, we can handle it. - news

by Claudine Blamey, ICRS Chair, Head of Sustainability and Stewardship, The Crown Estate —Watching the UK’s EU referendum results come in provided more tension, anxiety and delight...

Bag battles: plastic vs. paper - news

by Brian Collett — Plastic bags have become a widely discouraged vice because of the enduring toxins they carry and pass on to humans, but is the persuasive case for banning or reducing...

Discover the "Blue Economy" - news

by Bibi Gratzer —  Blue has always been my favourite colour. Maybe because I am oceanophile, maybe because blue is a colour that has both, calming and awakening properties. Maybe also...

Tech can have a huge impact in reducing carbon emissions: BT report - news

by RP Siegel — We hear a lot about smart technology these days: smart cars, smart cities, smart grid, etc., with an implied promise that these smart things will be far more efficient than...

BBC journalist Mishal Husain to honour 2016 Ashden International Award winners - news

by Sangeeta Haindl — Forward thinking organisations championing solar energy in India, East Africa and beyond; businesses improving the health of citizens through sustainable buildings and...

The environmental impact of Brexit cannot be overlooked - news

by Tom Idle — The people of the UK could wake up 24 June and find themselves in a very different political landscape. The European Union (EU) Referendum taking place on 23 June poses a...

Scaling the heights with a purpose - news

by Adam Woodhall - The Crowd event, held monthly in central London, always offers thought-provoking themes, and the June edition didn't disappoint. Held at the impressive HQ of the ICAEW ,...

Cement industry faces innovative future, post COP21 - news

A tipping point is on the strategy agendas for the world’s largest cement companies, according to a new report by CDP . The study finds that of the 12 global cement companies analyzed in...

Sustainability critical to future business: IEMA Report - news

By Vikas Vij — Leading companies increasingly recognize the importance of embedding sustainability into their business models. However, professionals seeking sustainability outcomes face...

UK workforce leads Europe, US in sick days - news

The UK workforce has more sick days than any other European country, and twice as many as the US, notes Gerry Brennan, CEO of Cloudbooking, a space management software company that works with...

EU project turns textile waste into consumer products - news

By Vikas Vij — The global textile industry is valued at over $1 trillion, ranking as the second largest industry in terms of intensity of trade. Textiles are also the fastest growing...

Partnerships, localism and circularity help businesses scoop National CSR awards - news

By Tom Idle - Presiding over the 2016 National CSR Awards  – now enjoying its second year as an useful addition to the  initiatives that recognise best practice in...

Sustainable finance at the core of European economic recovery - news

By Vikas Vij — Capital infusion into sustainable infrastructure and innovation has emerged as an important strategy to drive job creation globally. The direction provided by governments to...

Mums behind the UK’s small businesses are a powerful economic force - news

by Sangeeta Haindl — Do you know much about the “Mumpreneur” economy? These are businesses run by mothers with children under 18, which generated a staggering,...

83% of environment and sustainability professionals say UK benefits from EU membership: IEMA survey - news

A new survey of environmental and sustainability professionals by the Institute of Environmental and Management Assessment shows that an overwhelming majority—83%—believe that...

Motivating models for 21st century employee engagement - news

By Adam Woodhall - Employee engagement is a buzzword that has been around for a long time, but what does it actually mean, and what are the benefits to organisations?  There are many...

Corporate world moves forward with human rights transparency - news

By Antonio Pasolini — Supply chain transparency regarding human rights is becoming an increasingly important CSR issue. After consulting with more than 400 contributors, the Corporate...

Federation of small businesses exposes untapped potential of women enterprises for UK economy - news

By Sangeeta Haindl — What would you say, if you knew that only one in five U.K. small businesses are majority-woman owned and yet contribute over £75 billion to the...

KKR portfolio companies get new green solutions platform - news

Interview by Kelly Eisenhardt As Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) issues continue to grow in importance for mainstream investors, KKR’s pioneering environmental initiative...

PYXERA Global executives to present at 15th Responsible Business Summit - news

Top PYXERA Global executives will be among the 55+ speakers at the 15 th Responsible Business Summit, presented by Ethical Corporation, to be held in London June 7-8. Deirdre White,...

Grocery chains innovate to reduce food waste - news

By Brian Collett - Tesco, Britain’s biggest supermarket group, has become the latest retailer to offer leftover food from its stores to charity. Its aim is that by the end of next year,...

John Lewis partnership leads with employee-owned business model - news

by Vikas Vij - Employee ownership business models have increasingly attracted attention since the financial crisis of 2008 when corporate governance came to be recognized as a critical...

"High sustainability" companies are better businesses - news

“High sustainability” businesses significantly outperform “low sustainability” companies in two ways: lower volatility on the stock market and by a six percent...

A toast to responsibility - news

Alexandre Ricard  is CEO of drinks giant Pernod Ricard. Currently the world’s No2 wines and spirits business, he is keen to make it to the No1 slot and believes that his...

India wants UK to stay in EU - news

by Sangeeta Haindl 'Brexit' is a word on everyone's breath, since UK Prime Minister David Cameron announced a referendum on whether Britain should remain in the 28-nation EU to...

COP 21 agreement spurs East Capital to review "high climate change"- related investing risk - news

by Roger Aitken The climate agreement sealed at the COP21 summit in Paris on 12 December 2015 underscores, once and for all, that climate change is a common issue that needs to be addressed...

Barclays Helps UK Start-Ups Take Flight - news

Barclays has opened its third Eagle Labs space in Brighton after successful pilots in Bournemouth and Cambridge. The new Barclays Eagle Labs will provide access to resources including expert...

The new CSR equation: transparency = brand credibility - news

EP Journal Trust in business today goes hand in hand with increased transparency by Miranda Ingram Corporate reputation is hard to gain and easy to lose, but any company that...

Top automakers for advanced vehicles ranked in new CDP report - news

Several automakers have taken the lead in “advanced vehicles,” according to a new report from CDP. The category includes battery electric (EV), plug-in hybrid (PHEV), and fuel cell...

Forging a positive future for ethnic diversity in business - news

EP Journal by Brian Collett Black women now comprise the fastest-growing group of entrepreneurs in the US. A new study from Digitalundivided, a New York-based company whose aim...

European market for renewable energy continues to grow - news

EP Journal By RP Siegel Market demand for renewable energy in Europe as documen-ted by Guarantees of Origin, grew by 8% over the previous year, extending an extraordinary growth streak....

Sky supports WWF's Earth Hour, Saturday 19 March with new advert - news

Sky is broadcasting a new advert   to reach out to its 21 million customers in the U.K. and across Europe to encourage them to take part in WWF’s ‘Earth Hour’ this...

EC announces European Social Innovation Competition with €50,000 prizes for best ideas - news

The European Commission has announced the 2016 edition of the European Social Innovation Competition. This year’s theme is ‘integrated futures,‘ and the EC is requesting...

Counting the cost of capital for renewable energy investments in the EU - news

The “DiaCore project” has evaluated the cost of capital across the European Union, and has found that it varies significantly from country to country. The project’s report is...

Orange launches website for entrepreneurs in Africa and the Middle East - news

Orange has launched the Entrepreneur Club, a website that provides practical guidance and tools for company creation to startups in Africa and the Middle East. At the Club, entrepreneurs can...

Nelson moves to RSF Social Finance - news

Deb Nelson, formerly the executive director of Social Venture Network (SVN), has joined RSF Social Finance as the new Vice President of Client and Community Engagement. Nelson expanded the...

Roger Aitken, analyst, examines the most recent MorningStar data - news

Among UK Registered funds over the past year to 31 December 2016, the £124.97m Kempen (Lux) Sustainable Eur Small Cap I fund ranked top out of a sector universe of 253 funds with a...

East Capital’s China environmental strategy whets ‘clean-tech’ appetite - news

East Capital, an emerging and frontier markets specialist headquartered in Stockholm that actively manages €2.1bn of assets in public and private equity as well as real estate, transitioned...

Increasing the rate of exchange - news

With 40% of its carbon impact found along the supply chain, GSK has found a novel way to engage and encourage its suppliers to cut energy, water and waste. Tom Idle speaks to the...

Do reports make a good stakeholder engagement tool? - news

The corporate world is now well-versed in producing an annual document showcasing best practice. But can sustainability reports actually be used effectively as a stakeholder engagement tool?...

McDonald’s tax affairs under scrutiny in Europe - news

Fast food chain McDonald’s is being investigated by the European Commission over its Luxembourg tax arrangements known as “sweetheart deals”. McDonald’s Europe...

Korea’s largest steel maker expands community investment programme - news

POSCO, South Korea’s largest steel maker, has expanded its corporate social responsibility activities with its “For a Better World” vision, focusing on raising funds and...

MCS welcomes extension of coastal conservation zones around UK - news

The chances of recovery for marine life in English seas have been boosted by the creation of new Marine Conservation Zones, says the Marine Conservation Society (MCS) following the Department...

Africa hails world's first carbon neutral national park - news

Zambia is home to the world's first carbon neutral national park. The achievement in Lower Zambezi National Park is the result of a partnership with BioCarbon Partners (BCP), supported...

Travel company books Fair Trade holiday of a lifetime - news

Sumak Travel, the UK based social enterprise that specialises in Latin American ecotourism, has partnered with the Cafédirect Producers’ Foundation (CPF) to launch a range of Fair...

Roger Aitken, analyst, examines the December 2015 data - news

Among UK Registered funds over the past one year to 30 November 2015, the £2,343.66m Pictet-Water USD fund was top ranked in Morningstar’s analysis of 251 sector funds with a...

European SRI retail funds market expands €9bn in 2015 - news

The latest annual report on ethical, green and social funds at the retail level across Europe from Vigeo, the leading European rating agency evaluating corporate responsibility, reveals that the...

Reporting in Europe breaks new ground - news

This year the first directive mandating non-financial corporate disclosures is due to take effect across the EU which breaks new ground in corporate reporting requirements. Elisabeth Jeffries...

All in good time? - news

Negotiators at the COP21 climate summit in Paris made slow, if steady progress. Bob Siegel reports on what it could achieve At the COP21 talks in Paris, officials from 196 nations convened...

Monsanto commits to carbon neutral footprint by 2021 - news

American multinational agricultural biotech corporation Monsanto has announced plans to make its operations carbon neutral by 2021 through a programme targeted across its seed and crop...

Korean study suggests two contrasting faces of CSR - news

The interests of employees can take a back seat when firms mobilize resources for CSR, write two leading Korean academics in Seoul, Heung-Jun Jung and Dong-One Kim. Dong-One Kim is dean and...

Big brands failing to honour Bangladesh compensation claims - news

International brands, including Walmart and El Corte Ingles, are being urged to contribute to a fund for the families of 112 workers killed and those permanently injured in the 2012 fire at the...

Emissions stall but level of CO2 in atmosphere at highest ever level - news

Global carbon emissions are projected to stall in 2015, according to researchers at the University of East Anglia and the Global Carbon Project. Last year global CO2 emissions from fossil...

Electronics firms urged to address child labour in supply chains - news

Globally, more than one million children are working in the gold mining industry, according to new estimates. The gold mined is used by electronics manufacturers who use it to make mobile...

Marine conservation groups push for greater uptake of sustainable fish - news

The Marine Conservation Society (MCS), Fish2fork and Sustainable Fish Cities have launched a campaign to gain public pledges from three of the largest restaurant chains in the UK to serve 100%...

Greeting card sellers under fire over poor sustainability disclosure - news

More than half (52%) of UK adults assume well-known businesses that sell greetings cards offer sustainable products made from well managed forests, a YouGov poll for WWF has revealed. The...

Ethical retail funds see rapid growth through 2015 - news

European SRI retail funds have continued to show good growth over the course of 2015, according to the yearly report produced by CR evaluation agency Vigeo Italy in partnership with data...

Porsche gives green light to first 100% electric model - news

Luxury German car maker Porsche is investing close to a billion euros in its first 100% electrically powered model. The project called 'Mission E' was described by Dr. Oliver...

Young designers get Kering recognition for ‘positive fashion’ - news

Luxury fashion house Kering and the Centre For Sustainable Fashion have awarded the very first Kering Awards for Sustainable Fashion to Neliana Fuenmayor (pictured far right) and Ingrid...

Roger Aitken, analyst, examines the November 2015 data - news

In the UK registered funds sector Kempen (Lux) Sustainable European Small-Cap Fund I, a £120.38m fund, top ranked over the past one year to 31 October 2015 with a cumulative return of...

BNP Paribas commits to ‘doubling’ renewable energy financing by 2020 - news

BNP Paribas, the French multinational bank with a presence in 75 countries, is to take a further significant step in financing the transition to a low carbon economy by “more than...

The newfound power of responsible advertising - news

Recently, Europe has been witnessing major changes in terms of mass media consumption. This has led to a significant transformation in the purchasing behaviour of consumers, writes Andrea...

Helping today for a brighter tomorrow? - news

How have the world’s corporates responded to the refugee crisis in Europe? And what role can business play anyway? Sangeeta Haindl reports One topic has dominated headlines this year...

Business at risk from poor whistleblowing practices - news

Around half of employees aware of misconduct do not ‘speak up’ about their concerns, evidence from a new survey shows. And that’s putting businesses in Europe at risk, it...

Kangwon turns abandoned mines into modern resorts - news

Kangwon Land, a South Korean company that redevelops abandoned mines into resorts, casinos, and conference centres has been recognised as one of Korea’s most sustainable enterprises for...

Circular Ocean initiative to encourage green enterprise - news

Companies and academic bodies are to be asked to propose new action on the millions of tons of plastic waste being washed up on northern European shores. Specialist companies and others...

Kia maps out five-year ambition for green car leadership - news

Korea’s Kia Motors is looking to drive the market for more environmentally-friendly cars by giving investment into fuel-efficient technologies a significant boost. The brand’s...

Charity Christmas cards prove not so heart-warming - news

Charities receive little more than 3% of the purchase price of some charity Christmas cards in the UK, two surveys have revealed. Harrods, London’s largest shop, gives 3.4% to Macmillan...

Teachers call for climate change to be taught to under 11s - news

New research has shown that over 90% of primary school teachers in England believe they should be teaching children about the effects of climate change, despite sustainability no longer being a...

EIB-backed initiative boosts climate conscious investing - news

The European Investment Bank (EIB), BNP Paribas and Vigeo have launched Tera Neva, a sustainable investment initiative which allows investors to align their financial objectives with their...

CSR Services Directory to aid corporations tackling new UN SDGs - news

With the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals now formally adopted, Ethical Performance is updating and expanding its international CSR Services Directory to showcase the work and services...

Business at risk from weak speak up provision, says IBE - news

Around half of employees aware of misconduct do not ‘speak up’ about their concerns, evidence from the IBE Ethics at Work Survey shows. And that’s putting businesses in...

British start-up Adaptavate honoured with Green Alley Award win - news

An eco-friendly alternative to plasterboard, made up of 75% agricultural waste, took top honours at Europe's recent Green Alley Awards which celebrate the circular economy. Produced by...

National CSR Awards expands categories for 2016 - news

With only 58 days to go before entries open for next year’s National CSR Awards (NCSRA), its organisers have announced new and expanded categories. With the introduction of three...

BlackRock launches Impact World Equity Fund fusing ‘social and financial’ goals - news

The launch mid this October of the BlackRock Strategic Funds’ (BSF) Impact World Equity Fund, a liquid UCITS fund that aims to invest in “measurable” social and environmental...

The importance of creating a healthy business culture - news

The unfolding scandals surrounding Volkswagen and FIFA reveal they have much in common, not only with each other but with many corporate scandals that have gone before. The fall-out follows a...

Online calculator helps drivers through emissions haze - news

Following the VW Group emissions scandal and renewed focus on air quality, UK website Next Green Car (NGC), has updated its ratings to account for known discrepancies between official and...

Call for regulation reform following Facebook tax row - news

The online networking company Facebook generated many millions of pounds in revenue in the UK last year but paid no corporation tax. The revelation is likely to reignite protests about companies...

Bank of England’s Carney challenges business over climate change risk - news

The world will suffer financial crises and falling living standards unless economically strong countries ensure that companies admit their present and future carbon emissions, the Bank of...

Ford on target to hit European energy saving goal - news

Ford in Europe is on course to achieve a reduction in energy usage, per vehicle produced, of 25% since 2011, following investments of £20m specifically targeting energy waste. As a...

Cosmetics Europe calls for phase out of micro plastics in beauty products - news

Beauty industry association Cosmetics Europe has called on its 4,000 members to phase out the use of solid microplastic ingredients in wash-off cosmetic and personal care products. The move...

McDonald's makes sustainable packaging breakthrough - news

Cartons, cups and bags at McDonald's are now made from wood fibre coming from recycled sources or sustainably-managed forests. Indeed, all centrally-sourced packaging for the burger...

'Critical disconnect' between IFAs and responsible investment revealed - news

A survey of 400 global Independent Financial Advisors (IFAs) has shown that many fail to even discuss responsible investment with their clients. Research from Alquity, the responsible...

Nissan and Ecotricity call for charging point road signs - news

Nissan, manufacturer of the world’s best-selling electric vehicle (EV), the Nissan LEAF, and Ecotricity, which operates Europe’s biggest and most comprehensive rapid charging...

Unilever becomes zero landfill company in Europe - news

Nine months after achieving zero non-hazardous waste to landfill across its global network of 242 factories – believed to be a world first - Unilever has now become a zero landfill company...

Food giants unite to tackle European food waste - news

With a value chain wide approach, from the field to the plate, Ardo, McCain, PepsiCo, SCA, Sodexo, Unilever Food Solutions and WWF have joined forces and their expertise to fight against food...

Roger Aitken, analyst, interprets the September 2015 data - news

Among UK Registered Funds, the £544.95m AXA Framlington Health R Inc fund once again top ranked overall out of 255 funds in the sector over the past one year to the end of August 2015 with...

Driving a wedge between consumers and green debate - news

As if it wasn’t hard enough convincing consumers to become greener drivers – stop that idling engine while you close the garage doors, slow down using your gears only fool! –...

Korean pharma company forges artisanal legacy preservation path - news

Until the early 1950s South Korea was a traditional agricultural society. That way of life was largely swept away by the Korean War and the rapid industrialization that followed. Today,...

Surge in carbon price disclosure shows climate change heading mainstream - news

Corporations behind everyday brands of toothpaste, soup, light-bulbs, gasoline, cars and computers are assigning a price to their carbon emissions to offset the costs and risks of their...

Lidl leads way on Living Wage implementation in UK - news

Lidl has become the first UK supermarket company to introduce a minimum wage – but it is based on the unenforceable rate recommended by the independent Living Wage Foundation, and is...

Adidas kicks off plans for zero-waste sporting goods - news

Adidas is kicking off a new research project to develop a new type of sporting goods that will never be thrown away. Through Sport Infinity, a European Commission funded research project...

BAT, AB InBev and Schneider Electric join latest supply chain top table - news

Schneider Electric, British American Tobacco and AB InBev have joined the top 15 European supply chains in Gartner Inc's annual ranking. Gartner identified the top 15 performers, based...

B Corp movement launches in UK - news

B Corp, the movement seeking to change the role of business in society, has launched in the UK. While regular companies exist for the interests of their shareholders, B Corps are companies...

Top businesses lend support to child refugee appeal - news

Save the Children says it has received a huge level of support from big businesses and leading brands in response to its Child Refugee Crisis Appeal, which has raised more than £3m in just...

Fashion giant H&M addresses animal welfare in supply chain - news

Swedish fashion retailer H&M is partnering with Humane Society International (HSI) in a bid to improve the welfare of animals in its supply chain. HSI is one of the largest global...

PET recycling rate up but consumers need to do more, survey finds - news

The equivalent of 66bn 1.5L PET bottles were collected and recycled in 2014, representing 57% of bottles and containers placed in the market. This conclusion comes from a report carried out...

UPS drives electric delivery vehicles further with TEVVA - news

Delivery giant UPS has launched its first range-extended electric delivery vehicle for initial trials in the UK, developed in collaboration with TEVVA Motors. Range-extending technology...

Wyke Farms wins international campaign to find greenest company - news

Wyke Farms, one of the UK’s largest independent cheese producers and milk processors, have won a Green Apple Environment Award, in the ‘Environmental Best Practice’...

Victoria Moorhouse brews up at Costa - news

Costa, the Whitbread-owned coffee shop chain, has appointed Victoria Moorhouse as Corporate Responsibility (CR) Programme Manager. Kerry Parkin, head of CSR and Communications at Costa,...

The circular economy : why it’s a global sustainability priority - news

In the past few years, rising global sustainability developments have paved the way for surging numbers of corporate commitments and more decisive action by national governments. Even if...

SRI Fund Spotlight: CLI Framlington Health A - news

CLI Framlington Health A, an OEIC fund that seeks capital growth by investing in healthcare and medical services and products companies globally (including pharmaceutical producers, biotech...

This green and pleasant land? - news

Smart technology and low emissions cities are emerging across the globe. Elisabeth Jeffries reports on how businesses large and small are defining their roles and driving local government...

Applying natural capital valuation in mainstream business practices - news

The global economy depends on the preservation of natural resources. Yet the majority of businesses have not traditionally placed a high enough financial value on natural capital - the...

British business lacks motivation to meet waste targets - news

Britain could achieve its 50% waste recycling target overnight if companies, organisations and individuals had the motivation, claims a leading environmental consultancy in a report just...

Hyundai Mobis takes CSR activities beyond borders - news

Hyundai Mobis, South Korea’s largest auto parts manufacturer, is stepping up efforts to extend its CSR programme beyond its national borders. The company is the “parts and...

Coca-Cola on track to meet water target - news

Soft drinks giant Coca-Cola says it is on well on track to meet its 2020 water replenishment target by the end of this year. Based on the Coca-Cola system’s global water replenishment...

APP pledge to restore peatlands sets important benchmark - news

One of the world’s largest paper producers is to clear and restore 7,000 hectares of its plantations in Indonesia to protect carbon-rich peatlands. Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) hopes...

New effort to reshape fossil fuel firms approach to climate change - news

The heat is on for fossil fuel companies in more ways than one with the launch of a major new initiative to build stronger leadership by oil, gas and coal companies on climate change. The...

Coca-Cola claims significant progress on way to becoming 'water neutral' - news

The Coca-Cola Company says it's on track to meet its 2020 water replenishment goal by the end of 2015. Based on the Coca-Cola system’s - its bottling partners - global water...

China's CO2 emissions 'substantially over estimated' - news

China's carbon emissions have been substantially over estimated by international agencies for more than 10 years, according to research co-led by the University of East Anglia. The...

Fujitsu scoops Responsible Business of the Year 2015 at BITC awards - news

Global technology giant Fujitsu picked up the most prestigious award at this year’s Business in the Community’s Responsible Business Awards winning the title of overall Responsible...

Many happy returns - news

Alquity was founded in 2010 by Paul Robinson , to offer investors a more responsible way to invest by achieving strong returns whilst putting something back and creating a Virtuous Circle of...

Robeco Chinese Equities Class D EUR fund performance examined by Roger Aitken - news

The £1,035.13 million (€1,461.09m) Robeco Chinese Equities Class D EUR Acc fund top ranked the UK Registered Fund sector out of 251 funds over the past one year to 30 June 2015 with...

LSE’s ‘green’ bond segments launch sees City of Gothenburg’s issue first to list - news

The London Stock Exchange’s (‘LSE’) launch of a range of new segments on its fixed-income markets “dedicated” to the issuance of green bonds this July saw the City...

Putting skills at the heart of the development agenda - news

Private sector investment in developing countries dwarfs aid budgets several times over, writes Matt Foster, director of strategies and programme effectiveness, VSO. Large institutional...

Crime busting drama makes arresting production progress - news

BBC One’s new primetime drama The Interceptor has been awarded full marks for its efforts in sustainable production, having received a three star rating by industry certification scheme...

Toshiba hit by balance sheet scandal - news

The chief executive of Toshiba and seven other senior executives have resigned in a deception scandal that the safeguards imposed by the Japanese government this summer are intended to prevent....

Clean Clothes Campaign pushes for further Rana Plaza disclosure - news

Labour rights groups have made official complaints that safety practices and inspections were seriously flawed at Rana Plaza, the Bangladeshi garment factory building that collapsed in 2013...

South Korea’s LG Electronics holds first CSR meeting in China - news

Early July, South Korea’s LG Electronics held a meeting of advisers on corporate social responsibility in Beijing as part of a renewed commitment to more socially responsible activities at...

NT commits £30m to updating energy intensive buildings - news

The National Trust, Europe’s biggest conservation charity, is investing £30m, in renewable energy to heat and power more of its historic places. The news follows the successful...

Tidal power opportunity proposed for Bristol Channel - news

A marine fence across the Bristol Channel, now at the planning and development stage, is estimated to have the potential to supply 5% of Britain’s energy needs from tidal power. The...

Korean ad agency Cheil fine tunes CSR - news

South Korea is commemorating the 70th anniversary of its 1945 liberation from Japanese colonial rule by creating an unusual grand piano to generate interest in the reunification of South and...

Underground farm takes root beneath city streets - news

A farm has been created to grow food with only minimal effects on the environment – below the streets of London. The enterprise, the world’s first underground farm, is at Clapham,...

Festival fever cools off with The Ice Shed - news

The Ice Shed is working with sustainability consultancy Anthesis to provide carbon neutral ice to campers at festivals in the UK this summer.  The Ice Shed sells ice and cooler bags at...

BLOG: Is tide turning in effort to tackle climate change? - news

Chris Cook, AkzoNobel's Planet Possible programme director, writes about the importance of partnerships in driving down carbon emissions President Barack Obama’s  Clean...

Aldi challenged over supply chain treatment of Bangladeshi workers - news

The Bangladesh government and the German low-cost retailer, Aldi, are being urged to take action to ensure over 1000 workers employed at the Swan Garment and Swan Jeans factories are provided...

Pirelli revs up sustainability rating - news

Pirelli has been named as the leading automotive supplier in an assessment for the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. Based on the DVFA's (Deutscher Verband der Finanzanalysten) published...

Reward clean energy drivers and save lives, urges Autogas - news

The re-introduction of the London congestion charge exemption for vehicles powered by LPG and incentives to convert to vehicles to the alternative fuel, could help to save the lives and improve...

BLOG: the importance of culture and heritage in sustainable cities - news

Art and heritage are key to creating strong cities that people want to live in, says Hester Alberdingk Thijm, director of AkzoNobel Art Foundation By the end of the decade, as...

Energy efficiency proves critical to sustainable shopping centres - news

New research shows that shopping centres that invest in energy efficient features boost their market value by up to, and over, 5%. The research from BCSC (British Council of Shopping...

MSCI names new head of ESG research - news

Antti Savilaakso has joined its MSCI ESG Research Inc. team as European Head of ESG Research at MSCI Inc, a leading provider of research-based indexes and analytics. Based in London,...

Chemical reactions - news

Neil Hawkins, corporate vp environment and sustainability, Dow Chemical spoke to Ethical Performance about his love of nature and the US company’s latest 2025 sustainability targets...

Eventide Gilead scores ‘Triple First’ in rankings - news

In the US mutual funds sector Eventide Gilead N, a $1,784.56m fund ranked top over the past one, three and five years to date out of 191 funds. With a cumulative performance of +27.60% over the...

It’s the end of reporting season – what now? - news

And so another reporting season staggers to a close. Having worked with many clients to help them through this sometimes painful time, I know that this season is not always the easiest. From...

Sabic achieves significant emissions reductions - news

A reduction of 7% in water and energy use is recorded in the 2014 sustainability report of the Riyadh-based Sabic group, the world’s second largest diversified chemicals company and the...

Japan Tobacco makes progress with sustainability initiatives and reporting - news

Japan Tobacco Inc. (JT) has published a report outlining its sustainability initiatives and performance for 2014. JT began developing its sustainability strategy in 2012, initially focussing on...

Newsweek names global green companies - news

Three healthcare companies top this year’s global green league table published by Newsweek, the US weekly current affairs magazine. The list is headed by Biogen, the group based in...

Interserve sets ambitious targets for reducing global environmental impact - news

A reduction of 26% in energy emissions at UK sites was achieved last year by Interserve, the FTSE 250 support services and construction group. Interserve, an international company with...

Pernod Ricard ramps up responsible drinking efforts - news

The 5,500 sales representatives of the wines and spirits multinational Pernod Ricard were enlisted last month for the company’s fifth Responsib’All Day aimed at promoting the...

RE100 drives call for renewable power priority at Formula E eprix - news

Renewable power is good for business and should be a priority for governments taking climate action, senior business executives and energy experts urged at the recent FIA Formula E eprix in...

ShareAction targets Total over climate change position - news

UK-based movement for responsible investment ShareAction has launched a campaign to tackle French oil giant Total over its position on climate change. A new website,...

Rana Plaza victims to receive full compensation as fund reaches $30m - news

Victims of the Rana Plaza factory collapse are finally to receive full compensation following the Rana Plaza Donors Trust Fund reaching its $30m target. According to the Clean Clothes...

Hainsworth to head Social Platform - news

Jana Hainsworth, secretary general of Eurochild, has been elected as president of Social Platform, the largest European platform of social NGOs in Europe. Hainsworth replaces Heather Roy...

Deloitte's Dugelay joins GRI Board - news

Eric Dugelay, Deloitte’s Global Sustainability Services Leader has joined the 14-member GRI Board, which consists of representatives from business and civil society organizations from...

Darrell Doren made md of BSCI - news

The Foreign Trade Association (FTA), the leading business association of European and international commerce promoting free trade and sustainable supply chains, has appointed Darrell Doren as...

GEFF hailed as historic initiative - news

The Global Ethical Finance Forum (GEFF) in September is being hailed as an historic initiative, in conjunction with the Islamic Finance Council UK (IFC UK) and Thomson Reuters. It aims to be...

Legal bills will cost banks £19bn - news

Compensation payouts and legal bills will cost the big four UK banks £19bn ($29.83bn, €26.55bn) during this year and next, reports the credit ratings agency Standard &...

Waste not, want not - news

As head of circular economy at Veolia, Forbes McDougall is at the heart of the UK’s efforts to transition to an economy that puts a greater value on waste. Here, he explains what that...

Chinese funds storm up rankings as Roger Aitken examines the latest data - news

China’s offshore and onshore equity markets have certainly been in extremely robust health over the past year and outperformed other major markets. Evidencing rising Chinese share...

Solactive oekom Ethical Low Volatility Index launched as BNP Paribas takes licence - news

Solactive AG (‘Solactive’), a German index provider head-quartered in Frankfurt that develops, calculates and distributes tailor-made indices globally, launched its Solactive oekom...

Innovation in sustainable packaging continues despite scarcity of data - news

US retailers are starting to ask their product suppliers for merchandise with packaging that is more sustainable, according to speakers at the recent LuxePack Conference in New York. Laura...

Sustainability professionals happier, survey finds - news

Professionals who switch to environment and sustainability roles believe they have chosen well. A practitioner survey says 87% report a high level of satisfaction with their decisions, and...

EP&L analysis gives Kering critical new business insights - news

A pioneering environmental impact report is being shared worldwide by Kering, the French holding company for global fashion and sportswear brands, including Gucci, Balenciaga and Puma....

Protesters target Shell in Seattle over Arctic plans - news

Shell’s plans for oil drilling in the Arctic have encountered determined protests on land and sea at the US west coast port of Seattle. The most spectacular demonstrations have been by...

Gates charity challenged to divest fossil fuel stocks - news

Bill Gates, founder of one of the world’s biggest corporations, has been asked to lead the fight against climate change. Gates, who set up Microsoft in 1975, could set an example by...

3BL Media acquires UK-based CSR publisher of Ethical Performance - news

3BL Media, LLC, a corporate communications platform exclusively dedicated to the distribution of corporate social responsibility (CSR) and sustainability news and content, has acquired Dunstans...

WWF calls for stiffer measures to ensure legality of logged wood - news

A new WWF-UK study has raised concerns about the ability of some UK companies to prove where their wood supply comes from. The WWF study was designed to see if companies that were selling...

M&S signs up to 100% renewable power pledge - news

Leading British retailer Marks & Spencer (M&S) has joined RE100, the global initiative supporting major companies committing to 100% renewable power. The retailer of food, clothing...

SC Johnson recognised for transparency efforts - news

The World Environment Center (WEC) has awarded its 31st Annual Gold Medal for International Corporate Achievement in Sustainable Development to household cleaning giant SC Johnson. The...

Unilever hits new carbon saving milestone - news

Reporting only two weeks ago that its 'sustainable' brands like Dove are growing twice as fast as its 'regular' brands, Unilever has now revealed that it has reached a new...

Scotland to host inaugural Global Ethical Finance Forum - news

Hosted by the Scottish Government, the Global Ethical Finance Forum (GEFF) in September is being hailed as an historic initiative, in conjunction with the Islamic Finance Council UK (IFC UK) and...

FoE report highlights eco-impact of everyday products - news

A new report from Friends of the Earth (FoE) estimates for the first time how much land and water well-known brands such as Apple, Kraft and Gap use in a year, and what is needed to manufacture...

Roger Aitken examines AXA Framlington Health R Inc - news

AXA Framlington Health R Inc., a £563.52m fund, topped ranked the UK funds sector over the past year to 31 March 2015 with a robust performance of +44.42%. It followed superlative...

Human rights now on menu for institutional investors - news

Lauren Compere, md at Boston Common Asset Management, says that investors are finally waking up to the importance of human rights risk Human rights used to be a subject discussed mainly in...

Just how transparent is your data? - news

The type of information provided by corporate sustainability reports, and in non- financial disclosures varies widely. Investment analysts or other report users may believe they are reading...

Why financial education is key to all our sustainable futures - news

Nick Jones, head of digital comms & corporate responsibility, Visa Europe, explains why they're backing the launch of the Entrepreneurship Skills Pass   ...

Putting a price on your corporate reputation - news

A good reputation is more valuable than money, they say. Yet you wouldn’t think so these days with so many businesses still loathe to pay the Living Wage and happily keeping staff on zero...

US arm of Novartis tops diversity league table - news

Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation (NPC) has been named the top company for diversity in the US in DiversityInc’s annual league table for the second year in succession. According to...

BNY Mellon hit by record £126m fine - news

The Bank of New York Mellon, the world’s largest custody bank, has been fined £126m ($188m, €175m) by the City of London regulator for failing to protect customers’...

DfID faces accusations of pushing private firms over public services - news

The UK’s overseas aid ministry has been accused of using funds to establish private healthcare and education in Africa and Asia, bringing benefits to British and American companies....

Consumers misled over mpg claims, says Which? - news

Car manufacturers have been accused of giving motorists false fuel consumption figures in the UK. A team from Which?, the Consumers’ Association magazine, found all but three of 200...

Petrobras pays price for 8 years of corruption - news

Petrobras, Brazil’s state-run oil company, has calculated that eight years of corruption have cost it $2.1bn (Brazilian R$6.2bn, £1.39bn, €1.94bn). The corruption involved...

Europe hails new car emissions decrease - news

According to the figures published by the European Environment Agency (EEA), average new car emissions were 123.4g CO2/km compared to 186g CO 2 /km in 1995, representing a 33.7% decrease for...

Gender balance in boardroom still has long way to go - news

A new report on global diversity in the boardroom from INAC, the international network of executive search consultancies, has found that while progress on the gender divide is being made –...

Novartis named top company for diversity for second year - news

Novartis has been named the top company for diversity in the US in DiversityInc’s annual league table for the second year in a row. The American arm of the Swiss pharma giant also...

Deutsche Bank hit by record $2.5bn penalty - news

Deutsche Bank (DB) has been fined $2.5bn (£1.66bn) by US and UK regulators for trying to manipulate the Libor and Euribor inter-bank rates. The record penalty - $2.1bn by US...

Oysters set to be new pearl of The Solent - news

Native oysters are to return to the Solent, once the biggest oyster fishery in Europe. A coalition led by the BLUE Marine Foundation has announced its intention of restoring a healthy...

Europe urgently needs lobbying reform says TI report - news

A new report on 19 European countries and 3 EU institutions shows undue influence on politics across the region and in Brussels. Transparency International (TI), the anti-corruption group,...

New study identifies key drivers of authentic corporate purpose - news

A new study from IMD Business School and PR firm Burson-Marsteller has identified the key drivers of authentic corporate purpose and reveals a questionnaire that companies can use to assess...

Wake up and smell the coffee! - news

In an effort to reduce waste from the 158m disposable cups that are used daily in the United States, KillTheCup.com has launched a national campaign challenging Americans to make a pledge to...

Barclays reviews MTR coal mining investment stance - news

Following years of pressure and protests from campaigners, Barclays has released a policy position statement on Mountain Top Removal (MTR) coal mining in which it states: “Provision of...

Big fashion brands back new textile recycling technology - news

After years of searching for a solution to the worldwide problem of textile waste, pioneering start-up Worn Again is joining forces with fashion retailer H&M, and luxury, sport &...

Roger Aitken, analyst, interprets the April data - news

Robeco Indian Equities D EUR Acc fund again top ranked amongst UK Registered Funds over the past year to 28 February 2015 with a cumulative return of +58.58% versus +47.47%/36th rank over the...

Global sustainable investing assets balloon 61% to reach $21.4trn - news

The global sustainable investment market grew substantially over a two-year period between 2012 and 2014 in both absolute and relative terms according to ‘The Global Sustainable Investment...

Back to school for a more effective collaborative approach - news

David Picton , chief sustainability officer at Carillion, gives an update on the expanded Supply Chain Sustainability School for FM and Service suppliers Martin Luther King once explained...

Winning ways: National CSR Awards celebrates best practice - news

The inaugural National CSR Awards took place last month and saw winners both large and small, celebrating the best of ethical governance and good business practice.   Individual...

UK brings in tougher tax evasion legislation - news

Companies that aid tax evasion will be penalised under new UK criminal legislation. The offenders will have absolute liability so that the authorities will no longer have to prove “intent...

Novartis Japan ordered to halt sales for failure to report drug side effects - news

Health authorities ordered the Japanese unit of Novartis AG to shut down most operations for 15 days in March, saying the drug maker failed to report side effects from its products in a timely...

Tesco faces legal action in UK - news

Legal action is being prepared claiming that Tesco’s profits overstatement last year caused a “permanent destruction of value to shareholders”. The Connecticut-based law...

Bank of England under investigation by SFO - news

The conduct of the Bank of England, as the UK’s central bank, in lending money to commercial banks during the 2007-08 financial crisis is being investigated by the Serious Fraud Office...

Tronie Foundation sets up new anti-slavery seal - news

A Washington-based non-profit organisation dedicated to driving awareness of human trafficking and slavery has devised 'The Freedom Seal', a new visual marker of...

Lobby groups in climate change spotlight - news

Investors need to ask questions of companies to ensure that their public positions on climate change aren’t being undercut by their membership of controversial European lobby groups, says...

Don't let it go! Iglo pushes frozen campaign to tackle food waste - news

Iglo Group, Europe’s largest frozen food company, has launched a coalition with leading waste reduction charity WRAP with the objective of reducing food waste across Europe. The...

RB and Save The Children partner to stop children dying of diarrhoea - news

Consumer goods giant RB (formerly known as Reckitt Benckiser) is partnering with international children's charity, Save The Children, in an effort to help eradicate child deaths from...

ShareAction praises BP for quitting US lobbying group - news

Responsible Investment charity ShareAction has applauded oil giant BP’s confirmation that it will not renew its membership of a controversial US-based lobbying group which promotes climate...

Beavers to run hog wild in Devon! - news

News that a group of Devon Beavers have been returned to the wild on the River Otter has been welcomed by Friends of the Earth. The beavers were released back into the River Otter after...

China lauds environmental milestone with first biofuel passenger flight - news

Boeing, Hainan Airlines and Sinopec have celebrated China's first passenger flight with sustainable aviation biofuel, a key environmental milestone for China's commercial aviation...

Government urged to take action to reduce marine litter - news

With beach litter on the rise, the UK’s leading marine charity has called for more Government action. According to the data collected by the Marine Conservation Society (MCS) and...

Trust between big business and communities remains fragile - news

New research commissioned by one of the UK’s largest employers reveals a significant lack of public trust in business. Indeed, 80% of those polled could not name one large business which...

Global carbon emissions stall, finds IEA data - news

Data from the International Energy Agency (IEA) indicate that global emissions of carbon dioxide from the energy sector stalled in 2014, marking the first time in 40 years in which there was a...

Hugo Boss targeted over labour violations in Europe - news

Campaigners around Europe are targeting fashion label Hugo Boss over reported labour violations in factories in Turkey and Croatia. The protests coincide with Hugo Boss' press and...

And the National CSR Awards 2015 winners are.... - news

Nine awards and two Special Recognitions were presented recently at the inaugural National CSR Awards with Marks and Spencer, Wyke Farms and Zurich Community Trust among the winners. The...

Chemical giant Bayer loses libel action over pesticide harm claims - news

German chemical giant Bayer has failed in its attempt to sue Friends of the Earth Germany over its claims that thiacloprid, a pesticide manufactured by Bayer, harms bees....

WWF publishes roadmap to a more sustainable Europe - news

A new report from WWF shows that resource efficiency alone could generate over €300bn a year for the EU economy. Entitled From crisis to opportunity: Five steps to sustainable European...

CWF puts rabbits in the headlights - news

Compassion in World Farming is calling for greater welfare protection of rabbits through the addition of a Good Rabbit Award at its annual Good Farm Animal Welfare Awards. Globally around...

EU air pollution rules weaker than China’s, says Greenpeace - news

Europe’s coal plants will be allowed to emit more deadly pollutants than their Chinese counterparts under EU proposals for new air quality rules, according to Greenpeace. A Greenpeace...

Roger Aitken interprets the February 2015 data - news

Robeco Indian Equities D EUR Acc, a £28.12m fund, again top ranked amongst UK Registered funds over the past year to 31 January 2015 with a cumulative return of +62.18% versus +57.05%/14th...

Taking the right route to restoring public trust? - news

With public trust in big business remaining fragile, the IBE and CISI have relaunched Investing in Integrity (IiI) is a chartermark, founded in 2012, which enables an organisation to reassure...

Ugandan farmers in court over land grab - news

More than 100 Ugandan farmers evicted to make way for palm oil plantations have filed a lawsuit claiming damages and the return of their land. The smallholders received little, if any,...

Rolls Royce refutes Brazilian bribery claims - news

The engineering multinational Rolls-Royce has been accused of paying at least $200,000 (£130,000, €176,000) in bribes to win a lucrative order from Petrobras, the state-owned...

Tesco hits spotlight again over supply chain practices - news

The grocery chain Tesco, Britain’s biggest retailer, is being investigated by its trade watchdog over claims of unethical bullying treatment of suppliers, including late payment....

HSBC under investigation over tax evasion allegations - news

HSBC, the UK-based bank accused of helping clients to evade tax, is now being investigated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The FCA joins the Serious Fraud Office, the Bank of...

Ford drives sustainable fashion with recycled couture collection - news

Car seat covers used in new Ford cars have received a glamorous new lease of life after being recycled for a unique fashion collection. Emerging designers from Europe and Asia transformed...

Step change for remanufacturing will reap sustainability rewards - news

Leading experts from industry and academia have called for greater support for the UK's remanufacturing industry. According to a new joint report from the Carbon Trust, Knowledge...

Investor coalition backs new human rights reporting push - news

A group of over 60 investors from Europe, North America and Australia, collectively managing $3.9 trillion of assets, have urged leading companies to use new guidance to help them “know...

Benetton urged to contribute $5m to Rana Plaza fund - news

As Milan Fashion Week kicks off, campaigners are calling on Benetton to contribute at least $5m into the Rana Plaza Donors Trust Fund following the fashion brand's long-awaited commitment to...

Pharma companies failing to abide by 'the rules' in UK and Sweden - news

Unethical marketing of pharmaceutical drugs happens more than once a week in both the UK and Sweden, according to a new report from Lund University. The study, published in the journal PLOS...

CR reporting becoming more widespread, finds Vigeo - news

CSR audit and consultancy firm Vigeo’s latest analysis shows a dramatic movement towards a more universal adoption by listed companies in publishing commitments and information about their...

Huge US solar project starts commercial operation - news

One of the world's largest solar projects - taking up 3,600 acres of land - has started commercial operation in California. The 550-megawatt (MW) Desert Sunlight Solar Farm, is capable...

Food giants back new €120m fund to help smallholders - news

Food giants Danone and Mars have set up a new fund to help companies to learn how to sustainably source the materials they need from smallholder famers while at the same time delivering...

Japanese car brands lead way in emissions reductions - news

Japanese automobile manufacturer Nissan tops a new league ranking car brands on their emissions reductions. The research has been compiled by climate change organisation CDP to rank auto...

Chamberlain joins ETI as new chair - news

The Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) has welcomed Philip Chamberlain as its new chair. Chamberlain brings a wealth of retail experience to the role, gained working with prominent European...

Roger Aitken interprets the January 2015 data - news

Robeco Indian Equities D EUR Acc, a £22.78m fund, continued its good run and again top ranked amongst UK Registered funds over the past year to 31 December 2014 with a cumulative return of...

Seeing the beer glass half-full - news

Debbie Read, head of CR at Molson Coors, has worked for the international brewer for seven years. Best known for its brands Coors, Carling, Cobra and Miller, the brewer has changed a lot in the...

Going round in circles? - news

The ground is being prepared for our transition from linear to circular thinking. But what does it really mean for business? Miranda Ingram reports Remember when brown paper and bits of...

Unregulated fishing jeopardising food security in US - news

Importers and the US government are being urged to halt the trade in which more than a billion dollars’ worth of illegally caught fish and seafood are shipped into the country every year....

Too few women board directors in Japan - news

Among the world’s 20 leading economies, Japan is worst at getting women on company boards. Women hold only 3 % of seats on the boards of directors at Japan’s largest companies,...

BASF to tackle social issues with Creator Space project - news

The chemicals multinational BASF, whose products range from plastics to crop treatments, is celebrating its 150th anniversary with a programme to tackle social issues, including energy sourcing,...

Payday lenders hit Co-op Bank black list - news

The UK’s Co-operative Bank, now emerging from two years of strife and scandal, has banned lending to businesses that avoid tax. The ban is one of several new ethical policies...

Amazon’s tax set up comes under further scrutiny - news

The online retailer Amazon, already accused of avoiding UK tax payments by administering its business from Luxembourg, is now being told its arrangements amount to a vehicle for receiving state...

Carlsberg takes action on responsibility pledge - news

The potent lager Special Brew, created by the Danish Carlsberg company in 1950 in honour of Sir Winston Churchill, may be watered down to comply with guidelines agreed by the industry and the UK...

Companies turning blind eye to supply chains - news

A majority of companies don’t perform anti-bribery and corruption audits on their suppliers, an area of business operations that’s proved prone to bribery risk in recent years,...

‘Nice to Have’ versus ‘Must Have’ - news

David Picton, chief sustainability officer, Carillion explains why now, more than ever, sustainability is not a nice-to-have but a 'must have' Sustainability is critical for...

Unilever achieves zero waste to landfill across global factory network - news

Knorr stockcube maker, Unilever, has certainly shown it has the know-how when it comes to waste management with the annoucement today that it has achieved a key sustainability target of sending...

New online tool shows world can cut emissions and live well - news

Cutting carbon emissions to limit global temperatures to a 2°C rise can be achieved while improving living standards, a new online tool shows. The world can eat well, travel more, live...

Suppliers in US, Brazil, China and India least resilient to climate change risks - news

Lack of preparation currently leaves supply chains in Brazil, China, India and the US more vulnerable to climate risks than those in Europe and Japan. While, suppliers in China and India deliver...

American pharma companies lead Global Sustainability Index - news

Biogen beat fellow American pharmaceutical company Allergan to top spot in this year's Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World Index. German sportswear company Adidas...

Jacques Maire joins Vigeo executive committee - news

Former executive at the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development Jacques Maire has joined CSR rating agency Vigeo's corporate executive committee as director of...

Women failing to aim for top City firms - news

New data on City bonuses from salary benchmarking site, Emoulment.com , shows that women are not aiming for employment at top firms at the outset of their careers. Fresh out of university,...

GeSI announces 2015 board of directors - news

The new Global e-Sustainability Initiative (GeSI) board of directors has taken office. Deutsche Telekom, Verizon, and ETNO representatives were elected Chair, Vice-Chair, and Treasurer...

2degrees unveils top 25 under 25s working in sustainable business - news

2degrees, the online collaboration platform and service for sustainable business, has unveiled its list of the Top 25 Under 25s for 2014. Among those that made the cut are professionals...

Navigating the challenges of multiple reporting frameworks - news

Richard Kirby, technical director at CRedit360, explores the complex web of reporting standards    Making use of reporting frameworks to communicate and benchmark...

Roger Aitken, analyst, interprets December 2014 data - news

Robeco Indian Equities D EUR Acc, a £22.78m fund, again top ranked amongst UK Registered funds over the past year to 30 November 2014 with an improved cumulative return of +49.31% versus...

Ensuring sustainability delivers - news

Mark Parsons is chief customer officer at logistics firm DHL and while heavily involved in the commercial side of the business, his remit also extends to CR and sustainability. He tells Ethical...

Businesses can drive low carbon without sacrificing growth - news

Paul Connolly, director of the Management Consultancies Association (MCA) Think Tank, explores the role of business in the climate change debate Debates about sustainability are vexed. The...

Korean pharma giant caught paying doctors to prescribe its drugs - news

Dongwha Pharmaceutical, one of the largest drug companies in Korea, has been indicted for paying rebates to doctors in exchange for agreeing to give prescriptions of its own drugs. This is the...

Investment industry urged to address lack of female execs - news

The UK investment management industry is suffering from a severe lack of female representation, despite the high corporate governance expectations placed on the boards of companies in which they...

Benetton targeted over non Rana payment - news

Labour rights campaigners in Europe and the US have again urged the Italian fashion house Benetton to contribute to the compensation fund for workers injured and the families of those killed in...

Premier Foods reviews ‘pay and stay’ practice after outcry - news

The UK company Premier Foods, producer of the popular brands Mr Kipling, Oxo and Bisto, has been accused of operating a policy to ditch suppliers that refuse its request for investment. The...

Lima discussions patch together compromise to pave way for Paris - news

Developed countries, which have caused most of the world’s pollution, should help to finance “vulnerable” developing nations to combat climate change, UN members agreed last...

Company managers at heart of corporate bribery, finds OECD - news

At the start of December last year, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) released its first-ever analysis of global anti-bribery activities. The OECD looked at...

Cruise ships scrub up on emissions at Royal Caribbean - news

Royal Caribbean Cruises is to retrofit 19 of its ships with advanced emissions purification (AEP) systems, underscoring its commitment to meet, or exceed, environmental standards. The...

Global demand for coal only to march higher - news

Global demand for coal over the next five years will continue marching higher, breaking the 9-billion-tonne level by 2019, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said in its just published annual...

UPS and DHL awarded European label for sustainable transport - news

Green Freight Europe (GFE) has awarded UPS and Deutsche Post DHL with their ‘first leaf’ - an award given to companies that have shared CO2 data and information on policies,...

“No TTIP” Christmas card submitted by singing Santas - news

This week a group of campaigners dressed as Santa Claus presented an over-sized Christmas card to the Department for Business, Industry and Skills (BIS) on behalf of the million people across...

DHL drives innovation for quieter logistics - news

DHL has launched a new Compressed Natural Gas -powered concept truck for use in towns and cities. The vehicle combines new engine and ignition technology with pioneering cab safety features to...

Alain Cadec succeeds Rosbach at WFO - news

French MEP Alain Cadec is to succeed Anna Rosbach as champion of the Waste Free Ocean foundation which is involved in the collection and recycling of marine waste. The foundation was set up...

Cheers to a sustainable future - news

As we enter the season of over-indulgence, Roland Pirmez, president of Heineken Asia Pacfic tells Ethical Performance why responsible consumption is one of the most important issues on the...

Roger Aitken, analyst, interprets the November 2014 data - news

Robeco Indian Equities D EUR Acc, a £19.64m fund, top ranked amongst UK Registered funds over the past year to 31 October 2014 with a cumulative return of +36.51% versus +38.19%/73rd rank...

Rising to the challenge of the ethical consumer - news

Ethical trading is now a well recognised part of the wider sustainable business agenda, but there’s still a long way to go. Miranda Ingram reports Twenty years ago there were three...

BSR puts transformation and transparency in the spotlight - news

Creating more uniform methods of reporting KPIs, fostering collaborations between corporations and NGOs and looking at what companies can do to improve living conditions for workers, were among...

Payday lenders urged to bolster transparency - news

The UK’s controversial payday lenders could now be compelled to outline their conditions on an independent comparison website under proposals from the government body that promotes...

Controversy dogs Ineos’s fracking operation - news

A company that is planning a fracking operation in Scotland has been accused of bribing the local community to accept a hazardous operation. The Swiss chemicals multinational Ineos intends...

Banks face tougher scrutiny following record FCA fines - news

Banks are being scrutinised by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) following record fines imposed in three countries over foreign exchange rigging. On the announcement of the...

Imports of illegal timber fall in five key countries - news

Estimated imports of illegal wood-based products into France, Japan, the Netherlands, the UK and the US have declined since 2010, research by Chatham House has found. The downward trend has...

Unilever food hits certified palm oil target in Europe - news

Unilever has reached its certified palm oil target for its European food business. A new report published by the Anglo Dutch conglomerate/food brand maker shows that all palm oil directly...

Is business doing enough to address global sustainability challenges? - news

The business landscape is very different now to when I started my career in the field of sustainability over 15 years ago, writes Joe Franses. Businesses today face significant pressure to...

Sea change as Gustavsson moves to Oceana - news

Oceana has appointed Lars Gustavsson as its new Senior Vice President and Executive Director of the organization’s operations in Europe. Gustavsson succeeds Xavier Pastor,...

Roger Aitken, analyst, interprets the October 2014 data - news

The £404.55m AXA Framlington Health R Inc fund top ranked amongst UK Registered funds over the past year to 30 September 2014 with a cumulative return of +24.41% - with double-first...

European SRI market’s growth signals change in investor mindset - news

The sixth biennial Sustainable and Responsible Investment Study from the European Sustainable Investment Forum (EUROSIF), the leading pan-European Sustainable and Responsible Investment (SRI)...

Building a sustainable future - news

We, in the OECD countries, spend about 90% of our lives inside buildings so it should be pretty clear that healthy and comfortable indoor environments contribute significantly to overall health...

Good CSR becoming increasingly good for business - news

Sustainability is undoubtedly a buzzword at the moment, writes Paul Raleigh. Whether business leader or consumer, we cannot escape from being told to consider the long-term implications of our...

Low carbon future does not mean low profit, finds CDP report - news

Companies taking action to mitigate climate change have outperformed the Bloomberg World Index by 9.6%. The figures prove that a low carbon future does not mean low profit, say assessors...

Goldman Sachs hit by lawsuit - news

A Libyan company is claiming $1bn (£620m, €783m) from the Wall Street investment bank Goldman Sachs for taking it “for a complete ride” by directing its money into...

Ireland to phase out ‘double Irish’ tax scheme - news

The “double Irish” scheme enabling multinationals such as Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Yahoo to minimise their tax bills is to be phased out over four years.  The...

Colombian farmers unite to sue oil giant BP in London’s High Court - news

A group of 109 Colombian farmers is suing the British oil multinational BP over a pipeline that they claim harmed their land, crops and animals. The farmers protest that BP caused severe...

Big brands still failing to contribute to Rana recovery - news

The compensation fund for victims’ families and survivors of the Rana Plaza disaster in Bangladesh is still about $20m (£12.4m, €15.7m) short 18 months after the event. The...

Another sting in the tail of climate change… - news

Climate change could be disrupting the relationship between bees and plants according to new research from the University of East Anglia (UEA). A just published study reveals that warmer...

Tailoring old technology for sustainable fashion - news

Extending the average life of clothes by just three months of active use could lead to a significant reduction in carbon, water and waste footprints, claimed Novozymes at this week’s...

Kimberly Clark's Andrex acts on sanitation in Angola - news

A special on-pack promotion aims to raise £250,000 to help thousands of children in Angola to have clean and safe toilets. Toilet tissue brand, Andrex (owned by Kimberly Clark), has...

Corporate giants stay silent on local impact, report shows - news

The world’s biggest companies disclose little or no financial details about their operations outside their home country, a new report from Transparency International has shown. Ninety of...

Women still struggling in labour market in Asia Pacific, says OECD - news

Gains in education have helped narrow the gender gap in the labour market in Asia Pacific but many challenges remain, according to a new OECD report. Society at a Glance: Asia Pacific...

EC climate deal falls short on renewables targets - news

While the European Council has just agreed a new climate and energy deal that sets a binding domestic Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GHG) target of “at least” 40%, it has failed to agree...

Big business to sing from same hymn sheet over energy savings - news

The Big Energy Vision is a new multi-partner campaign to empower UK households to take control of rising energy bills. Supported by both big businesses - including Kingfisher, John Lewis,...

Europe urged to agree bold climate and energy policies - news

Leading businesses including Acciona, Coca-Cola Enterprises, DSM, Ferrovial, Philips, Skanska, Shell, and Unilever are urging EU ministers to agree an ambitious package on climate change at this...

Boardroom pay just gets bigger and bigger, says TUC - news

Forty nine minutes after returning to work after the 2013 New Year break Britain's highest paid director earned as much as a worker on the living wage earns in a year, according to new TUC...

Kering snaps into action with ITC crocodile collaboration - news

Luxury goods giant Kering (formerly PPR) and the International Trade Centre (ITC) have formed a new collaboration to develop a multi-year programme to support the monitoring and sustainable...

SC Johnson comes clean over fragrance ingredients - news

American household giant SC Johnson is to expand its ingredient disclosure efforts by providing product-specific fragrance ingredient information.  Beginning early next year, consumers...

Growth of SRI shows new level of maturity, says EUROSIF - news

EUROSIF, the European Sustainable Investment Forum, has unveiled the findings of its 6th Sustainable and Responsible Investment Study, first published in 2003. The Study highlights the scale of...

Roger Aitken, analyst, interprets the September data - news

The £76.63m Triodos Sustainable Pioneer K Retail Distribution fund top ranked over the past year to 31 August 2014 amongst UK Registered funds with cumulative return of +25.28% from the...

Dow Jones sustainability indices family reaches 15-year milestone - news

S&P Dow Jones Indices, part of McGraw Hill Financial and the world’s largest global resource for index-based concepts and data, and RobecoSAM, the investment specialist focused...

Opening the door to transparency - news

Transparency is a step beyond regular Corporate Social Responsibility - it means not just behaving ethically but showing how you’re doing it. Miranda Ingram reports  ...

HP comes under fire in Autonomy dispute - news

The US computer multinational Hewlett-Packard (HP), which is conducting a long-running dispute over its purchase of the UK technology company Autonomy, has itself been accused of deliberately...

Petrobas director in corruption spotlight - news

A former director of Petrobras, Brazil’s largest company and the largest oil group in Latin America, is being investigated for bribery. Brazilian federal prosecutors have accused...

Astellas extends Kenyan care initiative - news

Astellas Pharma Europe announced its backing of a new €1.5m programme to tackle obstetric fistula in May. Ken Jones, ceo and president, gives Ethical Performance an update The...

GSK fined $490m for bribing Chinese doctors - news

The UK pharmaceuticals group GlaxoSmithKline has been fined $490m (£300m,€381m) for bribing Chinese doctors, hospitals and government officials to push its products. The penalty,...

Banks hit headlines again for failing to maintain standards - news

Bonuses and champagne were lavished on staff at the UK bank Lloyds for selling complicated but risky interest rate swaps with small business loans, a whistleblower has claimed in sworn testimony...

Tesco launches investigation following £250m profit shortfall - news

British supermarket giant Tesco has suspended four executives, including its UK managing director, after the retailer overstated its half-year profit guidance by £250m. It has...

Not enough women execs to sustain FTSE board challenge - news

CTPartners Augmentum, the UK ceo and board practice of the New York-listed global executive search firm CTPartners, have calculated that whilst Lord Davies’ target for women to make up 25%...

World's largest aluminium recycling centre opens in Germany - news

Novelis, the  aluminum rolling and recycling giant, has opened the world's largest aluminium recycling centre. Located adjacent to the company's rolling mill in Nachterstedt,...

CR is increasingly defined by what a company does, not what it gives - news

Since the recession, businesses have been faced with an increasingly cynical public who are more concerned than ever about the ethics of the brands they choose to engage with. Working at...

Banks hit headlines again for failing to maintain standards - news

Bonuses and champagne were lavished on staff at the UK bank Lloyds for selling complicated but risky interest rate swaps with small business loans, a whistleblower has claimed in sworn testimony...

Opening the door to transparency - news

Transparency is a step beyond regular Corporate Social Responsibility - it means not just behaving ethically but showing how you’re doing it. Miranda Ingram reports  ...

Japan’s Asahi Shimbun loses credibility - news

Japan’s Asahi Shimbun, one of the country’s leading newspapers and a bastion defending liberal values, has withdrawn misleading articles on controversial subjects published over a...

Emerging markets more focused on sustainability finds Grant Thornton - news

New figures from accountancy giant Grant Thornton show that business leaders in emerging markets are more focused on the sustainability of their operations than their peers in developed markets....

Unilever far from bog standard over toilet provision pledge - news

Anglo-Dutch conglomerate Unilever has pledged to to help 25m people gain improved access to toilets by 2020. This commitment is part of the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan –...

Brazil declines to sign UN deforestation pledge - news

The launch of the UN’s new pledge to slow global deforestation at this week’s Climate Summit in New York was overshadowed yesterday by Brazil’s failure to sign up to it....

Barclays receives record fine over client assets breach - news

Barclays Bank Plc has been fined £37,745,000 by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) for failing to properly protect clients’ custody assets worth £16.5 billion. As a result...

Cenex becomes KIC affiliate partner - news

Cenex, the UK’s first Centre of Excellence for low carbon technologies, has been approved as an Affiliate Partner for the Climate Knowledge Innovation Community (KIC). As its partner,...

Five new board trustees for Forum - news

Sustainability charity Forum for the Future has taken on five new board trustees. Among them is a former Big Six energy boss, a broadcast journalist, a chartered accountant, a noted engineer and...

No change at the top as Unilever leads supply chain league - news

The top three companies in this year’s Gartner European supply chain ranking are unchanged from 2013. PG Tips maker Unilever comes in at no1, followed by Inditex (the Spanish fashion...

Global retailers failing to address overall carbon footprint - news

Retailers such as Carrefour, Costco, IKEA, Tesco and Walmart should aim for more comprehensive carbon disclosures and collaborate to define meaningful GHG emissions reduction strategies for the...

Roger Aitken, analyst, interprets the data - news

The £31m DNB ECO AR retail A (EUR) fund topped ranked amongst UK Registered funds over the past year to 31 July 2014 with a cumulative return of +16.88% versus +8.44%/`153rd over the past...

Slaves in the supply chain: how far are we willing to look? - news

Michael Pollitt examines the background to the proposed Modern Slavery Bill Two hundred years after Wilberforce, an unexpected slave trade boom has forced the world to revise its...

Hitting the paper trail at SCA - news

Kersti Strandqvist is the senior vice president at SCA, the global hygiene and forest products company, in charge of Group Function Sustainability. She leads the company’s corporate...

Colombia’s Bolsa de Valores joins UN’s sustainable stock exchange initiative - news

The announcement on 22 July 2014 that the Colombian Stock Exchange (Bolsa de Valores Colombia (BVC)) is partnering with the United Nation’s (UN) Sustainable Stock Exchanges (SSE)...

Unicef and DLA Piper join forces to tackle child justice challenges - news

UNICEF and international law firm DLA Piper have established a pioneering partnership focused on improving the quality of care and protection for children who come into contact with judicial...

Transparency warnings over EIB’s policy change - news

The European Investment Bank (EIB) is proposing changes to its rules on information disclosure which would make it one of the most secretive financial institutions in the world, campaigners are...

HP targets executives in UK fraud allegation - news

The US computer multinational Hewlett-Packard (HP), which is mounting a fraud action against a successful UK business it acquired three years ago, is now targeting two of its bosses. HP...

Qatar World Cup in slave labour spotlight - news

More than 100 migrant workers building the al-Wakrah stadium, one of Qatar’s 2022 football World Cup venues, have been receiving only 45p an hour or £4.90 ($8.20, €6.20) a day....

Ford extends community links with free training programme - news

Car maker Ford's Driving Skills for Life, a free training programme for inexperienced drivers who have recently passed their driving test, gets into gear in the UK later this month,...

Mass protest against open-cast mining planned for German border - news

Campaigners against planned coal mines on the German/Polish border will be making their presence felt this weekend when they orchestrate a massive international demonstration. Greenpeace...

Kellogg announces new goals to reduce energy, water and waste - news

Cornflakes-maker Kellogg is to responsibly source its top 10 ingredients and materials by 2020, and validate compliance across all direct suppliers by 2015. The move is part of a new tranche of...

China becomes world's biggest solar market - news

The global solar market is shifting from Europe to Asia, finds a new report from Hanergy and China's New Energy Chamber of Commerce. According to the Global Renewable Energy Report 2014,...

Tobacco plant biofuel takes off with Boeing and SAA - news

Boeing, South African Airways (SAA) and SkyNRG are collaborating to make sustainable aviation biofuel from a new type of tobacco plant. SkyNRG is expanding production of the hybrid plant...

FSC refutes Greenpeace claims over forest destruction in Russia - news

The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) has refuted allegations made by Greenpeace that it has failed in certain areas of Russia. It maintains that one area referenced by the NGO, the Dvinsky...

Lobbying – the ‘next big thing’ in CSR - news

In July, it was widely reported that the UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, had been “defeated” in his attempts to water down the UK’s carbon budget - which sets...

New chief at GRI - news

 Michael Meehan, a veteran sustainability CEO and entrepreneur, has been appointed as the new chief executive of Global Reporting Intitative (GRI). Meehan has built and managed several...

Roger Aitken, analyst, interprets the July 2014 data - news

The £6.31m Guinness Alternative Energy C fund yet again surpassed its peers in the UK Registered funds sector in the year to 30 June 2014 with a +28.34% cumulative return versus a less...

Kepler Cheuvreux scoops SRI & sustainability title in Extel survey - news

Independent European financial services firm, Kepler Cheuvreux, reconfirmed its status this July as the leading local broker in Europe in the Thomson Reuters Extel/UKSIF SRI & Sustainability...

Staking your reputation on the digital age - news

In these days of increasingly sophisticated social media it only takes one off-message supplier and a backpacker with a phone camera, to bring corporate reputations crashing down. So what steps...

Wonga forced to pay up over ‘unfair’ practices - news

Wonga, Britain’s biggest payday lender, has been ordered to pay more than £2.2m ($3.76m, €2.78m) in compensation to defaulters to whom it sent threatening letters appearing to...

Further woes for GSK in China - news

A British private investigator and his wife, hired to help the pharmaceuticals company GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) after it was accused of corruption in China, have been charged with illegally...

Paribas pays penalty - news

BNP Paribas, France’s largest bank, has agreed to pay a penalty of almost $9bn (£5.26bn, €6.65bn) to settle charges of breaking US trade sanctions against Cuba, Iran and Sudan...

G20 urged to push equal pay agenda - news

Women won’t be paid as much as men for another 75 years according to a report released by Oxfam International, which urges G20 leaders to tackle gender inequality when they meet in...

Radical action urged over executive pay levels - news

Radical action by the UK government to cap executive earnings has been urged by the High Pay Centre. The centre, an independent think tank that monitors executives’ remuneration,...

Rights violations ‘systematic’ in Indonesia’s garment industry - news

Overwhelming evidence of “systematic violation” of the right to human dignity suffered by Indonesian garment workers was found by a jury at a two-day public hearing in Jakarta....

Transparency warnings over Euro bank’s policy change - news

The European Investment Bank (EIB) is proposing changes to its rules on information disclosure which would make it one of the most secretive financial institutions in the world, campaigners are...

New platform matches community projects with corporate sponsors - news

A new platform has launched to help matchmake community projects with relevant corporate sponsors and volunteers. Neighbourly.com is the brainchild of Nick Davies, the online social...

Meehan moves to GRI - news

Michael Meehan, a veteran sustainability CEO and entrepreneur, has been appointed as the new chief executive of Global Reporting Initiative (GRI). Meehan has built and managed several...

G20 urged to push equal pay agenda - news

Women won't be paid as much as men for another 75 years according to a report released by Oxfam International, which urges G20 leaders to tackle gender inequality when they meet in Australia...

Conversation and collaboration – the key to reducing alcohol-related harm? - news

Roland Pirmez, president, HEINEKEN, Asia Pacific explains why the promotion of responsible drinking is key to the beer giant's sustainable future One of the most common...

Roger Aitken, analyst, interprets the June 2014 data: - news

The £6.19m Guinness Alternative Energy C fund surpassed its peers in the UK Registered funds sector in the year to 31 May 2014 with a +22.07% cumulative return versus less than spectacular...

Government called to examine UK pension funds’ ‘land grab’ investments - news

UK pension funds and asset man-agement companies including British Airways Pension Fund, Legal & General, Scottish Widows Investment Partnership and Aviva Investors could potentially have...

Taking steps to curb the fossil fuel habit - news

Europe’s largest companies are coming under increasing political pressure to cut their carbon footprint ahead of crunch climate talks next year, but carbon trading is now just one of many...

Syngenta pulls plug on banned pesticide bid - news

Syngenta has  withdrawn an ‘emergency’ application to allow a bee-harming pesticide, banned by the EU, to be used on British crops. The news follows campaigning earlier...

Salmon under threat in Scotland - news

The Salmon and Trout Association (Scotland) has submitted a formal complaint to Europe over the Scottish Government’s failure to comply with European law which aims to protect Atlantic...

Tuna population under threat in Mediterranean - news

Illegal fishing for Atlantic bluefin tuna in the Mediterranean Sea continues to threaten the recovery of the species, a new study reports. At least 79 media accounts of bluefin tuna catches...

Call for beauty industry to take greener steps - news

The cosmetics industry needs to take greater steps if it is to become more sustainable. This was one of the key messages from Sustainable Cosmetics Summit North America, hosted in New York...

EC directive a turning point for reporting frameworks? - news

The ‘last word’ by Elaine Cohen in the March edition of Ethical Performance was a timely summary of what has been becoming apparent for some time. There is indeed a degree of...

Car safety agenda comes to fore in India - news

Five small cars in India, accounting for 20% of all sales in the country, have failed crash tests. The examiners warned that fatalities or serious injuries could result if these cars were in...

Guardian exposes Thai slave trade - news

Slaves are being forced to work on ships off the Thai coast to produce seafood for US and European supermarket companies. Men bought and sold like animals work unpaid on the ships to catch...

London Stock Exchange joins UN’s SSE - news

The London Stock Exchange (LSE) Group is to partner with the United Nations Sustainable Stock Exchanges (SSE) initiative, joining nine other exchanges in the US, Europe, Africa and Asia to...

EC to investigate tax affairs of Apple, Starbucks and Fiat - news

The tax affairs of Apple, Starbucks and Fiat are now to be formally investigated by the European Commission. All have been accused of avoidance, largely by switching to more favourable tax...

Food and amenity giants take up herbicide-free weed control challenge - news

Weedingtech, the herbicide-free weed management company, is challenging five major industry partners to test out its MW-Series and Foamstream weed control system to prove its performance against...

Research proves link between CR reporting and stock price uptick - news

New research offers proof that investment in, and subsequent reporting of, corporate social responsibility (CSR) improves a firm’s stock price. Professor CB Bhattacharya, E.ON Chair...

OECD launches interactive website on regional well-being - news

The OECD has launched a regional well-being website based on an interactive map covering the organisation’s 34 member countries. It rates 362 sub-national regions with a relative score out...

Business needs to consider plastic footprint as much as carbon - news

Companies could become more sustainable by improving the way they measure, manage and report the amount of plastic they use in their business operations and supply chains, according to...

Illegal fishing threatens tuna stocks in Mediterranean - news

Illegal fishing for Atlantic bluefin tuna in the Mediterranean Sea continues to threaten the recovery of the species, a new study reports. At least 79 media accounts of bluefin tuna catches...

Gender imbalance in ICT industry ‘threat to UK’ - news

The gender imbalance throughout ICT and computing education must be rectified if the UK is to meet the growing demand for IT professionals, and secure the future growth of the sector, says a new...

Consumers willing to pay more for socially responsible brands - news

Over 50% of global online consumers across 60 countries say they are willing to pay more for products and services provided by companies that are committed to positive social and environmental...

Europeans wasting €2.4bn on annual energy bills - news

European households are losing €2.4bn, wasting 12 TWh of energy annually, and emitting an extra 3.3m tonnes of CO2 – more than enough to power every home in five European countries....

Ford & Heinz collaborate on sustainable materials for vehicles - news

Researchers at Ford and Heinz are investigating the use of tomato fibres in developing sustainable, composite materials for use in vehicle manufacturing. Specifically, dried tomato skins could...

Oxfam warns of Europe’s over-reliance on fossil fuels - news

A new report from aid agency Oxfam says that the crisis in Ukraine and resulting tensions with Russia are a wake-up call for Europe to reassess its energy mix. Russia's absence from the...

UK businesses need to prepare for upcoming energy reporting changes - news

Within months, more than 7,000 businesses across the UK will have to report on energy use for the first time under a scheme run by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC). To...

Leading investment institutions make case for responsibility - news

There is significant untapped potential for investors to exert a positive influence on the economy, environment and society, by practising responsible investment, according to a new report...

Impact investment comes of age - news

The proponents of impact investing believe that we are witnessing a seismic shift in investment behaviour. Miranda Ingram reports   It is hard to imagine what the past fifty...

Charity bosses urged to shun ‘workfare’ programme - news

The chief executives of the 200,000 registered charities in the UK have been urged not to take part in the government’s new ‘workfare’ programme. The new mandatory...

Credit Suisse pleads guilty to conspiracy charge - news

Credit Suisse is to pay more than $2.5bn (£1.5bn, €1.8bn) for helping at least 22,000 US clients to evade taxes by hiding assets offshore in an “extensive and wide-ranging...

Audi dealers exposed over false safety claims - news

The Audi car manufacturer and many of its dealers have been exposed making false safety claims. Nine out of 10 Audi dealers around Britain were found by under-cover BBC researchers to be...

Former Deutsche Bank salesman admits bribery in Tokyo - news

A former Deutsche Bank AG salesman, Shigeru Echigo, admitted to bribery charges at his trial in Tokyo on 22 April 2014. He also said he acted on direct instructions from his managers. At...

SFO instigates criminal investigation into GSK - news

A formal criminal investigation has been begun into corruption accusations against GlaxoSmithKline by the UK’s Serious Fraud Office. The former general manager of GSK’s Chinese...

Korean financial firms shamed for poor service - news

South Korea’s financial watchdog, The Financial Supervisory Service (FSS), has ordered 17 financial firms and their 3,000 branches to post an embarrassing “red notice” at their...

Top choc companies seal sweet deal - news

The world’s largest chocolate companies have signed a joint agreement to improve sustainability in key cocoa-producing countries, starting with Ivory Coast and Ghana. The companies,...

Astellas backs new women’s health programme in Kenya - news

The European arm of Japanese pharma giant Astellas is backing a new health programme in Kenya which aims to transform the lives of more than 1,200 women living with obstetric fistula. Action...

Dell takes up closed-loop plastics supply chain - news

Technology giant Dell has become the first organisation to use the UL-Environment certified closed-loop recycled plastics in computer manufacturing. In partnership with Wistron GreenTech,...

Company values drive success for UK’s Best Workplaces - news

This year’s record number of Best Workplaces attribute their business success to their organisational values. They say their values help build the culture essential for driving individual...

Newlight sprints ahead with AirCarbon technology - news

US telecoms giant Sprint is to be one of the first companies to use AirCarbon, a new carbon-negative material made from greenhouse gas. The materia,l manufactured by California-based...

Employee performance boosted by CSR involvement - news

Employee engagement in CSR activities can demonstrably improve job performance, new research from ESMT European School of Management and Technology maintains. The study, published in the...

UK businesses urged to get ready for new energy regulations - news

British business is being advised to get ready for the implementation of the UK’s response to the energy efficiency directive from the EU.  The Department of Energy and Climate...

Deblaere joins JA-YE - news

Young Enterprise (JA-YE) Europe, Member of JA Worldwide, has welcomed Jo Deblaere, Accenture’s chief operating officer and group chief executive—Europe, as the new Chairman of the...

Achieving sustainability goals through Corporate Impact Venturing - news

UK companies must rediscover the lost arts of innovation, argued the PwC annual CEO survey earlier this year. In fact, companies everywhere are under pressure to adapt to the double whammy of...

Roger Aitken, analyst, interprets the April 2014 data - news

The £6.17m Guinness Alternative Energy C fund yet again outpaced peers in the UK Registered funds sector over the past year to 31 March 2014 with a cumulative +54.37% return albeit that...

Helping hands - news

An innovative charity has helped to create hundreds of jobs in Africa through virtual volunteer mentoring, helping to transform the lives of thousands through a simple phone call. Liz Jones...

Women losing out in CSR salary stakes - news

The 5th instalment of the biennial CR and Sustainability Salary Survey produced by Acre, Carnstone & Flag, reveals that average salaries have risen in Europe and North America, but have...

GSK faces corruption charges in Poland - news

The UK multinational GlaxoSmithKline has been accused of bribing doctors in Poland to prescribe one of its drugs, the asthma inhalant Serevent. As the Polish police pursued a corruption...

Caffè Nero tax affairs leave bitter taste - news

Caffè Nero has become the second coffee house chain to provoke the anger of UK politicians by avoiding corporation tax. Since 2007 it has recorded pre-tax profits of almost...

C of E retains stake in payday lender company - news

The Church of England still has a stake in the payday loans company Wonga, even though it announced almost a year ago that it was withdrawing the money. The reason is that disinvesting is...

Bonded labour afflicts many in Tamil Nadu garment district - news

Most companies importing garments from the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu refuse to disclose whether or how they tackle bonded labour abuses at their supplying factories. Many of the...

General Motors appoints safety vp following vehicle recall - news

General Motors is investigating why it took a decade to recall cars found to have potentially lethal ignition switches. The Detroit-based multinational acknowledges the defective part was...

Activists detained after attempt to block Gazprom tanker delivery - news

The Greenpeace flagship Rainbow Warrior was boarded yesterday by Dutch security agents in the port of Rotterdam, who broke down the door of the communications room and towed the ship to shore...

Apple faces protests over worker welfare in China - news

Apple's New York flagship store was a scene of protest at the weekend. Protesters gathered to participate in a demonstration calling on the smartphone giant to stop the poisoning of workers...

Novartis ranks at no1 in US diversity league - news

Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation (NPC) has been named the leading company in DiversityInc’s Top 50 Companies for Diversity listing. The rankings are determined by an objective...

Food Tank and GFAR partner to support women farmers - news

Food Tank and The Global Forum on Agricultural Research (GFAR) are to partner to raise awareness and understanding of the challenges faced by smallholders as well as help identify ways to...

Less plastic’s fantastic for Unilever’s Dove - news

Dove Body Wash bottles will contain a minimum 15% less plastic as a result of a newly developed packaging technology launched by Unilever. The Anglo Dutch toiletries giant intends to widen...

Europe makes landmark move towards ‘integrated reporting’ - news

From 2017 large companies across Europe will have to include their impact on the environment, society and human rights in their annual company report. The landmark vote by the European...

ESG factors gaining momentum with investors says AXA - news

Clients are increasingly asking for the monitoring and assessment of environmental, social and governance (ESG) risks in their portfolios according to a report published by AXA Investment...

Unilever makes major strides on zero waste - news

Unilever’s factories across Europe have joined those in North America in achieving zero non-hazardous waste to landfill. With similar achievements in countries from Argentina to...

RobecoSAM expands SI expertise - news

RobecoSAM, the investment specialist focused exclusively on Sustainability Investing, has appointed Lucas van Berkestijn (right) and Cécile Churet (far right) as Sustainability Investing...

Get a grip on your environmental reporting - news

By Tom Cumberlege, a consultant at The Carbon Trust   It’s time to get your environmental story straight. The signals from the UK government are clear, from October 2013...

Food glorious food? - news

So how much has food security improved since Romanian horse meat was found in beef ready meals, prompting financial and reputational damage across the food industry? Miranda Ingram reports...

Why women’s work for equality is far from done - news

On becoming a parent one of the vows I made was to never, ever tell my kids off for ‘showing off’. Growing up, I found being told to ‘stop showing off’ hugely...

Big business criticised for hiring officials as non execs in S Korea - news

Four in 10 outside directors appointed by South Korea’s 10 leading business groups are former top policymakers, such as cabinet ministers, presidential officials, and heads of the tax...

Filmmaker opens debate about health and safety in South Korea - news

South Korea’s headlong rush from an impoverished land of farmers at the end of the Korean War to today’s hi-tec industrial society has come at a cost. For decades, the sole...

Bernie Ecclestone wins Formula One court case - news

The first of the cases being brought against billionaire UK businessman Bernie Ecclestone has failed, even though the judge branded the Formula One supremo a corrupt operator. Constantin...

Nadeshiko equality label boosts company performance - news

As part of plans to stimulate economic growth, the Japanese government is trying to get more women involved in the workforce. Last year, the Tokyo Stock Exchange introduced a special label,...

Rolls-Royce launches 24-hour ‘ethics line’ - news

Rolls-Royce, the UK manufacturer of aero engines and marine and energy equipment, has introduced a 24-hour “ethics line” enabling employees to voice bribery suspicions. At the...

H&M signs up to BCtA as unions push for Rana Plaza fund donations - news

The Swedish multinational clothes retailer H&M has reinforced its campaign for improvements in Bangladesh’s garment industry by joining the UN-based Business Call to Action (BCtA)....

New round of bankers’ bonuses draws more anger - news

Banks have drawn more criticism with their new round of large salary and bonus announcements. Much of the anger results from Barclays’ revelation that the number of its staff on...

Luxury leather brands investigate viability of farmed snake skin - news

Python farming could help reduce pressure on wild python populations in Asia, finds the first report from the Python Conservation Partnership, a collaboration between Kering, the International...

FDIC sues banks over alleged Libor manipulation - news

Barclays, HSBC, Citigroup and Royal Bank of Scotland are among 16 banks being sued by the US Federal Deposit Insurance Corporations (FDIC) over allegations of rigging the London interbank offer...

Bank error over market fixing - news

Foreign exchange dealers have been suspended by the UK bank HSBC and the US Citigroup in the global probe into alleged currency market fixing. HSBC confirmed it had suspended two London...

Vroom for improvement at Porsche - news

Wolfgang Porsche, chairman of the German car manufacturer, and fellow board member Ferdinand Piech are being sued by seven hedge funds alleging dishonesty over the company’s failed bid for...

Campaigners criticise 'weak' EU safeguards against conflict minerals - news

A law proposed by the European Commission on responsible sourcing of minerals is not strong enough to prevent European companies from effectively financing conflict or human rights abuses,...

Marks & Spencer wins Carbon Trust triple award - news

Marks & Spencer (M&S) has become the first retailer to receive the triple award of certification for achievements in carbon, water and waste reduction from the Carbon Trust. Tom...

Shuman joins Council Fire - news

Michael H. Shuman has joined Council Fire’s team of sustainability consultants. Shuman is an economist, attorney, author, and entrepreneur and one of the world’s leading experts...

Giardini elected at SFI - news

Business executive, author and community leader Anne Giardini has been elected to the independent Sustainable Forestry Initiative Inc. Board of Directors as a member of the Economic Sector....

Pension savers urge Shell shareholders to abandon Arctic drilling - news

Royal Dutch Shell ceo Ben van Beurden has announced that the company will not attempt to drill in the Alaskan Arctic in 2014. The decision follows a US court ruling against the Department of the...

Roger Aitken, analyst, interprets the February 2014 data - news

The £5.94m Guinness Alternative Energy C fund continued its top ranking amongst UK Registered funds over the past year to 31 January 2014 with a cumulative +50.46% return versus past...

Organisations ignore whistleblowing procedures at their corporate peril - news

Whistleblowing is a complex issue for businesses. History tells us that many corporate disasters could have been prevented if companies had listened when concerns were raised. Staff...

Korea gives off mixed signals over ethical business practice - news

Despite Korea taking a stand in recent years over ethical business practices, doubts are now being raised as to whether anything has really changed. Korea’s regeneration as a modern...

Big companies should become more transparent over tax issues - news

Multinationals should be compelled to publish their revenues, profits and taxes paid in every territory where they operate, chief executives of large UK businesses have told a survey....

“No corruption-free zone” in Europe, report shows - news

Corruption continues to be a challenge for Europe, says the first ever EU Anti-Corruption Report from the European Commission. Affecting all EU Member States, corruption costs the European...

IFC to be investigated over investments in Honduras - news

The World Bank’s lender has come under fire for granting a large loan to a company said to have killed while taking land for palm oil cultivation in Honduras. Corporación...

Barclays under fire over executive pay - news

Heavy criticism of high bonuses from business and political figures has been directed again at the UK’s Barclays Bank – where chief executive Antony Jenkins has attempted to shine up...

Lloyds to bolster number of women in senior roles - news

Lloyds, the UK banking group, has promised that within six years 40% of its 8,000 senior employees will be women, up from the present 28%. It is the first UK FTSE 100 company to set a...

Recycling rates on increase in UK - news

Serco, one of the UK’s leading environmental service providers has published new research investigating the impact of recycling incentives. The study shows that authorities with...

European consumers being misled over energy saving claims - news

One in five energy-using products across Europe do not match their energy efficiency claims, according to the Energy Saving Trust. European Commission-funded research reveals that up to 20%...

New ‘green’ fuel could increase CO2 emissions, says What Car? - news

The introduction of a ‘greener’ petrol to meet EU regulations could increase harmful CO2 tailpipe emissions, says What Car? . The move to introduce E10 fuel, which is expected...

Primark pledges to remove hazardous chemicals from supply chain - news

British retail giant Primark is the latest global clothing company to commit to eliminate hazardous chemicals from its clothing supply chain. In a statement on its website it says: "We...

Corruption costing European economy €120bn a year - news

Corruption continues to be a challenge for Europe, says the first ever EU Anti-Corruption Report from the European Commission. Affecting all EU Member States, corruption costs the European...

Bacardi aims for zero waste to landfill by 2022 - news

The world’s largest privately-held spirits company Bacardi has unveiled a new environmental initiative called Good Spirited: Building a Sustainable Future. The campaign details...

Ethex founder makes Divine move - news

Divine Chocolate, the leading Fairtrade company co-owned by cocoa farmers, has appointed Jamie Hartzell as chair of the company board taking effect from last month. Social entrepreneur Jamie...

Director move at SustainAbility - news

Zoë Arden has joined business consultancy SustainAbility as a director. Arden specialises in sustainability strategy, stakeholder engagement and storytelling. With over 20 years of advisory...

Eversheds backs diversity programme in France - news

The Paris office of global law firm Eversheds is partnering with Club XXIe Siècle and the European Professional Women Network (EPWN) to sponsor a mentoring programme aimed at helping...

Roger Aitken, analyst, interprets the January data: - news

The £5.69m Guinness Alternative Energy C fund continued its top ranking amongst UK Registered funds over the past year to 31 December 2013 with a cumulative +67.62% performance. It...

Financial institutions urged to halt ‘explosives’ investments - news

According to the latest report from Cluster Munition Coalition member and Nether lands-based IKV Pax Christi a total of 139 financial institutions globally - mainly from the US (67...

Eccestone stands down at Formula One - news

The UK businessman Bernie Ecclestone, who faces corruption charges in Germany, has agreed to resign as a director of the motor racing company Formula One. Ecclestone, estimated in the last...

Hunger games? - news

EU negotiators have agreed to introduce regulation to prevent speculation by banks and hedge funds driving up food prices and exacerbating the global hunger crisis. The new controls will...

Novartis suffers set back in Japan - news

The New Year has brought major problems for pharmaceutical giant Novartis AG in Japan. The company is facing claims that its employees intentionally violated the strict protocols for clinical...

Social enterprise makes headway in Russia - news

Vera Kurochkina, UC RUSAL Public Relations Director, explains the aluminium giant's role in Russia's burgeoning social enterprise sector   Once upon a time two frogs fell...

Bona fide bonuses? - news

Bonuses of twice annual salary may continue to be paid at the UK government-controlled Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS). EU rules permit bonuses equivalent to a year’s salary but larger...

Shell to halt plans for drilling in Alaskan Arctic - news

Royal Dutch Shell's new ceo Ben van Beurden has announced that the company will not attempt to drill in the Alaskan Arctic in 2014. The decision follows the recent Ninth Circuit Court...

Europe switches on to energy saving light bulbs - news

Nine in 10 UK households (88%) now buy energy saving CFL light bulbs, according to a European-wide survey of consumer light bulb purchasing habits. Of these UK households purchasing CFL...

Banks back effort to attract more state educated youth - news

A campaign to get more state educated young people into the banking sector has been launched. Education charity the Sutton Trust will work with four major banks to boost the number of young...

UK boasts highest paid CEOs in Europe - news

The UK has the highest paid CEOs in Europe, according to a comprehensive new study released by Vlerick Business School. The study looked at the annual reports of all listed companies in...

F1 boss in bribery spotlight - news

The UK businessman Bernie Ecclestone, who faces corruption charges in Germany, has agreed to resign as a director of the motor racing promotion company Formula One. Ecclestone, estimated in...

RBS in bonus spotlight - news

Bonuses of twice annual salary may continue to be paid at the UK government-controlled Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS). EU rules permit bonuses equivalent to a year’s salary but larger...

Apple to refund $32.5m to beleaguered parents - news

Apple, the world’s most valuable information technology company, is to refund $32.5m (£19.9m, €23.9m) to parents whose children were able to buy from its App Store without...

Roger Aitken interprets the January data - news

The £6.92m Guinness Alternative Energy C fund continued its top ranking amongst UK Registered funds over the past year to 30 November 2013 with a cumulative +92.68% performance. This...

Starbucks pays back £15m to UK government - news

Starbucks, the US coffee house chain, has now paid £15m ($24.6m, €18m) of the £20m it offered to the UK tax authorities after revelations of tax avoidance by several large...

Global campaign targets food industry over high sugar levels - news

A group of medical and nutrition specialists is working via official channels to persuade UK manufacturers to add less sugar to food. Action on Sugar will press the government and its...

Cambodia in fashion supply chain spotlight after violent protests - news

Lawsuits are piling up against the Cambodian trade unions that called garment workers out on strike over low wages. Tens of thousands of union members had downed tools on 24 December 2013....

Healthcare bodies set up ethical collaboration framework - news

Five global healthcare organizations have established a Consensus Framework for Ethical Collaboration to support partnerships that aim to deliver greater patient benefits and support high...

Slàinte! New verification scheme protects Scotch Whisky supply chain - news

Consumers of Scotch Whisky are being given even greater reassurance that what they buy is the genuine article, thanks to a new verification regime. The Spirit Drinks Verification Scheme...

Winning partners - news

A PhD or Doctorate is a research degree, designed to demonstrate research competence, mastery of a subject area and to develop original insight – pushing the boundaries of knowledge, just...

DHL receives eco-seal - news

Seal of approval… Deutsche Post DHL has become the first logistics company to receive the ‘Green Brands’ eco-seal for its Group-wide environmental protection programme...

BASF wins research award - news

Animal-friendly… BASF has been awarded the “32nd Research Prize for the promotion of methodological work aimed at reducing and replacing animal experimentation” in Berlin....

Collaboration prize up for grabs - news

Which organizations are implementing innovative models of collaborative value creation? Are you involved in a lighthouse project, where you and your partner organisations are creating value...

RSPO strengthens international team - news

As the debate on sustainable palm oil gains more and more traction globally, the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) has looked to strengthen its team in key markets. It has appointed...

UK pension funds ‘speculate’ £1.5bn on food prices - news

A new report published by World Development Movement (‘WDM’), a London-based group, argues that tough regulation is “urgently needed” to limit speculation in the food and...

The challenge of transformational change - news

The start of a New Year generally means a rash of New Year resolutions. I have to admit that I’ve not made my own yet. I always get stuck between setting myself easily achievable (so...

Responsible cotton supply chain boosted by Cotton Leads - news

Cotton Leads is a new joint programme initiated by the Australian and American cotton industries to promote awareness among retailers, brands and manufacturers of responsible cotton production...

Whistleblower recognised in New Year honours - news

Two women who led the fight against one of the biggest scandals in Britain’s national health service have been recognised in the New Year honours list. Julie Bailey, who set up the...

Eco-fashion retailer takes transparency route - news

Online fashion retailer, Bastet Noir, is ramping up its support for eco-friendly business practices in southeast Europe by incorporating a new ‘transparency tag’ that details...

Corruption fears grow in wake of Typhoon Haiyan emergency - news

Rights workers fear that irresponsible businesses will be drawn into the corruption that is already weakening typhoon relief efforts in the Philippines. There were reports after typhoon...

Lloyds Bank pays price for 'champagne bonuses' - news

Lloyds, the UK banking group, has been fined £28m ($45.7m, €33.3m) for operating a bonus scheme that put pressure on staff to hit sales targets or risk demotions and pay cuts....

Human rights violations rise 70%, says Maplecroft survey - news

A striking 70% rise in the number of countries where the risk of human rights violations is extreme is recorded in a survey by Maplecroft, a UK-based risk research consultancy. The...

Comic Relief in spotlight over investment ethics - news

A British charity has been accused of investing in arms, alcoholic drinks and tobacco companies, contrary to its published aims. Comic Relief, which raises much of its money through two...

Craft beer company brews up new waste water strategy - news

Lagunitas Brewing Company will be cutting out its 10 truckloads of waste water a day and saving about $1.5m a year. The trendy California craft beer company has signed on as the first to...

Verdantix endorses world's top six sustainability assurance firms - news

Increased scrutiny of environmental, social and governance disclosures in financial and sustainability reports will require Fortune 500 firms to seek much more comprehensive assurance of their...

Arriva to invest £4.5m in rail eco-technology - news

European transport group Arriva is to invest £4.5m in eco-technology at its UK rail operations. More than 580 train cabs from 15 different train fleets at the group's Arriva Trains...

GSK shakes up sales process to improve transparency - news

Pharmaceutical giant GSK is radically altering its global sales process in order to build greater trust and transparency. Gone are individual sales targets with sales professionals, who work...

Call for entries to inaugural Value Network awards - news

Which organizations are implementing innovative models of collaborative value creation? Are you involved in a lighthouse project, where you and your partner organisations are creating value...

Ethics embedded at board level but not training, says IBE - news

More companies than ever before are investing in ethics programmes, according to the latest survey from the Institute of Business Ethics (IBE), citing seven out of 10 respondents investing...

International shoe brands come under child labour spotlight - news

A new report from Stop Child Labour (SCL) raises questions about big brand shoe labels and their track records in addressing the issue of child labour in their supply chains. SCL says that...

Volvo pioneers ‘sustainable mobility’ with self-driving cars - news

Sweden is to pilot the world’s first large-scale autonomous driving project in which 100 self-driving Volvo cars will use public roads in everyday driving conditions around the Swedish...

M&S signs up to UNICEF carbon offset project - news

British high street stalwart Marks & Spencer (M&S) has become the first major company to sign up to UNICEF’s new carbon offset project. This initiative is aimed at improving...

Roger Aitken, analyst, interprets the November 2013 data: - news

The £6.58m Guinness Alternative Energy C fund continued its top ranking amongst UK Registered funds over the past year to 31 October 2013 with an improving cumulative +94.44% performance...

The growing cult of the ceo - news

A survey of some of Europe’s top communication leaders shows how strong the cult of the business ceo is becoming. With company news, successes and failure now so frequently attributed to...

DHL shifts up a gear - news

Deutsche Post DHL has expanded its fleet of about 8,500 vehicles with alternative drive systems and aerodynamic modifications. In the UK, DHL introduced 63 new dual-fuel trucks that run on...

Chocs the way for Sophi Tranchell - news

Sophi Tranchell MBE, md of the farmer-owned chocolate company Divine, has received the Good Deals Pioneer Award. Good Deals, the UK’s leading social investment conference, is this...

European SRI retail mutual funds see further growth in 2013 - news

European SRI retail funds’ assets reached an historic peak of €108 billion (c.£90bn) at the end of June 2013 and represented a 14% increase over the preceding year according to...

SRI turns over new leaf with newfound investors - news

There is emerging evidence that in addition to straight philanthropy through donation or foundations, Ultra High Net Worth Investors (UNHWIs)are also financing social investment. Equally, there...

Nestlé rises to challenge of youth unemployment with jobs pledge - news

Nestlé has pledged to create 20,000 positions for young people across Europe over the next three years. The Nestlé needs YOUth Initiative will offer jobs to 10,000 people under...

JPMorgan Chase agrees $9b pay-out - news

The largest regulatory settlement in US history has been agreed with federal and state authorities by the JPMorgan Chase bank over misleading mortgage practices that stoked the 2008 financial...

P&G to use in-house technology to fuel future - news

Procter & Gamble (P&G) is taking the greening of plastic packaging into its own hands. Using internally-developed new technology that is said to reduce resin usage, cut down energy...

Chevron maintains Ecuador fine 'illegitimate' - news

A former judge in the Ecuadorian court that ordered the oil company Chevron to pay $19bn (£11.7bn, €13.7bn) pollution compensation has claimed he was given $1,000 a month to...

Wages come to fore in Bangaldesh supply chain - news

A 77% increase in minimum salary for Bangladeshi garment workers has been proposed by the national wages board. This would fix the monthly minimum at 5,300 takas ($68, £42, €51)....

JPMorgan Chase makes neurological diversity move - news

US investment bank JPMorgan Chase & Co is adding autism benefits for employees participating in the company’s health plan. Effective from January, intensive behaviour therapy for...

Sainsbury's opens first 'Triple Zero' supermarkets - news

Sainsbury's new supermarket in Leicester is one of two 'Triple Zero' stores the retailer has just opened. It is the high street chain's most environmentally friendly store to...

European companies set to fall behind on sustainability disclosure - news

European companies are set to fall behind emerging markets-based companies on sustainability disclosure according to new report from Aviva Investors.  The study carried out by CK...

Nestlé addresses youth unemployment with 20,000 job pledge - news

Nestlé has pledged to create 20,000 positions for young people across Europe over the next three years. The Nestlé needs YOUth Initiative will offer jobs to 10,000 people...

UK tech companies awarded Clean and Cool Mission to Brazil places - news

A select group of innovative UK technology companies have been awarded places on the Clean and Cool Mission to Brazil to explore business opportunities aimed at tacking climate change and...

Deutsche Post DHL partners with Teach For The Philippines - news

Deutsche Post DHL, the world’s leading postal and logistics group has partnered with Teach For The Philippines as it expands its efforts to promote educational opportunities worldwide....

GSK unveils potential malaria vaccine - news

British pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has unveiled possibly the world’s first malaria vaccine following “significant” results from an ongoing clinical trial....

IATA and GFE to collaborate on carbon footprint programme - news

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) and Green Freight Europe (GFE) are to collaborate on a carbon footprint programme. IATA, as the trade association for some 240 airlines, is in...

UPS to invest $50m in natural gas stations - news

Logistics giant UPS is to invest approximately $50m to build an additional nine liquefied natural gas (LNG) fueling stations, bringing the total number of stations to 13. Four were announced in...

Green travel on the increase - news

Travellers are going out of their way to travel green according to a recent survey conducted by The GO Group, an international ground transportation service provider and GO Airport Express, a...

ESG analyst Vigeo new sustainability focuses - news

ESG analyst Vigeo has published two new sustainability focuses; one on the extractive industries – Extractive industries and the challenges of implementing the Voluntary Principles in Weak...

Roger Aitken, analyst, interprets the data: - news

Guinness Alternative Energy C, a £3.72m fund, came top amongst UK Registered funds over the past year to 30 September 2013 with an improving cumulative +77.63% return, but lagged with a...

Seeing the sustainability glass half full - news

  Sandra Seru, head of strategy & reporting, sustainability & responsibility at Diageo tells Ethical Performance how the drinks group is tackling the social problem of alcohol...

Two new directors for Two Tomorrows - news

Two Tomorrows, the international sustainability adviser and part of the DNV GL Group, has further strengthened its advisory team with the appointment of three senior sustainability consultants....

Tiltnes elected chair of BREEAM - news

The new BREEAM Europe Board has elected Sverre Tiltnes, ceo of Norwegian Green Building Council (NGBC), as its first chair. Tiltnes is a leading innovator in the Norwegian building and real...

Supply chain security never goes out of style - news

The term ‘sustainable’ in the fashion world is a little like the word ‘natural’ in the beauty biz. It seems to mean different things to different brands. Different...

Workers on boards could rein in executive pay, says TUC - news

Allowing workers to sit on company boards would mean top executives’ pay was set at more reasonable levels, according to a new report from the Trades Union Congress (TUC). The TUC has...

Unilever’s Lifebuoy expands infant life-saving programme - news

Unilever’s soap brand, Lifebuoy, is to expand its Help a Child Reach 5 campaign. The campaign, which was launched earlier this year, sets out to end preventable deaths of children under 5...

Efforts to scale up climate change investment falters - news

The most comprehensive inventory of climate finance to-date shows investment is far short of the need, and falling further behind each year. Global investment in climate change plateaued at...

BHP Billiton boosts scholarships - news

BHP Billiton is to fund an additional 90 scholarships for Indigenous students in Australia to the tune of AUD$10m (USD$10m, GBP£6m). The Anglo Australian mining and petroleum compay...

Boeing and SAA build biofuel collaboration - news

Boeing and South African Airways (SAA) are to work together to develop and implement a sustainable aviation biofuel supply chain in Southern Africa, a first for the continent. The...

Air pollution still poses health hazard in Europe - news

Around 90% of city dwellers in the European Union (EU) are exposed to air pollutants at levels deemed harmful to health by the World Health Organisation (WHO). The result comes from the...

Senior leadership key to sustainable business model - news

Senior leadership is the most critical driver of sustainability within a business, finds a new report. Nearly half of businesses (44%) believe engagement with business leaders will be the most...

NGO collaborations: to have, to hold? - news

While the threat of being tried for piracy no longer hangs over them, the Greenpeace activists (28 members and two freelance journalists) detained currently in Murmansk are – at the time...

Chevron fights on over $19bn pollution judgement - news

A former Ecuadorian judge has testified that he and a colleague were bribed to award $19bn (£11.7bn, €13.7bn) to villagers who claimed Texaco oil operations polluted the Amazon...

Alliance Boots maintains clean bill of health in face of tax accusations - news

Alliance Boots, parent group of the Boots pharmacies and shops prominent in UK high streets for generations, is now accused of using a legal loophole to dodge £1.1bn ($1.78bn, €1.3bn)...

Efforts to scale up climate change investment fall further behind - news

The most comprehensive inventory of climate finance to-date shows investment is far short of the need, and falling further behind each year. Global investment in climate change plateaued at...

BHP Billiton expands Australian scholarship programme - news

BHP Billiton is to fund an additional 90 scholarships for Indigenous students in Australia to the tune of AUD$10m (USD$10m, GBP£6m). The Anglo Australian mining and petroleum compay...

Unilever tops Two Tomorrows' sustainability chart - news

Anglo-Dutch fmcg giant Unilever tops the annual sustainability ratings chart from advisory firm Two Tomorrows. Now in its tenth year, the Tomorrow’s Value Rating 2013 (TVR) assesses...

Air pollution still poses health hazard in Europe - news

Around 90% of people who live in cities in the European Union (EU) are exposed to air pollutants at levels deemed harmful to health by the World Health Organisation (WHO). The result comes...

Unilever’s Lifebuoy expands infant life-saving programme - news

Unilever soap brand, Lifebuoy, is to expand its Help a Child Reach 5 campaign. The campaign, which was launched earlier this year, sets out to end preventable deaths of children aged under 5 by...

Boeing & South African Airways collaborate for sustainable biofuel - news

Boeing and South African Airways (SAA) are to work together to develop and implement a sustainable aviation biofuel supply chain in Southern Africa, a first for the continent. The...

Big business bucks economic trend on community front - news

Leading international companies are maintaining their investments in local communities and helping more people, despite the tough economic climate. New data on corporate community investment...

Senior leadership key to driving sustainable business model - news

Senior leadership is the most critical driver of sustainability within a business and nearly half of businesses (44%) believe engagement with business leaders will be the most important factor...

Hans Wegner recognised by SFI - news

The Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) has recognised Hans Wegner, chief sustainability officer of the National Geographic Society, with the annual SFI President’s Award. The SFI notes...

Roger Aitken, analyst, interprets the October data: - news

Guinness Alternative Energy C, a £2.8m fund, came top amongst UK Registered funds over the past one year to 31 August with a cumulative +64.51% return – versus -21.51%/149th peer...

Why online safety isn't child's play any more - news

Online safety is a big headline grabber at present, in an era when many children are more internet-savvy than their parents. Issues such as bullying, grooming by paedophiles and online...

G20 makes progress on tax reform - news

Business profits should be taxed in the countries where they are earned, the G20 leaders ruled at last month’s St Petersburg summit. Their declaration emphasised that national laws...

inbrief - news

Winning ways... The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) Europe and Project ICARUS have announced the winners of the first European Sustainability Outstanding Achievement Awards. The...

Novartis under bribery spotlight in China again - news

Novartis, the Swiss pharmaceuticals company, is facing a second corruption allegation in China. Its eye care unit, Alcon, has been accused of bribing doctors in more than 200 hospitals to...

Partnering with NGOs boosts corporate reputation, finds C&E report - news

Businesses see the enhancing of brand, reputation and credibility as the most important reason for partnering with NGOs, reports the 2013 Corporate-NGO Partnerships Barometer. This benefit...

inbrief - news

Fish flounder… Stocks of sea bass, a perennial staple of upmarket restaurant menus and favourite quarry for sea anglers, have declined to the lowest point recorded for two decades,...

UPS delivers for Dow Jones index inclusion - news

UPS delivered, Bank of America earned its dividend and UBS banked a win, as all three landed inclusion into the 2013/2014 Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (DJSI). The three biggest...

inbrief - news

Tide is high… Joint venture company MeyGen is to begin installation of the largest tidal energy project in Europe. The 86MW tidal energy project has just received the official greenlight...

Unilever backs sustainability innovation programme - news

Global FMCG giant Unilever is backing a new international awards programme designed to inspire young people around the world to tackle environmental, social and health issues. In partnership...

Taking executive decisions about ethical behaviour - news

New IBE research has shown an apparent lack of explicit engagement at EU level with ethical principles in corporate governance guidance. There is limited requirement, or indeed encouragement,...

inbrief - news

Build up… The World Green Building Council has awarded its highest accolade, the Business Leadership in Sustainability to British Land as part of its Europe Region Leadership Awards....

Big companies making little headway on climate change - news

The world’s largest listed companies are failing to reduce their environmental impacts despite increasing stakeholder, political and scientific pressure, reports the CDP, the international...

Why inclusive business = responsible business - news

Sandra Kerr, OBE, director of Race for Opportunity, the race equality campaign from Business in the Community, tells Ethical Performance why diversity is key to the responsible business...

Bit of a mixed bag on the environmental way forward - news

There’s no pleasing some people. News that England is to finally follow in the footsteps of Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland and introduce a charge on single-use carrier bags brought a...

Russian oil exploration risks high environmental impact - news

Russia can expect environmental bodies to protest that its planned extraction of oil and gas in the Arctic off the Siberian coast would do enormous harm to the area’s thriving polar bear...

Work to begin on largest tidal energy project in Europe - news

Joint venture company MeyGen is to begin installation of the largest tidal energy project in Europe. The 86MW tidal energy project has just received the official greenlight from the Scottish...

Roger Aitken, analyst, interprets the September data: - news

Among UK Registered funds Guinness Alternative Energy C, a £2.46m fund, produced a stunning +80.95% over the past one year to 31 July 2013. However, this must be put in context with a...

Putting bribery under the cosh - news

Bribery and corruption remain ongoing issues for businesses worldwide, especially for companies that are doing business in developing economies, where corruption is more commonplace than it is...

Consumers worldwide willing to pay more for ethical goods - news

The number of consumers willing to pay more for goods and services from ethical companies is on the rise globally, according to a new survey by market research organisation Nielsen. The...

Senior staff pay at leading charities comes under scrutiny - news

Pay guidelines will be issued to UK charities in the wake of revelations that some chief executives are receiving six-figure salaries. The National Council for Voluntary Organisations,...

BP sues US government over federal contracts - news

BP is returning to court in the US – this time as the plaintiff. The British multinational oil group is suing the government for barring it from gaining new federal contracts after its...

Church of England to take on high-interest payday lenders - news

The Church of England is to investigate how it broke its own ethical rules and invested indirectly in a high-interest payday lender. At the same time the church will go through its books...

There's no getting away from CSR... - news

It wasn’t meant to be a busman’s holiday but once inveigled in the world of CSR there is no escape it seems. My summer destination this year was Brittany, a part of France...

US to investigate market irregularities at JP Morgan Chase - news

New inquiries are now being conducted by the Department of Justice, the US criminal investigation agency, into allegations that JPMorgan Chase manipulated energy markets. JPMorgan Chase,...

Big 5 mobile companies to review Indonesian mining - news

Five multinational mobile phone manufacturers are now committed to urgent action over the damage from the mining of tin used in their products. The environmental group Friends of the Earth...

Unilever backs sustainability innovation programme - news

Global FMCG giant Unilever is backing a new international awards programme designed to inspire young people around the world to tackle environmental, social and health issues. In partnership...

Unilever scoops first LEED certified ice cream factory - news

Global FMCG giant Unilever has opened its first LEED certified ice cream factory. The site in Konya, Turkey reuses rain and surface water, recovers heat, and is...

Pharma giants back blister pack carbon footprint tool - news

A new spreadsheet-based tool to enable pharma companies to estimate the carbon footprint of tablet medicines in blister packs has been unveiled. The tool, a first of its kind for the...

Tiffany sparkles with 100% diamond traceability - news

Tiffany & Co can trace 100% of its diamonds to a known mine or supplier (with multiple known mines) according to the internationally celebrated jeweller’s latest CSR report. The...

Power shift: emerging economies to drive renewables sector - news

The renewable energy sector will soon be driven by emerging economies according to a new report from research agency Frost & Sullivan. The shift in market power will be down to the...

Pharma giants pledge greater drug transparency - news

The European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA) and the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) have strengthened their commitment to enhancing...

Roger Aitken, analyst, interprets the August data: - news

Among UK Funds it was Guinness Alternative Energy C, a £1.96m fund, which secured the yellow jersey over the last one year to 30 June 2013 with a cumulative return of +39.76%. However, it...

Ethics & economics are stacking up against fossil-fuel investment - news

“Coal is a dead man walkin’,” Deutsche Bank global head of asset management Kevin Parker told The Washington Post in January 2011. “Banks won’t finance them....

Sexism scourge... - news

Austerity measures and deepening economic crises across Europe are increasing cases of discrimination against women, a new study co-led by the University of Leicester has discovered. Women...

Fashion retailers disunited over approach to Bangladesh - news

As a group of 17 US retailers, including Wal-Mart and Gap, have agreed a five-year pact to improve conditions at clothing factories in Bangladesh, controversy still rages around the European...

GSK China executives "appear to have broken" law - news

CHINA: GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), Britain’s largest pharmaceuticals company, admitted some of its executives appeared to have broken the law, as bribery investigations were conducted....

Ecclestone to face bribery charges - news

GERMANY: the British billionaire Bernie Ecclestone has been charged with bribing a banker in 2006 to smooth the sale of the bank’s 47% stake in the Formula One motor racing group, of which...

Plastic bags still scourge of environmentalists in UK - news

Plastic carrier bag use in Britain rose slightly last year despite environmental appeals to reduce the practice. The overall number of bags issued to customers by the main supermarkets...

BP refused temporary halt to Deepwater pay-outs - news

BP has been refused a temporary halt to compensation payments to parties that suffered after the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. The company complained that false claims were mounting and said...

ArcelorMittal abandons plans to build new plant in India - news

ArcelorMittal, the world’s largest steel producer, has scrapped its project for a plant in Orissa state, eastern India, mainly because its attempts to acquire the necessary land have been...

Mining companies with water strategies perform better, says report - news

Metals and mining companies that are taking action to manage water strategically are proving better financial performers, says investor analysis from CDP and Eurizon Capital. Metals &...

Asda & Leeds University team to shape sustainable products - news

British supermarket giant Asda and the University of Leeds are working together on a study that aims to create more affordable, sustainable products as well as help shape consumer behaviour....

PFZW shuts door on tobacco sector - news

Dutch pension fund for the care and welfare sector, Pensioenfonds Zorg en Welzijn (PFZW) has added tobacco products to the list of companies it excludes from its investments. The move...

Europeans believe buying green can make a difference - news

A new European Commission survey indicates that more than three-quarters of EU consumers are willing to pay more for environmentally-friendly products if they were confident that the products...

Unilever trains sights on sustainable logistics - news

Unilever has unveiled Green Express, a new railway initiative to drive more sustainable logistics in Europe. Green Express comes as a result of a partnership with Trenitalia and the Italian...

GM & Honda to collaborate on next-generation fuel cell technologies - news

Automotive giants General Motors and Honda are to co-develop next-generation fuel cell system and hydrogen storage technologies. According to the Clean Energy Patent Growth Index, GM and...

Carbon Trust to tackle waste management - news

The Carbon Trust is to launch the world’s first international business standard to certify the management and reduction of waste. While it is estimated that around 11.2bn tonnes of...

Europe’s winning ways in CSR - news

Orchestrated by CSR Europe and BiTC, 31 national European networks and organisations in 30 countries joined forces to deliver the first ever pan-European CSR Award Scheme. The winners have just...

New OECD working party chair - news

Dr Roel Nieuwenkamp has started as chair of the new OECD working party on Responsible Business Conduct. This unique intergovernmental working party is dedicated to corporate responsibilty...

Banking on a powerful phase of CSR - news

Nick Wright, managing director of CR and Community Affairs, EMEA at UBS, talks about the changes he’s seen during his 10-year tenure at the Swiss bank Q CSR impacts broadly on a...

Time to step up divestment in ‘man’s most evil creation’ - news

Not mincing his words, Nobel Peace Prize laureate and anti-apartheid campaigner Desmond Tutu said in a 2012 International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (Ican) report: “Nuclear...

The art of working in collaborative partnerships - news

Collaboration, either between different divisions of large corporates, or between companies and organisations in related fields, is not just a simple case of pooling expertise. There are lots...

Corporate diversity still lacking in top European firms - news

Large European companies may have gone global, but this is not yet reflected in their leadership according to a study by AXA Investment Managers. The report, Future-proofing company...

M&S on track with Plan A - news

Stalwart of the British high street Marks & Spencer (M&S) says it is making good progress against its Plan A Report 180 sustainability commitments. The company says that 139 of the...

Toyota drives eco agenda - news

Toyota tops this year’s Best Global Green Brands list issued by Interbrand, the New York-based international brand consultancy. The Japanese vehicle maker leads the green table of 50...

Chemical contamination still issue for Environment Agency - news

New chemicals used by manufacturers, along with their products, are bringing fresh health risks, even though European environmental policies have reduced contamination in air, water and food,...

BMW in youth employment scheme - news

BMW is recruiting a small number of unemployed young Spaniards to work in Germany in a pilot programme to “give something back” to its customer countries, Reuters reports....

Call for concerted action over national food wastage - news

Concerted action against food wastage in the UK and an expansion of the government’s bilateral nutrition programmes have been urged by British MPs. The parliamentary international...

G8 progress on corporate tax avoidance still ‘long way to go’ - news

Governments are to share their tax information automatically under an agreement reached by last month’s G8 summit to eliminate tax dodging. This openness will be accompanied by an...

Nestlé to tackle European youth unemployment with new scheme - news

Nestlé, the world’s biggest food company, plans to help at least 20,000 young people across Europe find employment over the next three years. The “Nestlé in...

Ethical principles in governance guidance lacking says IBE - news

Attention to ethics is increasingly a core feature of boardroom agendas but there is a lack of explicit engagement at EU level with ethical principles in corporate governance guidance, finds a...

GSK & Save the Children launch Healthcare Innovation Award - news

In its first joint initiative since it announced its ambitious new partnership aiming to save the lives of 1 million children over the next five years, drugs giant GSK and international...

Food retailers wary over push for GM crops - news

The strongest call yet has gone to UK farmers to grow genetically modified crops but the response of food retailers reflects a continuing public wariness. One supermarket chain is so...

Europe celebrates inaugural CSR awards - news

The 60 winners of the inaugural European Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Award Scheme have celebrated their achievements at a special ceremony in Brussels. This pan-European award...

Sustainability ratings boost business commitment to CR - news

Sustainable investments and sustainability ratings have been proved to be an important lever for motivating companies to make a greater commitment to sustainable development, according to a new...

UK's Impax named Sustainable Investor of the Year - news

The Financial Times (FT) and IFC, a member of the World Bank Group announced the winners of the 2013 FT/IFC Sustainable Finance Awards recently, with M-KOPA of Kenya winning the Award for...

IECS bird app for construction industry takes flight - news

A mobile app which calculates how construction noise affects birds in protected areas has been created by University of Hull scientists. As part of a major European-funded project,...

Budweiser brewer extends environmental goals - news

Stella Artois and Budweiser brewer Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev) is ramping up its environmental commitment with seven new global goals that aim to reduce water risks and improve its water...

Ecology signs up to GABV - news

Green building society Ecology has been announced as the latest sustainable finance organisation to join the Global Alliance for Banking on Values (GABV). This membership is regarded as a strong...

Sony & Nokia join O2’s sustainability push - news

Global audio, visual and IT giant Sony has joined O2’s sustainability campaign that the network hopes will see all mobile phones sold without chargers by 2015. The Japanese firm is...

Apple investigated over tax loopholes - news

Tax avoidance allegations have now been made against the huge Apple corporation in the US. A government report has estimated that Apple, considered the world’s second largest company...

Carbon Trust appoints advisory panel - news

The Carbon Trust has appointed a new international advisory panel. The panel brings together a number of top experts from around the world to provide advice on the global low carbon economy to...

Former FT mandate,Roger Aitken, analyst, interprets the Fundwatch data: - news

Ethical funds across five sectors analysed by Morningstar in the latest one-year period to 30 April 2013 posted reasonably healthy peer group average returns ranging between +10.97% for European...

Keeping Body Shop & soul together - news

Paul McGreevy is international values & r&d director at The Body Shop. He tells Ethical Performance about the role of CR within the ethical British beauty retailer that boasts over...

Casting the net further - news

We’re living in a fast-changing world where the make-up of our communities is evolving like never before. So how is business responding and what is “encouraging diversity “...

Unilever makes sustainable sourcing headway - news

Anglo Dutch fmcg giant Unilever is now sourcing more than a third of its agricultural raw materials sustainably, having made significant progress towards its target of 100% by 2020. With...

New ways of measuring company performance - news

Written by Jeffrey Harrison &  Andy Wicks, Darden Business School, University of Virginia, US Firm performance is a fundamental issue for scholars and practitioners alike. We...

New index... - news

Pharma companies are failing to adequately disclose the impacts of their social contributions according to a new index. The VV-Good index compares the Top 10 pharmaceutical companies...

Bon Bonn... - news

Deutsche Post DHL is switching to electric vehicles for its delivery services in Bonn and the surrounding region, making the city the first location in Germany with a carbon-free vehicle...

Natural disaster... - news

Research from the University of East Anglia published recently in the journal Nature Climate Change looked at 50,000 globally widespread and common species and found that more than one half of...

US lags behind in curbing HFC emissions - news

Japan has introduced legislation to rid its atmosphere of hydro-fluorocarbons, or HFCs, the so-called super-greenhouse gases. HFCs were initially commercialised to replace the chemicals that...

Barrick loses New Zealand fund investment - news

The world’s largest gold mining company has lost the investment of a sovereign wealth fund that handles billions of dollars. The New Zealand Superannuation Fund, whose portfolio is...

McDonald’s opens up supply chain - news

In the wake of recent horse meat scares and supply chain scandals in Europe, McDonald’s is opening up its supply chain to public scrutiny in the UK. The US burger chain giant has...

Baby milk manufacturers come under ethical spotlight again - news

Infant feeding brands are under the ethical cosh again following an American pressure group’s assertion that some are using genetically modified ingredients (GMOs) and therefore exposing...

Biofuels fuelling world hunger, says new ActionAid report - news

The crops used as biofuel for vehicles in G8 countries would feed half the world’s 870 million hungry people, ActionAid estimates in a new report. The anti-poverty charity says...

Future investment... - news

£21m has been awarded to UK entrepreneurs to help bring a range of new and innovative low carbon products to market, the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has announced. The...

Back to the future for CSR professionals? - news

For nearly two decades I have been privileged to lead many of The Co-operative Group’s excellent ethical and environmental programmes. The Co-operative Bank’s charismatic md, Terry...

Whistleblowers enter Amazon & Google tax avoidance fray - news

Whistleblowers are adding to the case challenging the tax avoidance tactics of Amazon and Google in the UK. Amazon’s European headquarters are in Luxembourg and Google’s in the...

Oil giants raided over fears of price fixing - news

Huge penalties and prosecutions could be in store for the oil companies whose offices have been raided by European Commission officials on suspicion of fixing prices. The Brussels teams...

European & US retailers clash over response to Bangladesh tragedy - news

US retailers Sears, Gap Inc and, the world’s biggest, Walmart have no plans to sign the fire and building safety agreement backed by some of Europe’s biggest clothing brands -...

Chopard makes sustainability move - news

French jewellery house Chopard has joined Eco-Age creative director and founder of the Green Carpet Challenge (GCC), Livia Firth, to launch ’The...

Bonn leads way as carbon-free city - news

Deutsche Post DHL is switching to electric vehicles for its delivery services in Bonn and the surrounding region, making the city the first location in Germany with a carbon-free vehicle...

BASF gains gold-level certification in Spain - news

BASF has achieved gold-level certification according to the European Water Stewardship (EWS) standard for its production site in Tarragona, Spain, making it the first chemical company to do so....

Investors encourage participation in UN’s ‘PRI for Rio’ global initiative - news

As investors across the globe are increasingly evaluating companies’ ability to address environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) opportunities and challenges, a coalition of 34...

All in a good day's work - news

The positive effects of employee volunteering on the community sector have long been recognised but there is less understanding of the benefits that volunteering can bring to a business and...

SolAbility launches second competitiveness index - news

Going up against the World Economic Forum’s competitive index, Swiss-Korean sustainability consultancy SolAbility has issued its second Global Sustainable Competitiveness Index ranking 176...

Amadeus technology flies high for UNICEF - news

“This has the potential to be the biggest global CSR programme ever,” Tomás Lopez Fernebrand, senior vp, general counsel & corporate secretary, Amadeus told Ethical...

Opower in bid to change consumer behaviour in Europe - news

Leading US cleantech company, Opower is launching into the European market in a bid to repeat its success in the US.    Sitting at the apex of ‘big data’ and...

Morrisons wins first European CSR Award - news

Supermarket chain WM Morrison and product development contractor Pera Innovation have been named as UK winners of the inaugural European CSR Award recognising responsible and sustainable...

Blowing the final whistle on corruption in sport? - news

One of my father’s favourite sporting photographs – and mine, actually, if you don’t count the one capturing John McEnroe’s first Wimbledon win in 1981 – shows him...

Points to Ponder - news

Points to Ponder... On sustainable behaviour (1): “More people are asking: “Is ‘sustainability’ good enough?” It’s not, of course. As Michael Braungart observes: “If somebody asked you how...

Poor excuse… - news

Poor excuse… One in four children in the European Union is at risk of poverty, or already experiencing it – equating to 25.3 million children. In the wake of the economic crisis...

Poor performance... - news

Poor performance... A damning new survey declares that four out of 10 European companies are paying less attention to their impacts on society than they did a decade ago. This puts the EU at...

Climate action... - news

The European Commission has adopted a consultative paper that launches a public debate on how best to design a new international agreement to combat climate change. The Consultative...

Power play... - news

Power play... Unilever says it has achieved a CO2 reduction of more than one million tonnes from its manufacturing and logistics operations. The one million tonnes CO2 reduction is a...

Pan-European CSR Award kicks off with UK winners - news

Supermarket chain WM Morrison and product development contractor Pera Innovation have been named as UK winners of the inaugural European CSR Award recognising responsible and sustainable...

Water quality standards slip across Europe - news

Water in over 6,000 towns and cities across Europe is failing EU environmental standards, putting the health of millions of people at risk and rendering taxpayers liable for fines of over...

EC publishes human rights guide for SME - news

The European Commission has just published new language versions of an introductory guide to human rights for SMEs. This guide is now available in all EU languages, plus Croatian, Chinese,...

Vigeo publishes corruption study - news

Demonstrating that preventing corporate corruption is a performance issue at the heart of corporate responsibility, a new study from Vigeo identifies and compares the corruption prevention...

GRI Guidelines win recognition - news

GRI survey... The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Guidelines now rank among the most widely recognised CSR instruments among large European companies, according to new research published by...

New timber regulation comes into force - news

The Timber Trade Federation (TTF) has welcomed the introduction into law of the European Timber Regulation (EUTR) which came into force last month. For the first time ever, it will be a criminal...

Closing the credibility gap in reporting - news

Daniel Jones, sustainability consultant at Radley Yeldar, shares some of the insight gained through the company’s How Does It Stack Up?  publication, exploring best practice...

Ethical investment hub launches online - news

The first online marketplace for positive ethical investments has gone live at ethex.org.uk Individuals can now buy and sell investments in leading social businesses online through Ethex,...

India takes off as impact investment lure - news

India has become the world’s second largest market for impact investing, through which funds deliver benefits to society as well as financial returns, reports the Rockefeller Foundation,...

Cracking the glass ceiling in the boardroom - news

Currently, women in Europe have to work 59 extra days to get to the same salary as their male counterparts, but the ‘Proposal on increasing Gender Equality in the Boardrooms of Listed...

Fishing for compliments... & the way forward - news

Given that I live very close to the sea and take regular beach walks, I am only too aware of the amount of plastic detritus that washes up on a daily basis. It wasn’t that long ago that I...

CIEH welcomes Edwards - news

David Edwards, executive director at global public health and safety organisation NSF International and consumer safety specialist, has been appointed to the board of the trading arm of the...

Tristan Forster honoured for human rights leadership - news

The first-ever global award to recognise business leaders engaged in combating human trafficking has been awarded to Tristan Forster, ceo of FSI Worldwide. “The main purpose of the...

Laos dam project goes ahead despite Asia outcry - news

The Laos government and the company it commissioned to build a huge hydroelectric dam on the Mekong river are under renewed attack for breaching their agreement to halt the work.   A...

UN delivers approval for DHL project - news

Mail and logistics group Deutsche Post DHL has gained UN approval for a climate project in Lesotho. The company has provided thousands of efficient wood-burning cooking stoves that reduce...

Italy makes progress but still faces ‘numerous challenges’ - news

Fifteen of the 30 European cities with the worst air pollution are in Italy, reports the OECD in its environmental performance review of the country. The review concedes that Italy has...

Brazil’s biggest beauty company makes anti-poverty pledge - news

Natura, Brazil’s biggest beauty company – and a green one at that - has pledged to provide new skills training to low-income sales representatives in Mexico. The initiative is part...

Northern Europe leads way in female empowerment - news

The Nordic countries again dominate the Women in Work Index, compiled by PwC, the professional services consultancy.   For the third consecutive time Norway, with a score of 81.3, tops...

'Entrepreneurs in Residence' appointed at Cambridge - news

The Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning, based at the Cambridge Judge Business School, has appointed two social entrepreneurs as their ‘entrepreneurs in residence’. The two are...

Woolston to lead Fenton in UK - news

Fenton, the US public interest communications firm, has appointed Elly Woolston as UK director to lead its new London operation. Fenton believes its new London office will allow the company to...

EU ban on illegal wood products - news

An EU ban on illegal wood and wood products from entering the market comes into force this month as part of moves to tackle illegal deforestation. The ban brings EU policy into line with that of...

Sustainable coconut oil certification launched - news

A program to develop a certified coconut oil supply chain to enhance sustainability and improve the livelihoods of 2,500 coconut growers in the Philippines has been launched by Deutsche...

Pale Blue Hat goes on the Radar - news

Marketing consultancy Pale Blue Hat has launched Radar, a toolkit to help companies identify the risk of adverse exposure around their green claims and avoid charges of misleading customers with...

Eurosif launches new version of Transparency Code - news

Eurosif, the European Sustainable Investment Forum, has launched version 3 of the European SRI Transparency Code to reflect recent market developments and make it ‘more...

Nestlé launches 'shared value' award - news

Nestlé has launched an award worth CHF500,000 (£353,000, €408,000, $531,000) for projects which have ‘created shared value’ through innovative, commercially viable...

ESMA publishes guidelines for AIFMs - news

The European Securities & Markets Authority has published final guidelines on alternative investment fund managers (AIFMs) remuneration, to help promote sensible risk-taking and align fund...

Inspirational media in a post-water cooler world - news

In the third CSR Breakfast roundtable, hosted by Ethical Performance and London-based consultancy Lumina CR, an invited group of senior media industry professionals discussed the ethical issues...

Shutting, stable, bolting. There’s a message in there - news

There’s nothing like a good scandal to stoke the appetite, I find. And the horsemeat saga that’s set to rumble on across Europe for the next few months is no exception. All this talk...

EU has Google in sights over data privacy policies - news

Google is being threatened with EU sanctions unless it changes its privacy policies. The huge US internet company had been asked by Europe’s data protection authorities, led by CNIL,...

Cemex takes lead as water use tops corporate agenda - news

Building materials group Cemex is standardising how it calculates and cuts water consumption throughout the company. Cemex plans to introduce the system at plants in all 50 countries where...

UK government supports ring-fencing of retail and investment banking - news

Britain’s big banks will be broken up by the UK government if they ignore directives to separate their investment and retail arms. George Osborne, the chancellor of the exchequer...

NGOs turn up heat on Nike over Indonesian workers’ below minimum wage pay rates - news

Indonesian suppliers to the US sportswear group Nike are being pressured by trade unions and the US Catholic NGO Education for Justice (EFJ) to pay their workers minimum wages. The EFJ...

‘Golden handcuffs’ deal for Novartis chairman dropped - news

Swiss drugs company Novartis has ditched a proposal to pay its outgoing chairman Daniel Vasella 72m francs ($77m, £50m, €59m) after widespread criticism. The payment, dropped by...

Routing of emails exposes trio to US bribery action - news

The aggressive stand being taken in the US against bribery and corruption has been underlined by a federal court ruling on three executives said to have used dishonest tactics in a foreign...

EU seeks to engage business on CSR with guide on trade union rights and child labour - news

The right to join a trade union and conduct collective bargaining are the main features of an EU draft guide to human rights in business and now out for public consultation. One of the...

Meat debate turns towards traceability and regulation - news

The controversy over horsemeat in Europe has brought a key corporate responsibility principle to the fore – supply chain management. The horsemeat found in some processed beef...

Allia launches social impact bond to public investment - news

The first social impact bond open to public investment has been introduced in the UK to help children aged between 11 and 16 to avoid going into care. The Future for Children Bond, offered...

European Parliament backs law on non-financial reporting - news

The European Parliament has adopted a resolution to require EU businesses to introduce non-financial disclosure as part of a wider emphasis on using CSR as a driver of economic recovery....

G20 and OECD plan action to tackle multinational tax avoiders - news

International action to halt tax avoidance by multinationals has been promised by the finance ministers of the G20, the grouping of the world’s 20 leading economies. The G20 nations,...

Pharma R&D spend increases by 40% - news

Pharmaceutical industry-led R&D on developing new and improved vaccines to tackle neglected diseases have increased in number by 40%, according to the International Federation of...

Carbon market value hits lowest level - news

The global carbon market lost a third of its value in 2012, to €61bn (£53bn, $83bn), the lowest level in its five-year history. Thanks largely to an over-allocation in the EU, the...

Sustainable investing takes off in Asia - news

Sustainable investing has become a significant force in Asia, with 130 of the region’s fund managers using sustainable approaches to build investments, worth $74bn (£47bn,...

EuroCharity teams with VRS to launch ESG report - news

EuroCharity has partnered with Valuation & Research Specialists (VRS) to launch an ESG Metrics Report service for its corporate members. The service will offer stakeholder briefings on...

New European CSR award launched - news

Business in the Community and CSR Europe are leading a 29- strong consortium that is launching pan-European CSR excellence awards. The European CSR Award Scheme for Partnership, Innovation &...

How entrepreneurs can lead business charge in battle on environment - news

‘Climate change is one of the greatest wealth generating opportunities of our generation,’ said Carbon War Room co-founder Richard Branson. Maria Figueres tells Mike Scott about...

Corporates against corruption - news

Bribery and corruption used to be seen as part of the reality of doing business in certain parts of the world. But, writes Leo Martin, business is leading the international charge for change...

Could Coca-Cola be letting the genie out of the can? - news

Selling your product can be a difficult enough process without drawing attention to its failings in your own marketing. Whether questions of usefulness or quality, or allusions to any...

Barclays CEO breaks with bank’s scandal-hit past - news

Barclays chief executive Antony Jenkins has told the bank’s staff that they must adopt five new core values – respect, integrity, service, excellence and stewardship – or leave...

US banks’ $20bn bill for subprime mortgage fiasco - news

Ten US banks are to pay more than $20bn (£12.6bn, €15bn) to the government mortgage agency Fannie Mae and mortgage holders who suffered when the subprime market collapsed. Fannie...

Swiss bank Wegelin set to close after admitting to tax evasion charges - news

Wegelin, Switzerland’s oldest bank, has been ordered to pay almost $70m (£43m, €52m) in fines and penalties for helping wealthy Americans to evade taxes. It admitted in a...

Beefburger supplier Silvercrest loses Tesco business over horse DNA contamination - news

Leading UK supermarket chain Tesco has dropped a supplier of frozen beefburgers after tests showed last month that the product contained horse DNA. Tesco has, ‘with regret’,...

ESG ‘increasingly decisive’ in private equity purchases - news

Many businesses have halted mergers and acquisitions because of their target companies’ poor ESG performance, a new report reveals. And the study, commissioned by the UN-backed...

Dutch supermarket faces boycott call - news

The Netherlands’ largest supermarket chain Albert Heijn (AH) was the target of a consumer boycott call when a TV documentary revealed the ‘medieval conditions’ that migrants...

Levi Strauss pledges to cut all use of toxic chemicals - news

Jeans maker Levi Strauss has committed itself to removing all hazardous chemicals from its entire clothing manufacturing processes by 2020, in a growing list of successes for environment...

Shell’s Niger Delta acquittals fail to deter campaigners - news

A Dutch court has acquitted oil giant Shell of four of the five charges it faced in connection with pollution in the Niger Delta. On the fifth charge, Shell has been ordered to pay...

Deepwater rig owners to pay $1.4bn over role in disaster - news

Transocean, which owned the Deepwater Horizon oil rig that exploded three years ago causing 11 deaths and pollution of the Gulf of Mexico and the US coast, has agreed to pay $400m (£253m,...

Aviation trade war fears recede as UN looks to broker emissions deal - news

UN-backed meetings are being held to produce a global agreement on curbing airline emissions. They follow a US decision to reject Brussels’ ruling to apply its emissions trading...

Lloyds ups compensation monies by £1bn - news

UK-based Lloyds Banking Group has added £1bn (€1.2bn, $1.6bn) to the £4.27bn already set aside to cover compensation to customers mis-sold payment protection insurance (PPI). In...

IKEA pledges to grow more trees than it uses - news

Furniture retailer Ikea has announced plans to switch to renewable energy by 2020, and to grow more trees than it uses. The Swedish-based group said it will also encourage sales of...

Probe launched into UK natural gas prices - news

UK regulators have launched a probe into alleged attempts to manipulate the country’s natural gas markets after concerns were raised about unusual price activity in the ‘National...

Financial institutions ‘playing CSR catch-up’ - news

In the second CSR Breakfast roundtable, hosted by Ethical Performance and London-based consultancy Lumina, an invited group of senior finance industry CSR professionals discussed the ethical...

Creative thinking: the key to a sustainable future - news

The days of CSR are over. Today’s leading businesses commit to big sustainability ambitions that radically reshape why they exist, what they do and how they do it. The key challenge is to...

The old news agenda and today’s drivers of change - news

Reading through the blizzard of reports and utterances from the great CSR news community is not one of the most positive experiences right now. There are so many stories knocking around about...

US trade group attacks conflict minerals rule - news

Two US business organisations are seeking to overturn a law compelling companies to disclose their use of conflict minerals. The rule was adopted by the Securities & Exchange Commission...

Trafigura reaches out-of-court settlement over export of toxic waste - news

Oil trader Trafigura is to pay fines totalling €1.3m ($1.7m, £1.0m) in the Netherlands in an out-of-court settlement concerning the illegal export of toxic waste to the Ivory Coast in...

Tighter regulation likely of ‘immoral’ tax practices - news

The tax regime for large corporations operating in Europe is likely to be tightened up following a furore in the UK over alleged practices by Amazon, Starbucks and Google that minimise their tax...

Indian court opens way for criminal trial of multinational over 1984 Bhopal disaster - news

An Indian court has raised the possibility that US multinational Dow Chemical could be face a criminal trial in connection with the notorious 1984 Bhopal disaster. The Madhya Pradesh High...

HSBC faces $1.5bn laundering fine - news

UK-headquartered bank HSBC expects to pay a fine of at least $1.5bn (£940m, €1.18bn) to the US authorities for breaches of money laundering rules. This follows a Senate report,...

Genetics company criticised for withholding breast cancer research data - news

Medical academics are protesting that the US healthcare company Myriad Genetics is concealing vital cancer discoveries for its own commercial reasons. Myriad has devised a test determining...

Bangladesh factory blaze turns heat on apparel brands - news

Western apparel brands are again under the spotlight over human rights abuses after a fire destroyed a high-rise garment factory in Bangladesh last month, killing at least 112 people....

BP hopes guilty plea will help to draw line on Deepwater - news

In the largest deal of its kind in US criminal history, BP is to pay $4.5bn (£2.8bn, €3.5bn) in settlement of 14 criminal charges relating to the Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil...

Businesses urged to prepare for catastrophic climate impacts - news

A major report on business and climate change impacts has warned companies to begin thinking through how to protect their operations in a much warmer planet, because the chances of restricting...

EU reaches 100GW milestone - news

The EU has overtaken the 100 gigawatt (GW) milestone for installed wind power capacity, according to the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA). The EWEA said that though it took the European...

Alcoa settles Alba lawsuit - news

US aluminium producer Alcoa is set to pay Bahrain’s state-controlled Aluminium Bahrain (Alba) $85m (£53m, €66m) to settle a lawsuit over alleged corruption. Alba alleged Alcoa...

AngloAmerican in silicosis scare - news

AngloAmerican is being taken to the high court by nearly 3,000 African gold miners, who claim they have developed silicosis, a scarring of the lungs, for which there is no cure, because of poor...

Once bitten, twice shy: how unexpected risks are concentrating investors’ minds - news

Data is the unglamorous foundation on which investment decisions are built. And the increasing availability of reliable ESG data is giving investors more powerful risk-assessment tools,...

Socially responsible building begins at home - news

There’s a housing crisis in the UK. We must build more homes to relieve the shortage and to kickstart the economy. So investment in housing must be socially responsible, right? Well,...

Business and the witness to unwelcome truths - news

In March 2008, Richard Falk was appointed UN special rapporteur for human rights in the Palestinian territories. He is professor emeritus of international law at Princeton University and...

Move to cloud computing promises major CO2 cuts - news

China’s bourgeoning industrial and commercial sector could cut CO2 emissions by 1.9m tonnes a year – the equivalent of removing 700,000 vehicles from China’s roads – by...

Businesses slow to adapt to CO2 data demands - news

Corporate awareness of climate change continues to rise, the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) has recorded in its 2012 statement, The Future of Reporting. When the CDP produced its first...

Ecoislands movement launches with signing of ten-point sustainable communities accord - news

More than 30 regional and island communities from around the world have signed up to a new ten-point accord to help drive the grassroots deployment of clean technologies and sustainable business...

Boycott urged on firms that assist Israel’s occupation - news

A UN human rights expert has called for a boycott of multinational companies that are investing to further Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territory. Addressing the UN General...

Supply chain labour issues ‘a reputational timebomb’ - news

More than a third of companies appear uninterested in supply chain labour conditions, despite the increasing risk the issue poses to corporate reputation and the threat of boycotts and other...

Sophisticated strategies underpin surging growth of European SRI market - news

Europe’s SRI growth is outperforming the market, with investors adopting a wider and more sophisticated array of investment strategies, says the European Forum for Sustainable Investment...

Banks deny helping world’s super-rich spirit away $21tn - news

Eight international banks have either refused or failed to respond to a report which alleges they have helped the super-rich avoid tax and lead an exodus of valuable capital from developing...

Safe factory claims burn in Karachi - news

German clothing retailer KIK has been accused by campaigners and trade unions of failing to ensure the safety of a supplier factory in Karachi where a fire killed 289 workers in September....

Wage claims and violence hit South African mines - news

The turmoil in South Africa’s mining industry appears to be escalating despite a settlement at Lonmin’s Marikana platinum mine, where 46 people were killed and 78 injured in violent...

Puma calls for end to import duties on ‘greener’ synthetic materials - news

Sportswear multinational Puma is calling for the end of ‘outdated’ import duties on synthetics that add to the cost of switching to new, more sustainable materials for the manufacture of shoes and...

Hershey to meet 100% cocoa sourcing standard by 2020 - news

US chocolate maker Hershey has committed itself to sourcing all of its cocoa according to certified international labour, environmental and farming standards by 2020. Just over two-thirds...

US Supreme Court leaves Chevron to $19bn Ecuador claim - news

The US Supreme Court has declined to block an Ecuadorian court’s judgement that oil company Chevron pay $19bn (£11.8bn, €14.5bn) in damages for polluting the oil-rich Amazonian...

US oil industry body sues SEC over Dodd-Frank Act disclosure rules - news

A coalition of US oil and business organisations is suing the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) for ‘overstepping’ its authority in requiring companies to disclose payments...

Malaysian villagers protest against petrochemical complex - news

Thousands joined villagers in a protest against a proposed petrochemical complex, to be sited near a small village in Johor, Malaysia. In an increasing trend of opposition to such developments...

MPs call for Arctic no-drill zone - news

British MPs have called for the imposition of a no-drill zone in an environmental sanctuary in the Arctic, describing the drilling there by Shell, ExxonMobil, Gazprom and other oil and gas...

A big conversation with the chattering classes - news

The internet and its burgeoning social networks has given consumers and communities unprecedented power to publish and organise action. But is it just a passing fad? As you read this,...

EU gets tough on women's representation within company boardrooms - news

EU legislation will be proposed this month compelling state-owned and private companies to allocate at least 40% of supervisory board seats to women. Under the proposals, from justice...

Firms still failing to report anti-corruption activities - news

The world's largest companies may be contributing to the corruption culture, says a report by global civil society group Transparency International (TI), which claims organisations still...

RBS faces shareholder lawsuit over frailties 'hidden' during £12bn rights issue - news

Shareholders are preparing to sue British bank Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and its former CEO Fred Goodwin over a £12bn ($19.4bn, €15bn) rights issue of six billion shares offered in...

Industries in scrap for water supplies - news

Energy companies have been accused of unfairly competing against US farmers for water during the country's worst drought since 1936, with oil, gas and biofuel operations particularly singled...

Investors raise concerns over drug firms' lobby group links - news

Four major drugs companies have been challenged by an alliance of investors over their use of political funds in the US to undermine birth control services. The four – Bayer, Johnson...

CO2 value collapse hits trading scheme - news

Governments must act to save the clean development mechanism (CDM), a UN panel has reported. Under the CDM projects such as wind farms and the distribution of efficient cookers and lights,...

Alien Tort Act hearing revisits Shell's Nigerian connection - news

The US Alien Tort Act comes under renewed scrutiny this month as the Supreme Court hears allegations that the Shell oil company conspired with and abetted crimes against humanity in 1990s...

Banking and trading split proposed in new pan-EU regime - news

A panel of EU officials would have sweeping new powers over member countries' financial sectors, including the City of London, under proposals being announced this month. It would be a...

Oil industry ‘hiding risks' as BP faces $21bn Deepwater fines - news

BP has been accused of ‘gross negligence or wilful misconduct' over its Deepwater Horizon accident, which spilled nearly five million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico in 2010....

Pfizer pays $60.2m after admitting giving bribes to foreign officials - news

Pfizer Inc will pay $60.2m (£38.1m, €248.0m) after a US government probe into illegal payments to win business as part of a crackdown on bribery by multinational corporations that has...

Glaxo cleans up illegal practices after $3bn fine - news

Sir Andrew Witty, chief executive of Britain’s largest pharmaceutical company, GlaxoSmithKline, has expressed regret for ‘unacceptable’ marketing practices that resulted in a...

US proxy set to stay central to corporate engagement – despite better dialogue - news

Shareholder dialogue with US corporations is improving but Timothy Smith, of Boston-based Walden Asset Management, tells Robert Kropp that filing resolutions will remain a crucial element of...

The search for value among the numbers - news

We will continue to consume and trade as the climate changes. But in a world where production and supply chains come under increasing strain, how far down the path is it right to exploit...

EU presses to have ESG profile of retail investment products published - news

An EC proposal for retail investors to be informed about how ESG concerns are taken into account in their investment has been welcomed.   Eurosif believes that the EC’s...

Miners’ strike shootings comes as tensions rise over pay claim - news

A week of national mourning was declared in South Africa after 34 striking miners were gunned down at a platinum mine operated by London-based Lonmin in Marikana, North West province.  ...

Comprehensive reporting law adopted by France - news

Companies either headquartered in France and which operate there will be required to comply with a CSR reporting mandate.   Article 225 of the Grenelle II Act is one of the most...

Tobacco industry fears plain-pack ‘domino effect’ - news

In a move seen by tobacco companies as state appropriation of their brands and intellectual property, all cigarettes sold in Australia from 1 December must conform to strict ‘no...

The state is redrawing its battle lines with business - news

Everywhere, there are signs that ‘the state’ is tightening the screw on companies which, in its collective view, are acting unethically, or generally against its interests or that of...

Libor rate-riggers could face jail as investigations continue - news

Bankers found guilty in the Libor rate-rigging scandal could face jail terms after the UK’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO) confirmed that existing legislation gives them the power to bring...

Standard Chartered’s Iranian links spark ‘rogue institution’ attack - news

Standard Chartered’s $340m (£216m, €272m) settlement of allegations of sanctions busting, brought by Benjamin Lawsky, superintendent of New York’s Department for Financial...

Seal joins Blytheco as coo - news

Lori Seal, who serves on the Ethical Edge, an organisation dedicated to promoting ethics in workplaces, has joined Sage software business Blytheco as chief operating officer. Previously at...

Fishing fleets to keep within sustainable limits by 2020 - news

At the latest meeting of the EU’s Agriculture & Fisheries Council, it was decided that member states’ fishing fleets should aim to keep catches within sustainable limits by 2020...

Hungary sells 2.5m EUA - news

The Hungarian government has sold 2.5 million EU emission allowances (EUA), raising €16.82m (£13.14m, $20.40m). The EUAs were sold for an average price of €6.73 each between 23...

What is Sustainable Technology? - news

A book for specialists in the area, What is Sustainable Technology? nonetheless gets down to fundamentals in its much-needed revaluation of the problems and paradoxes of a once uncritically...

Time to treat water as a non-renewable resource - news

Despite the fact that water falls free from the sky, shortages now represent a significant business risk for companies like Anglo American, affecting not only day-to-day operations but long-term...

Disillusioned customers punish UK big five banks - news

Customers disillusioned with Britain’s bigger banks are switching to smaller alternatives believing they operate more responsibly.    The campaign group Move Your Money...

Climate bonds ‘are the ideal financial tool to tackle climate change’ - news

Bond investors are not comfortable with the risks of developing projects. But once schemes are up and running, they are happy to provide refinancing, Sean Kidney, co-founder and chair of the...

Sport governing bodies unite to fight illegal betting and corrupt result fixing - news

Corrupt and irregular betting patterns in the UK are being fought by a group formed to counter what has been called the biggest threat facing sport.    Governing bodies...

UK retailer offers in-store accommodation to partner community and arts groups - news

John Lewis is making rooms in its stores available to charities and community and arts groups – and in some cases staff, known as partners, are offering their time and skills to help local...

Shareholders make a stand against brutal regime - news

The ING Emerging Countries Fund will no longer invest in companies that contribute to genocide or crimes against humanity.    A recent shareholder resolution, which was...

Aerospace industry plans for carbon tax - news

Leaders of some of the most influential aerospace companies on both sides of the Atlantic have met to assess the effects of the EU’s Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS).   ...

Fizzy drink manufacturers using CSR to establish ‘innocence by association’ - news

Fizzy drink manufacturers are employing elaborate, expensive, multinational CSR campaigns to ‘mislead’ and mask the contribution they are making to the global obesity crisis,...

Inspectors needed to lead ‘fight against forced labour’ - news

International Labour Organization (ILO) estimates have put the numbers in forced labour in EU member states at 880,000. Of these, 30% are thought to be subject to forced sexual...

Hopes for robust arms trade treaty survive stalled UN negotiations - news

Agreement on the first ever global arms trade treaty (ATT) could be within sight, despite the failure of month-long talks involving more than 170 UN member states in New York.   A...

Microsoft to be carbon neutral within a year - news

Microsoft has announced ambitious plans to become carbon neutral in a year, having cut its emissions by 30% per unit of revenue from 2007 levels through efficiencies and increased renewable...

The Quest for Sustainable Business - news

The Quest for Sustainable Business is two things: the most important and, in certain respects the only, historical account of corporate responsibility to date, and a bloody good read....

CSR driving change at the heart of business - news

Economic challenges abound, but the CR Salary Survey 2012, published this month, shows a sector that’s not only enjoying continuing growth but also a place increasingly at the heart of...

Piling new expectations on already-stressed managers - news

Imagine you are the manager of a busy supermarket. You face daily pressure to ensure that your store is performing well. Your staff work in shifts and it is a struggle to find time to bring them...

Bank of America’s $50bn to green global economy - news

Bank of America has announced a ten-year $50bn (£32bn, €40bn) environmental business project to deal with climate change, reduce demands on natural resources and advance lower-carbon...

Walmart executives ride out shareholder revolt over bribery scandal ‘dishonour’ - news

Walmart shareholders registered a significant protest against the retail company’s executives at last month’s annual meeting, as the bribery scandal surrounding its Mexico subsidiary...

Australia presses on with wide-ranging carbon tax - news

A carbon pricing scheme, probably the world’s most comprehensive, is being implemented in Australia, despite continuing opposition from some business groups. From 1 July,...

Insurance industry bodies back UN ESG principles - news

Leading insurance companies and industry bodies from across nations and regions have committed to a UN-backed programmes to green the sector and promote responsible investment globally....

US corporations ‘hiding behind lobby groups’ to influence climate policy - news

The row over US corporations’ support for anti-climate change activities has been escalated by an environment science advocacy group that has published a study of companies which are...

Adidas targeted by sweatshop protest - news

The NGO War on Want has begun a campaign on the eve of the London Olympics to persuade Adidas, one of the most prominent sportswear brands in athletics, to end sweatshop conditions at its Asian...

Walden leads fund managers’ call for full disclosure of corporate lobbying spend - news

US-based investor Walden Asset Management is leading 40 fund managers in challenging companies to disclose their spending on political lobbying. The investors’ alliance has filed...

Barclays Bank is first to take hit over interest rate-rigging - news

Barclays Bank has been fined a record £287m ($451m, €356m) by UK and US regulators for trying to manipulate London and Euro inter-bank lending rates. The fine was the result of a...

UK announces carbon reporting move as Rio+20 fails to impress - news

Amid low expectations, political divisions and economic uncertainties, last month’s UN Conference on Sustainable Development saw $513bn (£328bn, €410bn) in funding committed to...

Murray moves to Sustainability Consortium - news

The Sustainability Consortium has appointed Euan Murray as its new director of strategic initiatives. Murray, who joins the US-based membership organisation from the Carbon Trust, will be...

Enel buys carbon credits from Haiti - news

Italian energy firm Enel has agreed to buy UN-backed carbon credits from a cookstove emission reduction project in earthquake-hit Haiti, one of the EU’s preferred partners in its emissions...

GIB makes first investments - news

The UK government’s new Green Investment Bank has made its first infrastructure investments. £30m ($47m, €37m) has been awarded to Greensphere Capital to work on small projects...

Chesapeake Energy to split ceo & chairman roles - news

Oil and gas firm Chesapeake Energy has agreed to separate its chief executive and chairman roles. The move comes after controversy when chair and CEO Aubrey McClendon borrowed more than $1bn...

Buying into a world without fashion victims - news

In the first CSR Breakfast roundtable, hosted by Ethical Performance and London-based consultancy Lumina, an invited group of senior fashion industry CSR professionals discussed the ethical...

NGOs slam UN for giving into business ‘bluewash’ - news

The UN has been forced to defend itself against an accusation of corporate capture made by civil society bodies worldwide. The UN, which presides over many significant international CSR...

Remuneration packages spark shareholder revolts - news

Shareholders have finally challenged and changed company decisions after weeks of high-profile campaigning over pay deals and executive elections in the UK. Now further rebellions are...

India's ‘catalysts of change’ inspire Ikea Foundation empowerment programme - news

Ikea has pledged €30m ($38m, £24m) for a programme empowering two million poor rural women as part of the latest of its many projects in India. The money, given directly to the UN...

AdvisorShares launches sustainability fund - news

A leading US sponsor of actively managed exchange traded funds (EFTs) has launched an investment vehicle that, it believes, could help bring impact investment into the mainstream....

US trade body ends EU aviation battle - news

A group of US airlines have abandoned their legal challenge to the EU’s aviation pollution charge. The Airlines for America trade association, whose members include American Airlines...

Europe leads US and Asian companies in Eiris ratings - news

European companies are outstripping their US and Asian counterparts on sustainability, says the latest Eiris report produced ahead of this summer’s Rio+20 conference. The German...

Ukraine looks for CSR leadership excellence - news

A project aimed at finding the most responsible top-level leader in the Ukraine has been launched by the country’s national CSR organisation. The Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility...

Tobacco saga finally comes to court - news

A 14-year-old lawsuit seeking C$27bn (£16.9bn, €20.7bn) in damages against three tobacco firms in Canada is to come to trial. The class action alleges that Imperial Tobacco,...

Investment future for nuclear bleak, says Impax - news

An asset management firm has warned that the future will see investors continue to punish nuclear energy in the wake of the Fukushima disaster. Impax Asset Management says that the...

Eucalyptus fuel takes off in Oz - news

Sustainable fuel from eucalyptus trees is being developed for commercial airline flights. Virgin Australia and its aircraft supplier Airbus will seek to produce a certified energy source that...

AfricaSIF sets out to bridge the reality deficit for foreign investors - news

Africa has become a destination for investment, but many misconceptions remain about the continent, particularly in developed markets. Graham Sinclair and Miles Mudzviti, of the newly-formed...

Time to welcome Trafigura into CSR fold - news

Oil trader Trafigura has been held up as displaying the worst of corporate irresponsibility. Oil might be a dirty business, but it is lazy to write such companies off as mere heartless...

Profit motives and the pursuit of happiness - news

When an entrepreneur has the inspiration to start a business, their first aspiration is not necessarily a financial one. Before the bit about developing a sustainable business model comes...

US companies blazing CSR path in India - news

A thriving CSR movement among US-based multinationals in India has been revealed in the most detailed catalogue yet of initiatives in the country. The ‘compendium’ of 60...

Heineken looks to take development role in earthquake-stricken Haiti - news

Heineken is planning to build schools and hospitals in Haiti in the latest sign of private-sector expansion into international development and public services. The brewer looks set to...

Pharma firm Merck to subsidise clean water in India to help fight disease - news

The pharmaceuticals giant Merck has joined forces with an NGO to improve access to water and reduce the impact of water-borne disease in India. Merck, which is tackling a CSR issue not...

Denmark tops sustainable development league - news

Research ranking sustainable development potential worldwide has listed the Scandinavians as the most competitive nations and Asian nations as the most innovative. The Sustainable...

US ‘Jobs Bill’ raises fears of a scamfest - news

President Barack Obama has signed into law a major bill that excuses most companies from all governance requirements, investors and shareholder groups have said. The so-called ‘Jobs...

Brazil imposes travel ban on oil chiefs awaiting spill trial - news

Seventeen executives from two oil companies have been banned from leaving Brazil after criminal charges were brought against them for a spill in Rio de Janeiro. Managers at Chevron and...

RSPO toughens up - news

The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) says it will publish details of company’s not complying with its code of conduct, with an eye to further sanctions later on in the year. There...

IFPMA pharma code expands - news

The international pharmaceuticals industry’s code of conduct has been expanded. The International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations (IFPMA) code, which will now...

James Murdoch steps down at NI - news

James Murdoch has stepped down as chairman of News International, the European arm of the News Corp media empire. In the culmination of growing calls to quit over his handling of the phone...

Trafigura clarification - news

Trafigura: The last edition of Ethical Performance (EP, March 2012, p1) reported that oil trading company Trafigura had been convicted by a Dutch court of illegally dumping toxic waste in the...

The problems and opportunities of US non-financial reporting - news

The GRI has been playing catch-up in the US ever since its launch and expansion in other parts of the world. That could be about to change, however, according to the organisation's US...

Growing pains and CSR in the People's Republic - news

China's rise to industrial powerhouse has not been painless, with pollution, freedom of speech and workers' rights regularly hitting the news. But CSR could play a critical role in...

London's moves to lead the responsible finance world - news

Next month, Big Society Capital (BSC) opens its doors for business in London's financial centre. It will be part-funded by and sit alongside some of the banks that Lord Turner, the UK...

Enter the fray and rules will emerge ... eventually - news

It seems like only yesterday that 'globalisation' was the hot topic among economics and documentary journalists. By the late 1990s, as developed countries watched swathes of their...

Ikea seeks suppliers' compliance with sustainability code by end of year - news

The furniture multinational Ikea will remove suppliers from its supply chain if they depart from its code of conduct as it pushes for full compliance this year. This action, meeting part of...

Chevron shareholders call for transparency after alleged corrupt payments to Burma - news

Demands that Chevron adopts country selection procedures in the wake of a number of international scandals have been made by shareholders. A resolution telling the oil giant to implement...

EU ponders new quotas on women board members - news

The European Union is conducting consultations on mandatory quotas for female representation on company boards, coinciding with a groundswell of corporate support for similar measures in the US....

Efficiency savings success prompts BASF to double its 2020 emissions reduction target - news

BASF has announced new emissions targets after going well beyond its 2020 targets nearly a decade ahead of schedule. Since 2002, the German chemicals multinational has achieved a 35%...

London Olympics races to neutralise sweatshop row - news

The London Olympics organising committee is introducing measures to protect workers in its supply chain after evidence of sweatshop labour at its Chinese suppliers' factories. In a...

Canada in tar sands trade spat with EU - news

The EU looks likely to encounter more problems with its climate change efforts as Canada becomes the latest country to threaten a trade war over proposals on the import of fuel derived from tar...

Heartland leak exposes US corporations to consumers' ire - news

Leaks have detailed US corporate donors to one of the world's most influential climate change denying bodies. Some of the companies are now under fire from consumers for support that runs...

Royce rolls into Weber Shandwick - news

Weber Shandwick has appointed Bill Royce as its new head of sustainability for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Royce, who joins from Burson-Marsteller, will be responsible for building the...

EC unveils internet privacy law - news

A new EU-wide law on internet privacy bolstering data protection rights has been unveiled by the European Commission. In an update of an original 1995 law, online companies will face fines...

ConcocoPhilips reaches out-of-court settlement - news

ConocoPhillips and the China National Offshore Oil Corporation have agreed an out-of-court settlement of 1bn yuan ($160m, €120m, £100m) with the Chinese agriculture ministry over...

European countries lead way in sustainability - news

European companies ‘are ahead of the pack’ on sustainability, according to the latest annual Sustainability Yearbook published by KMPG and Sustainable Asset Management (SAM). Firms...

AstraZeneca makes US pharma donation - news

Pharmaceuticals giant AstraZeneca has announced a donation of $4m-worth (€3m, £2.5m) of prescription medicines for poor and uninsured patients in the US. One of the largest donations...

Trading abroad pushes US businesses onto the sustainability agenda - news

Context set up in London in 1997: now it has a US office and offers sustainability services around the world. Mike Scott catches up with Peter Knight, the company’s co-founder, to see how...

New technologies and punctuated equilibriums - news

Thank heavens we live in an era where we understand the basic essentials of evolution. It makes things so much simpler than having to believe in the agency of choirs of angels. But the problem...

New legislation in pipeline to force chemicals disclosure in US fracking - news

New fracking legislation in the US will require gas drillers to disclose the chemicals used on public lands. Regulation of fracking, or hydraulic fracturing – perhaps the most...

Games organisers turn to GRI guidelines to keep London Olympics green - news

The London 2012 Olympics has become one of the first organisations to announce it will use the newly-published event sustainability guidelines of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) for its...

Trade war begins as China rejects EU aviation tax - news

China has ordered its airlines not to pay the new EU carbon taxes in the latest chapter of the controversial Emission Trading Scheme. The Chinese aviation authority has imposed a ban even...

EU announces intention to bolster efforts on supply chain due diligence - news

The European Union has pledged to bolster the transparency requirements for multinational supply chains in a bid to prevent regional conflicts over natural resources. Conceding that...

Logistics companies pilot disaster strategies in Nigeria - news

Logistics companies have combined with humanitarian organisations to help countries prepare for disasters. AP Moller-Maersk and UPS, joining forces with the UN World Food Programme, have...

French funds follow lead on exclusion - news

French asset managers are joining other European companies in the application of negative ‘normative exclusion’ screening to their investments. Few companies stand consistently...

Banks and funds develop KPIs on human rights - news

A partnership of the world’s largest banks, asset managers and pension funds has been formed to establish new key performance indicators (KPIs) to assess reputational risk surrounding...

Nike endorses settlement on supplier’s unpaid overtime - news

A Nike supplier has agreed to pay Indonesian workers $1m (£630,000, €750,000) in compensation for unpaid overtime after a decision that could have implications for other...

Trafigura director could be ‘personally liable’ for toxic dumping - news

Correction: Trafigura: This article reported that oil trading company Trafigura had been convicted by a Dutch court of illegally dumping toxic waste in the Ivory Coast. It also reported that...

Golden opportunity for Bales - news

Stefany Bales has joined Coeur d’Alene’s social responsibility team as director of corporate communications. Bales, formerly vice president of the Pac/West PR firm, will serve as a...

Czech Republic sets CSR strategy - news

The Czech Republic will set its course for the coming years in the wake of the European Commission’s new strategy on CSR. The Czech Business for Society organisation will consult with...

Investor warning: it’s time to look beyond mere carbon disclosure - news

The Institutional Investors’ Group on Climate Change is looking to build real momentum on changing how companies factor in climate change risks to their business operations. Its chief...

Governments given guide to low-carbon investing - news

Some of the world’s largest investors have set out a list of demands on how governments and companies should move ‘beyond disclosure’ in their response to climate change, with...

ABP divests from Walmart over workforce practices - news

Walmart has been blacklisted by one of Europe’s largest pension funds over its labour practices. ABP, the largest Dutch pension fund, has withdrawn from the retail giant and has said...

Brazilian bourse aims for pre-Rio+20 boost for CSR - news

A report-or-explain regime is to be introduced by the Brazilian stock exchange to kick-start CSR in the run-up to the UN’s Rio+20 sustainable development conference this summer....

Milk toxin scandal hits China CSR star - news

Public outcry and a debate about the meaning of Chinese CSR have been triggered by an award given to a dairy company that had just produced contaminated milk for the second time in four years....

Recession fails to dampen UK demand for fair trade products but organic sector falters - news

The strength of fair trade products in the UK is revealed in a study highlighting their continuing growth in the face of recession, a contrast to the sharp decline in the sales of similar goods...

Henderson closes vaunted SRI department - news

Henderson Global Investors’ respected SRI team is being disbanded as part of the company’s restructuring. Henderson says it no longer wants a separate department running SRI...

EU to launch practical guide for SMEs on guiding principles - news

The European Union, having established a new corporate responsibility strategy, is to compile the first international human rights guide for small companies.   The EU produced its...

Chevron faces ‘disruptive’ battle over Ecuadorian damages award - news

A court judgment in Ecuador awarding $18bn (£11.7bn, €14.1bn) damages against the oil multinational Chevron, the largest fine after the BP Gulf of Mexico settlement, has been upheld....

Marshall to head ISS - news

Georgina Marshall has been named as the new head of European research for Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS). Formerly head of corporate governance at Aviva, Marshall will head up research...

Shipping to be included in carbon targets - news

UK government climate change advisors have said that emissions from shipping should be included in the UK’s carbon targets, and have already drawn up plans for the industry to reduce its...

Deutsche Bank launches social investment fund - news

Deutsche Bank has launched a £10m social investment fund. The money, which will be invested in intermediaries that lend to social enterprises, will be released over the next three years...

EDF Energy fined for spying - news

EDF Energy has been fined €1.5m and two of its senior staff sent to prison for spying on environmental campaigners. A French court found that EDF employed a security firm, Kargus, to spy on...

Hunt for the ‘holy grail’ of corporate reporting - news

Corporate reporting as an activity is evolving along with the ever rising demands of stakeholders and others. But can integrated reporting bring the transparency and openness being called for?...

Bridging the credibility gap on reporting - news

Here’s an aspiration: that soon, we’ll be able to read an organisation’s sustainability report and be able to trust the statements on CO2 emissions contained therein. There are...

US companies doing little to back up big CSR claims - news

KPMG has concluded that US companies are favouring style over substance in their CSR priorities, with a national corporate emphasis on ‘communication’ rather than actual performance....

HP and Facebook act on ‘hyperscale’ data centres in bid to curb computing emissions - news

Hewlett Packard has announced a new data server service that it says will reduce energy use by up to 89% and halve costs. Project Moonshot, designed for companies operating thousands of...

EU firms report ‘aspirations before performance’ - news

Large companies are routinely guilty of publishing “irrelevant data, unsubstantiated claims, gaps in data and inaccurate figures”, according to a new analysis of fact-checking in CSR...

‘Benefit corporations’ given own ratings system to showcase activities to investors - news

A new investment tool for social enterprises and investors in the US has been launched by an NGO that hopes to provide coverage for 2,500 firms by 2016. B Lab, a non-profit specialising in...

Lawsuit and trade war beckons over air quotas - news

The US and China are set to embark on a trade war and legal battle with the European Union over its expansion of the Emission Trading Scheme (ETS), to include the aviation industry. From...

Hundreds of companies at risk of violating European harmful chemicals laws - news

A list of companies at risk of violating incoming European legislation on dangerous chemicals has been published by a Swedish NGO. The SIN Producers List, a catalogue of 389 companies using...

Japan under post-Fukushima pressure to cut carbon goals - news

The Japanese government has been told by businesses that it needs to scrap its greenhouse gas emissions target and reconfigure its energy mix in the wake of the Fukushima disaster.  ...

Chevron faces fines and drilling ban in Brazil - news

Chevron is set to face fines of millions of dollars from the Brazilian government over an offshore oil spill, and has been hauled up before the US drilling regulator. The oil giant has...

EC finally sets ‘agenda for action’ to promote Europe-wide CSR - news

The European Commission has published a new policy on corporate social responsibility, for the first time committing the European Union to a precise definition of CSR and outlining a concrete...

Smart move at Vigeo - news

Lindsay Smart will head up Vigeo’s newly-opened UK offices. Smart, previously sustainability initiatives manager at Citi Global Transaction Services, will spearhead business development in...

EC sets up programme to advise on SRI - news

The European Commission has hired the services of International Corporate Governance Network (ICGN), Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) and the European Federation of Financial Analyst...

Ratings agencies cleared in Ohio court - news

An Ohio court has found against plaintiffs in a multi-million-dollar lawsuit against ratings agencies accused of acting fraudulently in their financial predictions. The case, brought by five...

Sustainalytics moves into Korea - news

Sustainalytics will expand into Korea, having formed a strategic partnership with the country’s largest SRI research and consulting company Sustinvest. The European and US consultancy will...

CSR: a profession that’s coming of age - news

The Corporate Responsibility Group has decided to create a formal body for CSR professionals. Is this a natural progression for the new generation of CSR practitioners?    ...

In search of the producers from among the predators - news

So, there’s a rip-roaring debate going on about the nature and future of capitalism. New York’s Occupy Wall Street campaign continues, inspiring similar protests in towns and cities...

UN backs core values on commodity markets - news

UN-backed principles for commodities-related investments have been established to help institutional investors navigate the sector’s CSR implications. Responsible Investment in...

Fiduciary duty and long-termism drives SRI among European pension funds - news

More than half of European corporate pension funds have an SRI policy, and a further quarter expect to implement one within a year, according to the first comprehensive study of funds in...

Coal-reliant Australia to adopt controversial carbon tax - news

Australia has adopted a ‘carbon tax’ so that around 500 of its biggest polluters will have to pay for their emissions. By two votes, the parliament passed a bill last month...

Zimbabwe diamonds row legacy leaves monitoring process in crisis - news

The future of the Kimberley Process (KP) now hangs in the balance as civil society groups consider leaving the organisation, as disagreements over the Zimbabwean diamonds crisis threaten to...

inbrief - news

Eurosif has named Francois Passant as its new executive director. Passant, previously in the same role at the Vanguard investment group, replaces Matt Christensen, who joined Axa in the summer....

inbrief - news

Amra Balic has joined BlackRock as head of corporate governance and responsible investment for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Balic, previously Standard & Poor’s European...

European Parliament backs new extractive firm rules - news

The European Parliament has backed proposed new rules requiring extractive firms to publish their payments “for each project and country they invest in”. Though not yet legally...

Google reveals carbon footprint - news

IT giant Google has revealed its carbon footprint for the first time and, though its energy consumption continues to increase, the company says it has been carbon neutral since 2007. The...

DVD review: Inside Job - news

“This film cost $20tn to make,” announces Charles Ferguson’s documentary about the 2008 financial crash. Though perhaps not justifying such a budget, the film does well to...

Telecoms multinational keeps tabs on the suppliers to its suppliers - news

Telecommunications firm Telefonica has become the latest company to demand ethical supply chain credentials from its own potential suppliers. The Spanish multinational, detailing new...

Shepherd and Wigley in as green bank makes first board appointments - news

Appointments to the newly-formed advisory board of the UK government’s Green Investment Bank (GIB) have been made. Chaired by Adrian Montague to advise ministers on the development...

Interest in farmland sparks principles launch - news

Principles for investing responsibly in farmland have been established with the goal of improving the sustainability, transparency and accountability of these investments. Institutions with...

‘Map’ of supply chain issues due in new project - news

The Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) is to map key global supply chains to tackle the basic causes of the abuse and exploitation of poor and vulnerable workers. It will include all...

Cocoa buyers join forces on African child labour - news

A $2m (£1.3m, €1.5m) public-private partnership to combat ‘the worst forms’ of child labour in Africa’s cocoa-growing industry has been formed by a multinational...

Rising bonuses spark anger but little action - news

A storm is brewing around UK executive salaries and bonuses as top pay levels outstrip performance and political lines are drawn on the issue of irresponsible remuneration. Independent...

New German code raises bar on Euro CSR standards - news

A sustainability code has been produced for German companies and investors wishing to align their activities to CSR. It consists of 20 questions on which companies will report their compliance...

Multinational subsidiaries are no safe haven in Africa - news

It is generally accepted that Africa should deliver strong portfolio growth in the decade ahead. Yet African markets have specific environmental, social and governance (ESG) risks that need to...

Investors urge oil firms: abandon Assad regime - news

Institutional investors have urged oil companies operating in Syria to withdraw or condemn the brutal repression by the country’s Bashar al-Assad dictatorship. Members of Conflict...

China leads renewables boom as West flags - news

Global investment in renewable energy has passed the $200bn (£122bn, €140bn) mark, having risen by a third in 2010, thanks partly to China’s booming renewables market. The...

Carlsberg subsidiary set to introduce five-point ‘discipline pact’ for suppliers - news

A Ukrainian brewer has become one of the first eastern European companies to establish a code of conduct for its suppliers. Slavutich, part of the Carlsberg Group, has made compulsory...

Good tax planning set to become a CSR target - news

Tax avoidance is ‘as big an issue as sweatshops’, and could become the main target for CSR activity, a global charity has said. The international poverty NGO ActionAid has...

Bank of America responds to financial crisis with first responsibility report - news

The largest US bank has pledged in its first CSR report to put its financial house in order. Bank of America has promised to build a ‘fortress balance sheet’ through...

Rwanda secures cervical cancer prevention deal - news

Pharmaceutical giant Merck is to donate millions of vaccines and testing resources for the prevention of cervical cancer in Africa. Under the terms of a partnership with Dutch diagnostics...

Investors revolt at Vedanta AGM - news

Investors, NGOs and protesters have rounded on the Indian mining giant Vedanta at the company’s latest AGM. Vedanta, long-criticized for its environmental and human rights record, was...

Scandal sparks News Corp investor backlash - news

A spate of divestments and shareholder lawsuits has added to widespread public criticism of News Corporation in the wake of the UK phone-hacking scandal. The company faces calls to overhaul...

inbrief - news

BT has appointed Niall Dunne as its new chief sustainability officer to head its sustainable development strategy. Dunne joins from the advertising company Saatchi & Saatchi, where he was...

inbrief - news

Jenny Pidgeon is to take over Henderson Global Investor’s newly created responsible property investment (RPI) directorship. Pidgeon, who joins from Upstream Sustainability Services, will...

inbrief - news

Pharmaceuticals group Lundbeck has reversed its policy on the use of its drugs in US executions following a meeting with human rights organizations. Lundbeck was revealed to be among many...

inbrief - news

Toyota is to become the first car manufacturer in the UK to install a solar power system in a factory. A £10million ($16m, €11.37m) ‘array’ of about 17,000 solar panels...

The economics of DZ’s new SRI analysis service - news

The German bank has launched one of the first sustainability ratings systems to include financial perspectives in its metrics. Mike Scott talks to the firm’s SRI research head to find out...

Major guidelines get a wash and brush up - news

The OECD has formally adopted a revised text of its Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises – 10 years after its last key review. EP looks at what has changed Broadened scope...

EU needs to act faster - news

Aaron Hall argues that Europe must grab with two hands the opportunity to build on US legislation aimed at curbing the trade in conflict minerals The European Union is finally starting to...

Don’t just play it safe – try something creative - news

Supply chain ethics is not solely about managing risk, it’s about seeking opportunities, says Daniel Hsu Recent headlines from China have included a deadly accident at Foxconn, a...

Airports get new guidance - news

Airports have been given sustainability guidelines for monitoring and reporting on ‘wildlife strikes’, in which animals are hit by aeroplanes, often causing passenger accidents....

Disease plan is drawn up - news

Pharmaceuticals researchers have introduced a plan of action to tackle non-communicable diseases (NCDs). The research-based sector of the pharmaceuticals industry has created a ten-point...

ETI stands by Asda over ‘poverty wages’ allegations - news

The Ethical Trading Initiative has ruled out suspending Asda’s as one of its members, despite allegations of poverty wages in the UK retailer’s supply chain.   Asda has...

Safety lapses costing UK businesses £22bn a year - news

British businesses are ‘losing their competitive edge’ due to health and safety failures. The Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH), the UK’s professional...

inbrief - news

GlaxoSmithKline  has formed a partnership with three NGOs to try to address the shortage of frontline healthcare workers in the world’s least developed countries (LDCs). The...

inbrief - news

A leading financial services company has added CSR services to its securities lending investment programme. Clients of Citi, a US-based consultancy with $13trillion (£8tn, €9.15tn) of...

ISO 26000: the business guide - news

Lars Moratis, Timo Cochius. Greenleaf  Publishing. Paperback, 206 pages. £29.95/€40/$55.00 There’s a certain inevitability about the rapid emergence of ...

Forestry sector gets climate change tips - news

A guide to investment in forest-based climate change mitigation has been produced by the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (Unepfi). The document outlines the...

Levi Strauss revamps supply chain strategy - news

Levi Strauss is to adopt new terms of engagement for its global supply chain in an effort to ‘move beyond compliance’ and ensure it has a more positive impact on the lives of workers...

Swedish funds target Motorola over West Bank - news

Sweden’s four largest pension funds have urged Motorola to withdraw from Israeli-occupied Palestinian territory on the West Bank. The ethical council that co-ordinates the SRI work of...

Daimler sets out ten-year way ahead - news

Daimler has announced ten-year sustainability targets in its latest CSR report. The German car manufacturer has made 51 pledges, from traffic safety to gender equality, in an effort to sharpen...

Puma unveils new-style profit and loss accounts - news

Clothing giant Puma has published the first results of an innovative environmental profit and loss account, revealing heavy impacts from emissions and water externalities at the bottom of its...

Merck donates its vaccine - news

A pharmaceuticals company and a humanitarian charity are to vaccinate almost a tenth of the population of Honduras. The programme, for 675,000 people, will be delivered jointly by the...

Investors target 25 firms over human trafficking - news

A coalition of institutional investors has sent a statement to 25 companies asking them to give top priority to the eradication of human trafficking and ‘modern-day slavery’ in their...

Labelling of fish products is ‘confusing’ - news

Fish labelling in UK supermarkets is failing to help consumers to make sustainable choices, the Marine Conservation Society (MCS) has said, while introducing its own online seafood advice guide....

Nuclear power ‘will survive’ - news

Japan’s nuclear power crisis will not derail the industry’s expansion worldwide, but will have lasting implications for power generation everywhere, a leading research and...

ethics training for employees falls - news

There has been a drop in the number of UK companies providing ethics training for staff, a new Institute of Business Ethics survey has revealed. Only six out of ten UK companies provided training...

inbrief - news

Stefan Crets is the new executive director of CSR, joining from Toyota, where he was head of CSR.

inbrief - news

The European PVC industry has met a series of targets on sustainable development set ten years ago. The industry’s Vinyl 2010 report claims the sector has gone beyond goals on waste...

inbrief - news

IBM has awarded grants totalling $50million (£30m, €34m) to 100 municipalities in a programme to promote efficiency and make cities ‘more vibrant and livable places for their...

inbrief - news

Eurosif, the SRI lobby group, is moving its headquarters to Brussels. The organization will retain two European bases, the other being in Paris, its existing headquarters. It says it is moving...

Shell makes flaring pledge - news

The oil giant Shell has announced that it will put an end to its controversial gas flaring in Nigeria by commissioning a pipeline system that will allow excess gas vapours to be used on the...

Index provider offers new global rating system - news

A new ratings system scoring companies on their environmental, social and governance (ESG) practices has been created by the FTSE4Good index series. The new service for investors and asset...

Six firms fall foul of timber auditing regime - news

The Timber Trade Federation (TTF) has suspended six companies that have failed to meet its deadline for auditable environmental due diligence procedures. However, the suspended companies...

CDP turns attention to emissions cost savings - news

Investors managing nearly $8billion (£4.9bn, €5.6bn) have urged the world’s largest companies to implement cost-effective emissions reduction programmes, following the creation...

US investors fight back on behalf of EPA - news

A group of international investors managing more than $500billion (£306bn, €349bn) has demanded in a letter that the US Senate support the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on...

Legislation’s first fine is issued - news

The first sentencing under the UK’s Corporate Manslaughter Act has been imposed in the form of a £385,000 ($630,000, €438,000) fine on an engineering company for an...

Chesapeake hit by $2m divestment - news

Nearly $2million (£1.2m, €1.4m) has been divested from Chesapeake Energy over concerns about the company’s alleged irresponsibility on home soil in the US. Harrington...

Sir Geoffrey: a CSR champion - news

Corporate responsibility proponent Sir Geoffrey Chandler has died aged 88. Sir Geoffrey, a former senior Shell executive, was responsible for drawing up the company’s first Statement...

inbrief - news

Matt Christensen has joined AXA Investment Managers as global head of responsible investment, having resigned as head of the sustainability network Eurosif. Christensen will be based at the...

inbrief - news

Pharmaceutical firm Shire has appointed Brooke Clarke to lead its corporate responsibility strategy. Brooke was previously managing director of the corporate practice of MHP consultancy.

Principles for Responsible Investment: the way ahead - news

The UN PRI has been expanding its operations, membership and global influence in recent years. Mike Scott speaks to the organization’s new chairman, Wolfgang Engshuber, to find out his...

Accommodation is key to a faith-friendly future - news

How can companies act responsibly when it comes to the religious practices of their employees? EP looks at new advice from the Institute of Business Ethics If you need to know how corporate...

Global certification tools: do they help or hinder? - news

Global standards are important, but too many of them just muddies the water, argues Liz Wilkes The road to environmental certification is fraught with complexity and confusion. The...

Fairtrade exceeds £1bn - news

Annual UK sales of goods carrying the Fairtrade mark have passed £1billion ($1.6bn, €1.2bn) for the first time, bucking the recessionary trend in other spending areas. A late...

Co-op unveils ‘radical’ plan - news

The UK-based Co-operative Group is claiming to have produced the ‘toughest’ and ‘most radical’ ethical business plan yet, with new targets due to be implemented across...

Board pay is well down list of business priorities - news

Introducing transparency on boardroom pay comes bottom of the list of urgent corporate responsibility tasks compiled by most companies, new research has shown. A study from the...

Apparel sector establishes coalition - news

A worldwide Sustainable Apparel Coalition has been formed by clothing companies, NGOs and other industry stakeholders. The coalition, whose founding members include Adidas, Gap, Levi, Marks...

SRI bodies act to raise profile of ethical investing - news

Leaders of socially responsible investment associations around the world held a strategic summit in New York last month to discuss research collaboration, global policy programmes and sharing...

Dow makes new energy bid - news

Dow Chemical Company is to invest $100million (£62m, €72m) in projects to reduce energy usage and greenhouse gas emissions. The US-based chemicals giant will distribute the money...

British Isles banks have too many CSR blind spots on human trafficking - news

British and Irish banks should consider a far broader range of CSR issues than the present focus on financial stability permits, says a report by the Ecumenical Council for Corporate...

Enel proposes to tackle third world energy gap - news

Multinational power company Enel is to focus its efforts on bridging the ‘energy divide’ that prevents poor people around the world from accessing electricity. The Italian...

Bourses urged to improve disclosure - news

The world’s largest stock exchanges have been urged by investors representing $1.6trillion (£1tn, €1.15tn) to deal with their constituents’ inadequate sustainability...

Study pinpoints seven leaders in property advice field - news

Seven companies are about to ‘dominate’ the UK’s sustainability advisory services market in the real estate industry, reports the global research consultancy Verdantix....

Business rallies to help Japan - news

Companies around the world have donated millions of dollars to the Japanese relief effort after last month’s earthquake. Cash and in-kind donations, many of more than 100million yen...

inbrief - news

Mike Vaudreuil has been appointed as senior programs advisor at the social auditing firm Verite after 20 years at Hewlett-Packard in a variety of CSR roles. He will be joined by Victor Zamudio,...

inbrief - news

In our story headed ‘warning: don’t drop CSR marketing’ in the February issue ( EP12, issue 9, p7 ) we should have said the report in question was published by The...

inbrief - news

Anglo American has signed a partnership with a charity that aims to build economic capacity in African nations by helping local firms manufacture disaster relief materials. Advance Aid, which...

inbrief - news

The UK government has requested that certain legal references be removed from the draft United Nations guidelines on business and human rights. In a response to the draft principles for the...

tackling ingrained attitudes about sustainability - news

Mike Scott speaks to Bozena Jankowska, head of sustainability at RCM – the investment manager of Allianz Global Investors – on her plans for more research and education Having one of the world’s...

Firm makes forest pledges - news

The world’s second largest palm oil plantation company has announced a forest conservation policy aimed at ensuring it has a ‘no deforestation footprint’. Golden...

Supply chain carbon cuts begin to deliver rewards - news

Businesses that are getting to grips with carbon management in their supply chains are beginning to see returns on their investment, according to the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP). The...

Micro-credit ‘hurts poor’ as much as it helps them - news

Microfinance projects in the developing world make many people poorer, not richer, a major academic study has concluded. The study by two universities cautions that microfinance should not...

Pharma firm stops making death drug - news

A pharmaceuticals multinational is to cease manufacturing a drug used in US executions after pressure from the Italian government, which hosts one of its plants. US-based Hospira decided to...

Anvil strikes out with Europeans - news

A programme helping African nations to produce and sell sustainable cotton has recruited its first US-based apparel manufacturer. Anvil Knitwear has joined Cotton Made in Africa (CmiA), a...

Shell faces another case over OECD breach claims - news

Shell has become the subject of an official complaint to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) over alleged breaches of the OECD Guidelines in its Nigerian...

Brewers pledge to cut carbon use by 2020 - news

Targets for cuts in carbon emissions and water use have been set by Britain’s brewing industry. The aims and deadlines are stated in a document signed by 61 companies belonging to the...

Dow to make nature a business matter - news

Dow Chemical has entered a five-year partnership with a conservation charity to help it to place environmental protection at the heart of its business strategy and reduce its ecological...

inbrief - news

Smaller French companies have been offered a new online resource for non-financial reporting. Corporate Sustainability Reporting, a website for CSR and sustainability reporting in France, has...

Let’s not worry too much about a race to the bottom - news

As long as we have strong governance initiatives,China’s move into Africa may well be benign, says Jonas Moberg There is a growing consensus that companies from the East, in...

Key to getting the NGOs onside lies in producing concrete plans - news

Aron Cramer is surely correct, on page two of this issue , to predict that the long-awaited final report of John Ruggie, due this summer, will be among the most important features of the CSR...

Innovative IT trio leave their rivals ‘far behind’ - news

Deloitte, IBM and Logica lead the global market in providing sustainable technology services, according to a new analysis. A study by the analyst firm Verdantix has found that the three...

Canadian investor dumps Vedanta - news

One of Canada’s largest SRI asset managers is divesting from Vedanta over its human rights and environmental record. Northwest and Ethical Investments, which manages assets of...

Warning: don’t drop CSR marketing - news

Too many businesses are ignoring the important role of marketing in communicating their corporate responsibility successes, says a UK white paper on the future of branding and sustainability....

Regulation is inevitable – so nano firms must act regulation is inevitable - news

The nanotechnology sector has been warned that it will soon face regulatory, liability, reputational and operational risks as the industry’s safety and environmental issues become clearer...

Asian SRI could catch up with West in five years - news

Socially responsible investment now has a ‘strong foothold’ in Asia and could soon match SRI levels in the West. A paper by Geoffrey Williams, chief executive of OWW Consulting...

Investor drops Cisco over human rights - news

The US sustainable asset manager Boston Common has divested from Cisco Systems over concerns about the IT company’s management of human rights risks. It also accuses Cisco of misleading...

Finance sector suffering from lack of climate data - news

Investors and financial institutions urgently need more developed information services to provide them with data on global warming and changing weather patterns. That’s the conclusion...

Top bank starts to look into its social footprint - news

An international bank is commissioning and publishing independent reports reviewing the social and economic impacts of its operations in various nations. Standard Chartered, which is asking...

PRI may impose stricter requirements - news

Signatories to the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) may have to report in more detail – and in public – on how they observe the principles. The...

Investors set sights on tax dodgers - news

A financial reporting standard to counter corporate tax avoidance has been demanded by a group of asset managers and civil society organizations. A statement signed by organizations...

inbrief - news

The European Commission has opened an online public consultation on non-financial disclosure by companies. Thomas Dodd, the commission’s CSR co-ordinator, recently suggested that the EC...

Energyville - news

Chevron/ Economist Group. Online game. http://willyoujoinus.com/energyville This is not so much a game as transparent fossil fuel propaganda. Although strangely addictive,...

In a year of turmoil, what were CSR's key events? - news

EP asked a selection of senior people in CSR and SRI to identify the most significant thing to happen in the world of responsible business during 2010 Jon Woodhead, director , Two...

Corporate bill reaches $2tn - news

The world's largest 3000 companies caused about a third of all environmental damage attributed to human activity in 2008, the cost of which was estimated at $2.15trillion (£1.36tn,...

Chinese bank comes to Europe to seek advice - news

The China Development Bank, which is the largest Chinese financial institution engaged in overseas investment, has sent a delegation of senior executives on a two-week study tour to Europe to...

PRI surge gives boost to responsible investment overhaul - news

The number of signatories to the United Nations-backed Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) has jumped  by more than 30 per cent in a year, to 808. The UN claims the surge...

Irish business leaders told to keep CSR faith - news

Businesses in the Irish Republic have been urged to resist the temptation to cut back on CSR programmes despite the country's dire economic crisis. Many speakers and delegates at this...

Religious groups stay away from SRI mainstream - news

Faith-based institutional investors have limited contact with other responsible investors, even though the two have much in common, a study has found. The global survey of 103 mainly...

Siemens hands out $40m to help combat corruption - news

Engineering multinational Siemens has unveiled a raft of anti-corruption programmes that will receive funding under its $100 million (£64m, €76m) 'integrity initiative' to...

Unilever decides to go for sustainability and growth - news

Unilever has announced plans to 'decouple' its growth from its environmental impact. The global consumer goods company believes it can continue growing while halving its greenhouse gas...

inbrief - news

ExxonMobil has announced grants to the Africare development NGO to combat malaria in Africa. The oil giant will offer on-the-ground support, business expertise and grants totalling nearly...

inbrief - news

Money saved or invested ‘ethically’ by UK consumers has shown its biggest annual increase in a decade, according to Co-operative Financial Services. The total invested ethically rose...

inbrief - news

Thomson Reuters is to provide $1.2million of funding for up to 15 law libraries in Africa over the next few years. The business information provider will work on the project with the Books For...

Prepare for the arrival of the social intrapreneur - news

Internal activists are emerging within some companies – and we need to encourage them,  says David Grayson You may not have noticed it yet, but a new breed of corporate animal...

Firms take up water agenda - news

The world’s largest corporations have moved quickly to work up CSR strategies on water, according to the Carbon Disclosure Project’s (CDP) first report on the impact of water...

Mining bill bites the dust after corporate lobbying - news

Proposed legislation that would have made Canadian mining companies accountable for the negative social and environmental impacts of their foreign operations has been narrowly defeated in...

Oil firms try to kill Schwarzenegger bill - news

Oil companies are attempting to scupper a California global warming law that would take effect in 2012. California’s Global Warming Solutions legislation, a bill from the Democrats...

Amnesty makes its mark with debut social report - news

Amnesty International UK has become one of the few NGOs to produce a sustainability report. The group first looked at producing such a document in 2004, but has taken six years to get to...

Think poverty, investors told - news

Investors have been advised by Oxfam to think more about poverty and development when making investment decisions. In a new paper, Better returns in a better world, the NGO says that,...

India outlines ‘2% of profit’ target for CSR spending - news

The Indian government has announced plans to require companies to spend two per cent of profits on corporate responsibility projects. In proposed new regulations that have been in...

State-sponsored body promotes ethical buying - news

An influential inter-governmental organization with 127 member states has begun a ‘buy responsibly’ campaign to persuade global consumers to think more about the ethics behind the...

Food giant raises it sights - news

One of the world’s largest food companies has announced ‘more aggressive’ sustainability goals up to 2015, despite having failed to achieve some of its recent targets....

Europeans pool resources in new partnership scheme - news

A CSR partnership-broking forum has been launched in Europe to bring together companies, government and civil society. CSR Europe’s Enterprise 2020 project, announced in Brussels last...

inbrief - news

Ikea has bought six wind farms in Germany in a bid to reduce the carbon footprint of its stores. The deal, with the Spanish turbine firm Gamesa, means Ikea now owns 52 wind turbines across...

inbrief - news

An anti-CSR group has been set up in the US. The Consumers Alliance for Global Prosperity has been established by the right-wing Institute for Liberty, a non-profit body dedicated to...

inbrief - news

An organ of the Chinese state has created a CSR index jointly with a European partner. The China ESG 40 Equity Index, which has exclusively environmental, social and governance requirements, is...

inbrief - news

A Californian business school is to donate $1million (£628m, €716m) to the Clinton Global Initiative to be used to implement the best ideas generated in a CSR problem-solving...

inbrief - news

Astellas Pharma has announced its first global volunteering programme for staff as part of a new five-year CSR plan. The Japan-based multinational pharmaceuticals company will focus volunteering on...

The Sustainable MBA: the manager’s guide to green business - news

Nick Lakin & Veronica Scheubel, Greenleaf Publishing, hardback,  260 pages. £18.36 Aside from its confusing title, The Sustainable MBA is that rarest of things: a simple,...

A return to gold might just reset our ethical compass - news

Years of moral recklessness have made the idea of a commodity standard attractive, says Ron Robins Right now, the rising price of gold stands as the ethical barometer of the mismanagement...

Google comes clean on censorship request data - news

Internet search engine giant Google has released data on the censorship and surveillance it has been asked to carry out by governments around the world, though China is conspicuous by its...

European SRI sector rises to €5trillion - news

The European SRI market has almost doubled in the past two years in spite of the financial crisis covering the period. According to Eurosif’s 2010 SRI Study, sustainable investment in...

Qatar unveils CSR index plans - news

Qatar is to establish a corporate social responsibility index for companies on its stock exchange. The Gulf emirate’s proposed index will require its listed companies, which together...

Microfinance supporters ‘must not set a debt trap’ - news

Socially responsible microfinance institutions have been warned against over-selling credit to poor people and neglecting the need to encourage savings. Delegates at last month’s...

Alliance aims to ‘accelerate’ progress - news

A coalition from the research, pension fund and business sectors is to urge companies to give priority to improving their sustainability performance. The group’s members – the...

Corporates warn that green bank will need £4-6bn - news

UK government plans to set up a Green Investment Bank will need to be backed up with at least £4billion (€4.5bn, $6.3bn) over the next four years, a group of big businesses, NGOs and...

Bell makes mental health its new priority - news

The communications group Bell Canada has pledged C$50million ($49m, £31m, €35m) to Canadian mental health charities in one of the country’s largest corporate projects in the...

Web is under-used by leaders - news

Every company on the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) is failing to exploit the internet to engage with stakeholders on CSR issues. That’s the conclusion reached in a new study...

At last: ISO 26000 becomes a reality - news

The ISO 26000 standard on social responsibility was officially published on 1 November, bringing to an end six years of sometimes tortuous development work. The voluntary standard, a...

Aluminium firm denies wrongdoing over toxic spill - news

The aluminium company at the centre of a toxic spill in Eastern Europe has provoked an angry response from victims of the disaster – and the Hungarian government – by denying it has done anything...

inbrief - news

Paul McNeillis has left Achilles to become director of sustainable solutions at PE International NW Europe. McNeillis will build up the sustainability consultancy’s London office.

inbrief - news

France-based electrical supplies company Rexel has appointed Pascale Giet as senior vice president of sustainable development, succeeding Laetitia Olivier. She moves from Europ Assistance, where...

inbrief - news

British Gas is to give £15million ($23.8m, €18m) worth of solar panels to UK schools. The company will donate and install the panels in up to 750 schools, and says they will generate...

inbrief - news

Responsible investing among ‘high net worth individuals’ (HNWIs) has risen by 35 per cent during the past five years, despite a small contraction in ‘family wealth’,...

Corporate community involvement - news

Nick Lakin & Veronica Scheubel, Greenleaf Publishing, hardback, 260 pages. £18.36 Published against a backdrop of changing expectations of community involvement by...

The new fund in the market for sustainable farms - news

While the stability of agricultural products comes evermore into question, Agro-Ecological is already treating sustainable farming as an asset class. Mike Scott speaks to the fund’s...

Three strikes and you’re out for the European Commission - news

We have been less than impressed in these pages by the European Commission’s past efforts to stamp its mark on corporate responsibility. Two insipid white papers in 2002 and 2006 –...

Study will chart integration - news

A global project investigating the integration of CSR management has been started by a group of sustainability research organizations from Europe, the Middle East and Asia. The Global...

Security code is finalized - news

An international code of conduct for private security firms has been agreed and preparations are being made to implement it.   The code is built on the United Nations Respect, Protect,...

EC calls for supplier cuts - news

Construction industry companies need to limit the number of subcontractors they use in order to gain more control of their supply chain ethics, according to new European Commission guidelines....

Cenovus makes an early start on CSR - news

A newly-formed Canadian oil company has established corporate responsibility performance measures against which it will produce all its reporting and track its progress. Cenovus, which was...

UK ministry establishes first ‘responsibility deal’ - news

Britain’s health secretary has told companies they will not face legislation on ‘unhealthy’ food, provided they support a forthcoming anti-obesity drive. Businesses...

GSK goes global on access - news

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has created an overseas department dedicated to expanding access to medicine (ATM) in the world’s poorest countries. As part of its commitment to ATM for...

EC decides to produce another white paper - news

A third communication on corporate responsibility is to be produced by the European Commission next summer. The commission, which has already published two such white papers to generally...

Rapid growth puts BSCI in pole position - news

The Belgium-based Business for Social Compliance Initiative (BSCI) has proclaimed itself the world’s largest ethical supply chain programme, having recruited more than 200 members since...

Pakistan relief comes up short - news

Businesses have donated significantly less to the Pakistan flood relief effort than to other recent natural disasters, and have seen their contributions dwarfed by individuals and governments....

Eastern European CSR reporting makes big strides - news

Eastern European corporate responsibility reporting is fast approaching the level of Western Europe, with significant improvements in countries such as Poland bringing them up to par with some of...

inbrief - news

Rory Sullivan, former head of responsible investment at Insight Investment, has been appointed head of responsible investment at Osmosis Investment Management, a London-based ‘low carbon’ asset...

inbrief - news

The electronic banking organization Bacs has upgraded its CSR programme by combining with the UK’s National Trust to provide employee volunteers and other support. Bacs, a non-profit body owned by...

fish firm eyes up targets - news

One of Europe’s largest food brands has set out a five-year sustainability plan in partnership with a group of NGOs. The Birds Eye Forever Food project lists targets on sourcing, packaging and...

effect of European CSR to be measured - news

A three-year quest to measure the impact of corporate social responsibility programmes has begun in Europe. A consortium of 16 leading research institutions will complete the Impact Measurement...

dairy giant brings in new code - news

The multinational dairy business FrieslandCampina is reinforcing its CSR commitments with a code of conduct based on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The code pledges the company, among...

Eastern Europe gets CSR monitoring - news

A CSR ‘national monitoring system’ is to be set up by the United Nations Development Programme and the UK-based consultancy Acona in Eastern Europe. The monitoring tool, which will measure CSR...

Will China and friends drive standards to the bottom? - news

If it’s true that companies from non-western nations such as China are gaining an upper hand in the race to control Africa’s oil and minerals, does this come at a price with a race to the bottom of...

inbrief - news

CragRats, a UK theatre company that helped businesses with CSR training, has been dissolved, leaving an estimated £2million ($3m, €2.4m) in unpaid debts. CragRats, which went into...

inbrief - news

Europe's largest frozen fish business has announced that it will certify all its brands as sustainable under the Marine Stewardship Council  scheme. Birds Eye has pledged to label all...

inbrief - news

Individuals in Britain's creative industries such as film-making and architecture have initiated a campaign to make the sector more sustainable. Professionals including Frances Corner, head...

BP's chickens are finally coming home to roost - news

Index expulsions and disinvestments are following hard on the heels of the worst oil spill in US history. EP looks at some consequences in the SRI sector The expensive and embarrassing...

There's no room for smugness: BP's latest failings touch us all - news

We're far from seeing the end of the great BP Gulf of Mexico debacle; indeed the gushing oil has not yet been fully contained. It's therefore impossible to gauge all its costs and...

US leads way on medicine access amid global progress - news

US pharmaceutical companies have improved in the latest Access to Medicine (ATM) index, and now lead an industry showing encouraging signs internationally of providing affordable drugs to the...

Insurer gives investors a say on its reporting - news

Insurance giant Aviva has become one of the first companies to put its annual corporate responsibility report to a shareholder vote. Shareholders endorsed Aviva's CSR report in one of...

MoD installs sustainable supply regime - news

The UK defence ministry is aiming to make its armed forces more sustainable through a new procurement strategy. The ministry says it will conduct sustainability appraisals and integrate...

Sceptics make pledge to fight NGO demands - news

A backlash campaign against non-governmental organizations accused of unfairly criticising companies over their ethical credentials has been established in Berlin.   The Green Freedom...

European SRI hegemony 'may put off Americans' - news

European dominance of the responsible investment sphere may be dissuading some US investment managers from adopting SRI policies, a think tank has suggested. A study by the Corporate...

Partners attempt to 'scale-up' Indian CSR - news

A mission to boost corporate responsibility in India has been set up by three western bodies. US-based Social Accountability International has joined forces with Brussels-based Business...

Dr Pepper puts sourcing at heart of its new plan - news

The US soft drinks group Dr Pepper Snapple has included an ethical sourcing strategy in a new five-year CSR plan throughout its operations. The company, which owns the Dr Pepper, 7UP and...

Tyre firm moves on health - news

The world's seventh largest tyre manufacturer is to open a hospital for employees in what is being seen as a response to allegations that it has neglected occupational health concerns....

Smoothie company pledges ethical future - news

Innocent, the British maker of the Smoothie drink, has tried to assure consumers that its ethical stance will continue, after Coca-Cola bought a majority share in the company. Coca-Cola's move...

inbrief - news

A revised version of the Good Corporation standard, due for its triennial review, is now out for consultation. Proposed changes include additional points on redundancy procedures and political...

inbrief - news

An online Centre of Excellence for the extractives industry has been formed by the Canadian government as part of its recently introduced CSR action plan. The internet project, still being...

inbrief - news

More than 1000 supplier factories to the electronics industry have now submitted social and environmental information to E-TASC, a sectoral database created by the Global e-Sustainability...

CSR: a case study approach - news

Ed. Christine Mallin. Hardcover. 287 pages. Edward Elgar. £75. Finally, a book that crosses the great divide between academia and practice – a rare feat, especially in edited...

How hard times have proved a boon for CSR - news

Financial woes can help firms focus on what’s really important if they are to have a bright future. EP looks at the experiences of one company that’s been up against it When...

Google makes move into renewables field - news

The internet search giant Google has invested £38.8million (£26.7m, €31.3m) directly into two US wind farms. In its first large-scale renewable energy investment, Google is...

Indian law would make firms set up CSR budgets - news

India looks set to get legislation that will require mining companies to put aside specific sums of money for corporate responsibility programmes. A draft Mines and Minerals (Development...

Lidl withdraws ad campaign - news

The supermarket multinational Lidl has been forced to put an end to advertisements claiming it supports fair working conditions among its suppliers. A complaint filed in Germany by the...

Dexia sees massive drop in sustainable fund sales - news

Socially responsible investment sales at Dexia Asset Management dropped 120 per cent last year, with assets under management falling by €99million (£85m, $122m).   The...

Transport group aims to slash emissions - news

Stagecoach has announced an £11million ($16.8m, €12.7m) carbon investment as part of a five-year sustainability strategy aimed at cutting 150,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide from its...

Car firms making strides - news

Car manufacturers are finally coming to terms with the demands of corporate responsibility, reports new research from the Munich-based oekom rating agency. The study of the world’s 15...

CSR minister disappears as coalition shifts ground - news

The CSR minister is no more in UK government. The Conservatives, who in opposition had indicated they would do without the role in power, have ditched it in agreement with their Liberal Democrat...

Interface takes up lobbying position - news

A European carpet manufacturer has begun lobbying for changes to waste legislation. Interface, one of the first commercial enterprises to push for tighter environmental regulation, has initiated a...

Asda sparks access to medicine price war - news

UK retail giant Asda has agreed to sell certain drugs that are too expensive for the National Health Service to provide for free. Asda, which is owned by Wal-Mart, will sell a number of drugs for...

European investors agree new joint climate change fund - news

A new climate change fund aiming to attract investment to green projects and technology is to be established by a group of European finance institutions. The Agence Française de Développement...

Wal-Mart extends female empowerment programme - news

Walmart has announced plans to expand its women’s development programme in the third world, extending a one-year partnership with the poverty charity Care and pledging a further $2million to its...

inbrief - news

Marion de Marcillac has joined the Paris office of the UK-based Ethical Investment Research Services, after leaving the European Sustainable Investment Forum.

inbrief - news

Law firm Reed Smith has hired Sarah Ramwell as its new London-based CSR manager. Ramwell, who joins from Freshfields, will supervise the company’s CSR programme for Europe and the Middle...

inbrief - news

David Harris has replaced Will Oulton as FTSE’s responsible investment director after Oulton left to join the investment consultant Mercer. Harris, who has been at FTSE since 2002, has...

inbrief - news

A study of CSR practices in the new European Union member states of Bulgaria, Hungary, Lithuania, Poland and Slovakia has been initiated by the United Nations Development Programme. The...

inbrief - news

Six per cent of BP shareholders supported a motion at last month’s annual meeting asking the business to reconsider the viability of a planned $2.8billion (£1.83bn, €2.11bn)...

inbrief - news

Members of the Ethical Trading Initiative spent £18million ($27.5m, €20.8m) on ethical trade activities in 2008-09 – up from £14m the previous year, says the...

inbrief - news

South Africa’s largest pension fund is to integrate CSR issues into investment decisions and ownership practices. The Government Employees Pension Fund, which has $87billion...

inbrief - news

The United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) is to lobby governments on socially responsible investment through a new public policy network. The PRI, which represents...

Money-making investments in altruism - news

The Altru Fund claims to be overturning the notion of a conflict between social and commercial returns by treating social enterprises like normal businesses. Mike Scott speaks to managing...

Inspirational pro-poor champion Prahalad dies at 69 - news

One of the chief proponents of ‘pro-poor’ capitalism, C.K. Prahalad, died last month aged 69.   Prahalad was an influential voice in corporate responsibility thanks to his...

300 firms asked for water data - news

A huge group of institutional investors has asked more than 300 of the world’s biggest companies to report on their water use and other water-related issues. The Carbon Disclosure...

Home Retail decides to talk CSR to employees - news

Home Retail Group is to ‘refocus’ its corporate responsibility strategy on employees, and put more effort into communicating what it is doing. The UK-based corporation, which...

Middle CSR ranks enjoy better pay and security - news

Rising salaries, bigger budgets and greater job security: that’s the general portrait of the corporate responsibility profession painted in the results of the latest CR Salary Survey ....

Due soon: professional body for practitioners? - news

One of Europe’s most influential corporate responsibility networks is to consider changing its structure to become a membership body of individual practitioners rather than companies....

Netherlands leads the way as CSR goals influence pay - news

Two Dutch companies are to link senior executive pay to social and environmental performance. Life sciences group DSM and mail business TNT will join a growing band of companies that have...

German company imposes gender quota - news

One of the world’s largest telecoms companies has introduced a ‘women’s quota’ so that 30 per cent of management positions worldwide will be filled by females by the end...

Sony goes for ‘zero’ footprint by 2050 - news

Electronics giant Sony has set itself five-year targets in its drive to achieve a ‘zero environmental footprint’ by 2050. Sony’s Road to Zero objectives, to be implemented...

Coca-Cola moves to tackle Haitian poverty - news

Coca-Cola has announced the launch of the ‘Haiti Hope Project’, a long-term multi-stakeholder partnership that will seek to raise the incomes of Haitian workers and help the country recover from...

GSK and Pfizer agree drugs deal for poor - news

A deal between the world’s two largest pharmaceuticals companies is to provide 600 million doses of pneumonia vaccines at a 90 per cent discount for the 74 poorest countries in the world. Pfizer...

inbrief - news

Cullinan has become South Africa’s first ‘carbon-neutral’ law practice. It began neutralising its emissions in 2008 in a project involving all staff.

inbrief - news

Cadbury has announced the details of how it will spend a £500,000 ‘social premium’ for Ghanaian cocoa farmers as part of its Fairtrade certification. The money is the first...

inbrief - news

A fund investing in companies with a social purpose is to be formed by Aros Capital Partners. The £10million ($15.2m, €11m) UK-managed global Aros Altru fund, which is seeking an...

inbrief - news

Publishing giant McGraw-Hill has joined the Publishers’ Database for Responsible Environmental Paper Sourcing. The UK body, which provides information for publishers on the pulps and...

inbrief - news

An ethical code on lobbying has been produced by the Danish pharmaceuticals industry. The Lobby Code requires drugs companies to fully disclose lobbyists’ interests and affiliations to...

Pay was 2009’s major lapse - news

Executive pay and the treatment of staff were among the UK’s most common ‘ethical lapses’ in 2009 – and the finance sector was the most prone to problems. Research...

ICT firms doing pretty well – but not on climate change - news

The sustainability performance of the information technology industry is being undermined by laggards that fail particularly to tackle climate change, the Two Tomorrows consultancy reports in...

Future looks bright, say most CSR practitioners - news

Corporate responsibility practitioners appear generally positive about their job prospects despite the recession. The latest CR Salary Survey shows eight out of ten people working in CSR...

Big companies to spend £3.5bn on new projects - news

This year’s spending on sustainability projects by large UK companies is expected to grow to £3.5billion ($5.3bn, €3.9bn) and increase further in the near future, reports the...

MSCI in largest deal yet - news

RiskMetrics has announced that it is being acquired by investment consultants MSCI in what is the biggest development yet in the consolidation of the sustainability research industry. MSCI...

Don’t obsess about business case, says Elk - news

CSR proponents should avoid focusing too much on developing the business case for socially responsible behaviour, the leading CSR thinker John Elkington has warned. Elkington told last...

Air Liquide shows the way - news

The chemicals industry is potentially missing out on €1billion ($1.4bn, £909million) per company by failing to improve its sustainability performance, says a new report. Research...

M&S reaches for the sky with update of its Plan A - news

Marks & Spencer has launched a bid to become ‘the world’s most sustainable retailer by 2015’ by announcing that it will roll out its Plan A sustainability programme to all...

Car makers ‘ignore abuses’ at their peril - news

The world’s largest ten car manufacturers are ignoring the human rights impacts of the metals they use – and therefore risk being linked to abuses in countries such as the Democratic...

Tetley agrees to ethical sourcing - news

The world’s second largest tea manufacturer is to certify all its products with the Rainforest Alliance. Tetley has made a commitment to source tea leaves used in all its brands,...

Innospec and Trafigura pay millions to settle poisoning cases - news

Two multinational companies agreed last month to massive payouts relating to the dumping of poisonous chemicals in the developing world. US-based chemicals manufacturer Innospec admitted to...

‘Social stock exchange’ could be 18 months away - news

Money is being raised to start a global stock exchange that will allow investors to trade exclusively in companies with social and environmental goals. The Social Stock Exchange, to be...

One in five businesses have social purpose - news

An estimated fifth of UK businesses want to make a ‘social difference’, according to new figures. They account for a turnover of nearly £100billion (£152bn, €110bn) and vastly outstrip government...

Norwegian fund becomes more engaging - news

The Norwegian government has moved from negative screening of the investments in its Global Pension Fund to an engagement approach. The €316bn Oil Fund will now lobby companies in which it...

inbrief - news

Tesco is to spend £100million ($154m, €113m) with green technology companies during the next year. The UK retail chain, which announced the decision when it opened its first...

inbrief - news

A UK programme on responsible corporate travel is to expand its activities into Europe. Project Icarus, begun in 2006, runs an accreditation programme for companies to promote carbon reduction...

inbrief - news

A four-year mandate to provide ethical research for the €280billion ($382bn, £244bn) Norwegian oil fund has been awarded to Sweden-based GES Investment Services.  

Offset ban works for Nike - news

The sportswear multinational Nike managed to reduce its carbon emissions last year after deciding to stop carbon offsetting. Nike's latest CSR report says its total greenhouse gas...

Trying to bring the Nordic region up to speed - news

Nordea's head of SRI, Sasja Beslik, believes responsible investment products in the Scandinavian region are 'ridiculous' and, in many cases, at least ten years behind the times....

Ready for some catch-up - news

Interest in responsible business behaviour has been growing in Latin America – and there are signs that it may increase further. EP looks at the state of CSR in the region Some...

Human rights concerns prompt big divestments - news

The Church of England has sold its shares in the mining multinational Vedanta over worries about the company's community relations in India. The church's Ethical Investment Advisory...

Deloitte comes up with non-financial KPIs for the future - news

A breakdown of what are expected to be the most important key performance indicators (KPIs) on corporate responsibility over the next five years has been produced for every industry sector....

Merck sets up non-profit lab for vaccines - news

One of the world's largest pharmaceuticals companies has joined forces with a medical charity to set up a research and development project to manufacture vaccines for the third world....

Another warning on water - news

New SRI research has warned of the increasing regulatory and reputational risks associated with water, and suggests treating the topic in the same way as carbon emissions. Canadian indexing...

Sustainable business 'could be worth $10tn' - news

Almost five per cent of the world's economic output could be accounted for by sustainability-related business by 2050. That's the prediction of PricewaterhouseCoopers, which says in...

ArcelorMittal steps in to push Liberian CSR - news

A Corporate Responsibility Forum has been formed in Liberia by the steel multinational ArcelorMittal and the German sustainable development company GTZ. The forum, which hopes to have 75...

Shareholders 'must have right to curb fat cat pay' - news

European governments should move swiftly to introduce laws that require executive pay to be subject to binding shareholder votes, the European Sustainable Investment Forum (Eurosif) has said....

Card operator extends financial advice scheme - news

Mastercard is to expand its financial education programme for consumers to the whole of Latin America and the Caribbean, after successful schemes in Mexico and Brazil. The banking and...

Diamond sector grandee quits over 'sham' set-up - news

A key industry figure has resigned from the World Diamond Council (WDC) over concerns that organizations set up to prevent the sale of conflict diamonds are making the problem worse rather than...

Negative corporate impacts cost the earth $2.2trillion - news

The environmental damage caused by the world's 3000 largest companies has been estimated at $2.2trillion (£1.4tn, €1.6tn) by the United Nations. If large companies, including...

Coca-Cola and Sony put CSR into sport - news

Two of the world’s best-known brands are to use two prestigious international sporting events to push through corporate responsibility initiatives. Electronics multinational Sony has embarked on...

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One of the largest US pension funds has divested from companies with links to the Sudanese government over concerns about the genocide continuing in the country’s Darfur region. The...

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The French pensions reserve fund (FRR) has fired an asset manager from a €100million SRI mandate following poor performance. FRR terminated the deal with Belgium-based Dexia Asset...

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A European accountancy body is to use its influence to persuade public sector bodies to issue annual sustainability reports. The Federation of European Accountants, representing 43 professional...

A huge investment bank with unique tasks ahead - news

With Europe increasingly attentive to environmental and social issues, the European Investment Bank is following suit, facing challenges and opportunites. Mike Scott speaks to the bank’s...

A look at CSR’s continental shift - news

CSR Europe has produced a new guide on the state of corporate responsibility in Europe. Here  EP summarises some of its conclusions about the progress – or lack of it – being...

Investors offer emissions carrot - news

Some of the world’s largest investors have said they will reward countries with strong climate change policies by investing within their boundaries. A statement released at the United...

Kraft tries to curb fears over Cadbury’s future - news

US food giant Kraft has pledged to maintain social responsibility programmes at the UK confectionery business Cadbury, which it will be buying for £11.9billion ($19.2bn, €13.7bn)....

GSK opens up its patents - news

The world’s second-largest pharmaceuticals company is to offer free global access to potential malaria cures. GlaxoSmithKline has placed thousands of drugs in the public domain that...

Businesses in vanguard of Haiti quake response - news

The business world has rallied to pledge relief to Haiti following the earthquake there that has killed more than 100,000 people.      Dozens of firms have donated money and...

Destiny of ISO26000 rests on crucial vote - news

Balloting on an advanced draft of the ISO26000 social responsibility standard ends this month as the five-year process of drawing up the document nears its end. Voting by national standards...

World’s postal companies agree 20% cuts - news

The global postal industry has set itself a 20  per cent carbon emissions reduction target by 2020.   The International Post Corporation (IPC), an industry partnership of the...

Arts support hit by recession - news

Levels of UK business funding of the arts have fallen back by nearly a tenth this year, after record giving in 2008. Research by Arts & Business, which monitors corporate funding of the...

WWF agrees to give CSR advice to global insurer - news

WWF has signed a three-year deal with the UK’s largest commercial insurer, the global company RSA, to advise it on becoming a more sustainable business. The non-governmental...

Major index goes missing as firms hit by data overload - news

A high-profile annual social responsibility index of pharmaceuticals companies has failed to appear because of wranglings over the ‘extraordinary’ amounts of data the businesses have...

Cow methane on McDonald’s agenda - news

McDonald’s has announced a three-year research project in the UK into the methane emissions of its cattle. The fast-food chain, which uses beef from 350,000 cows a year for its burgers, will...

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A French retirement fund for civil servants has announced it is to launch its own socially responsible investment index. The €6.5billion ERAFP fund, which is one of the largest in the...

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The Levi Strauss Foundation is this year’s biggest contributor to the United Nations Global Compact with a donation of more than $10,000 (£6110, €6860). The consultancy...

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The UK Environment Agency is terminating business with European Credit Management, the bond manager of its pension fund, after poor financial performance and its failure to sign up to the UN...

Online training in vogue - news

Two European multinationals – Daimler from Germany and Mapfre from Spain – are to give all their employees online CSR training. Stuttgart-based Daimler has begun providing...

Chinese join cement initiative – at last - news

A global cement industry sustainability initiative has taken a significant step forward by finally managing to bring some Chinese cement companies into its ranks. The three Chinese firms...

Reuters sets up action units to provide disaster aid - news

A major media company is to donate the services of its journalists to help gather information when natural disasters strike. Thomson Reuters says ‘action units’ of journalists...

SRI team bites the dust as takeover leaves void - news

One of the best-known British socially responsible investment teams has been disbanded due to a corporate shake-up that has left it with no future role. The three-strong unit at...

Vast majority of UK firms fall short on carbon aims - news

Just one in five British brands are meeting the government’s carbon reduction targets. New research covering 600 of the UK’s largest brands shows that only 121 are reducing...

Travel firm drops offsets as unwanted ‘diversion’ - news

A ‘socially responsible’ travel agent has become one of the world’s first companies to publicly abandon carbon offsetting, highlighting an increasingly prominent debate as to...

Now Kit Kats go down fairtrade route - news

Nestle has become the latest chocolate confectioner to sign up for a sustainability certification mark.   The world’s biggest food company will pay its Ivory Coast cocoa suppliers...

Boom time for SRI consultancy as market grows - news

Institutional investors are increasingly turning to specialist consultancy firms for advice on how they should invest responsibly, according to new research by the European Sustainable...

Five big firms put $1m into supply chain initiative - news

A labour standards programme for factories in poorer countries has been given a boost by five of the largest companies in the US. Gap, Levi Strauss, Nike, Wal-Mart and Walt Disney have...

Copenhagen outcome ‘is no barrier to progress' - news

CSR practitioners have been urged to shrug off the uncertainty created by last month’s failed Copenhagen summit and push on with better and more ambitious climate change strategies....

US Chamber of Commerce announces top CSR performers for 2009 - news

UPS and Chevron were among this year’s winners of Corporate Citizenship Awards from the US Chamber of Commerce’s Business Civic Leadership Centre. In the tenth annual awards, companies were...

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A ‘socially responsible’ call centre has opened in the UK. The Call Britannia centre in Croydon will employ 100 people who have been long-term unemployed and promises to provide a...

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A multinational cleaning company has tripled its emissions reduction commitment as part of a programme with an NGO. JohnsonDiversey, which operates in more than 175 countries, has increased its...

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A European ethical supply chain body has strengthened its Asian presence with a second office in Delhi. The Brussels-based Business Social Compliance Initiative (BSCI), whose members include 400...

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The Church of England is re-examining its £2.5million ($4.1m, €2.8m) investment in the metals and mining company Vedanta after the Archbishop of Canterbury’s intervention. Rowan...

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Energy giant BP has been fined $87million (£51m, €58m) for safety violations at a Texas refinery. The record fine was imposed by the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration...

Dealing with the tough stuff - news

Margot Fraser & Lisa Lorimer (eds). Berrett-Koehler.   192 pages. Paperback. $16.95/£12.99 On the face of it, this is a godsend for social entrepreneurs: a collection...

Bourse heads look at SRI - news

Stock exchange principals from around the world met in New York last month to explore ways of encouraging more responsible long-term approaches to investment. Delegates, including heads of...

Cherry-picking reports are eroding credibility - news

Company reporting on human rights tends to gloss over tricky subjects and paint an unbalanced and selective picture of corporate efforts in the field. That’s the conclusion of a new...

Revealed: favoured NGO partners of CSR heads - news

WWF and Forum for the Future are the partners of choice for British CSR directors when they want corporate responsibility advice from non-governmental organizations, a new analysis has...

African SRI fund breaks new ground - news

Africa’s first sustainable investment fund outside South Africa has been established. The Africa Sustainability Fund, created by Sustainable Capital, a Mauritius-based asset manager,...

SRI fund sets sights on women-friendly firms - news

A new avenue has opened up in the socially responsible investment field with the creation of a fund investing in companies with a high number of women in senior roles. The Women’s...

Investors ‘need EC-funded training’ on SRI - news

The European Commission has been urged to provide cash to train analysts and investors in evaluating companies’ social and environmental performance. The call comes from the European...

Two more mergers in research sector - news

Two new mergers of sustainability rating agencies have been announced as consolidation in the CSR research market continues apace. The first merger involves two Swiss companies, Centre Info...

Jaffa Cakes get sustainability makeover - news

United Biscuits, the UK manufacturer of brands such as McVitie’s, Jaffa Cakes and Penguin, has pledged to procure two-thirds of its palm oil from certified sustainable sources by the...

BBC firm steps up auditing - news

The BBC’s commercial arm is to intensify its ethical supply chain measures by extending its focus to secondary suppliers in high-risk countries and primary suppliers in lower-risk...

CDP turns its attentions to corporate water use - news

A huge alliance of institutional investors is to ask 300 of the world’s largest corporations for data on their water use. The Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), which has hitherto...

Kraft to buy sustainable cocoa - news

Kraft Foods has become the latest company to certify a chocolate product under the Rainforest Alliance seal. The Swiss multinational has agreed to buy 30,000 tons of sustainable cocoa beans from...

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Paris-based pharmaceuticals multinational Sanofi-Aventis has appointed Gilles Lhernould to its new post of CSR senior vice-president. Lhernould was formerly the senior human resources...

Airlines sector makes pre-Copenhagen commitment - news

Airlines, airports and aircraft manufacturers have said they will halve the aviation industry’s carbon emissions by 2050.      British Airways chief executive Willie...

Anderson says mission is 60% accomplished - news

The flooring company Interface is more than halfway to its goal of becoming fully sustainable, claims its founder Ray Anderson. Anderson, who recently celebrated the 15th anniversary of his...

Supermarket takes the biscuit on palm oil - news

J. Sainsbury is to use certified sustainable palm oil in its two best-selling biscuit ranges – digestives and rich tea. The British supermarket chain, which sells 300 million such...

Major CSR event is revived - news

An ambitious corporate responsibility conference postponed because of the financial crisis has been rescheduled for next March. The international Business and a Sustainable Environment...

Transparency improvements continue among UK-based companies - news

Centrica, Reckitt Benckiser, Royal Dutch Shell and Unilever are among Britain’s most responsible companies on climate change, reports the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP). This...

CSR rides out recession despite some casualties - news

Corporate responsibility functions in many organizations appear to be coming through the recession relatively unscathed. Various indicators, including a new survey of global CSR...

Airlines pledge 50 per cent emissions cut by 2050 - news

Airlines, airports and aircraft manufacturers have made a commitment to halve the aviation industry’s carbon emissions by 2050. British Airways chief executive Willie Walsh announced the agreement...

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A microfinance fund that will deal with co-operatives and credit unions, rather than going through local banks, has been set up by two of Europe’s largest banks. The $50million...

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A pharmaceuticals multinational is to give a South African company the rights to manufacture an HIV drug royalty-free. GlaxoSmithKline’s  ‘donation’ of the drug abacavir...

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Businesses are better than governments at pushing the sustainability agenda forward, according to a poll of experts in the field. The inaugural Sustainability Survey, which polled 1600 experts...

Keeping a watchful eye on business reputation - news

Covalence has ploughed an unusual furrow by giving companies ethical ratings based on often subjective media coverage. Mike Scott talks to Antoine Mach about its aims and methodology A...

Britain’s CRC regime: beginning of a new era - news

UK business will have to deal with the requirements of a new Carbon Reduction Commitment from next April. EP takes a quick look at how it is likely to work What is it? The Carbon...

Taking an ethical oath is fine, but we need more than words - news

Student pledges need to be backed by a formula for teaching CSR in business schools, says Jeremy Moon Periodically, when corporate irresponsibility has reached a new pitch, the spotlight...

SRI researchers merge operations - news

Two of the world’s largest responsible investment research companies, Sustainalytics and Jantzi Research,  have merged. The new entity, which will operate as Sustainalytics...

African nations are riskiest places for big business - news

African countries carry the greatest risks for multinationals, according to a ranking of nations with the most hazardous business environments. The Global Risks Index, produced by the...

PetroChina allowed to remain in Compact club - news

PetroChina has been absolved of complicity in human rights abuses in Sudan by the United Nations Global Compact after long consideration of complaints made by a host of non-governmental...

Slovakia CSR plan withers - news

Plans for a national strategy on corporate responsibility in Slovakia have been put on hold. The government of the central European republic drew up a strategy last year with a view to...

Mandatory stance ‘may gain ground’ - news

Tougher regulation on corporate responsibility is likely to follow in the wake of the financial crisis, a new analysis has concluded. A study of the CSR regulatory environment in eight...

Metro gets praise for factory improvements - news

German retailer Metro Group has received plaudits for its response to labour standards problems in a Bangladeshi supplier factory, which has involved actions against beatings of female...

France Telecom acts on outbreak of suicides - news

One of Europe’s largest mobile phone operators has responded to a spate of staff suicides with measures including a helpline for depressed workers and a temporary halt to relocations and...

Turkish boycott called off - news

A pan-European boycott of a Turkish textiles factory has been called off after the company agreed to work with trade unions. The Clean Clothes Campaign, a European alliance of charities and...

Spain leads growth in sustainability reporting - news

The number of companies worldwide reporting on their sustainability performance has increased dramatically to a record high, the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) has announced. The GRI says it...

Plans unveiled for carbon index - news

The Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) is to launch a series of investment indices for companies with strong carbon management strategies. The index family, which will be launched in partnership with...

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Deborah Leipziger has joined the Maplecroft consultancy as a senior consultant, and will represent the company in the Americas. She was previously European director for Social Accountability...

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Adam Seitchik, former chief investment officer of US SRI firm Trillium Asset Management, has been appointed managing director of the London-based institutional asset management firm Auriel....

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US-based engineering company Parsons Brinckerhoff has appointed Lynne Ceeney as head of sustainability for Europe and Africa. Ceeney joins from the UK’s Building Research Establishment,...

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Ed Blamey has joined the UK-based communications agency Origin as associate sustainability director. He had previously spent four years at Interface Flor, where he was European sustainability...

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US-based wood and paper company Weyerhaeuser has been removed from the Calvert Social Index over concerns about its policies on indigenous peoples and recent company ‘interference’...

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Societe General has been judged this year’s leading brokerage firm for socially responsible investment research. It came ahead of UBS and Cheuvreux, who finished second and third...

The 25-year-old pioneer that’s still going strong - news

One of the catalysts for today’s socially responsible investment scene, the Stewardship Fund was launched in 1984. Mike Scott asks the fund’s current manager, Karina Litvack, for an...

Copenhagen 2009: what will it mean for business? - news

With talks December’s UN climate change conference fast approaching, EP explains what the event is all about – and what companies would like to see emerge from it What is...

Transparency scheme extends reach in Latin America - news

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has become an official supporter of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), which promotes the disclosure of revenue payments by oil,...

Banking sector reputation hits rock bottom - news

The banking sector is suffering the worst reputation of all industries thanks to the financial crisis, jobs cuts and its stance on tax issues. Data from the ethical rating company Covalence...

Huge wealth fund will press business on water - news

One of the world’s largest sovereign wealth funds has announced that it will start pressuring companies with high water-related risks to report on their progress on the issue. The...

Obama moves to promote social innovation - news

First signs of what the US presidency of Barack Obama may mean for corporate responsibility have emerged with the creation of two new government offices in his administration. The Office of...

China focal point gets big hitter - news

A high-ranking official has been appointed by the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) to encourage ethical business policies in China. Sean Gilbert, formerly director of the GRI...

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The German government has announced new rules on executive pay that are among the strictest in Europe. Legislation passed this month will allow supervisory boards to vote on pay packages at general...

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Frank Blighe, an ethical investment pioneer, has died after a short illness, aged 51. Blighe spent some time in consultancy and at TSB before working for Friends Provident on its socially...

Listed firms to get SRI data - news

The world’s largest stock exchange group, New York Stock Exchange Euronext, has formed a partnership with an SRI research consultancy to provide companies listed on its exchange with...

Fine-tuning, rather than reinvention, is what we need on human rights - news

A lot of noise is being generated about how developed countries should hold multinational businesses to account for their involvement in human rights abuses across the world. In Britain, there...

How to stop franchisees from talking baloney - news

After a business partner’s billboard appeared to show Burger King denying climate change, the firm was forced onto the defensive. EP considers the CSR pitfalls of corporate franchises...

OECD guidelines ‘must get tougher back-up’ - news

Governments should get tougher with companies that breach the OECD guidelines for multinational enterprises, a UK inquiry has been told. Parliamentarians at the first two sessions of the...

BLIHR leaves legacy of essential steps on rights - news

Fourteen multinationals have published a set of ‘essential steps’ that businesses must take to improve human rights. The companies, which include Areva, Coca-Cola, Ericsson,...

Car firms must face claims as Alien Tort cases proceed - news

Charges against three global car companies alleging human rights abuses in South Africa have been allowed to proceed. A New York judge has ruled that Daimler, Ford and General Motors should...

Canada offers mediation to extractive sector firms - news

The Canadian government is recruiting a ‘CSR counsellor’ this month to advise the country’s mining, oil and gas companies. The C$150,000-a-year ($130,000, £78,000),...

Seed sector has another tilt at child labour - news

A global coalition of seed manufacturers has outlined a new strategy for preventing child labour in their sector. CropLife International, a plant science association, in collaboration with...

Wragge’s first report: was our verdict too harsh? - news

A critical review of Wragge & Co’s first CSR report appeared in EP this May. This month Tom Peyton of Enact Consulting gives an alternative view I have long championed the...

End to Uzbek child labour is not all it seems - news

Child labour is still widely used in Uzbekistan’s cotton industry, contrary to claims that corporate influence is putting an end to it, says a new report. Despite pressure from large...

Sceptical charity softens its stance - news

Christian Aid, an anti-poverty charity with a track record of scepticism on corporate responsibility, has commissioned CSR research from a European rating agency. The charity, which...

Big M&S push on CSR becomes ‘cost positive’ - news

Marks & Spencer’s five-year social and environmental programme has paid for itself after two years and is now making money for the company. The UK-based high street retailer...

GSK backs disability programmes - news

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), the global pharmaceuticals group, is putting 39million Sri Lankan rupees ($340,000, £210,000) into a project to empower disabled people in southern Sri Lanka that...

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Accenture consultancy has announced a €566,000 ($772,000, £498,000) grant to a private education provider. The Brussels-based JA-YE, Europe’s largest provider of...

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Church and faith charity fund manager CCLA has bought £3.5million ($5.4m) worth of a new five-year bond issued by the International Finance Facility for Immunization (IFFIm). IFFIm is a UK...

The vices and vanities of sustainability reporting - news

Firms are exploiting a lack of reporting standards to distort their achievements, says Bill D’Allesandro Sustainability reporting is becoming a vice. Most reports serve up enough...

CSR grows fast in Australia - news

The number of people employed in corporate responsibility in Australia is expected to increase significantly in the next year, reports the country’s largest ever CSR survey. The State...

Firms getting better at dealing with ESG risks - news

Companies worldwide have improved their performance on environmental, social and governance (ESG) risk management over the past three years, according to new research. A study of more than...

Arab countries reveal plenty of CSR potential - news

The Arab world stands ahead of Eastern Europe and Central Asia when it comes to corporate responsibility, according to the first responsible  competitiveness ranking of the region....

New commission would punish errant companies - news

Proposals for the creation of a powerful UK commission on business and human rights have been announced by an alliance of prominent non-governmental organizations. The Corporate...

Car giant sets target of zero road deaths by 2020 - news

Volvo has set itself the unusual goal of ensuring that nobody is seriously injured or killed in accidents involving any of its new cars within 11 years. The Swedish multinational thinks the...

CSR profession set to get its own code of practice - news

Work has begun on the first ever code of practice for corporate responsibility practitioners. The Corporate Responsibility Group (CRG), a network of 300 CSR professionals working for 104...

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CorporateRegister.com has asked us to point out that, contrary to the assertion in our article on opinion statements last month ( EP10, issue 11, p9 ), it does not believe the opinions of civil...

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Some of the world’s wealthiest foundations have created a network to reduce poverty through investments in small businesses in Africa. The Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs,...

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A US-based ethical supply chain consultancy is to expand into Europe. Level Works, which has headquarters in San Francisco and offices in Asia and Latin America, will seek clients among European...

Corporate social responsibility: a legal analysis - news

Michael Kerr, Richard Janda, Chip Pitts. Hardback. 650 pages. LexisNexis. Can$150 Written by a group of North Americans but with a perspective that goes further afield than their...

Finding solutions to big sustainability challenges - news

Mike Scott talks to Rob Lake of the giant Dutch pension portfolio manager APG about its inclusive approach to ethical investment –  and why climate change will be its major focus...

It may be uncomfortable, but we must hide nothing - news

Exposing your company to relentless public scrutiny is sometimes painful – but it’s worth it, says Julia King Corporate responsibility proponents have always talked about the...

Galaxy bars get certified - news

The world’s largest chocolate company has become the latest confectioner to sign up for a sustainability certification mark. Mars has announced that its Galaxy chocolate will become...

Seven research firms qualify for new certificate - news

Scandinavia’s GES Investment Services and the UK-based responsible investment specialist Eiris are among the first SRI research providers to be certified against a new European Voluntary...

Axa gives SRI data to its managers ‘as standard’ - news

One of the world’s biggest investment management consultancies has taken the unusual step of providing its portfolio managers with a detailed database on 1800 companies’ social and...

Under-fire Primark starts to put its house in order - news

The cut-price clothing retailer Primark has responded to continuing bad publicity about conditions in its supply chain by creating the post of ethical trading director. At the same time the...

Drugs sector ‘must help poor’ - news

Investors have told pharmaceuticals companies they need to focus far more on emerging economies and the poor if they are to become more sustainable. A new study produced as the result of a...

Dutch insert CSR into their governance code - news

The Netherlands government is to bring new requirements on corporate responsibility into the Tabaksblat, the country’s corporate governance code. Parliament has accepted the...

Eurosif calls for mandatory disclosure - news

One of Europe’s most influential SRI bodies has called on European state and regulatory institutions to insist on mandatory disclosure of CSR data by large companies. The European...

New company emerges to fight malnourishment in Bangladesh - news

Improved health and business opportunities among the poor of Bangladesh are the aims of a new joint social business venture established by BASF, the chemicals group, and the Grameen Healthcare...

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Will Oulton has replaced Penny Shepherd as the UK representative on the Eurosif board. Oulton is managing director of CRG Advisory Services and will serve in a personal capacity.

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Francesco Mereu has been appointed a director of Toyota Great Britain, where he will be responsible for, among other things, corporate social responsibility, purchasing and corporate planning....

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A programme has been established to develop responsible business leadership and dialogue in the Arab world. The Middle East Leadership Initiative has been set up by the US-based non-profit Aspen...

Are opinion statements really the way forward? - news

The use of independent experts to provide commentaries in sustainability reports is becoming increasingly popular. EP looks at the arguments for and against Deutsche Telekom can do a lot...

Can short selling ever be ethical? - news

Mike Scott asks investors, both in the mainstream and SRI fields, whether the practice of selling short on stocks is always a bad thing – or might actually serve as a responsible...

China’s embrace of CSR could usher in the Wal-Mart effect - news

In itself, the fact that the China Banking Association has issued guidelines on corporate responsibility is significant ( see page two ), especially since the recommendations are ambitious. But...

Fabric mills get new audit - news

A global auditing company is offering a new ethical qualification for fabric factories. Intertek’s Mill Qualification Programme enables fabric mills, which produce materials for the...

Vanguard comes up with criteria on human rights - news

Vanguard, one of the largest mutual funds in the US, has developed criteria to determine whether the companies in which it invests meet human rights standards. The policy is intended to...

Steel sector changes gear - news

The European steel industry is to step up its efforts to reduce the carbon dioxide emissions of its operations. The European Steel Technology Platform (Estep) has said it will adopt new...

Climate change request receives muted response - news

Only a quarter of companies that supply goods to multinationals have responded to a request for climate change data on their activities. The companies, including many small- and...

Coca-Cola pumps millions into water - news

The Coca-Cola Company has committed $30million (£21m) to provide access to safe drinking water for communities throughout Africa. The funding, spread over the next six years, will be...

China banks get guidance - news

A further sign that corporate responsibility is taking hold in China has emerged with the publication of CSR guidelines for the country’s financial institutions. The recommendations,...

Newmont’s unprecedented review is placed in the public domain - news

A gold mining company has taken the unusual step of publishing an independent review of how it is managing relationships with communities near its sites. US-based Newmont Mining Corporation...

Nuclear firms may soon feature in FTSE4Good - news

FTSE4Good is paving the way for nuclear power companies to qualify for its socially responsible investment indices. Businesses in the nuclear industry are excluded at present from FTSE4Good, but...

How to act responsibly when jobs are on the line? - news

As the recession leads to significant cutbacks in all business sectors around the world, EP looks at some recommended good practice on ‘downsizing’ in an ethical manner...

Finding value at the bottom of the pyramid - news

BlueOrchard is blazing a responsible investment trail in microfinance – and finding that institutional clients see its modus operandi as increasingly attractive. Mike Scott talks to...

Why the executive pay experience gives useful pointers on taxation - news

The worldwide backlash against ‘fat cat’ pay, particularly in the part-nationalised financial sector ( see page one ), offers a salutary lesson for those who have tried to locate...

Verheugen rules out change - news

Corporate responsibility regulations will not be imposed by the European Commission despite waning public faith in business as a result of the recession. Gunter Verheugen, who holds the CSR...

UTZ agrees global tea code - news

A tea producers’ ethical code has been created by a body that runs one of the largest certification programmes for coffee. The Dutch-based UTZ Certified has put the Code of Conduct...

Legal firms will study influence of law on CSR - news

Fifteen corporate law firms from around the world are to participate in a United Nations-led effort to determine whether corporate law in various countries might need to be changed to foster...

Cocoa firms agree sustainability guidance - news

Sustainability principles for the cocoa industry have been unveiled by the World Cocoa Foundation (WCF). The principles, produced after two years of discussions with governments and cocoa...

Duke will keep Wal-Mart faith - news

Wal-Mart’s new chief executive Mike Duke has assured stakeholders that the company’s corporate responsibility efforts will continue on his watch. Duke, who succeeded Lee Scott...

Kelloggs turns to actors to get its message across - news

The cereal manufacturer Kelloggs has taken the unusual step of using undercover actors to convey waste-cutting messages to employees.   The two female thespians, from the CragRats...

Obama urged to create new CSR office - news

Further signs of the high expectations of a change in attitude to corporate responsibility at the White House have emerged in an open letter to Barack Obama urging the  president to create...

Visser sets up global body - news

CSR International, a networking body for corporate responsibility practitioners, was created last month. The new association, set up as a community interest company in the UK by the...

Saudi firms ‘on right track’ - news

The responsible business performance of most Saudi Arabian companies is ‘intermediate to good’, according to the country’s first comprehensive CSR assessment. In the debut...

Executive pay emerges as full-blown CSR issue - news

Pressure on companies to tackle excessive executive pay has ratcheted up significantly in the past month as investors and politicians around the world have begun to force the issue into the...

CarbonNeutral moves into Singapore - news

CarbonNeutral, the international carbon offset and carbon management company, has opened a Singapore office. Its first local clients are the American Chamber of Commerce of Singapore and the...

Impax launches environmental fund - news

An environmental investment fund has been set up in Australia by Impax Asset Management, an investor that concentrates exclusively on environmental markets. The Impax Environmental Markets...

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The US-based Corporate Responsibility Officer Association, formed in October to represent CSR practitioners in North America, has created a board of governors. Members include Stanley Litow,...

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Two Tomorrows has been unveiled as the name for the CSR consultancy formed by the merger of Csrnetwork and Sd3 ( EP 10, issue 7, p6 ). The group holding company, Two Tomorrows Group, will be...

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Italian bank Monte dei Paschi di Siena has become one of the first businesses to use eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL) in a sustainability report. XBRL was developed for transmitting...

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One of the Middle East’s biggest oil producers, Kuwait National Petroleum Company (KNPC), has announced a three-year corporate responsibility programme. Over the three year period, KNPC...

When an ethical stance is not just academic - news

Mindful of its client base, the giant TIAA-CREF pension fund for teachers is trying to incorporate corporate responsibility issues into its investment decisions. Mike Scott talks to one of its...

‘Now, more than ever, firms need to report’ - news

EP talks to Global Reporting Initiative chief executive Ernst Ligteringen about sustainability reporting in an economic downturn – and other pressing matters. EP: How might...

Why ISO 26000’s ugly duckling may eventually turn into a swan - news

It would be easy to adopt a sceptical position on the potential value of the ISO 26000 social responsibility standard, not least because there are so many other apparently similar guidelines and...

Ethics code is proposed for security companies - news

An outline of a proposed international code of conduct for private military and security companies has been produced by an influential Swiss think tank. The Geneva Centre for the Democratic...

ETI takes tough stance as Primark upsets members - news

The Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) has gained its members’ backing to consider sanctions against the UK clothing retailer Primark over claims of poor labour standards among suppliers....

Bremer warns of Obama restrictions - news

The financial crisis could severely curtail new US president Barack Obama’s efforts to make significant progress on corporate responsibility, an American commentator has warned....

Powerful retailers unveil a code for all seasons - news

A group of multinational retailers has produced the first part of what it hopes will become a single global standard for ethical supply chain management. The companies, including Carrefour,...

UK hits Aon with bribery fine - news

The UK broking arm of Aon, the US insurance broker, was fined £5.25million ($7.5m) for bribery last month, providing further evidence that the British authorities are adopting a stronger...

$300bn fund examines Gaza holdings - news

The world’s second largest sovereign wealth fund, run by the Norwegian government, is examining whether it should exclude companies that are active in the Palestinian territories from its...

Firms told: ‘lobby for good’ - news

Too few companies use their lobbying powers to push for beneficial social change, says a new paper. Authors Kyle Peterson and Marc Pfitzer, directors at the US-based consultancy ESG Social...

A picture of happiness: CSR practitioners in their place of work - news

People working in corporate responsibility appear to be ‘overwhelmingly happy’ with their lot, according to the latest annual CSR salary survey. The study, to be released at the...

ISO 26000 takes shape as consensus takes hold - news

The long-awaited ISO standard on social responsibility has taken its most important step forward with the publication of a ‘committee draft’ that will form the backbone of the final...

PetroChina under fire over Darfur - news

A multi-signature open letter formally complaining that PetroChina is supporting genocide by the Sudan government in Darfur has been delivered to the United Nations Global Compact. The...

Novartis rewarded for earthquake efforts - news

The China Charity Award has gone to Novartis, one of the world’s largest pharmaceuticals companies, for its support of relief efforts after the earthquake in Sichuan province last May....

Gates Foundation backs Indian social entrepreneurship - news

Small farmers in poor communities in India will benefit from a $15million (£10.6m) grant made by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to Ashoka, the international group that brings social...

Rag-picker business is recognised - news

A young businessman from Hyderabad in India who specializes in plastic bag recycling has become the Entrepreneur of the Year 2008 in the UK’s prestigious Prince’s Youth Business...

Starbucks helps Asian social entrepreneurs - news

A Philippines organization providing microfinance loans to unemployed young people and a programme in Pakistan that combats violence against women are to receive help from multinational coffee...

inbrief - news

A number of large companies have posted information about their ethical supply management experiences on a new website. The Responsible Supply Chain Management site features guidance and case...

inbrief - news

One of Europe’s biggest state pension funds has chosen the Ethical Investment Research Service (Eiris) to provide extra-financial risk analysis services for its global equity portfolio....

Geneva body aims to make SRI a convention - news

Mike Scott talks to one of the founders of a new organization that intends to spread the word about sustainable finance in Switzerland, where the private banks are a particular target for...

Good reporting depends on keeping your focus - news

Try to think of who you are addressing and what they might want to know, advises Tom Rotherham During 2008 I had the opportunity to discuss corporate responsibility with a number of...

Recessionary winds will blow hard, but they’ll also help us concentrate - news

There’s little doubt that 2009 will be a tough year on many fronts. But how will it be for socially responsible business? Although there’s been a mood of relative optimism in...

Reports should provide more context, say accountants - news

Two leading accountancy bodies have warned European companies they should not rest on their laurels when it comes to their sustainability reporting. The Association of Chartered Certified...

New code tells firms how to treat migrant workers - news

British companies have been offered a voluntary code of practice on employing migrant workers. The eight-page document comes from Business in the Community, which wants all employers of migrant...

Chevron cleared of abuse - but cases still pile up - news

The huge oil group Chevron has been cleared by a US jury of complicity in violence that erupted on one of its platforms in Nigeria in May 1998. The charges related to disturbances in which...

Marshalls gives all its products carbon labels - news

A building materials company has become the first business to adopt a new carbon labelling scheme for all products. Marshalls, which employs 3000 staff at 67 sites in Britain, has used the...

UN to establish non-financial database - news

The United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) is creating a global database of environmental, social and governance (ESG) investment research. The database will be its...

Compact gets research base - news

An international research unit will be set up to support the work of the United Nations Global Compact.   The Research Center for the Global Compact, being established by the UN in New...

CSR makes big strides as Russia sees global benefit - news

Corporate responsibility has finally taken a firm hold in Russia, according to a new analysis. The study indicates that 90 per cent of large Russian companies now have a CSR or...

Unilever denies ethical basis for Israel sale - news

Unilever is selling its stake in a factory in an illegal Israeli settlement on the West Bank – but has denied the decision results from ethical considerations.   The...

Barclays and Nike place new focus on girl power - news

The multinational companies Barclays and Nike have separately committed themselves to projects aimed at boosting the self-esteem and prospects of girls in the developing world. Barclays has...

Finance sector gets its own GRI supplement - news

Guidance for financial services institutions on what to include in annual sustainability reports has been finalized by the Global Reporting Initiative. The Financial Services Supplement...

Tourism gets global code - news

A coalition of 32 tourism trade organizations and companies has announced criteria to guide members on reviewing their social and environmental impacts. The bodies and businesses, which...

Institutional investors call on big firms to give more thought to water - news

A $1500 billion (£1001bn) alliance of investors, all signatories to the United Nations-backed Principles for Responsible Investment, is asking 100 of the world’s biggest companies to...

Job losses begin as crunch leads to internal reshuffles - news

Signs that the global financial crisis is starting to affect jobs in the responsible business world emerged last month as three large businesses – Eversheds, JPMorgan and Citigroup –...

Tata heads new Indian sustainability index - news

Indian companies are said in a report from BT, the international communications provider, to be taking positive steps towards sustainable development, though the corporate sector’s overall...

Barclays supports Indian slum dwellers - news

Adolescent Indian girls in a Mumbai slum and in three districts of rural Maharashtra will benefit from a partnership between Barclays Bank and Unicef to give mentoring and provide microfinance...

DHL backs malnutrition project - news

DHL, the international express and logistics company, is giving $650,000 (£441,000) to support the efforts of Unicef and the Indian government to reduce malnutrition and infant mortality...

inbrief - news

The CarbonNeutral Company, which helps companies manage their carbon emissions, has taken over The GreenLife Organization, a privately held New York-based consultancy in the same field, for an...

inbrief - news

McDonald’s, once a regular target for animal welfare campaigners, has received an award from the UK’s Royal Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA). The RSPCA has given...

Obama has a golden opportunity to alter America’s CSR landscape - news

Sometimes it’s wise to be careful what you wish for. Supporters of Barack Obama now have ‘change’ not only in the White House but also in the financial markets, which have...

Brewer to cut its water use - news

One of the world’s largest beer makers has promised to reduce its water consumption throughout its global operations. SABMiller has said it will cut water use by a quarter per litre...

Chinese agree ‘capacity-building’ on factory conditions - news

A trade body in China has endorsed an agreement that could improve working conditions in Chinese textile and garment factories that supply European companies. The deal has been signed by...

Work begins on global social auditing standard - news

A step towards developing international social auditor standards has been taken in the US, with the backing of the Department of State’s Office of International Labour Affairs. The...

Hold the front page: T-Mobile tells all - news

A mobile phone company has taken the unusual step of producing an in-store newsletter on corporate responsibility aimed specifically at its customers. T-Mobile UK has placed the publication...

Could latest merger be sign of things to come? - news

Two prominent corporate responsibility consultancies – Csrnetwork and Sd3 – are to merge on 1 January amid suggestions that a period of consolidation in the consultancy market could...

Kroger is ‘most generous’ US company - news

The groceries and supermarkets group Kroger has been declared the most generous corporation in the US by Forbes magazine. The Cincinnati-based retailer, which owns a string of retailers...

Funds attack ‘fat cat’ pay at largest five Swiss firms - news

Institutional investors in Switzerland are to make a rare foray into shareholder activism next year in an effort to curb irresponsible levels of executive pay at some of the country’s...

Investors want urgent action - news

A group of more than 130 major global investors issued a joint statement last month warning politicians not to allow the financial crisis to divert attention from tackling global warming....

Mobile firm aims to be catalyst on poverty goals - news

Ericsson has pledged to play a leading role in raising awareness of the millennium development goals (MDGs) in the worldwide telecommunications industry. The Swedish mobile phone company...

Aviva’s SRI clause gives strong signal to clients - news

One of the world’s leading fund management companies has broken new ground by inserting an SRI clause into all its investment management contracts, regardless of whether clients have asked...

Vodafone consistency brings ranking reward - news

Vodafone has regained the top spot in the annual Accountability rating of the world’s 100 largest corporations. It was previously placed first in 2006. The 2008 rating was compiled...

Responsible business world loses two visionaries - news

Two US pioneers of responsible business – Joan Bavaria and Ed Burke – have died. Bavaria, who died aged 65 after a long battle with cancer, was the co-founder of US-based...

Firms agree to look at new HIV/Aids action - news

Seventeen large pharmaceuticals companies are to invest more in producing treatments for HIV/Aids in poor countries. Their decision follows a meeting with the United Nations...

Carbon standard unveiled - news

A government-backed standard has been created to show businesses how to consistently measure the carbon footprint of their products. PAS 2050, drawn up by BSI British Standards, the Carbon...

Alistair Townley: loveable pioneer who spread the green gospel - news

As many readers will already know, Alistair Townley, co-founder and publisher of Ethical Performance , died on 30 October of a heart attack, aged 51. He leaves behind his partner, Jane, and...

Obama factor lifts hopes of new era in American CSR - news

Guarded optimism has taken hold of US corporate responsibility proponents as they prepare for what they hope will be a CSR-friendly administration under president-elect Barack Obama. Few...

inbrief - news

There are now 50 signatories to the European SRI Transparency Guidelines, which were established in 2004 to increase the accountability of SRI funds to retail investors. Eurosif, the trade body...

inbrief - news

A second tranche of hedge fund management companies signed up to industry standards of best practice last month. The new signatories, which include Arrowgrass, BlackRock, Concordia Advisors, New...

inbrief - news

A qualification claimed to be Europe’s first law and business ethics masters degree has been established in France with funds from the cosmetics company L’Oréal. The course...

The Financial Crisis - news

A failure of risk management on a massive scale The crisis has exposed shortcomings and omissions in some ESG research, but will increase demand for non-financial information on...

The financial crisis: will CSR survive the fallout? - news

Could recent events in financial markets be the death of corporate responsibility and responsible investment, or the making of it? Seven commentators give EP their views. Mark Goyder,...

Costa beats coffee target - news

Costa, the UK’s largest coffee shop chain, announced last month that all coffee sold in its 785 British stores is now made from beans ‘sustainably grown’ on farms certified by...

Danish bank embraces SRI - news

Denmark’s largest banking group, Danske Bank, has adopted an SRI policy in the belief that it will improve the long-term performance of its investments. The policy, covering about...

Henderson risks criticism over tax move to Ireland - news

One of the UK’s leading asset management companies is changing its tax domicile from Britain to the Irish Republic to save money, even though it has warned other companies to take a more...

Pharmaceuticals sector guidelines pass the UN test - news

A set of human rights guidelines for pharmaceuticals companies has been accepted by the United Nations. The guidelines, which have a strong focus on how the sector can improve access to the...

Big event falls victim to global financial woes - news

One of the largest and most ambitious corporate responsibility events ever planned has had to be postponed because of the financial crisis, say its organizers. The international Business...

Arms firms agree ethics swap - news

Some of the leading aerospace and defence exporters in Europe and the US have agreed to greater informal co-operation on ethics. Details of the ‘close collaboration on ethical...

SRI reach grows as Africa gets its own pair of indices - news

Two SRI indexes have been set up to cover listed companies in Africa. The Africa investor SRI 50 and Africa investor SRI 30 indexes, which are the first pan-African indices of their kind, have...

Merger aims to create ‘powerful voice’ on SRI - news

The Enhanced Analytics Initiative (EAI), which aims to improve the quality of investment research into extra-financial issues, is to be subsumed into the UN Principles for Responsible Investment...

Brown’s reshuffle gives minister a joined-up brief - news

A former climate change minister has taken over the UK government’s corporate responsibility brief. Ian Pearson has been given the portfolio as part of prime minister Gordon...

Roche agrees HIV therapy deals - news

The Roche pharmaceuticals company has entered into four new technology transfers with manufacturers in Bangladesh and three African countries where better access to HIV therapy is needed....

inbrief - news

Global vehicle glass repair and replacement company Belron has appointed Jason van Zuydam as environment manager. He joins from Avis-Europe where he was corporate responsibility manager, and...

inbrief - news

US-based Campbell Soup Company has appointed David Stangis as vice-president of corporate social responsibility, a new position for the business ( EP10, issue 2, p5 ). Stangis joins from Intel,...

inbrief - news

There are now 50 signatories to the European SRI Transparency Guidelines, which were established in 2004 to make ethical and ecological SRI retail funds more accountable to the...

Investors rediscover the joys of negative screening - news

The exclusionary approach is once again popular among institutional investors, says Will Oulton The past year or so has seen the re-emergence of negative screening – the avoidance...

Do the super rich see SRI as the way forward? - news

Investment specialists often divide the socially responsible investment market in two – retail and institutional. But a third sector exists  – the high net worth individual...

A decade on, sustainable funds are flourishing - news

Bank Sarasin has put sustainability close to the heart of its investment approach. The Swiss private bank is using the investment theme in a effort to differentiate itself from the competition,...

Laboratories swap ideas - news

Twenty corporate responsibility discussion groups have been formed under the umbrella of the European Alliance for CSR since it started two years ago. The groups, called...

New help for humanitarian efforts - news

A body has been formed to enable businesses to become directly involved in development and humanitarian operations in strife-torn emerging countries. Corporates for Crisis will encourage...

Rise in climate change disclosures comes to a halt - news

The number of large companies disclosing information on their carbon emissions has stalled at last year’s level, reports the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP). The proportion of the...

Insurance firms reject Burma campaign - news

A number of insurance companies have either rejected or challenged claims by a UK-based pressure group that they should close their operations in Burma. In a new development that targets...

Peace breaks out as truce agreed in Wikipedia spat - news

A wrangle over the definition of the phrase ‘corporate social responsibility’ on Wikipedia has finally been resolved. Contributors to the internet reference site, which allows...

TV programme fuels Dutch SRI fever - news

A television documentary has been credited with prompting an eightfold increase in the value of assets managed along socially responsible lines over a two-year period in the Netherlands....

More patents are donated - news

Three more companies – Bosch, DuPont and Xerox – have released patents so as to encourage the development of new products with social and environmental benefits. The businesses...

‘Philanthropy fatigue’ cuts into drug sector reputation - news

Public attitudes are hardening against the pharmaceutical industry, a study by a Geneva-based agency suggests. Research by Covalence has found the industry has dropped from first to third...

SRI investing finds foothold in Central and Eastern Europe - news

The first SRI fund concentrating on central and eastern European equities has been established by Limestone Investment Management, which has headquarters in Estonia. The New Europe Socially...

Summit will tackle Asian CSR apathy - news

Widescale apathy towards corporate social responsibility among large Asian companies is to be a major topic on the agenda at the next Asia CSR Summit to be held in Bangkok from 3-4 November....

New ranking may be unpopular, but it's here to stay - news

Pharmaceutical companies are not happy, but a number of influential investors have expressed their support for the Access to Medicine Index. EP looks at a controversial new measure of...

inbrief - news

Examples of corporate responsibility best practice in the banking sector have been collated by the European Banking Federation. The federation of banking associations embraces 5000 financial...

inbrief - news

US-based Business for Social Responsibility has appointed a leadership team for its Europe office in Paris. Peder Michael Pruzan-Jorgensen became managing director in Europe this month,...

League tables cannot make sense of a complex picture - news

By all means compare company behaviour, but we must avoid over-simplified rankings, says Julia King. GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), the company I work for, recently came top in a new...

BAE sets out plans to put its house in order - news

Defence giant BAE Systems has set out how it intends to implement the 23 recommendations made by an independent committee that looked at how to improve the company’s ethical standards....

Energy firms under pressure to do more on fuel poverty - news

Fuel poverty has become a more pressing business responsibility issue for energy companies in the past month as a result of large gas price rises imposed on their domestic customers. With...

Shell pulls advert as greenwash gripes rise - news

Shell has withdrawn a newspaper advertisement based around its sustainability credentials after the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) judged it misleading. The...

Impact of growth ‘ignored’ by many carbon strategies - news

Too few companies consider the impact of business growth when developing programmes to reduce their carbon emissions. The warning is given in a best practice guide on carbon management...

Siemens goes after execs in bribery case - news

Siemens has taken the unusual step of claiming damages from 11 senior executives implicated in the company’s bribery scandal. It has also suggested that it intends to pursue damages...

CFS judged to have best impact on society - news

Co-operative Financial Services (CFS) has won the overall Impact on Society award in this year’s Business in the Community (Bitc) Awards for Excellence. The group, which includes...

EU feels child labour heat - news

The European Union has been urged to ensure that its support for any European company through trade missions and subsidies be withdrawn if the business is found to be using child labour in its...

Business resists pressure over its Zimbabwe links - news

Several large companies operating in Zimbabwe have declined to sign a voluntary agreement drawn up by the UK government on upholding human rights in the African country. Sixteen businesses...

Helveta wins ethical timber contract in Indonesia - news

Helveta, the information technology company that developed the CI WorldTM software for tracking timber assets in supply chains, has won the contract to enforce ethical principles in...

PetroChina plea turned down - news

The United Nations Global Compact has rejected a demand that it use its influence to persuade oil company PetroChina to deal with the humanitarian crisis in Sudan. Eighty civil society...

inbrief - news

Societe Generale's corporate and investment banking division has created a corporate social responsibility department to be headed by Eric May, who will produce action plans on sustainable...

inbrief - news

Ramon Arratia has been appointed European sustainability director at carpet manufacturer InterfaceFlor, based in London. Arratia was previously senior corporate responsibility manager at...

inbrief - news

Microsoft and Google have come first and second in a new ranking of Europe's 50 best workplaces. They finished ahead of Cisco, 3M and the German health insurance company impuls...

inbrief - news

Summaries of the state of sustainability reporting in 16 European countries are available on a new website created by the European Sustainability Reporting Association, the ten-year-old body...

Good conduct at the very top sets the tone for the rest of us - news

Only business leaders with self-restraint can steer companies along the right path, says the Dalai Lama In Buddhism we believe that the reputation of a company depends on whether it...

McCain and Obama on corporate responsibility - news

EP examines the policy plans on corporate responsibility that have been revealed by the two US presidential contenders in the early days of their race to the White House Barring the...

Travel patterns slow to change - news

Hardly any British business people reduced their travelling during 2007, even though many of their companies have clear policies on cutting business miles. Research by Barclaycard Business...

CSR's trail-blazer needs to get out of the thicket and back on track - news

The UK government has been instrumental in the development of corporate social responsibility over the last decade. Listed companies must now produce annual forward-looking business reviews that...

KPMG introduces code of conduct for suppliers - news

KPMG in Europe is claiming to have become the first large accountancy group to produce a supplier code of conduct. The business, a limited liability partnership, has asked all its main...

Analysts agree KPIs - news

Key performance indicators covering environmental, social and governance matters for use by investment analysts and others have passed the first major hurdle towards their wide adoption....

Steel giant signs safety deal - news

The world's largest steel producer, ArcelorMittal, has signed a deal with trade unions to improve the company's health and safety standards. Under the agreement, said to be a steel...

IMF creates standards for sovereign wealth funds - news

A code of conduct for sovereign wealth funds (SWFs) is being drawn up by one of the world's most powerful economic institutions. The final document, which the International Monetary...

Allegations of unfair play in production of Euro 2008 footballs - news

Crédit Suisse is donating a million Swiss francs ($1million, £490,000) to the United Nations children’s fund after reports that child labour in Pakistan was used to make Euro...

Foundation offers microfinance scholarships - news

Staff working on Asian microfinance projects will be able to apply for 200 scholarships being offered by the MasterCard Foundation, an independent charity in Toronto, Canada, set up by financial...

inbrief - news

Doughty Hanson, one of Europe’s largest independent private equity companies, has given Adam Black responsibility for internal sustainability issues. Black, who joins from KPMG, where he...

inbrief - news

Sonja Vermeulen has replaced Halina Ward as director of the business and sustainable development programme at the International Institute for Environment and Development think-tank. Vermeulen...

Business shouldn’t wait for a consensus on human rights - news

John Ruggie, the UN special rapporteur on human rights, identifies no fewer than 27 internationally recognized human rights associated with business. From freedom of thought to freedom of...

Morrisons plays catch-up - news

UK supermarket chain Morrisons has started a campaign to communicate its corporate responsibility programme to customers. Morrisons, the UK’s fourth largest food retailer, has engaged...

BMW and Toyota stand out - news

A new ranking names BMW and Toyota as the best car-makers in the efficient use of social and environmental resources in production. An analysis of the 16 largest automobile manufacturers...

Violations hit European firms - news

European companies lose market value when they are associated with environmental violations – but US businesses tend to escape unscathed. Research by Sweden’s Umea School of...

Sweden leads by example in reporting and investment - news

The mandatory requirement for state-owned companies in Sweden to produce an annual sustainability report will not be extended to listed businesses, the deputy prime minister has confirmed....

Good employer? Then AXA will invest in your shares - news

A French asset manager has created the first socially responsible fund to target for investment European companies with best-in-class employment and working practices. Paris-based Axa...

Ericsson takes China award - news

The Ericsson telecoms group has been given the China Green Company award. The title was awarded to Ericsson by the China Entrepreneur magazine, the Daonong Enterprise Institute and the Guanghua...

Allianz offers micro-insurance to India - news

Natural disaster and accident insurance for less than ten euro cents a day (15 US cents, UK 8p) is to be offered by Allianz, one of the world’s largest private insurers, in parts of India hit by...

inbrief - news

An award for the best European social marketing campaigns by advertising agencies has been established by the European Association of Communications Agencies, a Brussels-based trade association....

inbrief - news

International law firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has created an index to monitor the share price of European companies that have made a significant commitment to reducing their carbon...

after a slow start, CSR has seen off all challengers - news

When the first issue of Ethical Performance appeared in May 1999, the dotcom bubble had not yet burst, presidents Bill Clinton and Saddam Hussein were in power, UK prime minister Tony Blair was...

financial and non-financial reporting are very different beasts - news

As delegates gather this month for the 2008 Global Reporting Initiative conference in Amsterdam, Ethical Performance offers readers a sneak preview of the Editorial Comment for its 200th issue in...

pension fund points the way ahead on microfinance - news

A large Dutch pension fund has provided the clearest sign yet of the growing interest in microfinance by starting a €200million ($314m, £158m) global investment programme in the sector. PGGM, an...

Sakhalin u-turn viewed as sign of things to come - news

The business consortium developing Russia’s controversial Sakhalin II oil and gas project has withdrawn from efforts to secure export credits from two government agencies, prompting suggestions...

Patagonia customers see real cost of buying a shirt - news

A clothing retailer is offering its customers user-friendly information online about the social and environmental impacts of its products. California-based Patagonia, which specializes in outdoor...

European food firms on top - news

Danone, Nestlé and Unilever are the best large food companies at addressing health concerns. An analysis of ten of the world’s largest listed food businesses by the JPMorgan bank and the asset...

inbrief - news

Liz Edwards has been hired as corporate programmes director at the European Academy of Business in Society. The new role will focus on improving member services and acting as a bridge between...

inbrief - news

Carbon offset companies have accepted a UK government code of best practice calling for schemes to be transparent and verified. Eight carbon offset businesses, including The CarbonNeutral...

inbrief - news

Six companies have been short-listed in the Responsible Retailer of the Year category at the World Retail Awards, the winner of which will be announced this month. They are: C&A Europe...

NGOs must target Joe Public to make change happen - news

Challenging companies is fine, but the brave next step is to take on consumers, says Blake Lee-Harwood If the last few decades of the environmental debate have been owned by...

Handbook on responsible investment across asset classes - news

Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship. 96 pages. Free download at www.bcccc.net A number of overviews of responsible investment have appeared over the years, but this...

Investors move into ethical fixed income products - news

Bonds that reflect social and environmental concerns are becoming more popular among institutional investors in Europe and several fixed income products are now available, says Mike Scott...

Professional services barely meeting corporate needs - news

The market for professional services in corporate responsibility is still growing at a rapid rate, and demand is outpacing provision in certain areas. The number of service providers listed...

Danish fund follows trend on cluster bomb divestment - news

The pensions arm of a leading Danish bank is removing its investments in companies that make cluster bombs. Danica Pension, a €33billion ($50.6bn, £25.2bn) division of Danske Bank,...

HBOS and Lloyds TSB lead the pack on business travel - news

HBOS and Lloyds TSB are the FTSE 100 banks that most effectively limit the carbon footprint of their business travel. The two fared best in an analysis of the seven FTSE 100 banks carried...

Investors agree to press firms on energy saving - news

A climate change action plan to boost investment in energy efficiency and clean energy technologies has been released by 49 European and US institutional investors. The investors, who...

Gavi issues Japanese bond - news

The finance arm of the Gavi Alliance, a non-profit organization whose donors include the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, has issued a bond of 1.4billion South African rand ($172.3million,...

Former ambassador becomes Japanese CSR head at JP Morgan - news

The financial services group JPMorgan has appointed Christopher J. LaFleur, the former US ambassador to Malaysia, as its head of corporate responsibility for Japan. LaFleur has previously...

Responsible business in Micronesia gets blog - news

A blog section on socially responsible business in Micronesia has been added to a website run by Catalyst, a London company that takes business people to other countries to study social...

Vigeo teams up with Asian partner - news

Vigeo, the leading European CSR ratings agency, is extending its coverage into the Asia Pacific area by forming a partnership with OWW Consulting, a Malaysia-based specialist in responsible...

Grameen Bank gets Credit Agricole help - news

The Bangladesh-based Grameen Bank is to be partnered by Crédit Agricole in supporting microlenders around the world. Crédit Agricole, France’s largest retail banking...

inbrief - news

John Elkington and Gilbert Lenssen have been appointed visiting professors at the Doughty Centre for Corporate Responsibility at the UK’s Cranfield School of Management. Elkington is...

inbrief - news

Ed Blamey has moved from his post as European sustainability director at the flooring company Interface to become socially responsible investment research manager for Jupiter Asset Management....

inbrief - news

The Business Social Compliance Initiative has signed up its 100th member – German retail group Rewe. The Brussels-based organization, whose members seek to improve conditions in their...

The power of unreasonable people - news

John Elkington and Pamela Hartigan . Hardback. 272 pages. Harvard Business School Press. £14 / $27.50 Could social entrepreneurs be the solution to the environmental and...

Newton advances the science of investment - news

A thematic approach to socially responsible investment paid off for Newton Investment Management last year when financial stocks suffered in the credit crunch, writes Mike Scott. The...

Wikipedia spat rumbles on - news

Disagreements over the phrase ‘corporate social responsibility’ on the internet reference site Wikipedia remain unresolved more than a year after the entry was nominated to be...

PGGM will divest from PetroChina - news

Dutch pension fund PGGM is to exclude PetroChina from its €88billion ($127bn, £65bn) investments because of concerns over the Chinese oil company’s activities in Sudan....

HP suppliers still failing to adopt proactive mindset - news

Most of Hewlett Packard’s central European suppliers still have a ‘reactive’ approach to social and environmental responsibility despite the company’s best efforts,...

Climate change reporting has become the norm - news

Nearly all FT 500 sustainability reporters now publish information on their climate change impacts, suggests a new study. The survey of 335 FT 500 sustainability reporters found that 78 per...

Microfinance loans will ‘grow in appeal’ - news

Microfinance projects are becoming more attractive to mainstream investors. Deutsche Bank says the volume of such loans has risen ‘sharply’ and as a result it forecasts...

Ireland gets first accredited training scheme - news

The Irish Republic’s first accredited education programme on CSR for junior and middle ranking managers has been set up by a leading training body. The five-day course is being run by...

Stakeholder views gaining ground against specialists - news

A system using stakeholders rather than SRI specialists to rate companies on social and environmental performance has been created by an offshoot of the consultancy Intertek. The web-based...

Hedge funds react to critics by agreeing to standards - news

Fourteen large hedge funds have signed up to a set of standards requiring greater transparency and disclosure. The funds, including Brevan Howard, GLG Partners, Lansdowne Partners, Man...

Bitc prepares for new era as Cleverdon steps aside - news

Julia Cleverdon, one of the UK’s most prominent figures in corporate social responsibility, stepped down this month from her post as head of Business in the Community. Cleverdon was...

Aastra lays out standards for major suppliers - news

Canadian telecoms business Aastra has created an ethical policy for its suppliers that sets out guidelines on areas such as health and safety, treatment of staff and the environment....

inbrief - news

Peter Lacy has become head of the sustainability practice at Accenture for Europe, Africa and Latin America. Lacy will spend a tenth of his time working for the European Academy of Business in...

inbrief - news

Swiss pharmaceuticals group Roche has entered into new technology transfer agreements with firms in Africa and Asia to spread the use of the antiviral HIV medication Invirase. Roche will provide...

inbrief - news

Pharmaceuticals company Merck aims to raise $50million (£25.5m) with the World Bank to fight river blindness, a leading cause of preventable sight loss in 28 African countries. Merck has...

Private equity may become a friend, not a bogeyman - news

It’s right to be suspicious of buy-out firms, but we should give them a chance, urges Danielle Cohen If the term business ethics is, as some believe, an oxymoron, then ethics and...

‘Aggregated reporting’makes its first show - news

Several small Chilean companies have come together to publish a sustainability report in which each in turn outlines its social and environmental impacts. The document, in Spanish and...

Tesco bows to pressure over Uzbekistani cotton - news

Tesco has asked its suppliers to stop sourcing cotton from Uzbekistan over concerns about state-sponsored child labour. The supermarket chain has made its decision after a three-year campaign by...

Enthusiastic delegates create alumni group - news

An alumni group is to be started this month for executives who have completed a new training course on how to make ‘dramatic progress’ on sustainability. Delegates who have been...

Smaller firms ‘don’t listen to big hitters’ - news

Policymakers and business associations have been urged to avoid the use of politicians or executives from large companies to promote responsible business practice among smaller firms. A new...

Patents released to spur social innovation - news

Patents owned by four multinationals have been put into the public domain as part of what the companies claim is an attempt to encourage the development of new products with social and...

European banks lead pack on climate change - news

HSBC and ABN Amro are ahead of their peers in responding to climate change, according to a survey of 40 retail and investment banks. The five best performers were all based in Europe, with...

Global Compact removes 400 ‘free rider’ companies - news

The UN Global Compact has taken its toughest action yet by striking off 394 companies that have failed to provide updates of how they are honouring their pledges on society and the environment....

Kenyan conflict disrupts supply chain inspections - news

Civil and political unrest in Kenya has led to the suspension of some social auditing programmes in the country until further notice. Kenya, which is the location for several ethical supply...

Drug firms to be ranked on access to medicines - news

Institutional investors are to formally assess pharmaceuticals companies on the extent to which they improve access to medicines worldwide. The top 20 pharma companies by market...

High commissioner speaks out on Bangladeshi CSR - news

Good practice in Bangladesh’s ready-made garment factories could stop much of the frequent labour unrest in the country, the British high commissioner Anwar Choudhury has told a business...

inbrief - news

Frank Pronk has become director of the Amsterdam-based ethical coffee certification body UTZ Certified. Pronk moves from the Dutch consultancy Kern Konsult, where he was director, and replaces...

inbrief - news

Pharmaceutical company Merck is to spend $2.8million (£1.4m) on establishing two immunization training centres in Uganda and Zambia. Merck will channel the money through its foundation as part of...

inbrief - news

European local authorities are to be provided with guidance on how to promote corporate responsibility among businesses in their regions. The guidance will be published in the next couple of months...

how to put your case in the YouTube era - news

With some social networking websites becoming more influential than traditional media, how can companies respond when their reputations are attacked online? If there's one key feature of the...

attracting the interest of institutional investors - news

A long track record of assessing companies on sustainability criteria has enabled Swiss bank ZKB to win new institutional business, Robert Hauser tells Mike Scott SRI and Swiss banks do not, at...

corporate responsibility and the Millennium Development Goals - news

When the countries of the world agreed ambitious targets for combating extreme poverty, hunger and disease at the UN Millennium Summit, 2015 sounded a long way off. Now, with just seven years to...

European suppliers fare no better than those in Asia - news

High-risk European suppliers to Ford are just as likely to violate the company's code of practice on working conditions as those in Asia, the motor manufacturer has revealed. Figures from Ford's...

luxury goods brands are found wanting - news

The social and environmental performance of companies that produce luxury brands has been highlighted in a new ranking that suggests none of them are doing particularly well. The league table has...

now big name companies begin to fail Compact test - news

Prominent companies in the developed world are now falling foul of the United Nations Global Compact's tougher demands on signatories. High-profile European businesses such as Severn Trent and...

MBA activists extend their reach to Europe - news

An American initiative that encourages MBA students to see themselves as protagonists for corporate social responsibility has set up a permanent base in Europe. Net Impact, a 15-year old...

Sweden introduces state sector reporting regulation - news

All state-owned companies in Sweden will be required to produce annual sustainability reports from 31 March 2009. In the first move of its kind in the world, the Ministry of Enterprise, Energy and...

inbrief - news

UK construction company HBG has stepped up its corporate responsibility commitment by appointing Caroline Cook to the new role of head of CSR. Cook has joined from Business in the Community, where...

inbrief - news

Most studies that have considered the effect of incorporating environmental, social and corporate governance factors into investment decisions have found there is a positive or at least neutral...

nine aspirations for the coming new year - news

What would you wish for in the corporate responsibility field in 2008? EP asked some of its subscribers for their views. This is what they said. Martin Blake, head of sustainability, Royal...

BHP Billiton 2007 sustainability report - news

Hard copy, 24 pages. Or online at www.bhpbilliton.com Taking account of BHP Billiton’s impacts across a huge range of operations and products is no mean feat. The world’s largest diversified...

hunting for value among the European small caps - news

The lack of research into the sustainability performance of companies with a market capitalization below €10billion has created an opportunity for the Dutch bank Kempen, says Mike Scott Kempen,...

Eurostar links up with FoE - news

Eurostar has become only the second company to be chosen as an official partner of Friends of the Earth. FoE, which is normally reluctant to forge links with business, signed a deal last month...

boom time US tempts Brits to venture abroad - news

Rapidly increasing interest in responsible business practice in America has prompted two UK-based specialist consultancies to establish operations across the Atlantic. London-based Context, which...

IT firms share audit data in bid to end duplication - news

Some of the world’s largest telecoms and information technology companies have begun sharing information on the results of their ethical supply chain audits. The 24 businesses, which are all...

US companies ‘fail to tell it like it is’ - news

One of the biggest barriers to the spread of corporate social responsibility in the US is the lack of openness among companies about the problems they face, a leading socially responsible...

courses are on the rise but levels still ‘too low’ - news

The number of elective courses with social and environmental content at business schools has increased by a fifth in two years. Figures in the latest Beyond Grey Pinstripes survey show that the...

investors get help identifying Iran links - news

The SRI research provider KLD has introduced an Iran Compliance Service to guide insitutional investors and money managers whose clients wish to avoid investments in companies doing business in the...

Puma enlists journalist to enhance its auditing - news

Puma has taken the unusual step of asking a journalist to join some of its ethical supply chain inspections and then write about them in its annual sustainability report. The sports clothing...

multinationals show the way in emerging Europe - news

Businesses in central and eastern European countries that have recently joined or applied to join the European Union generally practise corporate responsibility on their own initiative, not as a...

nanotechnology sector moves closer to agreeing code - news

Seven principles of responsible practice for companies in the developing area of nanotechnology are being finalized. The Responsible NanoCode has been drafted by a working group established by...

CSR sites ape Facebook - news

CSR organizations are attempting to turn the current fashion for social networking websites to their commercial advantage. At least four sites providing a forum for discussion of responsible...

company payments to Burma ‘should be blocked by governments’ - news

New investment in Burma’s oil and gas fields should be banned by the United Nations Security Council and company payments that sustain the country’s military rule should be blocked, says a...

UPS gives $1m backing to micro-credit - news

Loans for poor entrepreneurs in 15 countries, including China, India, Indonesia and the Philippines, are to be provided from a $1million grant package provided by UPS, the US-based package delivery...

Japanese firms still behind Europe on CSR - news

Japanese companies perform strongly on environmental issues but need to improve in other areas to match European achievements, says a report from Ethical Investment Research Services. The report...

Korea gets Compact network - news

A Global Compact Network has been set up to promote ethical business standards and practice in Korea. The new group is the latest of more than 80 Global Compact country and regional networks and...

companies ‘need to improve’ on indigenous rights - news

Seven large companies have been said in a new study to be doing too little to protect indigenous peoples’ rights. Indigenous Rights, Indigenous Wrongs: Risks for Resource Sectors explores the...

we need a force of partisans to create sustainable business - news

Committed staff working as agents of change can make a big difference, argues Malcolm McIntosh Those who openly question company policy in areas affecting costs, profitability and traditional...

the Celtic Tiger is now coming of age - news

The first ever ‘corporate responsibility week’ took place in Ireland last month. EP looks at the state of CSR in a country that has seen huge social change over the past 15 years What was...

Deutsche Post signs up to child mortality programme - news

Deutsche Post has entered into a global partnership with the United Nations’ Children’s Fund (Unicef) to reduce child mortality. The Berlin-based postal and logistics multinational will offer the...

supply chain watchdog is proposed - news

Supermarkets in Britain should be required to answer to an independent watchdog set up to protect workers in developing countries, a leading poverty charity has proposed. ActionAid makes the...

pharmaceuticals firms cogitate on human rights guidance - news

Human rights guidelines have been drafted for pharmaceuticals companies by a United Nations expert. The guidelines on how the industry can improve access to the two billion people in developing...

Barclay unveils new $150m global strategy - news

One of the world’s biggest banks has finalized its first global community investment strategy. Barclays, which operates in more than 50 countries and has more than 127,000 staff, is to invest...

leadership role is ‘asking too much’ - news

A leading figure at Amnesty International has suggested that multinationals are being asked to take on too much responsibility for advancing human rights. Chris Marsden, chair of the Amnesty...

airline cuts out all deportation flights - news

A British charter airline has announced that for ethical reasons it will no longer carry deported asylum-seekers who have failed to win the right to remain in the UK. XL Airways, which is owned...

pension funds keep their SRI lights under a bushel - news

The pension funds of some of Britain’s most socially responsible companies have been criticized for lacking transparency on their social and environmental stances. Of 278 funds run on behalf of...

Compact detractors create their own space - news

Critics of the United Nations Global Compact have started their own website where they can raise concerns. The Global Compact Critics site is to be a conduit for complaints about how the Compact...

more firms leave Burma - news

Two household name companies – Rolls-Royce and Cartier – are to quit Burma as a result of the recent brutal clampdown on democracy campaigners there. British engineering company Rolls-Royce...

‘conservative’ managers told to change their ways - news

Findings from one of the largest ever corporate responsibility research projects suggest that executives with social and environmental responsibilities are too cautious in their aims. The European...

Sino-European pact is sealed - news

The first Sino-European co-operation agreement on CSR has been signed to strengthen strategic ties between Chinese textile suppliers and European retailers. The pact, between the China National...

‘she put a bomb under the business world’ - news

What lasting influence did The Body Shop founder Anita Roddick, who died last month aged 64, have on business behaviour? EP asked a handful of specialists for their views. John Elkington,...

sub-prime fallout reaches the ethical fund market - news

The credit squeeze in the financial markets that led the Bank of England to intervene on behalf of the UK mortgage lender Northern Rock is having a knock-on effect in the ethical funds market,...

a brilliant blend of social activism and entrepreneurship - news

Some pioneers die unsung. Not Anita Roddick. The most remarkable thing about the reaction to her death was the focus not on what she did, but what she began. There are many campaigners in her...

British Land takes sustainability message on the road - news

The property company British Land is using a roadshow to bring sustainability advice to shoppers and office workers at its UK developments. The touring exhibition seeks to raise awareness of...

awards focus shifts to views of report readers - news

A new set of sustainability reporting awards will be introduced next year based on the decisions of report readers, not a judging panel. The Readers’ Choice Awards are co-ordinated by the Global...

Russian firms make strides on CSR agenda - news

Russian companies are making progress on corporate social responsibility, according to a study on the country’s business standards. The report, from the International Business Leaders’ Forum,...

senior trio take over at IBLF in wake of founder’s death - news

Three senior managers are to jointly lead the International Business Leaders’ Forum (IBLF) after the death of founder and chief executive Robert Davies. Adrian Hodges, Mike Patterson and Ros...

business readies itself as China agrees reforms - news

Companies operating in China have been given until the end of this year to prepare for a new legislative regime designed to extend the protection of workers rights. The recently passed Labour...

making non-governmental organizations more accountable - news

Environmental and social campaigners in many respects are like entrepreneurs - brilliant at spotting a gap and ruthless at exploiting it. They share other characteristics too: an ability to...

managing risk across a range of asset classes - news

PGGM, one of the biggest pension funds in Europe, applies both exclusionary and engagement policies to its huge portfolio of equities and other investments in an effort to minimize social and...

inbrief - news

The proportion of investment institutions paying commission to analysts to encourage them to provide more information on socially responsible investment has increased significantly in the past...

T-Mobile gives CSR a direct line into the board - news

The T-Mobile telecoms company is setting up a board-level corporate responsibility steering group to develop a more coherent strategy on responsible business. The group, which should be in...

public policy disclosure still a ‘minority pursuit’ - news

Only a handful of companies are providing adequate information on their public policy positions in their non-financial reports, according to new research. An examination of 50 of the best...

Brown told to get moving on ethical buying regime - news

Oxfam has urged UK prime minister Gordon Brown to create a more ‘enabling environment for ethical trade’ in public procurement. The UK public sector spends £125billion ($250bn) annually on...

bank decides to help young people in care - news

HSBC is to offer apprenticeships and training in management techniques to young people in care as part of a £305million ($610m) UK government programme. The bank became involved following...

Norton Rose is top of big London law firms on diversity - news

Norton Rose has emerged as the top-rated City firm in a diversity performance table for legal practices. The international law firm, with 1000 lawyers in Europe, the Middle East and Asia, had...

multinationals protest over attacks on strikers - news

A group of US apparel and retail companies have sent a second protest letter to the Philippines president over attacks on striking workers at a garment factory. The letter, signed by...

multinationals reject child labour accusations - news

Multinationals involved in cottonseed production in India have rejected suggestions that they are turning a blind eye to the use of child labour. A group of non-governmental organizations...

Euro-China CSR pact signed - news

The first Sino-European co-operation agreement on corporate social responsibility has been signed with the aim of strengthening ties between Chinese textile suppliers and European retailers....

inbrief - news

Investment bank Morgan Stanley has introduced an $108million (£54m) bond that will finance loans to people running small businesses in developing countries. BlueOrchard, a Swiss company...

fundraisers to go on CSR tours - news

Fundraisers in the not-for-profit sector who set up corporate partnerships are to be taken on site visits to two European clothes companies this autumn so they can gain a greater understanding of...

export credit agencies asked to extend remit - news

Some of the world’s largest economies have agreed that their government-backed export credit agencies should look at a wider range of social factors when considering whether to provide financial...

Fidelity sells shares as Sudan campaign bites - news

Pressure from US activists appears to have prompted Fidelity Investments, the world’s largest mutual fund company, to sell a sizeable chunk of its stake in PetroChina, which has significant...

Swiss bank lifts share of SRI assets - news

The Swiss investment bank Sarasin has increased the proportion of the assets it manages along SRI lines. New figures from the bank, which provides asset management services for private and...

68 per cent growth in complaints at BP - news

Employee complaints about possible legal infractions at BP rose by two-thirds last year in the wake of some major health and safety incidents. The oil multinational’s latest sustainability report...

act of transparency pays dividends for shoe giant - news

The world’s largest sports shoe and clothing brand has claimed that a decision to publicly disclose the names of all its supplier factories has led to greater co-operation with competitor companies...

food sector put on regulation alert - news

The food and drink industry has been warned by the European Commission that it could face new regulations within three years if it is judged to be doing too little to tackle obesity. EC health...

Unilever begins switch to ‘ethical’ tea sourcing - news

Unilever, the world’s largest buyer of black tea, is to source its entire tea supply using Rainforest Alliance standards, starting with the certification of producers in east Africa. The...

Amnesty ready to put its own house in order - news

Amnesty International UK is recruiting a CSR manager to manage its in-house ethical performance. The appointment, which is unusual for a non-governmental organization (NGO), is part of Amnesty’s...

UN gives Ruggie an extra year to review norms - news

John Ruggie, the United Nations secretary-general’s special representative on business and human rights, has been granted his wish for an extra year to complete his deliberations on how the UN...

Ashoka gets $1m boost - news

Ashoka, the world’s largest association of social entrepreneurs with bases in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Europe, North America and South America, has received $1.1million (£553,000) from the...

multinationals protest at anti-union violence - news

Five international clothing manufacturers have threatened to quit Cambodia unless the government there investigates the murder of a senior union leader. In a letter to the prime...

Fortis links CSR to its ambitions for growth - news

The Belgo-Dutch banking and insurance group Fortis has deepened its commitment to corporate responsibility by setting out CSR goals for the next two years under the title of ‘Agenda 2009’....

big players will mentor SMEs on business responsibility - news

Four European multinationals have agreed to act as corporate responsibility mentors to smaller businesses in developing countries. DaimlerChrysler, Otto Group and Puma, all based in...

inbrief - news

Dominique Gangneux and Kim Wilson have joined the corporate responsibility consulting and assurance section of the ERM consultancy in London. Gangneux joins as a partner from Deloitte, where he...

corporate world must adopt principled stance on migration - news

Enlightened self-interest should spur business support for migrants, argue Mary Robinson and Aron Cramer For the business community, labour migration has become a pressing question that...

is corporate social responsibility in danger of losing its way? - news

Companies are enjoying record profits and corporate social responsibility is enjoying unprecedented support. In the US, non-financial reporting seems to be at a tipping point, with 49 of the...

talk could plug data gap - news

A lack of communication between research teams in different parts of the investment industry appears to be an important factor in the reluctance of many institutional investors to take adequate...

City leaders try to allay fears on private equity - news

Two senior City figures have predicted that private equity will soon embrace CSR. Stephen Haddrill and Alain Grisay told delegates at Business in the Community’s annual conference in London...

ethical due diligence begins to gain supporters - news

A growing number of companies are turning to ‘ethical due diligence’ before they embark on partnerships, mergers or takeovers of other businesses. An analysis by the Institute of Business...

US insurers fail to make the CSR grade - news

American businesses are conspicuous by their absence from the upper reaches of a new sustainability ranking of the world’s 43 largest insurance companies. Most of the top places in the...

SRI kitemark goes on export trail - news

The Australian Ethical Investment Association (AEIA) is aiming to export a kitemark system for socially responsible investment products and services. The kitemark has proved popular since...

Corporate Responsibility Index may change again - news

More changes are likely in Business in the Community’s Corporate Responsibility Index after another drop in the number of companies taking part this year. A total of 123 UK-based...

moves afoot to bridge Atlantic divide on CSR - news

A bid to close the gap between the way European and domestic arms of US multinationals approach corporate responsibility is being made by a group of CSR practitioners. Executives based in...

ADB urged to adopt sustainable approach - news

A panel of experts has advised the Asian Development Bank to switch its emphasis from supporting economic growth to supporting environmentally sustainable growth. In a new paper, the panel...

Lenovo is green world beater in computer field - news

The Chinese personal computer manufacturer Lenovo has been placed top in the latest Greenpeace green ranking of electronics industry companies. Lenovo, which occupied the bottom place in an...

inbrief - news

Europe’s largest SRI fund manager is expanding into the US. London-based F&C, which already has offices in eight countries and manages $5.4billion (£2.7bn) in ethically screened funds, says...

inbrief - news

The Marine Stewardship Council has become one of ten organizations to receive $1million (£500,000) from the Skoll Foundation to further its work in ‘social entrepreneurship’. The council, which...

inbrief - news

The world’s second-largest pension fund has chosen the France-based rating agency Vigeo to provide extra-financial analysis. The Dutch company ABP Investments will use Vigeo’s Equi-sector...

maximizing returns by taking an SRI approach - news

Mainstream investors are now adapting SRI investment techniques to help satisfy their clients’ overriding need for good financial returns. EP talks to Neil Brown, head of governance and...

dog race gets firms in trouble - news

Corporate sponsors of a celebrated long-distance sled-dog race in Alaska are being targeted by campaigners who say the event is cruel to the animals. Alaska Airlines, Chevron, Coca-Cola,...

Deloitte comes up with top KPIs - news

Deloitte and the German government have jointly set down what they consider to be the principal non-financial key performance indicators (KPIs) for ten industry sectors. The global...

east European business ‘is still ignoring CSR’ - news

Companies in central and eastern Europe have been accused of making little progress on corporate responsibility in the 17 years that have elapsed since the fall of the Berlin Wall. A study...

backlog of human rights complaints is reduced - news

National governments appear to have improved their clear-up rate for complaints made against companies for allegedly breaching the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises. Figures...

investors call for ‘radical’ rethink on short-termism - news

A group of institutional investors that manage combined assets of £170billion ($340bn) has issued a guidance note calling for an end to the present preoccupation with short-term financial...

UK Foreign Office stakes claim to CSR territory - news

The British government’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office has produced a CSR strategy that commits it to a greater say on corporate responsibility in the UK and around the world. The ministry...

making sense of where climate change fits into CSR - news

Five years ago, at the height of the furore about Enron, some within the SRI community sought to present CSR as the first cousin of corporate governance, then a prime business concern. Corporate...

Hershey targets suppliers - news

An American snack food company is to develop an ethical supply chain monitoring programme that goes beyond recent efforts by chocolate manufacturers to tackle child labour and poor workplace...

European companies fall short on dialogue with unions - news

One in ten multinationals based in Europe has a strategic commitment to constructive consultation with trade unions, according to a study of more than 500 European companies by the ratings agency...

private equity firms begin to respond - news

Private equity firms have acted to counter suggestions that their increasing influence poses a threat to corporate social responsibility. Two heads of private equity firms last month publicly...

MEPs challenge the EC to deliver the goods - news

The European Commission’s big idea on corporate responsibility – the creation of a Europe-wide federation of companies called the European Alliance for CSR – has been attacked by members of the...

Banks get help to hand out unclaimed cash - news

UK financial institutions returning unclaimed assets to their customers are being offered a new service. In recent years the UK government has increased the pressure on financial institutions...

social issues to the fore as annual meeting votes draw near - news

This year’s proxy voting season  in the US looks like being one of the liveliest yet. Activist investors, buoyed by recent successes, sense that on key issues such as executive pay, climate...

merger deals riskier due to lack of ethics research - news

Due diligence for mergers and acquisitions is being held back by a lack of good-quality research into the social and environmental risks associated with investment, says research commissioned by a...

FTSE4Good sorts the sheep from the goats - news

European oil and gas companies have consistently outperformed their US counterparts on social and environmental issues for at least the last 12 months, FTSE data suggests. US oil and gas majors...

Abbott Laboratories offers cheap drugs in Thailand - news

The price of the antiretroviral drug Kaletra, used in HIV and Aids treatment, has been reduced in Thailand after negotiations between the US manufacturer Abbott Laboratories and the Thai...

Indian gagging order upsets unions - news

A court has issued an order silencing five Indian labour organizations that have protested about work conditions imposed by a company producing garments for large European and US labels. The...

From the Professor of Management, Politics and Philosophy at the Copenhagen Business School - news

Corporate Social Responsibility as a ‘business tool’ Thank you for sending me a copy of your new publication Ethical Performance Best Practice. I have some critical comments which I submit to...

inbrief - news

BP will start a Carbon Challenge programme in September to educate British school pupils about climate change. The programme, for children aged 14 to 16, is linked to the national curriculum...

inbrief - news

Aviva Insurance group has appointed the UK-based consultancy Enable to run a further year of programmes with its Leadership Academy, in which employees become involved in social projects across...

good government is about more than just regulation - news

Politicians have a role to play in CSR that extends far beyond introducing regulation, says Eric Biel In discussions on the role of government in CSR, government is all too often...

Swedish pension funds present a united research front - news

Four of Sweden’s state pension funds are to pool their research resources to assess the social and environmental performance of overseas companies in which they have holdings. The...

Danone asks shareholders to back social fund - news

The French food group Danone is to invite its shareholders to use their dividends to create a business development fund for social causes. Danone will present the proposal for shareholder...

Levi Strauss resigns over living wage spat - news

Levi Strauss has left the Ethical Trading Initiative after refusing to adopt the ‘living wage’ provision of the ETI’s base code. The clothing manufacturer was suspended from membership in...

tyre firms look at their risk factors - news

The world’s ten main tyre manufacturers are to collaborate on a research programme to assess the social, health and environmental impacts of the manufacturing and use of their products. The...

big names follow Nike lead on China labour reform plans - news

More multinationals have broken ranks with their industry associations by backing Chinese labour law reforms largely opposed by the associations. Several companies, including Ericsson,...

beleaguered Siemens opts to quit Sudan - news

A second European engineering company has decided to quit the troubled African state of Sudan for humanitarian reasons. Siemens, Europe’s largest electronics and electrical engineering group,...

Cambodia project under fire - news

Tensions appear to be rising in Cambodia over a five-year-old programme to improve working conditions in garment factories. The Better Factories Cambodia programme run by the International...

ASB takes responsible investment line - news

ASB Community Trust, Australasia’s biggest philanthropic body, is to use the ten principles of the United Nations Global Compact as the basis for a new socially responsible approach to its...

Deloitte sets up safe water project - news

A 12-month corporate-backed programme to bring safe water to neglected communities will target Bangladesh, China, India and countries in sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America. The programme...

Domini moves into Asia - news

Two socially responsible investment vehicles newly set up by Domini Social Investments are believed to be the first US-based ethical funds to concentrate on the Asia Pacific region. The...

inbrief - news

Henning Kagermann, chief executive of SAP, the largest software company in Europe, has become a council member of the International Business Leaders' Forum. SAP only recently joined IBLF.

inbrief - news

Socially responsible church and charity fund manager CCLA Investment Management has appointed Line Oquab to its London-based SRI team, taking its complement to three. Oquab, previously with...

private equity is discovering that it too needs a licence to operate - news

Private equity firms never tire of boasting of the stellar returns their backers enjoy. Gone are the days when private equity meant venture capital for cash-starved start-ups. Big companies are...

fund managers need to move into political arena - news

Investors must make it clear they require governments to take the lead on global warming, says Rory Sullivan Climate change is rapidly emerging as our greatest environmental and economic...

Toyota shuns CSR scheme - news

The difficulty of raising international standards in an intensely competitive industry sector has been highlighted by the efforts of a group of vehicle manufacturers to improve workplace...

private equity finds itself in the unwelcome glare of publicity - news

Private equity's success has invited greater scrutiny and the sector is now facing demands for disclosure of its record on social responsibility. This mirrors the experience of public companies...

GRI hits back over gripes about world domination - news

Senior figures at the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) have defended their organization from criticism that it is becoming too commercial and too dominant in the sustainability reporting field....

M&S sets the pace in the supermarket sector - news

Marks & Spencer has produced an ambitious 100-point five-year plan on social and environmental issues that, among other things, aims to 'set new standards' in ethical trading and promote a...

burger chain switches to ethical coffee - news

McDonald's is to serve 'ethically sourced' coffee at all its European outlets. The fast food giant started by switching to Rainforest Alliance-certified coffee in all its 1200 British outlets...

two monitoring bodies move a step closer - news

A transatlantic alliance has been formed between two organizations involved in ethical workplace monitoring. US-based Social Accountability International (SAI), which administers the SA8000...

firms make new year resolutions on carbon - news

2007 is already shaping up to become a year of action on climate change for business, with a plethora of carbon reduction schemes announced in January. Among new projects unveiled last month...

loan for Sakhalin II project bites the dust - news

A high-profile loan sought by the business consortium developing the controversial Sakhalin II oil pipeline in Russia has failed to be approved by the European Bank for Reconstruction and...

small is beautiful in the world of responsible business - news

Giants have much to learn from the minnows when it comes to corporate social responsibility, new statistics suggest. An analysis of 200 independent assessments of 90 organizations against the...

CSR combatants dig in for the battle of Wikipedia - news

An unlikely conflict has blown up over the phrase 'corporate social reponsibility' on the internet reference site Wikipedia. Contributors to the online encyclopedia, which allows allcomers to...

Indian company directors urged to engage - news

The directors of companies should engage more with the societies in which they trade, executives of the International Business Leaders’ Forum have said after a visit to economic and social...

inbrief - news

Belinda Howell has moved from her position as European director of sustainable solutions at the URS consultancy to become chief executive of Greenstone Carbon Management, a UK business that...

inbrief - news

A group of 25 business leaders convened by the Prince of Wales’s Business and Environment Programme has written an open letter to Jose Manuel Barroso, the European Commission president, calling...

inbrief - news

Vigeo has been selected by the French Pensions Reserve Fund to report on the environmental, social and governance performance of its €13.7billion ($18bn, £9.2bn) European equity fund. The...

inbrief - news

About one in eight of the largest companies in central and eastern Europe now produce an online corporate responsibility report in English. Latest data from the New York-based East West...

inbrief - news

German pharmaceuticals company Merck is to work with the World Health Organization to provide drugs at half price for treating the tropical disease bilharzia, which is caused by parasitic worms....

halt of Saudi bribery probe does capitalism an ill turn - news

When the public gets to hear of a brown envelope having been handed over, it is usually the recipient of the bribe who attracts the most opprobrium, as the beneficiary from ill-gotten gains. But...

EC panned over ‘weak’ stance on CSR policies - news

The European Parliament’s most active political commentator on CSR has tabled a resolution highly critical of the European Commission’s corporate responsibility policy. Richard Howitt, a UK...

‘prescriptive’ westerners fail to heed cultural factors - news

Western companies in China have been warned they are failing to get their CSR policies across to Chinese partners and suppliers because they take too little account of cultural differences....

HP offers management tools to small firms - news

Central European small businesses are to be encouraged to become more socially responsible through a new programme funded by the technology company Hewlett-Packard. HP has created the...

market for consultancy services is in rude health - news

The extent of CSR professional service provision has been laid bare in the first printed international directory of organizations offering advisory and other services in the field....

chastened Coca-Cola seeks to rebuild trust - news

Coca-Cola is to consult more fully with local communities around its facilities after having suffered bad publicity about the effects of its operations worldwide on the alleged depletion of local...

financial reporting needs sustainability dimension - news

Mainstream reporting is ineffective as an accountability instrument for shareholders, says Simon Zadek So the emperor has no clothes after all. After being encouraged for so long to be awed...

see NGOs as allies, not enemies, firms told - news

American companies have been urged to regard campaigns by non-governmental organizations as ‘early warning systems’ of trouble ahead rather than as a thorn in their side. Rachel Thompson,...

Latin American business gets reporting bug - news

A third of Latin America’s 250 largest companies disclose sustainability information, a US study has found. The survey was conducted by Monica Araya, director of the Empresa Informa Forum at...

timber trade to produce guidance for Asia - news

More than 50 wood products buyers, suppliers and policymakers are to produce practical guidance for businesses dealing with companies in Indonesia, Malaysia and several African countries. At...

Marriot takes action on sex tourism - news

The Marriott hotel group has revised its human rights policy specifically to tackle the sexual exploitation of children on its premises after shareholders filed a resolution on the subject and...

Malaysia gets CSR Index - news

Malaysia’s first CSR index has been set up by OWW Consulting, a specialist research company based in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. OWW’s offering is an index series covering initially Malaysia...

roadshows focus on sustainable timber - news

Market research and trade forums are to be run in Malaysia to communicate changes in rules for legal and sustainable timber. The programme, involving four meetings in Malaysia in January, has...

Chinese banks criticized on human rights - news

The Chinese government and the banks it owns have been attacked for ignoring human rights and environmental standards in their involvement in Africa. Paul Wolfowitz, the World Bank...

big retailers get vocal in Philippines - news

Seven US apparel companies have joined chambers of commerce in calling on the Philippines government to stop political killings or risk losing aid and investment. A letter of protest was sent to...

business tackles Pakistan poverty - news

A business partnership has been formed in Pakistan to create jobs, encourage training and improve living standards for women and young people in poor rural areas. Dairy industry executives...

inbrief - news

Rising interest rates will put increasingly put the spotlight on how banks keep their customers informed of the risks of borrowing in the housing market, says a new report from Innovest...

inbrief - news

Nineteen companies operating in Jamaica, including the Bank of Nova Scotia, Cable & Wireless, GraceKennedy and Red Stripe, have undertaken to address workplace discrimination against HIV and...

inbrief - news

A licensed music download service that donates 25 per cent of its revenue to charity has been set up in the UK. Ethicaldownloads is run by Sam Cowen, an entrepreneur.

inbrief - news

Vodafone Group heads this year's global Accountability Rating, which assesses the world's largest companies against six social and environmental measures. Companies performed better overall than...

inbrief - news

Nine investment banks have formed the Interbank Accessibility Group to 'develop best practice in the employment of disabled people'. They are Barclays Capital, Citigroup, Credit Suisse,...

Europeans take 'moral' line - news

US companies tend to use economic terms and arguments in their CSR communications while European companies concentrate more on issues of 'morality', new research has indicated. Researchers...

third of eurozone equities subject to engagement - news

The extent to which institutional investors in Europe raise social and environmental matters with companies has massively increased over the last two years, with the result that more than a third...

Airbus UK seeks opinion on future CSR programme - news

Airbus UK is to gather the views of its stakeholders as a prelude to drawing up a corporate responsibility programme. The UK arm of the European aircraft manufacturer will convene focus...

'lively' rating sector begins to reach maturity - news

Nearly 60 organizations now formally assess the social and environmental performance of companies. The Bertelsmann Foundation, a German social welfare research organization, has identified 58...

alliance aims to raise the quality of debate - news

An attempt to counteract 'lazy thinking' on CSR among academics and business people is to be made by a UK business school and a global supply chain management company. The Saïd Business...

support for UN principles is past 100 mark - news

The number of signatories to the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment has passed 120. The principles were originally backed by 18 institutional investors and 32 asset owners,...

pension funds appoint research providers - news

A large French pension fund has chosen Paris-based rating agency Vigeo and Munich-based research provider oekom to assist in developing a new SRI policy. ERAFP (Établissement de Retraite...

Xstrata is new face on short list - news

Mining group Xstrata has been short-listed for the UK Sustainability Reporting Awards, to be announced next March. Xstrata, a Switzerland-based company listed on the London Stock Exchange and...

football clubs need to reassess gambling links - news

Sponsorship deals with online gambling sites are putting teams at reputational risk, argues Lisa Buchan Britons wager close to £50billion ($97bn) a year, and online betting...

US bank takes world view on CSR policies - news

Bank of America is to extend its CSR programmes to Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The bank is creating a new senior post of CSR project officer to cover the three regions. The appointee,...

Campanale goes as Henderson reshuffle continues apace - news

Another key figure in Henderson Global Investors' socially responsible investment operations is to move on, following the firm's recent review of its approach to SRI. Mark Campanale, head of...

mainstreaming is top target - news

Encouraging companies to integrate corporate responsibility throughout their operations rather than confining it to a single department is the most common preoccupation of national CSR networks...

inbrief - news

Nick Hart has been appointed head of CSR at Turner Broadcasting Europe, which runs the CNN and Cartoon Network television channels. Hart was previously public relations director of Cartoon...

inbrief - news

Giuseppe van der Helm is the new executive director of the Dutch Social Investment Forum VBDO. He was formerly president of Valvoline Europe, a motor oil company.

investors move on climate - news

Institutional investors managing assets worth more than £850billion ($1600bn) pledged last month to use their collective financial weight to encourage companies to reduce their greenhouse gas...

glass is half full for upbeat SRI evangelist - news

EP talks to Robert Rubinstein, founder of this month’s Triple Bottom Line Investing conference, about the progress of socially responsible investment There are very few must-attend...

code overhaul outlaws ‘greenwash’ advertising - news

The global advertising industry has revised its code of ethics to highlight the dangers of making claims about a company’s social and environmental credentials. The code, produced for the...

investors told emerging markets need a rethink - news

Progress on responsible business practice on the part of companies in emerging market countries has reached a point where socially responsible investors in Europe and the US should be taking a...

neutered Companies Bill nears the statute book - news

The Companies Bill, which will introduce a limited range of light-touch measures to encourage corporate responsibility in the UK, will finally receive royal assent this month. The Bill,...

frustrated German NGOs want to force pace on CSR - news

Thirty civil society organizations in Germany have created a new CSR group to persuade companies to do more on corporate responsibility. The Berlin-based German Network for Corporate...

business urged to ally with NGOs to fight corruption - news

Companies have been urged to make greater efforts to work with non-governmental organizations on tackling corruption in countries with weak governance. Peter Eigen, head of Transparency...

firms ‘too defensive’ on CSR - news

Companies engaged by investors on corporate responsibility issues can become too defensive and bogged down in debating specific allegations about their performance rather than looking at the...

Global Compact de-lists 335 laggard companies - news

The United Nations has taken its most decisive action yet on ‘free rider’ signatories to the Global Compact by de-listing from its ranks 335 businesses that have failed, for at least two years...

Malaysian prime minister speaks out on CSR - news

Public listed companies in Malaysia have made significant progress in corporate governance compliance, said Abdullah Badawi, the premier and finance minister, when he put forward his tentative...

inbrief - news

Marcel Jeucken has been appointed head of responsible investments at the Dutch pension fund PGGM. He was head of institutional relations at Dutch Sustainability Research and was previously sales...

inbrief - news

About €1 trillion ($1.9tn, £6.7billion) is now invested in European SRI funds, reports the European Social Investment Forum. The statistics are for what Eurosif calls 'broad SRI', defined as funds...

inbrief - news

Budapest-based CSR consultancy Braun & Partners is working on a corporate responsibility rating of 30 companies based in Hungary and its neighbours. The ratings are being compiled in...

pressures mount on carbon disclosure - news

Investors are not yet asking companies the right questions about their carbon strategies. As a result, companies are not providing the information needed Interest in the effects of climate...

Fortune 500 show willing on human rights agenda - news

Some of the world's largest companies have been praised by John Ruggie, the United Nations special representative on business and human rights, for their progress on tackling human rights issues....

Americans want to be part of Europe alliance - news

Six American multinationals have expressed interest in supporting the new European Alliance for CSR, a loose network of businesses being created at the European Commission's suggestion....

Sky takes green message into living room - news

BSkyB is to use its access to customers in their living rooms to encourage them to make energy-saving improvements. The satellite broadcaster's technicians will act as environmental advisers when...

women working in CSR roles earn 30% less - news

Female CSR specialists in the US earn $30,000 (£16,000) a year less than their male counterparts, new statistics show. Women can expect to earn between $80,000 and $90,000 on average, compared...

Microsoft helps Asian women entrepreneurs - news

Developing nations in the Asia-Pacific region are among the countries being targeted by an initiative to help women entrepreneurs in the information technology industry. A pilot of a programme...

Who’s Who guide is updated - news

The second edition of an Indian CSR guide lists the practices and policies of more than 50 organizations. The Who’s Who in CSR in India: A Resource Guide 2006 has been brought out with...

GSK fights back on Aids claims - news

The pharmaceuticals company GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), whose offices in Thailand and India have been targeted by demonstrations against its attempts to patent a new anti-Aids drug, has said many...

inbrief - news

Simon Pickard has been appointed to the newly created position of deputy director at the Brussels-based European Academy of Business in Society. Pickard joins from Oxbridge Academic Programs, a New...

inbrief - news

Italian rating agency Avanzi SRI Research, founded in 2002, is to be bought by the Paris-based Vigeo Group in a takeover indicating further consolidation of the sector in Europe. The takeover...

let’s not mire ourselves in definitional confusion - news

Should it be CSR or CR? It’s better to change behaviour than the phrases we use, says Sir Geoffrey Chandler The responsibility of companies to society lies in the provision of goods and...

food firms agree soya deal - news

Five multinational food trading companies have decided to stop sourcing soya beans grown on newly deforested land in Brazil’s Amazon rainforest. The US commodities giants ADM, Bunge and Cargill,...

HP establishes IT centres to support small firms - news

Hewlett-Packard is to aid the growth of small businesses in deprived areas through a new Microenterprise Acceleration Programme (MAP) that offers information technology and business training to...

US reporters beginning to make up for lost time - news

The largest publicly owned companies in the US have grown more willing to disclose details of their social and environmental performance, a study by the investment researcher KLD has found. More...

FTSE4Good index unveils criteria on climate change - news

FTSE4Good, the equity index provider, has outlined climate change measures that it will soon expect companies to adopt if they are to be included in the FTSE4Good index. Draft FTSE4Good...

pioneering firms explore human rights framework - news

A dozen international companies, including Barclays, Gap, Novartis and Statoil, have committed themselves to develop a ‘common framework’ on business and human rights. The companies, all members...

accountants seek new CSR assurance standard - news

Europe’s leading accountancy body has called for a specific international standard on the assurance of non-financial reports. The Federation of European Accountants (FEE) says present standards...

inbrief - news

Hewlett-Packard is to expand a programme to support the teaching of science at universities that serve poorer students across Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The multinational will back 12...

A decent factory - news

Thomas Balmes (director). DVD. 79 mins. Produced by Making Movies (see web link below). €150 ($190, £105) The blurb on the case of this newly-available DVD says it is a ‘subtle, classic...

CEOs have accepted a new responsibility - news

Peter Erskine, who became chief executive of mobile phone company O2 in 2001, talks to EP about corporate responsibility as seen from a CEO’s perspective In many ways, O2’s Peter Erskine is...

corporates and academics must pull in one direction - news

CSR will make more progress when business schools and companies work better together, says Peter Lacy Business schools sit on an uncomfortable fault line between the academic and business...

GeSI project makes strides - news

An initiative intended to help telecoms companies share information on ethical supply chain audits has appointed the supplier management company Achilles to develop an online system for collating...

L’Oreal enlists hairdressers in fight against Aids - news

Cosmetics company L’Oreal has won acclaim for an initiative that trains employees to serve as HIV/Aids ‘educators’ in regions hard-hit by the disease. L’Oreal picked up the Award for Business...

ITV asks viewers to help shape its ethics strategy - news

Media company ITV is planning to introduce corporate responsibility questions into its future audience surveys as part of its wider efforts to give social and environmental issues more airtime on...

sustainability goals set for government spending - news

Corporate responsibility is set to receive a significant boost in the UK as the result of a government-commissioned inquiry urging ministers to introduce a sustainable procurement plan covering...

asset managers ‘lack clarity’ on SRI strategy - news

A French state pension fund has complained that many of the asset management companies which recently bid for mandates to manage €600million ($760m, £410m) of its funds along socially responsible...

SRI proponents warned of ‘push back’ - news

Signs are emerging of a possible backlash against socially responsible investment in some quarters, according to a specialist in the field. Stephen Hine, head of international relations at Ethical...

tougher factory audits reveal European failings - news

An upgraded ethical supply chain auditing process now in use by the clothing retailer H&M has uncovered more serious breaches of workplace standards than its old methods – especially in...

hours and pay are key non-compliance areas - news

Poor control over long working hours, inadequate pay levels and a lack of proper documentation have emerged as the main areas of concern during the first three years of an ethical supply chain...

cancer zone factories defy orders - news

At least 20 factories in the Tianjin area of China, south-east of Beijing, are continuing to operate even though the municipal authorities have ordered them to close because they are creating...

G3 attracts record interest - news

The response to the Global Reporting Initiative’s call for comments on its sustainability reporting guidelines has been ‘overwhelming’, the Amsterdam-based body says. The GRI has received 275...

‘bored’ Wicks remains in post despite rumblings - news

Malcolm Wicks, the UK’s CSR minister, has retained his corporate responsibility brief in the recent government reshuffle despite some discontent about the amount of time he spends on that part of...

UN acts to raise standards at tourism and travel firms - news

The tourism and travel industry is to receive United Nations help to improve its performance on human rights. The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), a UN specialist agency, is creating a...

chemicals sector is slow to act - news

The world’s largest chemical companies are making only limited progress on managing safety and sustainability risks, according to a study by Ethical Investment Research Services. Eiris found...

OFR successor unveiled as Bill reaches Commons - news

The UK government has settled details of its forthcoming requirement on listed companies to publish a forward-looking annual ‘Business Review’ that takes account of social and environmental...

Elkington to lead social enterprise initiative - news

John Elkington, one of the best known proponents of responsible business practice, is to head a three-year project looking at what lessons large companies can learn from social entrepreneurs....

businesses line up to take part in new European Alliance - news

About 40 companies have already expressed interest in participating in the new European Alliance for CSR, a loose network of businesses being assembled by the European Commission, but it has...

inbrief - news

George Weyerhaeuser, senior vice-president at the US forest products company Weyerhaeuser, has been seconded for two years to the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, where he will...

inbrief - news

Ideam, which is part of Credit Agricole Asset Management Group, has become the first European investor to use a new screening tool, Global Compact Plus, developed by Innovest Strategic Value...

Sweetening bitter sugar - news

Clem Seecharan. Ian Randle Publishers. 696 pages. Paperback. £25.95 This lengthy but illuminating book is not likely to be on any recognized CSR reading list, but it probably should be. The...

don’t allow CSR to become a state-led leftist agenda - news

The UK Conservative Party must reclaim corporate responsibility for the centre-right, says David Cameron Some of you may have noticed that I’ve been speaking about responsible business...

Community involvement idea ready for lift-off - news

US-based CSR membership organization Business for Social Responsibility (BSR) has formed a partnership with the Asian think tank Global Institute For Tomorrow (Gift) aimed at setting up a...

Chinese public supports CSR standard - news

Almost two thirds of the general public in China think the country should have some kind of compulsory CSR standard, according to a new survey. The internet poll by Sohu Finance, the Beijing...

inbrief - news

The European Commission’s head of employment strategy, Robert Strauss, has been handed the EC’s corporate social responsibility brief, which previously rested with Dominique Be, head of social...

inbrief - news

The pharmaceuticals sector has donated vaccines, equipment, health education and manpower worth at least $4.38billion (£2.5bn) during the past five years, reports the London School of Economics....

inbrief - news

A large UK-based consultancy has established a CSR division. RSK ENSR will operate the division from its new Manchester office, with a particular focus on supply chain management, sustainable...

John Ruggie: a man in search of the ‘sparkling grey zone’ - news

EP talks to former United Nations assistant secretary general John Ruggie about his tricky task of devising a way forward for the UN on business and human rights John Ruggie is clearly...

the UN’s Principles for Responsible Investment are a welcome initiative - news

The last thing corporate social responsibility needs is a new acronym. That said, the Principles for Responsible Investment – PRI for short – launched last month in New York (see page one ) are...

Rabobank is top in Europe - news

Rabobank has won this year’s award for Europe’s best CSR report. The Dutch bank came top in the European Sustainability Reporting Awards with a 2005 web-based document that judges said was...

row brews over Starbucks’ Guantánamo presence - news

Starbucks has been accused of failing to show a proper commitment to human rights by siting a coffee store at the controversial Guantánamo Bay detention centre in Cuba, where suspected terrorists...

too much talk and not enough action from food companies - news

Most of the world’s largest food companies are still not getting to grips with the potential harm in the goods they produce and sell, a study has found. An analysis of the biggest 25 food...

French motor giant signs CSR deal with trade unions - news

Peugeot Citroen has reached a landmark agreement with 85 trade unions by committing itself to new global workplace and supply chain standards. The multinational French car manufacturer,...

Commerzbank puts flesh on commitment - news

Commerzbank has formed a reputation and sustainability management team as part of efforts to improve its social and environmental performance. The three-person team will be responsible for CSR...

FTSE4Good drops 19 for failing tests - news

Liz Claiborne, Nordstrom and Hilton Hotels are among the 19 companies dropped from the FTSE4Good index after the benchmark index’s latest review. The majority were removed for failing to...

L’Oreal deal raises debate on ‘ethical’ firm takeovers - news

The recently agreed takeover of The Body Shop by French cosmetics company L’Oreal has sparked fresh discussion about whether a multinational can absorb a smaller company with an established...

reporting growth slows as saturation point looms - news

The rate of growth in the number of corporate non-financial reports has slowed in the last three years, while their length has steadily increased over the same period. The trend has been...

Philips trains its managers to carry out basic ethical audits - news

An internal training programme at Philips Electronics has equipped more than 500 managers to carry out basic ethical supplier audits during the past 12 months. The training sessions...

SRI research gets boost - news

An initiative to provide investors in emerging market equities with better research on the social, environmental and governance performance of companies has been set up by the International...

pension funds adopt investment principles - news

The pressure on companies to disclose social, environmental and governance risks has increased dramatically with a commitment by institutional investors controlling more than $2trillion (£1.1tn)...

Pakistan awaits CSR inquiry results - news

Full details of an inquiry into CSR in Pakistan are to be published soon. The inquiry has been set up and run by the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan as part of an initiative on...

sliding ingloriously down the pole of excellence - news

Five years ago the European Commission published a green paper that talked in grand terms of its desire to provide an overall European Union framework for corporate social responsibility. That...

the Reebok human rights report 2005 - news

Paperback and at www.reebok.com . 76pp. Reebok’s Human rights report 2005 is an impressive piece of work. It contains lots of highly informative facts and figures clearly presented in a...

Euro blueprint sets out softly-softly approach - news

The European Commission’s second white paper on CSR draws a line under more than five years of deliberation by officials. EP examines what it says What is the purpose of an EC white paper? To...

inbrief - news

Gareth Llewellyn, group corporate responsibility director at National Grid, has joined the board of the Corporate Responsibility Group, a company network. Seven organizations – Aviva, Cameron...

Pfizer joins band of companies rejecting short-termism - news

Signs are emerging that one of the most significant barriers to investors taking a longer-term interest in a company is beginning to break down. Pharmaceutical company Pfizer has become the...

DHL delivers skills to voluntary sector - news

Logistics company DHL has started a community initiative in the UK that allows its employees to share their expertise and skills with partner charities. The Skills in Motion programme is going...

inbrief - news

Baxter, the US-based pharmaceutical company, is to donate more than 280,000 doses of meningitis vaccine to Kashmir earthquake victims at risk of contracting the disease this spring. The company has...

inbrief - news

UK-based consultancy TwentyFifty is to take on the management of the Business Leaders’ Initiative on Human Rights. The group, whose corporate members share ideas on developing their human rights...

Alcoa makes strides on safety - news

Alcoa has reported dramatic reductions in workplace injuries in its European operations. The aluminium company – which has 28,500 employees in Europe and 131,000 in 43 countries worldwide – says...

German government told to stop ‘plodding’ on CSR - news

An inquiry into the state of CSR in Germany has suggested that the government must significantly increase its commitment to responsible business practice and stop ‘plodding’ along....

no short cuts when it comes to tackling climate change - news

Planting millions of trees is no morning-after pill for industry’s carbon excesses , argues Jutta Kill Can tree-planting ‘neutralize’ the climate damage caused by the emissions of an...

inbrief - news

Nokia and Pfizer have joined the Global Leadership Network, a self-help group of businesses that share their experiences on corporate responsibility ( EP7, issue 6, p5 ). Set up three years ago...

EC white paper unveils European CSR alliance - news

Plans to create a Europe-wide federation of companies on corporate responsibility have been outlined in the European Commission’s long-awaited second CSR white paper, published at the end of last...

Asian CSR managers targeted by new training - news

One of the first intensive training courses for CSR managers in Asian companies is being held in Beijing on May 26 and 27. The main theme will be building better business in China through CSR,...

UN rapporteur to examine role of drugs firms - news

The United Nations’ special rapporteur on the right to health is to investigate how pharmaceutical companies can improve the health of the world’s poor, beyond the commercial sale of products....

responsible business practice is not only a company concern - news

Has a battleship invaded corporate social responsibility’s pond? CSR is usually regarded as a private sector concern, mainly engaging large listed companies. The public sector has hardly figured...

inbrief - news

The film museum in Munich, Germany, has hosted what is believed to be the first film week dedicated to corporate responsibility themes. The programme consisted of seven full-length films from...

Sakhalin II decision could be big test for Equator Principles - news

One of the biggest tests yet is looming for the Equator Principles on ethical project finance lending, following a decision by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development to conduct a...

French navy makes waves with first CSR assessment - news

The French navy has shown there is life in CSR beyond the corporate sector by submitting itself to a social responsibility assessment. The Marine Nationale opened itself to scrutiny by...

inbrief - news

Hewlett Packard has opened a ‘digital community centre’ in Belfast, Northern Ireland, to improve access to technology for some of the city’s most disadvantaged people. HP already has 11 such...

inbrief - news

Eight pharmaceutical companies have agreed to reduce the cost of their HIV/Aids drugs and diagnosis test packs in 50 developing countries after the intervention of former US president Bill...

ANZ prepares to apply ethical screen to suppliers - news

One of the largest Antipodean banks is to flesh out a ‘sustainable procurement’ policy for its suppliers this year. Australia and New Zealand Banking Group, which spends A$2.2billion...

work-life schemes are ‘neutral’ - news

Providing good work-life balance for employees is not linked to better corporate performance, according to new research from the London School of Economics. The study of more than 700...

soft drinks firms sign code aimed at fighting obesity - news

European soft drinks manufacturers have for the first time jointly agreed voluntary measures to tackle obesity among young people. Members of the Union of European Beverages Associations...

DLA Piper thinks European - news

International law firm DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary has introduced measures to co-ordinate its in-house CSR activities across continental Europe. The global partnership, which has offices in...

drugs company moves on earthquake relief - news

A donation of $1million (£560,000) has been made by the GlaxoSmithKline multinational pharmaceuticals company to the South Asia Earthquake Relief Fund. The money is earmarked for...

Toyota among most trusted Asian firms - news

Three internationally known Asian companies have been named as the most trusted enterprises in their own countries after Microsoft, which receives the title of the most trusted global company....

inbrief - news

John Elkington, chair and founder of the SustainAbility consultancy, has switched to a roving, business development role with the title of chief entrepreneur. As a result, Sophia Tickell has...

inbrief - news

MTV’s newly formed global grant-making organization, the Staying Alive Foundation, has disbursed its first cash to 25 groups working for young people in Africa, Asia, eastern Europe and Latin...

inbrief - news

The December 2005 issue of EP contained an incorrect website address at the end of a story on the Context consultancy’s survey of European social reporting ( EP7, issue 7, p3 ). The correct...

a cynic’s view of the Tories’ embrace of corporate social responsibility - news

Imagine, for a moment, that the Conservative Party is a business – a listed company. It has not been performing well since its period of greatness a couple of decades ago, when it dominated the...

a brief anatomy of the consultancy market - news

Assurance, training, and communications are all important areas of work for consultants working to embed responsible practices in company operations A few years ago, consultancies offering...

US firms hit by ‘trust deficit’ away from home - news

US-based multinationals are less trusted abroad than at home, reports the seventh annual Trust Barometer. The barometer, a survey of nearly 2000 opinion leaders in 11 countries by public...

action urged to clear up chaotic post-OFR scene - news

Confusion is growing in the UK as to how companies should report on their forward-looking social and environmental risks, now that the government is scrapping the requirement to produce an annual...

EC offers cash for CSR projects - news

The European Commission has invited applications for a new round of funding for projects that promote CSR. Cash is available for various purposes, including the training of auditors, running...

Barclays works with minibankers to reach African poor - news

Barclays has begun working with traditional banking agents in Ghana as part of a new programme to loan small sums to poor people. The UK-based bank is working with local entrepreneurs, known...

firms in Russia target health - news

Businesses operating in Russia are to work together to improve the population’s health, in particular Russians’ eating habits. BP, Interros, Johnson & Johnson, Nestlé, Unilever and...

a shift in business practices does not require a change of heart - news

When the history of corporate social responsibility is written, 2005 may be remembered not for the furore over the abolition of the Operating and Financial Review, but for the entry of two of the...

East Europeans fare well - news

Estonia, Slovenia and Lithuania have been judged the best emerging-country performers in an index that ranks companies and governments on their efforts to promote and implement responsible...

ABN Amro scales up SRI - news

A large European bank is to triple the money it manages along socially responsible lines.The asset management division of Amsterdam-based ABN Amro plans to increase assets under SRI management...

coalition attacks ‘abject failure’ - news

The European finance sector has been ‘largely ineffectual’ in its attempts to address its social and environmental responsibilities over the past few years, according to a coalition of ten...

HP looks to lead on ethics of personal data storage - news

Hewlett-Packard is hoping to assemble a group of companies to create a protocol on the ethical use of personal information on customers and employees. The IT giant believes it has ‘leading...

business aid sought for disaster response idea - news

Corporate backing of £30million ($52m) is being sought for a United Nations-supported initiative to build economic capacity in Africa by helping African firms manufacture tents, blankets and...

Morocco embraces CSR - news

The Moroccan government says it wants to ‘differentiate’ the country from other emerging markets by gaining a reputation for high workplace standards in human rights, environmental impact and...

OFR repeal sours NGO relations with government - news

The UK government’s decision to abolish the Operating and Financial Review (OFR) has seriously damaged its already shaky relationship with non-governmental organizations active in the corporate...

Asia Pacific countries make show in new index - news

Three Asia Pacific countries appear in the top half of a league table drawn up in a competitiveness and responsibility report by the international think-tank AccountAbility. The Responsible...

inbrief - news

The Conference Board has appointed Robin Aram as director of its European Council on Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability, a cross-industry forum of senior executives. Aram recently...

inbrief - news

Five companies appear for the first time on a list of stocks most commonly found in the portfolios of European SRI fund managers. Foerenings-Sparbanken, ING, Sanofi-Synthelabo, TeliaSonera and...

abolition of OFR met by across-the-board anger - news

Surprise and anger have greeted news that the UK government has scrapped its requirement on large companies to produce annual Operating and Financial Reviews (OFRs) just as it was about to come...

inbrief - news

The top European companies are twice as likely to publish social reports as their US counterparts, a study has revealed. The survey by UK consultancy Context has found that 84 of the 100 largest...

big business 'needs to move into aid agenda' - news

Efforts to reduce world poverty will not succeed until aid agencies and governments bring business into the equation, according to the Shell Foundation. Its director Kurt Hoffman, who has...

McDonald's makes key shift into CSR heartland - news

McDonald's has enhanced its status as an increasingly bona fide member of the CSR community by being accepted as a member of the Coalition for Environmentally Responsible Economies, the US-based...

world is Academy's oyster - news

The CSR Academy began an international programme of training last month in conjunction with its newly-appointed global training partner, BSI Management Systems. The training company has...

Company Law Reform Bill seeks to foster ‘enlightened’ approach - news

The UK Company Law Reform Bill, published last month, upholds the primacy of shareholders, but says directors need to consider the interests of other parties What stage are we at with...

social matters move onto chief executives' radar screens - news

Chief executives of multinationals increasingly believe that the performance of their businesses on social issues such as community involvement and labour standards will soon be as critical as...

two sectors agree to pool their resources - news

Electronics companies are linking up with telecoms businesses to examine ways of working together on ethical supply chain management. Signatories to the recently developed Electronics...

how to throw away a reputation for good management of CSR - news

The government’s decision to scrap the Operating and Financial Review took everyone by surprise, including, it seems, the Department of Trade and Industry, which was responsible for ushering in...

salvage attempts begin in wake of the OFR's abolition - news

Friends of the Earth is to seek a judicial review of last month's controversial UK government decision to abolish regulations that would have required large companies to produce Operating and...

central CSR departments lose out at two big firms - news

Evidence that centralized CSR departments can be among the first casualties of corporate restructuring has emerged from drinks company Allied Domecq and hospitality group Whitbread. Allied...

Foreigners scoop China CSR awards - news

Four foreign companies have won inaugural CSR awards in China organized by the American Chamber of Commerce (AMCham). Nu Skin (US, Pharmaceuticals) won the award for best community outreach,...

Novartis extends leprosy programme to 2010 - news

Leprosy patients in India and Nepal will continue to be treated with medicines supplied free by the pharmaceuticals company Novartis. The free drugs agreement between the company and the...

Don't get complacent on SRI, Australians told - news

Australia seems to have lost its understanding of what sustainability and socially responsible investment mean, ethical investors were told in a recent speech by Tessa Tennant, chair of the...

From Alan Knight, Head of Standards, AccountAbility - news

In reviewing the recently published exposure draft of AccountAbility’s Stakeholder Engagement Standard ( EP7, issue 6, p10 ), Hilary Sutcliffe makes some useful points. She describes it as...

inbrief - news

Former HBOS corporate responsibility manager Martin Batt has joined The Virtuous Circle, a UK-based business risk consultancy. Batt will be managing consultant responsible for the consultancy’s...

inbrief - news

Simon Rogerson, Europe’s first computer ethics professor, has won the Association for Computing Machinery’s Making a Difference award, given annually to mark ‘outstanding contributions to...

inbrief - news

Transport services provider Arriva, house builder Barratt Developments and Natexis Banques Populaires, the French commercial lender, are among holdings in a new SRI fund established by US-based...

CSR's first lady looks to business for a lead - news

EP talks to former president of Ireland Mary Robinson about the role companies can play in galvanizing governments and society into action on key global issues There are few globally...

brand launch by Nestlé boosts fair trade hopes - news

A further sign that fair trade products are entering mainstream UK business came last month as the food giant Nestlé launched its first Fairtrade certified coffee. The new instant coffee...

chemical firms are falling short - news

Chemical companies have been criticized for doing too little to examine the potentially negative impacts of their products. A survey of 23 chemical firms from nine countries by Munich-based...

high-profile laggards making little progress - news

Fourteen of the world's 100 largest businesses have scored less than ten out of 100 in the second annual AccountAbility Rating of their social and environmental performance. The companies,...

terrorism threat emerges as CSR issue for Shell - news

The threat of terrorism has emerged as a corporate responsibility issue for Shell, which has scaled down operations at a fuel depot in the Philippines due to fears from nearby residents that it...

Google and eBay join dotcom philanthropists - news

Google is to pay more attention to its social responsibilities in the wake of its public flotation. The internet search engine company announced last month that it would give at least...

human rights initiative gives itself three more years of life - news

Members of the Business Leaders Initiative on Human Rights, which was to wind up in spring 2006, have agreed to extend its work until 2009. The initiative was founded in May 2003 by ABB,...

SRI fund leads the pack - news

The Australian Ethical Balanced Trust has won the Standard & Poor's Fund Award for Australia in the 'balanced funds - neutral' category. The fund is managed by Canberra-based Australian...

less talk and more action is key to an engaging strategy - news

For some companies, stakeholder engagement is no longer just a 'nice to do', but an integral part of their overall business approach. A new manual sheds some valuable light on what does - and...

inbrief - news

The chief executive of Danish pharmaceuticals company Novo Nordisk has won this year's Sustainability Leadership Award. Lars Rebien Sorensen was singled out by the judges of the annual award for...

sleeping continent needs kick-start to get CSR going - news

Inactivity is the norm in South America when it comes to corporate responsibility, says Oliver Balch When you talk about corporate social responsibility in Europe, people think you're...

the United Nations deserves some credit - news

The United Nations has come in for a lot of stick lately, not least for its failure to agree on substantial reform at last month's World Summit in New York. But it can justifiably claim credit...

O2’s ethical lead inspires others - news

Ethical auditing of suppliers by the mobile phone group O2 has encouraged two of them to introduce their own ethical procurement policies. O2 issued self-assessment questionnaires to 20...

marketing review board works, says drinks company - news

One of the world’s biggest alcoholic drinks companies has urged other businesses to copy its idea of creating a marketing review board that advises on responsible product marketing. Allied...

business digs deep to help Katrina victims - news

US companies have contributed millions of dollars towards disaster relief efforts after the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina in the states of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. One...

Centrica uses diversity to open up new supplies - news

Utilities business Centrica is intensifying its efforts on diversity to help it open up new natural gas supplies in remote regions. The group believes that recruiting a more diverse...

GRI will charge for its services - news

The Global Reporting Initiative is to adopt a more self-sufficient business policy of generating money from training and educational services that will reduce its dependence on grants. GRI...

PruPIM puts CSR ball in senior executives’ court - news

One of the UK’s largest property investment management companies has asked senior executives to lead progress on eight different aspects of corporate responsibility. Prudential Property...

BAT wants end to prohibition of ‘healthier’ tobacco product - news

The world’s second largest tobacco group is to push the European Union to end its ban on an alternative to smoking cigarettes. British American Tobacco believes its tobacco snuff, marketed as...

Kraft’s ethical coffee aims to be an instant hit - news

Kraft Foods has brought out an instant coffee for the mass UK market sourced from farms certified by the Rainforest Alliance. Kraft says the Kenco Sustainable Development brand, which went on...

consolidation of SRI rating agencies benefits the market - news

A few years ago, specialist agencies rating companies' social, environmental and ethical record were popping up all over the place. Now the talk is of consolidation. Ethibel and Vigeo have...

why US companies are a blot on FTSE4Good's landscape - news

Many US companies are failing to meet the criteria necessary for inclusion in one of the world's best-known SRI indexes. EP looks at the reasons - and the excuses It has its critics, but...

EC to target public on CSR - news

A campaign to make the public more aware of socially responsible business practice is to be run by the European Commission. Officials believe that greater public understanding of how some...

legal bodies 'need to bring lawyers more into CSR arena' - news

Lawyers' associations have been urged to play a more active role in persuading corporate lawyers to become involved in socially responsible business practice. A new study from the...

third of bond issuers fail ethical health check - news

A third of the financial institutions that issue increasingly popular 'covered bonds' to investors fail to do so in a socially and environmentally responsible manner, reports a leading Swiss...

high street store dips toe into 'pro-poor' waters - news

Marks & Spencer is to provide business advice and expertise to entrepreneurs in an effort to improve wealth generation in developing countries. The 'pro-poor' initiative will be carried...

rating market consolidates as European agencies merge - news

Two of the largest socially responsible investment rating agencies in continental Europe have merged. Brussels-based Ethibel and Paris-based Vigeo have joined forces to create the...

HP managers given diversity plans - news

Hewlett-Packard has asked its national managers in 23 European countries to draw up action plans on diversity. The US multinational, which is the largest IT employer in Europe with 46,000...

new KLD index focuses on climate change - news

US-based KLD Research Analytics is setting up a new investment index composed of companies that take 'positive' action to reduce global warming. The Global Climate 100 Index will consist of...

retailers cut landmark deal on labour standards - news

Large retailers have struck a deal with Bangladesh textiles and clothing manufacturers, promising to maintain their orders and the prices they pay in return for improvements in labour standards....

Cheung Kong support students - news

Scholarships have been granted to 29 Hong Kong students under the first educational link-up between the Australian government and a private-sector company. The government’s partner in the...

Corporate responsibility in context: a pocket guide - news

Context. 44 pages, paperback. Free. For details of how to obtain a copy, please email the address shown below. The Context consultancy has long been one of the more refreshing and down-to-earth...

Henkel takes the plaudits - news

Chemicals company Henkel has come top of a new ranking of German corporate sustainability reporters. Henkel scored 494 points out of a possible 700 in an analysis of reporting carried out by the...

Starbucks customers get CSR with their coffee - news

Starbucks is to host meetings in its UK coffee houses for local people to discuss corporate responsibility issues. The global chain has been training dozens of employees this summer to help with...

hedge fund for ethical investors - news

UK-based Armajaro Asset Management introduces the first pan-European SRI hedge fund this month. The fund, named Coolum Strategus, will short companies it regards as overvalued and performing...

US flower sector starts work on eco-label idea - news

The $16billion (£8.8bn) flower industry in the US began to develop a domestic sustainability standard last month with the introduction of the country's first eco-label for floral products. The...

data collection demands get Disney animated - news

Simply keeping up-to-date records on suppliers is one of the main challenges of Walt Disney's global programme to monitor labour standards, the project's European boss has said. Elise More, the...

Pfizer lags in EIRIS ranking - news

Two newly released research briefings on how companies are managing their responsibilities in respect of public health clearly illustrate the sector-specific nature of non-financial risk. One...

£300,000 funding gives Academy fresh impetus - news

The CSR Academy is to expand its activities after being given £300,000 ($547,000) by the UK government for another year. The Academy, set up in 2004 to promote corporate responsibility...

Eurosif targets institutions - news

Transparency guidelines for institutional SRI funds are to be developed by the European Social Investment Forum (Eurosif) in the wake of the successful introduction of its guidelines for retail SRI...

CSR heads drafted in to shape new policy - news

Three senior CSR practitioners at FTSE 100 companies are among members of a new task force set up by the UK government to make recommendations on sustainable procurement. Alison Ritchie, BT's...

retail companies ponder response to factory disaster - news

A CSR consultant has been called in to advise European retailers that have sourced goods from a Bangladeshi clothing factory which recently collapsed at the cost of around 100 lives. The...

the EC needs to stop worrying about its critics and get on with the job - news

Five years ago this month, the European Commission announced that corporate social responsibility would become one of the priority areas within its Social Policy Agenda, playing an important part...

Laos dam project gets go ahead - news

The controversial Nam Theun 2 hydroelectric dam in Laos is finally to go ahead with loans of $1billion (£540m) from nine international and seven Thai banks. After ten years of environmental and...

inbrief - news

A Europe-wide project that helps local authorities promote CSR in their regions is looking to expand. The European Commission-funded CSR-VadeRegio project is seeking local authorities and...

inbrief - news

The New Academy of Business is to re-launch as the Association of Sustainability Practitioners on 7 June. The UK-based organization was set up in 1995 by Body Shop founder Anita Roddick to assist...

inbrief - news

Coffee shop chain Starbucks has bought Ethos Water, a privately held US bottled water company with a strong record on CSR. Starbucks says it will continue Ethos’s financial support for water...

inbrief - news

Microsoft has signed an agreement to improve the technology infrastructure of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. Microsoft Europe, Middle East and Africa will...

third sector should take leaf from business book - news

Companies have a lot to teach charities about social responsibility, argues Jon Duschinsky A while back, I was a reluctant participant at a conference given by the head of corporate social...

Atlantic drift may bring proxy voting transparency to UK - news

Sarbanes-Oxley has opened the proxy voting records of thousands of US mutual funds to public scrutiny, adding a new dimension to shareholder activism. The knock-on effects are now being felt in...

FoE uses CSR as recruiting sergeant - news

Friends of the Earth is using a tough line on corporate social responsibility as part of its latest membership recruitment and fundraising drive in the UK. Inserts titled ‘Get your filthy hands...

stem cell research raises its head as an SRI issue - news

Shareholder activists in the US have signalled they believe stem cell research could become a hot topic for socially responsible investors. The Washington DC based Investor Responsibility...

retail companies ponder response to factory disaster - news

A CSR consultant has been called in to advise European retailers that have sourced goods from a Bangladeshi clothing factory which recently collapsed at the cost of around 100 lives. The garment...

index needs bigger push, say frustrated investors - news

Business in the Community has been criticised for failing to communicate the results of its corporate responsibility index adequately to institutional investors. Delegates at a CSR conference in...

Accor extends initiative to combat sex tourism - news

A corporate responsibility programme on sex tourism adopted by one of the world’s largest hotel chains is to be extended to parts of South America and Eastern Europe. The French-owned Accor group...

EC white paper stalled as wrangling continues - news

Political disagreements have led to further postponement of the European Commission’s long-awaited second CSR communication. The communication, also known as a white paper, will not now appear...

three-year haul brings dividends for six retail pioneers - news

Six companies broke new ground last month by completing a three-year programme of ethical supply chain monitoring in conjunction with the US-based Fair Labor Association. The FLA says...

inbrief - news

Legislation requiring UK companies to involve their staff in decision-making came into force last month. The new rules, which implement a European Union directive, initially apply to companies with...

institutional investor interest in SRI at bottom rests on ethics, not risk - news

Financial markets may be faltering, but ethical or socially responsible investment continues to gain ground. The number of UK ethical investors in pooled funds now stands at a record 475,000....

how a little togetherness may help firms fight poverty - news

EP talks to the head of the Shell Foundation about its plans to act as a catalyst for ‘pro-poor’ initiatives on the part of large companies in developing countries Like others in the corporate...

defining the limits of investor responsibilities - news

CSR lies in the realm of investment, and not governance, analysis, argues Christine Farnish Some people argue that institutional investors should take account of social, environmental and...

US is sceptical on SRI future - news

US investment managers remain broadly unconvinced of the merits of incorporating non-financial measures when deciding which companies to include in portfolios. Thirty-one of 49 large US-based...

EU research boosted - news

A three-year initiative to develop CSR teaching materials and curriculum ideas for mainstream degree and MBA courses has kicked off as part of a series of European research projects launched last...

BP tries to attract lay audience - news

BP has produced two versions of its sustainability report in an effort to communicate it to lay people as well as CSR specialists. The UK-based oil company says an ‘audience research dialogue’ last...

climate change action fends off US activists - news

Shareholder activists in the US have agreed to drop climate change resolutions tabled at five oil and gas businesses now that the companies have announced new measures on the issue. In a sign...

norms are kept alive as UN agrees compromise - news

Supporters of efforts to develop a set of ‘norms’ on acceptable behaviour by multinationals under the auspices of the United Nations were thrown a lifeline last month when the annual meeting of the...

ChevronTexaco courts trouble over Burma link - news

ChevronTexaco has been warned that its proposed $18billion (£9.6bn) takeover of Unocal could make it a focus for human rights campaigns because of Unocal’s involvement in the Yadana project in...

UK university founds research centre - news

A CSR research centre has been set up by Bath University in the UK. The Centre for Business, Organizations and Society aims to study ‘the relationship between corporations and the societies within...

PetroChina stake sold over Sudan link - news

Harvard, the world-famous US university, is selling an estimated $4.4million (£2.35m) stake in PetroChina, whose parent company, owned by the Chinese government, is closely linked to the Sudan...

Pfizer hands out free medicines - news

Pfizer, the international pharmaceuticals company, has donated $11million (£5.85m) to relief organizations and has provided medicines and other health products valued at $46m in the tsunami-hit...

companies back logging action - news

A ratings system showing the countries where illegal logging is rife is being drawn up to help businesses, customers, investors and other stakeholders to avoid supporting the practice. The...

Japan makes headway in FTSE4Good - news

Japanese companies are prominent among the new entries to the FTSE4Good Index series, which list ethically responsible businesses. Of the 61 newcomers admitted after the latest six-monthly...

inbrief - news

The European Commission white paper on CSR is due to be published this month. The document was to have been produced in late 2004.

inbrief - news

Examples of innovative work by companies on workplace equality are being sought by the European Commission for a compendium of good practice. The commission’s Community Action Programme on...

extra help for clothing sector - news

The apparel and footwear sector is to have its own supplement to the Global Reporting Initiative guidelines on sustainability reporting. A ‘multi-stakeholder working group’ convened by the GRI...

index fever mounts as Brazil joins rising band - news

Brazil is to get its own sustainability index this summer. The benchmark, being set up by Bovespa, the Brazilian stock exchange, is expected to be introduced in July or August as the Brazilian...

academy courts outside interest - news

The UK’s CSR Academy has begun a search for international and development organizations interested in buying a licence to use the training materials it has developed for managers and other staff...

ethical champions take strain at Allied Domecq - news

The UK spirits and wines distributor Allied Domecq has brought together a group of ‘ethical champions’ inside the company as part of its effort to embed ethical trading principles throughout the...

Laos project gets go ahead - news

Finance for a huge hydroelectric dam in Laos has been recommended by the World Bank advisory panel despite an undercurrent of environmental objection. The total cost of the Nam Theun 2...

sportswear sector makes good progress - news

The sports footwear industry, often accused of violating fundamental labour standards, has made greater progress in implementing worker-friendly codes of conduct than the apparel and retail...

CEOs see value of good behaviour - news

Nearly all chief executives in Asia were found in a survey to believe that effective governance, risk management and compliance enhance the value of their companies and give a competitive...

Toshiba targets suppliers - news

Toshiba has drawn up a procurement policy for its 400 companies establishing CSR standards it requires from suppliers. The Japanese corporation, whose products include telephone systems, office...

Singapore pinpoints future CSR leaders - news

Singapore Management University is to hand-pick about 50 of its 1000 undergraduates every year to be trained as ‘socially conscious business leaders’. The students will follow a scholars’...

inbrief - news

The Tel Aviv Stock Exchange published an Index for Social Responsibility last month, listing the top 20 Israeli companies rated by Business for Social Responsibility in Israel (known as Maala)....

reporting practices are beginning to sort the sheep from the goats - news

With the annual CSR reporting season nearly upon us, now is an appropriate time to ask where social and sustainability reporting is heading. The World Bank’s first sustainability review, reported...

norms face long hard battle even to see the light of day - news

This month the United Nations reconsiders the future of a document that sets out accepted behaviour for multinationals. EP looks at what is likely to happen Agreement is rarely achieved in the...

Turkey to be test-bed for new code approach - news

Garment factories in Turkey are to be used as a test-bed for developing a common approach to implementing different codes on ethical labour practices. The factories will participate in trials this...

event managers bow to changing demands - news

The organizers of two of the world’s largest CSR and SRI conferences have shelved their showcase events, reflecting delegate demands for more specialized gatherings. After holding three annual...

investors pick brokers for SRI bonuses - news

Seven brokerage houses have now been chosen by a mainstream institutional investors’ group to receive a financial incentive for providing research on companies’ social and environmental...

'Helping victims of the Tsunami' by Robert Morton - news

No doubt your readers have been watching the tsunami news reports, stunned at the devastation following the massive earthquake off the coast of Sumatra. A phenomenal amount of support has been...

the UK’s presidency of the G8 is a chance
to show leadership on CSR - news

For corporate social responsibility buffs, the UK presidency of the G8 has come at a propitious time. Africa and climate change – the themes of the presidency – have obvious links with socially...

inbrief - news

The UK’s All-Party Parliamentary Group on CSR is planning a series of meetings this year relating to media, pharmaceutical, utility, IT and telecoms, food and drink, and transport companies....

inbrief - news

Senior executives are more likely to believe their company’s CSR policies are effective than the managers responsible for implementing them, a poll of delegates at two conferences in Europe and...

inbrief - news

Alice Evans has joined Henderson Global Investors’ SRI team as an assistant fund manager. She previously worked for three years at JP Morgan Fleming, covering pan-European equities.

inbrief - news

A US-based CSR consultancy is expanding its activities into Europe. Barua, Blok & Company, which was established only six months ago, will look for European business from a base in the...

inbrief - news

An SRI guide for pension fund trustees is available from Eurosif. The pension programme toolkit aims to make SRI ‘an integrated part of institutional portfolios’.

Gallaher looks beyond tobacco - news

Tobacco multinational Gallaher is extending its ethical supply-chain monitoring efforts by assessing the social impact of the companies that furnish it with non-tobacco inputs. The new work by...

Cadbury’s offers helping hand to cocoa farms - news

Cadbury Schweppes is to attempt to boost the incomes of Ghana’s cocoa farmers through a partnership with two civil society groups. The three organizations will improve wildlife habitats as a...

EC research cash up for grabs - news

Corporate social responsibility researchers are being urged to lobby the European Commission for a bigger slice of its research budget. Peter Lacy, executive director of the European Academy of...

UK could lead drive for international CSR forum - news

UK ministers are considering a proposal for an international forum on CSR that would try to galvanize governments to do more to promote corporate responsibility. The suggestion has been made in a...

drugs firms urged to forge closer relationships with NGOs - news

A United Nations health specialist has suggested pharmaceutical companies and human rights workers co-operate more closely to find ways of improving the health of the world’s poor. Paul Hunt, who...

Calvert turns mirror on itself - news

One of the best-known SRI asset managers in the US has practised what it preaches by publishing its first sustainability report. Maryland-based Calvert has tabled 14 shareholder resolutions in...

study to analyse CSR costs and benefits - news

Research has begun in Europe to assess the financial benefits to companies of adopting sustainability programmes. The Advance project, funded by the European Commission, will attempt to ‘make use...

inbrief - news

Hannah Jones has become vice-president of corporate responsibility at Nike’s world headquarters in Beaverton, US. Jones, who was based in Brussels as corporate responsibility director for Nike’s...

inbrief - news

Kate Fish is the new managing director for Europe of the US-based membership organization Business for Social Responsibility. She succeeds Aron Cramer, who has returned to BSR’s San Francisco...

inbrief - news

The European Commission has produced an online CSR guide detailing codes of conduct, management standards and reporting guidelines. The ABC of CSR instruments will shortly be available in print.

draft OFR standard heralds new phase in corporate social reporting - news

Is this the beginning of the end for coffee table CSR reports produced by UK quoted companies? The reporting standard now being prepared by the Accounting Standards Board, which company directors...

OECD cases revealed - news

The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development has for the first time publicly listed ‘specific instances’ of alleged non-compliance with its guidelines for multinational enterprises....

opinions split on effect of end of multi-fibre pact - news

Opinions are divided on whether a shake-up in the rules governing world trade in textiles and clothing will help multinationals to improve their supply chains’ social and environmental performance,...

Griffiths tries to bring NGOs back into the fold - news

The UK’s CSR minister, in his first significant action since taking office last year, is forming a group to advise the government on policy, partly as a response to criticism from non-governmental...

tea body turns over new leaf in China - news

Ethical monitoring of tea estates in China will begin this autumn as part of increased activity by a socially responsible tea body. Members of the Ethical Tea Partnership, among them Gold Crown...

Novartis takes plunge by setting living wage - news

A Swiss multinational has broken new ground by setting ‘living wage’ levels for staff and contract workers at its sites around the world. Novartis, the third-largest pharmaceuticals group, has...

inbrief - news

Amendments to the European Union’s Accounting Directives proposed by the European Commission should further increase – albeit modestly – pressure on companies to report their wider responsibilities...

inbrief - news

A campaign to raise CSR awareness among Europe’s small and medium-sized businesses is now under way. The campaign, organized by the European Commission, will hold 65 one-day events to introduce...

inbrief - news

A second European Commission white paper on CSR is now expected to be published in March 2005, officials have confirmed. The communication was due to be produced by the end of this year. Anglo...

inbrief - news

AstraZeneca, Pfizer and Vodafone are the three companies most likely to be held in the portfolios of European socially responsible retail fund managers, for a mix of financial, weighting and...

second term for Bush puts the ball in corporate court - news

While the US election results were widely regarded as bad news for CSR, the re-election of the president could, paradoxically, be a catalyst for change It would be wrong to say that gloom has...

look closer to home for a guiding hand on CSR - news

Employees are your most important stakeholders, so why not base your responsibility strategies around their own values, says John Drummond Sometimes you have to go round the world to get an...

food firms begin to move on obesity - news

United Biscuits, the UK group with a £1.3billion ($2.4bn) turnover, is to encourage its European staff to tackle obesity. The company, which is owned by an international consortium called...

ethical funds still represent tiny portion of retail market - news

Socially responsible investment funds account for less than half of one per cent by value of all European retail funds, according to a study of green, social and ethical funds in Europe. The...

consultancies band together - news

Three European CSR consultancies have formed an alliance to offer their services across the continent. The three – csrnetwork (UK), Ecodurable (France) and triple innova (Germany) – have joined...

reporting is getting better all the time - news

The standard of non-financial reporting is continuing to improve significantly, says a benchmarking survey by the SustainAbility consultancy. The Global Reporters 2004 survey, the sixth of its...

sell-side analysts will get money to consider SRI - news

Four mainstream European institutional investors are to offer a financial incentive to encourage brokers and investment banks to do more research on the social and environmental performance of...

Inditex takes long look at its impact on society - news

A Spanish multinational has produced one of the longest sustainability reports so far, totalling 172 pages. The report from Inditex, a clothing retail group with 2000 stores worldwide, dwarfs...

EIRIS strengthens its overseas presence - news

Europe’s largest provider of investor information on the social and environmental performance of companies is to open offices in New York and Tokyo. Ethical Investment Research Services, which...

Review of the UK party conferences - news

CSR not part of the political vocabulary No one expects the outcome of the next UK general election to hinge on CSR, yet it was something of a surprise to see the subject so far from the...

inbrief - news

Deutsche Bank has won top prize in the first Corporate Community Investment awards run by the UK’s Charities Aid Foundation. The bank took the £25,000 ($46,000) award, which it will give to its...

inbrief - news

The European Commission has urged businesses to disclose full details of their executive pay packages and give shareholders more say in how those pay levels are decided. The recommendation, which...

CSR gongs can prove to be a liability as much as an asset - news

There are hundreds of awards open to companies and individuals to win but many are of doubtful value because it is often unclear what they measure As with codes of practice, so with CSR awards....

new SRI tack for Dexia - news

A new socially responsible investment approach concentrating only on labour standards has been established by the Belgian insurance group Dexia. The approach, named Portfolio 21, will screen out...

stakeholders push bank into u-turn on porn - news

Stakeholder pressure has persuaded the Bank of Ireland to withdraw a loan facility made to a company that produces pornography. The bank had already lent about €7.5million ($9m, £5m) to Remnant...

new body will raise research standards - news

An international trade association has been formed to promote higher professional standards in CSR research. The Association for Independent Corporate Sustainability and Responsibility Research...

ABN Amro places CSR at heart of its business - news

One of Europe’s largest banks has reorganized its head office to put more resources into its social and environmental performance. Netherlands-based ABN Amro has created a dedicated sustainable...

corporate initiatives on the rise - news

Nearly four in five large businesses have begun new social responsibility initiatives in the last two years, a poll suggests. Ninety per cent of the executives questioned as part of the latest...

‘cynicism’ undermines work in partnerships - news

Partnerships between companies and community organizations are being hampered by a ‘gulf of cynicism and misunderstanding’, a Charities Aid Foundation study carried out by the Smart Company...

Reuters asks employees to guide its CSR policies - news

The global media company Reuters has set up four employee working groups to inform the development of its policies on corporate responsibility. Reuters established the groups last month as a way of...

CSR academy targets human resources staff - news

The UK’s new CSR academy is to run a series of social responsibility roadshows for human resources managers in large companies. The regional roadshows, which will offer ideas on how human...

Henderson Global turns away from ‘best in class’ - news

One of the world’s leading SRI fund management companies is to place less reliance on the ‘best in class’ investment approach and instead put more money into sustainable companies regardless of...

'The business case for corporate social responsibility' by Peter D. Kinder - news

From the President, KLD Research & Analytics Inc. In response to your News Alert on the subject of the European Commission white paper's avoidance of regulation, I would say that the...

'European Commission's Green Paper on Corporate Social Responsibility' by Brigid Benson - news

From the Senior Partner, The Gæia Partnership With reference to the Guest Column by Martin Le Jeune responding to the European Commission's Green Paper on Corporate Social Responsibility, I...

'The value of the GRI' by Vic Thorpe - news

From the Advisor to the Global Reporting Initiative on Labor and European Affairs I was very interested in your recent editorial (Vol. 2, issue 9) on the issue of ‘code overload’. As you...

'Marketing breastmilk substitutes' by Anna Taylor - news

From the Nutrition Advisor of Save the Children The article about Nestle (Vol. 2, issue 3) contains several misconceptions concerning Nestle’s recent audit conducted in Pakistan. We welcome...

More forced labour revealed - news

More evidence of forced labour imposed by the Burmese authorities has been revealed in a trade union report. The International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU), in its fourth report...

Study highlights at-risk Hong Kong firms - news

Cheung Kong, the property and telecoms company, and HSBC, the banking group, are among businesses highlighted in a Hong Kong University report as trading in countries guilty of human rights...

inbrief - news

The ASPI Eurozone index, which selects Europe’s 120 best-rated companies according to CSR criteria defined by the Vigeo ratings agency, has dropped Allied Irish...

inbrief - news

A group of investors has praised pharmaceutical companies for facilitating greater access to drugs in emerging markets. The Pharmaceutical Shareowners Group, a network...

inbrief - news

MTV Europe is to produce an Aids awareness-raising TV film that will be offered, rights free and at no cost, to broadcasters worldwide. The two-hour programme, which...

inbrief - news

Greece’s second largest bank, Alpha, has signed up to the United Nations Environment Programme’s Finance Initiative, which helps financial services...

£1.2m for EU studies - news

The European Union has made its first significant foray into corporate responsibility research by providing €1.9million ($2.15m, £1.2m) for two projects that...

assurance begins to make headway in Europe and Asia - news

A new analysis of reporting trends shows that about 40 per cent of all hard copy sustainability reports published in Europe last year were verified by a third party,...

trawl of factories finds no use of child labour - news

No cases of child or forced labour were found by the Fair Labor Association during its monitoring of 110 factories used by brand clothing companies last year. The...

Bayer halves its site injuries - news

An in-house campaign on health and safety measures has helped the chemical multinational Bayer to record its lowest ever number of industrial injuries. The...

shareholder activism makes the headlines - news

Shareholder activism has been the hottest topic in CSR over the past five years, an analysis of Ethical Performance contents in the period shows. The indexes of EP for...

tour operators pledge to produce CSR policies - news

Eight major tour operators are to draw up corporate responsibility policies within the next year. Cosmos, First Choice, Kosmar, Kuoni, My Travel, Thomas Cook, TUI...

opinion formers impressed by partnerships - news

Opinion formers think a company can most effectively demonstrate its commitment to social responsibility by entering into partnerships, a poll suggests. In a survey...

Deutsche Telekom gears up to implement new strategy - news

Europe’s largest telephone company has assigned 60 full time staff to implement a sustainability strategy for its four main operating divisions. Deutsche Telekom...

inbrief - news

A guide to sustainability reporting for small and medium-sized businesses is being developed by the Global Reporting Initiative. The GRI, which says that smaller...

inbrief - news

In a poll of more than 800 MBA students from 11 North American and European schools, 97 per cent claimed to be prepared to take an earnings cut if they could work for...

inbrief - news

The UK’s Said Business School has appointed Rowena Young as director of the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship. Young joins the centre this month from her...

the voluntary approach is best, but it has to work, and be seen to work - news

There is, broadly speaking, an international consensus that the voluntary approach to corporate social responsibility is the best way forward. But for how much longer? In recent weeks...

Nokia takes team approach - news

Nokia is trying to increase awareness of its code of conduct through small discussion groups of employees in Europe, the US, Latin America and China. The groups,...

how the OECD’s fine principles are getting bogged down in detail - news

Procedures in the UK for handling complaints brought against companies for allegedly breaching OECD guidelines on responsible corporate behaviour do not appear to be working to the...

GSK warning over Aids drug problems - news

GlaxoSmithKline increased its supply of low-cost anti-Aids drugs to developing countries by three-quarters last year, but says it is concerned that many of the tablets are...

NGOs put the Global Compact on notice - news

Cross-sector support for the United Nations’ Global Compact appears be unravelling as an increasing number of non-governmental organizations begin to publicly...

forum consensus shatters as NGOs beg to differ - news

Non-governmental organizations belonging to the European Union’s multi-stakeholder corporate social responsibility forum have broken ranks with their business...

Chinese business leaders see merit in CSR - news

Nearly nine in every ten Chinese business leaders value corporate social responsibility, reports The Corporate Reputation Watch (China) survey. The survey, by the...

inbrief - news

Information on a new European Commission funded social responsibility framework for companies is now online. Administrators of the European Corporate Sustainability Framework...

inbrief - news

The largest Aids organization in the US has formed a subsidiary to lobby companies to do more to tackle the disease. The Aids Healthcare Foundation says the new...

training and education: the current picture for CSR - news

As the UK government’s CSR Academy begins to take shape, EP looks at the fragmented state of education and training in the corporate responsibility field Pity the corporate...

Hastings heads for EP retreat - news

The BBC’s head of CSR, Michael Hastings, will be among presenters at this year’s retreat run by Ethical Performance with Ashridge and the Corporate...

US government slated for poor GRI take-up - news

Two figures who played an important part in creating the Global Reporting Initiative have shown concern about the relatively low take-up of the GRI guidelines by US...

consumer products sector comes out top - news

Consumer products companies have scored more highly than other businesses in a newly-devised rating of the world’s 100 largest companies. Firms in the sector, led...

bitesized comments are hit with reporters - news

An innovative approach taken by Ernst & Young to verifying one of the UK’s flagship social reports could be offered to other companies. The...

EU forum stays quiet on need for regulation - news

No proposals for regulation have been put forward in the final report of the European Union’s multi-stakeholder forum on CSR. Although the forum, set up to look at...

CSR factors cut M&A valuations - news

Social and environmental liabilities are emerging as a significant factor in mergers and acquisitions undertaken by large companies. A KPMG study of 105 of the 500...

inbrief - news

Businesses and public bodies are to become liable for the harm they do to wildlife and natural habitats under a new European Union directive. The environmental liability...

inbrief - news

Two European foundations are combining to provide corporate citizenship advice. The Norwegian risk management specialist DNV has signed a memorandum of understanding...

why large private firms should be subject to the OFR regime - news

The key question surrounding the operating and financial review is a simple one. Will the UK government’s proposals to force large businesses to report more fully on social and...

the OFR draft regulations: your questions answered - news

The forthcoming requirement to produce an operating and financial review will significantly extend the reporting responsibilities of large UK companies So what is...

social reports begin to catch the public’s eye - news

People do take notice of company CSR and environmental reports, according to a new poll. A survey by international opinion research group GlobeScan suggests that,...

Gulf companies search for Arab strain of CSR - news

Companies in the Arab world are preparing to embrace CSR – but on their own terms. About half a dozen large businesses have agreed to become founding members...

global flower trade set to adopt social labelling - news

An industry-wide social labelling scheme is to be introduced in Europe by international flower producers and sellers. The organizers of the scheme, called Fair Flowers...

pharma forum to map out the future - news

Pharmaceuticals companies, investors and stakeholders are being brought together to consider long term challenges to the industry, including how it can provide greater...

Cisco adopts global CSR strategy - news

Internet network company Cisco Systems is to establish a global CSR strategy over the next 12 months as part of a dramatic move away from its traditional philanthropic...

inbrief - news

Dinner meetings are being planned to bring together socially responsible investment professionals to share stories about their work. The Eat2Meet initiative is being...

inbrief - news

The European Commission is again offering grants under its ‘industrial relations and social dialogue’ heading for projects promoting CSR. The deadline for...

inbrief - news

Fortis Investments has said it will vote down the reports and accounts of any European companies that do not fulfil its CSR disclosure standards. The Dutch-Belgian...

the future of assurance – will it be cosy or cautious? - news

In the third of our series on trends in corporate social responsibility, EP considers the verification of corporate non-financial reports The single biggest challenge...

business urged to profit from helping the poor - news

An influential business group has given its backing to the growing trend of pro-poor business, under which companies enter new markets among the world’s poor for...

social entrepreneurs move centre stage - news

Almost seven per cent of the UK’s employed population is working as, or for, social entrepreneurs, according to the first report measuring such activity....

FTSE4Good drops 29 firms - news

Tougher environmental and human rights criteria have played an important part in the decision by the FTSE4Good’s review committee to drop 29 companies from the...

three food firms reject GMO use - news

Three of the largest food and drink producers now have a clear policy rejecting the use of genetically modified foodstuffs, according to the oekom research and rating...

activists win rights policy - news

Occidental Petroleum, the American oil and gas company, is to develop a formal human rights policy after talks with shareholder activists. The activists, led by the...

huge French fund applies SRI to €3bn of its assets - news

Socially responsible investment in Europe has received a major shot in the arm with news that the French state pension fund will take an SRI approach to about a fifth of...

inbrief - news

DaimlerChrysler has comfortably topped a new ‘fat cat’ pay league in Germany. The car company’s directors had an average annual remuneration of €3.7million ($4.6m, £2.5m)...

inbrief - news

Oxfam’s CSR specialist, Sophia Tickell, has left to set up as a consultant. One of her first assignments will be a year-long project for the Just Pensions...

auditors of non-financial reports face their own ethical challenges - news

With all but one of the FTSE 100 now producing some kind of public information on their social and environmental performance, and the UK government expected to publish...

CSR train begins journey - news

The social responsibility message is being taken this month to firms and their stakeholders in central and east European countries. Starting on 4 April, a team of...

Innovest opens Madrid office - news

Socially responsible investment research specialist Innovest Strategic Value Advisors has opened an office in Spain ‘in response to the growing demand for products...

rating agencies will submit to new standard - news

European socially responsible investment rating agencies have joined forces to create a quality standard in a bid to bolster confidence among investors and companies in...

Hewitt backs off on ‘fat cats’ - news

Legislation to curb executive pay has been ruled out by the UK government, after long deliberation. Trade and industry secretary Patricia Hewitt has said increased...

extractives are a mixed bag on biodiversity - news

Only a third of the biggest mining and oil companies have a published policy on biodiversity, even though half are doing work in this area, research has shown. A...

focus on older staff pays off for DIY chain - news

Employment policies friendly to older people have helped B&Q, Europe’s largest do-it-yourself chain, to win an inaugural corporate-responsibility award....

Diamantopoulou leaves her post - news

A key figure in the European Commission’s consideration of CSR has left her post. Anna Diamantopoulou, EC commissioner for employment and social affairs,...

inbrief - news

Six organizations have joined the European Sustainable and Responsible Investment Forum since the beginning of the year. They are ABP (Netherlands), Bank Sarasin...

inbrief - news

CSR Europe has appointed Bernard Giraud as its new executive director. Giraud, a former board member of the corporate social responsibility network, has managed the...

pension funds to get SRI tips - news

Guidance for mainstream European pension fund managers is to be produced by the European Sustainable and Responsible Investment Forum. Eurosif executive director Matt...

annual resolutions target diversity - news

Thirty-three companies are in the firing line for this year’s round of social and environmental shareholder resolutions filed by Calvert, one of the more active...

Suncor makes headway on aboriginal relations - news

Suncor Energy, the Canadian oil and gas company, has more than doubled its proportion of aboriginal employees in five years. The company increased the number in Canada...

CSR ‘has no bearing on big corporate scandals’ - news

It is naive and unrealistic to expect that socially responsible companies should be less prone to internal fraud or accounting scandals, delegates at a Rome conference have...

Cohen warns on conflict between growth and values - news

One of the leading pioneers of socially responsible business has warned other entrepreneurs not to imperil their companies’ values in the search for rapid growth....

Standard Life raises heat on human rights - news

The investment arm of Europe’s largest mutual insurer is to encourage firms in which it takes a stake to draw up human rights policy guidelines covering employees and...

Co-op Bank wins third honour - news

The Co-operative Bank has won the UK’s main award for sustainability reporting for the third year running. The bank was the outright winner for the second...

CSR attacked from a new quarter - news

Further signs have emerged of disenchantment with corporate social responsibility among groups that until now have been generally supportive. Following Christian...

inbrief - news

Fifty fund management companies now hold licenses for the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes, which they use as a basis of investment. The 50th to sign was Canada’s...

inbrief - news

Johnson & Johnson , the healthcare products group, has created a website bringing together information on its European corporate social responsibility initiatives.

inbrief - news

The banking sector dominates new entrants on a list of the 20 most frequent stocks in the portfolios of European SRI managers. Four of the nine companies – Bank...

new business group hints at support for regulation - news

An international group of business leaders is to consider backing the case for more regulation of companies on human rights issues. Until now, most business organizations...

cold shoulder for tobacco client - news

A sustainability consultancy has decided not to advise a tobacco firm on responsible business practices after its other clients said they would not be happy for it to do...

central Europe receives assistance - news

Companies in Hungary are being offered support on CSR matters by an organization formed with British help. The Central European Institute for Leadership and Ethics has...

authorities target workplace - news

Local authority CSR initiatives appear to concentrate on workplace conditions, says a study of four European regions. The survey of local authority CSR projects in the...

French state pension fund calls for SRI tenders - news

The administrators of a new French state pension fund committed to a socially responsible investment approach have completed the second phase of a tendering process aimed...

give us human rights data, say social report readers - news

Human rights is the single most important issue for readers of CSR reports, according to a survey by two European communication consultancies. The first-ever global poll...

Finland tops league table of CSR promoters - news

Finland has been judged the best performer on corporate responsibility in a newly-devised measure of how much companies and governments in 51 countries have done to promote...

Unep merges CSR finance initiatives - news

Two corporate responsibility initiatives run for the financial sector by the United Nations have merged. The United Nations Environment Programme Financial...

Asia Pacific to get network of CSR centres - news

A network of corporate social responsibility centres will be formed in the Asia Pacific region this summer. The centres, in Australia, Hong Kong, Malaysia, the...

inbrief - news

Former eBay president Jeff Skoll is to give $7.5million (£4.3m) to Oxford University’s Said Business School to establish a centre for social entrepreneurs. He will...

inbrief - news

The UK is maintaining its dominant position as Europe’s lead market for socially responsible investors, the Sustainable Investment Research International Group...

companies can’t hide from the moral debate - news

Transparency in social reporting requires companies to acknowledge the bad as well as the good, argues Adrian Henriques At a conference just before the invasion of Iraq I...

investors who think CSR is bad for firms are the contrarians now - news

Strange that the City of London, one of the strongholds of socially responsible investment, also contains the greatest proportion of investors who think that managing...

PhD students get study group - news

PhD candidates working on CSR issues in Europe are to have their own network. The European Research Network for PhD Candidates will organize research workshops and...

Chevron sets out principles - news

Oil and petroleum multinational ChevronTexaco is to issue its 53,000 staff with corporate responsibility guiding principles. The principles, developed as part of a...

facilities managers get ready for some CSR action - news

Managers of company premises in the UK are being encouraged to take a greater interest in CSR by the body that represents them. The British Institute of Facilities...

press coverage booms as CSR hits media radar - news

Mainstream press coverage of corporate social responsibility issues has increased significantly around the world during the past three years – and most of it is still...

analysts think positive on risk management - news

More than three-quarters of European fund managers and analysts believe management of social and environmental risks is good for business. A Deloitte study found 79 per...

business leaders prefer the carrot, not the stick - news

Chief executives and chairpersons cannot be frightened into adopting CSR programmes, according to the organizers of Aspen Institute’s Business Leaders Dialogues,...

big firms outdo Asian locals - news

Opinion-formers in Asia think that western pharmaceuticals and healthcare companies are considerably more transparent and more trustworthy than their local counterparts, a...

Danisco discovers room for improvement on CSR - news

Three-quarters of the production sites owned by the sugar and food ingredients group Danisco now comply with the company’s CSR policy, according to an internal assessment....

EC steps in to monitor sustainability of tourist sector - news

The European Commission is to draw up sustainability guidelines for tourism and holiday companies in an attempt to raise standards in the sector. In a policy...

EU challenged on transparency - news

The European Union’s multi-stakeholder forum, established to examine how best to promote CSR, has been criticized for not doing enough to publicize the information...

inbrief - news

The German CSR forum Econsense has become the national partner organization of CSR Europe, a business-led group that promotes corporate social responsibility....

socially responsible investors are barking up the wrong tree - news

Do good companies do well? A lot hangs on this beguilingly simple question. If it could be shown that socially responsible companies perform better over time than those...

preserving reputation is the main driving force - news

The progress made by US companies in the field of CSR is largely the result of an overriding need to manage reputation, not of government prodding The aftermath of the state visit...

BHP Billiton assesses human rights risks - news

The world’s largest diversified resources company has taken a first step towards formally assessing the exposure of each of its sites to human rights-related risks....

UPS makes reporting debut - news

One of the world’s largest postal and delivery companies has produced its first corporate sustainability report. United Parcel Service of America, which has 360,000...

BAT says Burma pull-out was ‘not the best way’ - news

British American Tobacco has said it still does not agree that businesses should pull out of Burma (also known as Myanmar) over the country’s human rights record, even...

cocoa firms set up schools to fight child labour in Africa - news

Field schools for West African cocoa farmers have been started by international cocoa and chocolate manufacturers to combat child labour. A coalition of companies and...

toy industry auditing begins in earnest - news

The global toy industry has appointed five companies to check whether manufacturing sites adhere to ethical business principles. The five companies – Benchmarks,...

institutional SRI investment in France to rise - news

Some 60 per cent of French institutional investors expect to make socially responsible investments during the next three years, a study suggests. A survey of 41...

inbrief - news

Oil and gas company Total has joined CSR Europe. Total, which recently published its first CSR report, is one of four major firms – Deloitte (professional services),...

inbrief - news

More than €336billion ($391bn, £234bn) is under institutional management on an SRI basis in Europe, according to the European Sustainable and Responsible Investment...

inbrief - news

CSR academic Alyson Warhurst has won an award that recognizes her work in the CSR field. Warhurst, who became sole director in 2002 of Warwick Business School’s...

inbrief - news

Andy Wales has joined the water services company Severn Trent as environment and sustainable development manager. Wales was previously at Interface, where he was...

blind faith is simply not enough for socially responsible business - news

The entry of an intellectual heavyweight like Michael Porter into the debate on corporate social responsibility is a further sign that the subject is now part of mainstream business...

CSR: how it has changed and how it will develop - news

To mark this 50th issue, EP considers the forces shaping corporate social responsibility – and looks at how the field is likely to develop in future When the first issue of...

lawyers bid for CSR role - news

The European legal profession is asking corporate lawyers to play a greater part in responsible business practice. The Council of the Bars and Law Societies of the...

future EU member firms weak on human rights - news

Companies in central and east European countries that will shortly join the European Union have a very poor record of disclosing whether they meet international human...

drugs sector given two years to improve performance - news

A major institutional investor has said the pharmaceutical industry needs to significantly improve its performance on corporate social responsibility over the next two...

academic CSR options are still not in plentiful supply - news

Two-thirds of MBA programmes in Europe do not have a corporate social responsibility module, according to preliminary results from the biggest ever survey of provision in...

supplier overtime cuts deliver classic ‘win-win’ - news

The business case for reducing overtime at supplier factories in China has been boosted by research which confirms that cutting hours can help increase productivity....

telecoms sector given extra advice on GRI requirements - news

Telecoms companies now have their own supplement to the Global Reporting Initiative’s sustainability reporting guidelines. The supplement, which companies are expected to...

smaller firms in Europe get SRI index - news

An index of socially responsible smaller companies has been launched by Kempen Capital Management of the UK and SNS Asset Management of the Netherlands. The...

second EC white paper on the way - news

A second white paper on CSR is to be issued by the European Commission in November 2004. The EC has decided this will be its course of action after it has received...

inbrief - news

More than 2,500 employees of the US-based forestry firm Weyerhaeuser have enrolled in the company’s Tobacco Cessation Programme. Weyerhaeuser, which has operations in...

inbrief - news

The winning paper in an MBA essay competition on corporate citizenship is now on the website of the Center for Corporate Citizenship at Boston College. Jessica Brinkman from the...

inbrief - news

A business ethics website is to be developed by the Institute of Business Ethics and the UK branch of the European Business Ethics Network. The two organizations have been...

inbrief - news

Barcelona-based business school Esade has become the first Spanish institution to join the European Sustainable and Responsible Investment Forum. Matt Christensen,...

trade bodies ‘holding up CSR’ - news

Trade associations have been accused of undermining socially responsible companies by protecting the interests of laggard members who do little or nothing in the field –...

pilots start on European framework - news

Dutch multinationals Akzo Nobel (chemicals) and Nuon (energy and water) will shortly begin testing a new social responsibility framework for companies that is funded by the...

EC directive seeks to bind firms to codes of conduct - news

Companies could be prosecuted for failing to live up to voluntary codes of conduct under a directive proposed by the European Commission. Part of the directive on unfair...

Italian CSR ‘needs tax break stimulation’ - news

Socially responsible Italian companies should be rewarded with tax breaks, a government-funded report will recommend next month. The Bocconi University study of 91 Italian...

warning on opportunistic NGOs - news

Companies have been warned to beware of non-governmental organizations that engage in private stakeholder dialogue and then use the information they have gathered for public...

transatlantic alliance targets firms - news

Twenty-seven large European and US institutional investors have agreed to explore ways of working together on corporate governance and CSR issues. The group of...

inbrief - news

Credit Lyonnais Asset Management has become the latest mainstream investment company to launch a subsidiary dedicated to socially responsible investment. The new firm...

inbrief - news

Aggregate Industries has produced its first group sustainability report. The UK-based mineral extraction company, which operates 142 quarries in Europe and the US, says a...

inbrief - news

Only 5.8 per cent of directors of leading European companies are women, and more than half the companies have no women on the board, according to EIRIS. UK companies...

firms told: 'don't be bashful with mainstream investors' - news

Companies will have to be bolder about raising CSR issues in meetings with mainstream investor analysts if they are to get the business case across to the financial community,...

admit to your mistakes, social reporters are told - news

Companies need to show more humility when they report on their social and environmental performance, a leading business school has said. The UK-based Ashridge Centre...

lift-off for SRI transparency guidelines - news

Fund managers in Europe have begun using guidelines intended to give the investing public – and companies – a clearer idea of how SRI funds decide which firms to...

investors join forces to strengthen their engagement - news

Eight large institutional investors have decided to combine forces to engage with companies on their social and environmental performance. They have agreed to share...

UN proposes human rights 'norms' for firms - news

The United Nations has put forward guidelines on human rights that will apply to companies operating in more than one country. The guidelines for ‘transnational...

inbrief - news

Jette Steen Knudsen has taken over as the new director of The Copenhagen Centre, the Danish government’s think-tank on partnerships for social responsibility. She moves...

investors can help companies to win the licence to operate - news

At first glance, some people might think the silly season has started early. Mainstream investors are lining up to support initiatives to make the world a better place. Ten...

Pfizer given poor rating - news

The world’s largest pharmaceutical group has fared poorly in a rating of how the top 11 drugs companies perform on social issues in developing countries. Pfizer, which...

clothing firms go public with their supplier audits - news

Seven of the world’s largest clothing and footwear companies have allowed details of independent supplier factory audits to be published for the first time, in what is...

ethical code bodies try to find common ground - news

Ethical trade organizations from around the world have met to discuss ways of developing a ‘common approach’ to implementing their codes of practice. The...

Core Bill reappears for first reading in the House - news

One of the few remaining European initiatives to promote mandatory social and environmental reporting has been put before the UK’s lower house of parliament. The...

assurance gaining ground with big company reporters - news

More of the world’s largest companies are now having their social and environmental reports verified by third parties, a study has found. Of the 48 companies in...

Finnish network gains strength - news

Six more companies have joined Finnish Business & Society, a network that promotes corporate social responsibility. They are BNL Euro RSCG (consultancy), Fountain Park...

make payments public, extractive sector is told - news

Efforts by investors in Europe to encourage extractive companies to reveal details of the payments they make to governments have won support from some of the largest US...

Storebrand makes CSR ‘integral part’ of its values - news

Storebrand has developed a two-year action plan on corporate social responsibility. The Norwegian insurance and investment company, which manages NKr140billion (£12bn)...

CSR future looks bright as Orange shows intent - news

Orange has set out how it will implement its corporate social responsibility strategy. In a ‘statement of intent’, the mobile phone group says its...

200 analysts hear firms’ stories on CSR - news

Sixteen large European companies gathered in Paris last month to present details of their ethical performance to 200 investment analysts. The gathering was hailed as a...

broadcasters claim progress on disability - news

Some of the UK’s best-known broadcasting companies have outlined the measures they have taken to address disability issues. Members of the Broadcasting and Creative...

coffee traders offer assistance - news

The world’s two largest coffee trading groups are to work with the Rainforest Alliance to improve the social and environmental performance of their suppliers. Neumann...

inbrief - news

The European Sustainable and Responsible Investment Forum, a Paris-based body that promotes socially responsible investment, has four new members. They are Dexia Asset...

inbrief - news

Most investor relations professionals are supportive of corporate social responsibility, according to a report. Corporate social responsibility and the role of...

communicate your achievements but be prepared for some knocks - news

Nothing excites like a new market, or failing that, a new angle on an old market. So it is with corporate social responsibility and public relations, where on both sides of the...

CEOs rate social credibility - news

Chief executives expect a good reputation on social issues to be as important to a company’s overall standing as financial credibility, a global survey suggests. The...

Co-op Bank ethics begin to rub off on its suppliers - news

Almost half of The Co-operative Bank’s suppliers now claim its ethical policies have changed the way they run their businesses. The bank says there has been a ‘significant’...

ISIS claims a first on transparency - news

A leading socially responsible investment fund manager is claiming to have become the first European fund management company to disclose its entire voting record at corporate...

UK investors mobilize votes on executive pay - news

Excessive director pay has dominated the UK’s spring annual general meeting season, with several companies reporting up to 30 per cent of shareholders voting against pay...

Kuoni pulls out of Burma - news

Kuoni – Europe’s sixth-largest travel company – has announced it will stop offering holidays in Burma at the end of this year. The company has been on a ‘dirty list’...

GRI looks for major growth in use of reporting guidelines - news

The Global Reporting Initiative is seeking to triple the number of companies using its sustainability reporting guidelines within two years. The Amsterdam-based...

Italy and the UK agree to co-operate on CSR - news

The Italian and UK governments have agreed to work together on corporate social responsibility. In a joint statement drawn up in Rome by Italy’s welfare minister...

analyst meetings spread to the continent - news

A UK initiative that brings together investment analysts and corporate executives to discuss their company’s ethical performance has expanded its horizons to continental...

Euro MPs feel ‘frozen out’ on CSR - news

The European Parliament last month voted overwhelmingly in favour of a resolution which implies it is not having enough say in European Commission-led discussions on the future...

inbrief - news

A directory of European corporate social responsibility teaching and research is to be drawn up by the European Academy of Business in Society this autumn. The list of...

inbrief - news

A Czech business organization has joined CSR Europe, the business-led group that campaigns on socially responsible business issues. The Business Leaders Forum of the Czech...

inbrief - news

The Co-operative Bank has won the best sustainability report category in the European Sustainability Reporting Awards. Judges considered 38 reports that had progressed...

corporate conduct in the aftermath of war - news

Intervention in Iraq has raised important issues of corporate responsibility, argues Gerry Hagelberg The US-led invasion of Iraq and its aftermath will keep ethics wonks...

how to downsize and be socially responsible - news

The European Commission and the International Labour Organization are encouraging companies to downsize responsibly. How can this be done? Last month’s conference in Athens on...

Chiquita scoops reporting award - news

Two food companies are the joint winners of the first US Sustainability Reporting Awards. Ice cream makers Ben & Jerry’s and banana company Chiquita shared the...

AccountAbility has expansion plans - news

The Institute of Social and Ethical Accountability is mounting a major membership drive. The London-based organization, which provides training on stakeholder dialogue...

Adidas gets tough on laggard suppliers - news

Fourteen supplier factories of the sports clothing company Adidas-Salomon had their contracts severed last year due to poor workplace conditions. Nine of the factories were...

call for right to see CSR data - news

Legislators in Europe have been urged to consider giving the public a right of access to information held by companies on their social and environmental performance. A...

Austrian and Irish workplaces head 100 list - news

Companies in Austria and Ireland have done particularly well in the first-ever list of the 100 best workplaces in the European Union. Nine firms in Austria and nine in...

Scots ministers told to set up CSR group - news

An influential committee of the Scottish Parliament has called on ministers to create a working group to promote corporate social responsibility in the country. The...

new push on responsible downsizing - news

The International Labour Organization and the European Commission have joined forces to encourage companies to take much greater account of the social impact of job losses when...

inbrief - news

Three European asset management companies are to use the Ethical Investment Research Service to monitor the social and environmental performance of companies. Credit...

inbrief - news

Davide Dal Maso is the new chair of the European Sustainable and Responsible Investment Forum. Dal Maso, who succeeds Emma Howard Boyd, head of Jupiter Asset...

funds will have to state aims - news

Managers of socially responsible investment funds in Europe will have to publicly state their main environmental and social aims under a draft accreditation standard put...

SRI practice within a mainstream investor - news

How does a mainstream investor take account of social and environmental considerations within its investment process? EP asked Standard Life Analyzing the...

Spain is ready for SRI disclosure regulation - news

Spain is likely to become the latest country to introduce a regulation requiring investment funds to declare their position on socially responsible investment. Members...

supply chain managers struggle against ‘isolation’ - news

Company managers working on ethical supply chain initiatives too often operate in isolation with little support, money or understanding from other parts of the business,...

parliament set for CSR hearing - news

A European Parliament hearing on corporate social responsibility has been scheduled for 12 June. The hearing, organized by Labour MEP Richard Howitt, is likely to focus...

Aegon maps out CSR path - news

One of the world’s largest insurance companies is setting out a long-term plan to improve its corporate social responsibility. Netherlands-based Aegon, which is among the top...

inbrief - news

Musgrave retail group has won the Best Irish Environmental Report award for the second year running. Commendations were given to Northern Ireland Electricity, Novartis,...

inbrief - news

The Dutch pension fund of the Shell group has awarded Zurich-based Sustainable Asset Management a mandate to manage €100million ($107m, £67m) of European equities along...

EC lobbied on share issues - news

The European Commission has been urged to require that company share prospectuses include information on corporate social responsibility issues. Fifty organizations...

sugar firms create code - news

The European sugar industry has agreed a set of minimum standards on corporate social responsibility. The voluntary standards, enshrined in a code of conduct that will...

drinks firms to consider responsible consumption - news

Firms that make alcoholic drinks should voluntarily put responsible drinking messages on their products and in their adverts, an influential UK industry group has said....

ABP buys stake in Innovest - news

Europe’s largest pension fund has edged further into the socially responsible investment field by buying a minority stake in Innovest Strategic Value Advisors, which...

Mistra improves its SRI coverage - news

A Swedish government-endowed foundation has brought in two firms of specialist analysts to enhance its socially responsible investment approach. Mistra, which has...

KFC hits back against animal welfare claims - news

Fast food corporation KFC has said it will resist an international campaign by animal welfare activists over alleged cruelty to chickens in its supply chain. KFC...

Pharmacia pilots HIV drugs programme - news

A US pharmaceutical company is piloting a new way of widening access to medicines in the poorest parts of the world. Pharmacia, in partnership with the Amsterdam-based...

warning on partnerships - news

A warning on the dangers of the partnership approach to corporate social responsibility has come from a senior representative of a non-governmental organization active in the...

MEPs fight back over their role - news

Members of the European Parliament are expected to accuse the European Commission of sidelining them in the corporate social responsibility debate. A resolution to be...

US resolutions challenge executive pay structures - news

Executive pay is emerging as a focus for shareholder action in the US. ‘Excessive’ executive compensation and linking the pay of directors in part to the...

inbrief - news

The European Union has set up a Sustainable Trade and Innovation Centre to help developing countries. It says producers there ‘are facing mounting pressure to integrate...

inbrief - news

Trust in US business has risen over the last six months despite the recent wave of corporate scandals, while European confidence in business has fallen, according to the...

inbrief - news

Neil Marsh has left the socially responsible investment research firm Innovest Strategic Value Advisors citing ‘increasing differences’ with colleagues over the...

cleaning up corporate America finally pays a CSR dividend - news

The decision of the Securities and Exchange Commission to require US mutual funds to disclose their proxy voting policies and voting records ends a long-standing anomaly....

business principles to bolster anti-bribery drive - news

Companies should draw up and implement a programme to combat bribery and then publicly report on their efforts to fulfil it, according to a new set of international business...

BSR gains European foothold - news

The US-based Business for Social Responsibility group has opened an office in Paris to bolster its presence in Europe. BSR, a non-profit organization that helps member...

Italian authority gives priority to SA8000 firms - news

Companies that have been certified under the SA8000 ethical workplace standard will receive preferential treatment when bidding for local government contracts in a region of...

CSR forum meetings begin - news

The roundtable of the European Commission’s multi-stakeholder CSR forum will hold its first meeting this month in Brussels. The event on 12 February will look at...

Asian SRI scene shows signs of marked growth - news

Socially responsible investment is finally beginning to take hold in the Far East, according to the Association for Sustainable and Responsible Investment in Asia....

world’s toy industry to begin ethical audits - news

The global toy industry is to begin auditing manufacturing sites throughout the world against a set of ethical business principles. The work, which is being co-ordinated by...

PR professionals form CSR alliance - news

A corporate social responsibility network for public relations professionals has been launched by the UK’s Institute of Public Relations. The network is for those...

finance sector gets social performance indicators - news

Social performance indicators for financial institutions have been set out in a supplement to the Global Reporting Initiative’s guidelines on sustainability reporting....

Belgian fund moves to SRI - news

A government investment fund in Belgium has switched to a socially responsible investment approach. The €400million ($427m, £264m) Flemish Care Fund, which is run...

CSR academy idea under study in UK - news

A corporate social responsibility academy to train practitioners and award qualifications is being considered by the UK government. A working group has been set up by the...

inbrief - news

The US is to get its own version of the European sustainability reporting awards. Nominations for the awards, which will be run by the US-based Coalition for...

inbrief - news

As many as 3000 large companies now ‘systematically address corporate responsibility issues throughout their operations’, according to research by the business...

Greek bank to focus on financial exclusion - news

One of the largest high street banks in Greece is poised to embark on a two-year corporate social responsibility plan. The Commercial Bank of Greece envisages spending at...

Shell sets up Dutch SRI pilot - news

Shell has adopted a socially responsible investment approach to some of the money it manages in its pension fund for Dutch employees. Around €10million ($10m, £6m) of Shell...

Holcim shows new year resolution on CSR policy - news

A group-wide corporate social responsibility programme is to be launched by the Swiss cement multinational Holcim this year. The group has told its 70 subsidiary companies...

Unep finance initiatives will weed out ‘free-riders’ - news

The United Nations is to tighten membership requirements for its two finance industry sustainability initiatives in an attempt to discourage ‘free-riders’ who sign...

Euro parliament gets new CSR rapporteur - news

The post of rapporteur on corporate social responsibility for the European Parliament has changed political hands. Philip Bushill-Matthews, Conservative member of the European...

20 firms face legal action over apartheid - news

Twenty multinationals have been named in a lawsuit seeking reparations for their allegedrole in supporting apartheid in South Africa. The suit, filed by a South African...

PR companies start work on ethical code - news

European public relations firms will be given the opportunity to sign up to the first code of ethics for the sector in the autumn. The code will be drawn up jointly by the...

GSK gives $1.5m to African projects - news

A $1.5million (£950,000) community development programme in Africa has been unveiled by GlaxoSmithKline. The pharmaceuticals firm is spending the money on micro-credit...

inbrief - news

The ethical investment advisory group of the Church of England is to review the ethics of investing in companies involved in human embryonic stem cell research. The group will...

inbrief - news

Innovest , the US-based socially responsible investment research firm, has opened an office in Paris to cover France and southern Europe. Managing director Pierre Trevet is...

inbrief - news

A call for papers on corporate social responsibility has been made by the European Business Ethics Network, which is inviting presentations for its research conference in Norway...

inbrief - news

Europe’s largest pension fund is to launch a $250million (£158m) socially responsible investment vehicle this month in which other pension funds will be able to invest....

inbrief - news

Deutsche Telekom heads a sustainability rating of 24 large telecommunications companies. Oekom research gave the German firm a score of B+ on a scale from A+ to D–. In second...

pledge comes to Europe - news

European countries are likely to adopt a North American initiative that encourages students to consider the ethical performance of employers before they take up a job....

UK investors signal fresh era in activism - news

A body that represents virtually all UK institutional investors has said its members will adopt a more vigorous approach when voting at annual company meetings on resolutions...

Baha’i forum targets SMEs - news

An initiative to promote social responsibility among small and medium-sized enterprises has been set up by the European Baha’i Business Forum, a France-based non-governmental...

Novo elevates ethics in new supply chain regime - news

Life sciences company Novo is to assess its suppliers using a new evaluation system that puts their social and environmental performance on a par with quality and price...

SRI funds ‘lacking courage’ - news

Managers of socially responsible investment funds have been accused of timidity because of their obsession with comparisons between their performance and that of mainstream...

Italians plan CSR standard - news

The Italian government is to publish details of a voluntary CSR standard during its presidency of the European Union next year, welfare minister Roberto Maroni told delegates...

Talisman’s Sudan sale fails to appease its critics - news

Canadian oil company Talisman has responded to persistent criticism of its presence in Sudan by pulling out of the country – but the decision has failed to satisfy all its...

Nokia tops SRI league table - news

Nokia is the stock most commonly held by socially responsible investment funds in Europe. The Finnish telecoms firm is now a more popular pick than the previous...

50% have plans to be more open - news

Nearly half of multinational company executives – 49 per cent in the US and 45 per cent in Europe – say they have either taken steps to increase transparency in their...

SRI funds to get European standard - news

A Europe-wide accreditation standard for socially responsible investment funds is to be produced by spring 2003. Work on creating the voluntary standard has been approved by...

inbrief - news

B&Q’s sustainable development policies have won it a 2002 European Business Award for the Environment. The UK-based DIY chain was among ten companies to win awards...

inbrief - news

Richard Aylard has been appointed to the new post of corporate social responsibility director at Thames Water, the world’s third-largest water company. Aylard will report to...

the European Union nails its colours to a multi-stakeholder mast - news

The EC’s multi-stakeholder forum has two years to prove it will be an effective means of promoting corporate social responsibility. EP assesses the prospects...

Fimilac launches CSR ratings agency - news

A company that owns one of the world’s largest ratings agencies has set up a service focusing on corporate social responsibility. Fimilac, which owns the Fitch ratings...

Anheuser-Busch is Vice Fund’s top pick - news

Drinks company Anheuser-Busch has emerged as the biggest holding in a fund that champions ‘socially irresponsible investment’. The US-based Vice Fund holds six per cent of...

Exxon shifts on climate change - news

ExxonMobil has softened its stance on global warming. In an advertisement in the New York Times the US oil company has conceded that ‘the risk of climate change...

two-thirds now report in Europe - news

Two-thirds of large companies headquartered in western Europe now report on their social and environmental performance in some form, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers....

trust backs SRI standard - news

A think-tank is to back calls for the creation of a Europe-wide accreditation standard for socially responsible investment funds. The London-based Federal Trust for...

Anglo American to speak up on human rights issues - news

The world’s second-largest mining group has decided to take a more interventionist approach with governments on human rights. Anglo American says it has ‘the right and the...

Bertelsmann opens its files - news

Europe’s largest media company has opened a corporate archive in Munich that will display all the documents it holds on its activities during the Nazi period....

20-somethings talk to business - news

Young people from 28 European countries will gather in Brussels this month to talk to business executives about corporate social responsibility. Eighty-four delegates...

wide range of views included in European CSR forum - news

A business body that has been one of the main campaigners against regulation on corporate social responsibility has become a key member of the European Commission’s...

inbrief - news

Elise More , former project manager at the Institute of Business Ethics, has joined the Walt Disney Corporation as senior regional manager for Europe. More will manage the...

inbrief - news

Arthur D. Little has been bought by the Altran Group. The consultancy, whose services include advice on corporate social responsibility, will be headquartered in...

GSK cuts drug prices by third - news

GlaxoSmithKline is again cutting the price of its HIV/Aids and anti-malarial drugs in developing countries. The UK-based pharmaceuticals group said it will make cuts of 38...

CSR centre opens for business - news

Nottingham University’s International Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility has begun teaching and research. The centre has introduced a CSR option that has been chosen...

Carrefour gives boost to reporting in France - news

Carrefour, Europe’s largest retailer, has entered the social and environmental reporting field. The supermarket chain’s first sustainable development report contains,...

financial firms ready to unveil ethical guidelines - news

More best practice guidance for the financial services sector is to be unveiled next month. The ‘Forge Two’ corporate social responsibility management and reporting...

Pictet launches SRI equities fund - news

Pictet, the Swiss-based fund manager, is launching a retail fund that will invest in the equities of large European companies ‘expected to generate long-term added value...

training call for accountants - news

Social and environmental reporting issues ‘should be integrated into the education and training regimes of professional accountancy bodies’, according to an influential...

Lydenberg calls for global SRI think-tank - news

A senior figure in the socially responsible investment community has proposed that a global think-tank be created to review methods of assessing the non-financial performance...

good reputation leads to rise in profitability - news

Half of senior business managers in Europe and North America believe the most important effect of better corporate reputation is an increase in sales. A study of 850...

inbrief - news

‘Blood’ diamonds are the target of a draft regulation from the European Commission requiring uncut stones imported into the EU to have a certificate stating the country of...

inbrief - news

A web-based ‘toolkit’ designed to help small and medium-sized companies take greater account of corporate social responsibility has been launched by CSR Europe. The...

inbrief - news

Innovest , the investment research firm, has appointed two new analysts to its London team. Shami Nissan joins from a consultancy practice where she specialized in the...

time to blow the froth off all this empty CSR talk - news

Good social reports clarify the impact companies have on society. But some fudge the difficult issues, say Peter Knight and Nigel Salter As noted in the...

business no longer needs to fear EC regulation on CSR - news

The European Commission’s communication on corporate social responsibility initially gives the impression that Brussels felt it had to do something, but was so overwhelmed by...

drinks firm gives alcohol warning - news

Responsible drinking messages have been introduced on some alcoholic drinks produced by Allied Domecq as part of the drinks company’s strategy to demonstrate that it is a...

Scots examine CSR and jobs - news

The Europe committee of the Scottish Parliament will examine corporate social responsibility as part of an enquiry it has launched into employment strategy. The...

child labour findings spur firms into action - news

Around 284,000 child labourers work in hazardous conditions on West African cocoa farms supplying western chocolate manufacturers, a study of the industry has found....

agency rises out of Arese ashes - news

A new ratings agency has been formed to analyse the social and environmental performance of companies around the world. Vigeo, which will be based in Bagnolet, France, has...

standards help investors rate drug firms - news

An ‘industry standard’ for assessing the corporate social responsibility of drugs firms has been drawn up by three global non-governmental organizations. Oxfam, Save...

new code for financial sector - news

Eleven European companies and investment institutions have signed a set of seven principles intended to clarify how financial markets can encourage sustainable development....

CSR managers branded dull and ‘time serving’ - news

Companies stand accused of giving their corporate social responsibility briefs to unimaginative ‘time serving’ executives with little taste for innovation. The...

Global Compact acts on weak submissions - news

None of the first batch of reports submitted by companies to the United Nation’s Global Compact office have met expectations. An analysis of the first 30 reports, conducted...

Exxon seeks to reduce conflict - news

ExxonMobil and Occidental Petroleum have joined other companies in an effort to reduce conflicts arising from the use of security forces at sites in developing countries....

white papers ease regulatory fears - news

Prospects of imminent regulation on CSR in Europe have receded with the publication of the European Commission’s communication on the subject and the UK government’s response...

inbrief - news

Stephen Serpell , the former head of corporate social responsibility at BT, has branched out on his own. Serpell, who recently finished a year’s secondment to the UK Department...

inbrief - news

20th anniversary Business in the Community conference 11-12 July London, UK Speakers include Viscount Etienne Davignon, chair of CSR Europe, and Andrew Gowers, editor...

policy makers must not overuse the bully pulpit - news

There are lots of things government can do to encourage corporate social responsibility without resort to regulation, says David Grayson The underlying drivers for corporate...

how CSR is changing the rules of competition in the market place - news

Forty-five per cent of the 250 largest companies now produce a report of some kind on their social and environmental performance. This is good news. Or is it? Looked at the other way,...

European CEOs see benefits, but slow to act - news

Around three-quarters of European business leaders think that CSR measures can make their companies more competitive and ‘significantly improve profitability’, but only a...

new standard aims to show way for verifiers - news

A groundbreaking international draft standard for the verification of social and environmental reports has been put forward by a leading body in the CSR field. The...

hopes are high as Timms becomes CSR minister - news

The business world has welcomed the appointment of Stephen Timms as the UK government’s new corporate social responsibility minister. Timms, who was appointed to replace...

mandatory reporting backed by MEPs - news

The European Parliament has passed a resolution calling for mandatory social and environmental reporting across Europe. The resolution, which represents the collective...

GRI brings in stakeholders for policy ideas - news

Thirty-three people have now been appointed to the Global Reporting Initiative’s stakeholder council, which will help to shape the organization’s development. Twelve...

Europe gets CSR academy - news

A European Academy of Business in Society is to be launched this month in France. The academy will provide online distance learning courses on corporate social...

the man with no taste for regulation on CSR - news

EP talks to Douglas Alexander, UK minister for corporate social responsibility, on his year in office – and why he still believes regulation is not the way forward When the...

inbrief - news

The annual conference of the European Baha’i Business Forum is to be held from 27-29 September 2002 at the De Poort conference centre in the Netherlands.

inbrief - news

The second European business summit on entrepreneurship and sustainable development is to be held in Brussels from 6-8 June.

inbrief - news

Mellon Global Investments , one of the largest bank holding companies in the US, has launched a European Ethical Index Tracker fund that avoids investments in companies connected...

Novo wins Euro award again - news

Novo has won the ‘best sustainability report’ section in the European Environmental Reporting Awards for the second year running. The Danish life sciences group, which took...

MEPs vote on mandatory social reporting directive - news

A resolution backing mandatory social and environmental reporting was due to be put to the vote in the European Parliament on 30 May. The resolution invites the European...

UK rejects compulsory social labels - news

Mandatory social labelling for products has been rejected by the UK government. A ministerial working group set up to study the concept – which would involve...

‘myopic’ markets are hampering progress - news

Short-termism driven by the financial markets is proving one of the biggest barriers to the spread of corporate social responsibility, a corporate law expert has argued....

‘ethics lite’ SRI funds told to adopt Dutch standards - news

Signs are emerging that a Dutch accreditation standard for socially responsible investment funds could be extended throughout Europe. The voluntary standard was launched in...

new bill ups the stakes on mandatory reporting - news

A bill to introduce mandatory social and environmental reporting for UK companies is to be debated in the House of Commons this autumn. The Ten Minute Rule Bill, put forward...

drug firms head SRI matrix - news

Two pharmaceuticals companies have been ranked as the most ethically desirable FTSE100 investments in a ‘sustainability matrix’ developed by a major fund management firm....

inbrief - news

The second annual Ethical Investment Management Forum organized by Euromoney Seminars will take place from 18-19 June in London.

inbrief - news

Two-thirds of companies in a study of corporate community involvement said they used advertising to publicize their programmes. The study, produced by the UK...

inbrief - news

A handbook on sustainable development in the European Union has been published by Hill & Knowlton Brussels. The future in your hands – a practical guide...

why a McDonald’s CSR report needs to stand out from the herd - news

A company which has attracted the amount of flak that McDonald’s has over the years does not take the decision to publish a global social responsibility report lightly. This...

CIS is top UK social reporter - news

Co-operative Insurance Society (CIS) has won the ‘best social report’ category in the new UK sustainability reporting awards. The awards, run jointly by the Institute of...

MBA students develop hard noses near graduation - news

Management students become more profit-orientated and less concerned about the social responsibility of business as they progress through business school, an international...

Novo rated top drugs group - news

Novo Group has come top in an analysis of the ethical performance of the world’s major pharmaceutical companies. The Munich-based rating agency oekom research assessed the...

Reuters becomes a GoodCorporation - news

Reuters has become the latest company to use the GoodCorporation social responsibility framework to help assess its ethical performance. The international news agency...

UK forum undertakes strategic review - news

Two corporate social responsibility research projects have been commissioned by Business in the Community as part of a major review of its future direction. The...

SA8000 passes 100-factory landmark - news

The number of factories certified to the SA8000 ethical workplace standard has now passed 100, according to figures from Social Accountability International, the organization...

MEPs ready to back Euro reporting law - news

Mandatory social and environmental reporting across Europe may move a step closer this month if, as expected, the European Parliament formally requests that a commitment to...

inbrief - news

Two leading business groups in Canada have declared their opposition to the Kyoto protocol on global warming. The Canadian Chamber of Commerce and the Canadian...

inbrief - news

Researchers working for Digital Europe, the two-year pan-European study of ebusiness and sustainable development, have announced that their final report will be...

inbrief - news

BAA has offered to pay £50 ($71) a month to each of the 860 staff in its company car scheme if they switch to vehicles powered by electricity or liquid petroleum gas. The...

inbrief - news

James Thelluson has been appointed European managing director of First&42nd, a communications consultancy that specializes in corporate social responsibility. Thelluson was...

how to keep down the costs of your CSR policies - news

The best way to keep down CSR costs is to get consultants to set up a management system and then run it yourself, advises Richard Jones The costs associated with corporate...

SRI investors need to assess companies and not countries - news

The powerful Californian state pension fund, Calpers, has done socially responsible investment no favours with its decision to begin selling the equities it holds in some...

reshaping the political influence of companies - news

The ethics of corporate giving to political causes face a new test as changes in the UK law bring new opportunities for political influence BP’s announcement at the...

GRI becomes regular fixture - news

The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) is to be inaugurated as a permanent institution in a ceremony at the United Nations in New York on 4 April. The GRI, which runs...

global law firm engineers big rise in community work - news

The legal firm Allen & Overy has more than doubled the number of staff hours devoted to its pro bono and community affairs programme over the past year. The...

European first for Birmingham - news

Birmingham has become the first European city to have its own business charter for social responsibility. The UK city’s ‘Better Together’ charter commits signatory companies...

FTSE4Good index brings 82 more firms into the fold - news

Another 82 companies have been added to the four FTSE4Good indices following a second review by its advisory committee. New constituents include Safeway, Rank Group, Egg,...

companies shy of tying ethics codes to contracts - news

Almost half of UK companies with an ethical code of conduct have not tied them to their employees’ contracts of employment, a study has shown. An Institute of...

inbrief - news

Five Europeans are among 14 people to have been chosen to serve on the board of the Global Reporting Initiative. They are Roger Adams (UK), technical director at the...

inbrief - news

Only 23 of 101 SRI fund managers and analysts in Europe and the US are assessing the social and environmental performance of companies using ‘best practice’ methods,...

inbrief - news

A conference on the ethical dimensions of corporate governance is to be held in Poznan, Poland from 21-22 June. Organized by the European Business Ethics Network, it...

inbrief - news

Premier Oil’s chief executive Charles Jamieson is among speakers at the Ethical Corporation Europe conference to be held from 24-26 April.

inbrief - news

Too many European companies have an ‘inadequate’ approach towards tackling bribery and corruption, according to a study by the UK fund manager Friends Ivory &...

Italian firms start tests on ethics standard - news

Seven companies with operations in Italy have begun to pilot a quality standard on social and ethical responsibility. The Q-RES standard, which was published in draft form...

BP and Shell come top of oil companies - news

BP and Shell have fared best in an analysis of the social and environmental performance of eight large oil and gas companies carried out by the Co-operative Insurance Society...

Indian executives out of touch with public opinion - news

Company executives in India are well behind the public when it comes to their expectations of the social performance of businesses, a new poll has revealed. The...

Triumph leaves Burma with 1000 job losses - news

A ‘social plan’ to help reduce the impact of redundancies is being drawn up by Europe’s largest lingerie manufacturer, Triumph International, after an announcement that it...

Europeans set up ethics officers group - news

The equivalent of the US Ethics Officer Association (EOA) is being set up in Europe. The Ethics Practitioner Forum will act as a debating forum, training organization...

Ketchum offers CSR service - news

One of the world’s largest public relations agencies has launched a corporate social responsibility arm. New York-based Ketchum says the unit will act as ‘a global...

EC official drops heavy hint on responsible downsizing - news

A senior European commissioner has hinted that measures to encourage ‘responsible downsizing’ could feature in the EC’s communication on corporate social responsibility this...

Red Cross engages firms on civil strife - news

Discreet talks are taking place between the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and companies operating in conflict zones. The Geneva-based ICRC has established...

Austria lags behind on social responsibility - news

Corporate social responsibility is proving slow to catch on in Austria, according to an analysis of European attitudes to CSR. The study by the US-based National Policy...

chief execs sign new pledge - news

Heads of almost 40 major global companies have put their names to a statement that personally commits them to place ‘corporate citizenship at the core of business strategy’,...

Italy set for rapid growth in SRI funds - news

The number of socially responsible investment funds in Italy is likely to rise by at least 50 per cent by the end of this year, according to research by Socially Responsible...

inbrief - news

The 15th annual conference of the European Business Ethics Network will take place at the European Parliament in Brussels from 29-30 August.

inbrief - news

The Surrey European Management School is to hold a two-day conference on corporate social responsibility and globalization in Guildford from 30-31 May.

inbrief - news

Pharmaceuticals company Merck has cut the price of two HIV/Aids drugs, Crixivan and Stocrin, by two-thirds in China after ‘long and intensive negotiations’ with the government...

time to accentuate the positive benefits of CSR - news

Companies are not getting the most out of CSR if they focus solely on risk reduction and not productivity gains, says Stephanie Draper The most common business case made for...

the EC green paper: some responses on SRI - news

As things stand at present, few investors and companies are working together to develop common ways of assessing corporate ethical performance. As a result, many companies are churning...

300 reply to green paper - news

Around 300 organizations have responded to the European Commission’s green paper on corporate social responsibility. Many came in after the 31 December consultation...

Israeli firms take leadership role - news

Ten companies in Israel have agreed to act as a ‘leadership group’ on corporate social responsibility. The firms, which include First International Bank and Cellcom,...

HBOS lures Mackenzie to spearhead SRI drive - news

One of the UK’s biggest financial companies has jumped into the socially responsible investment market by luring the City’s best-known SRI specialist, Craig Mackenzie, to...

oil companies urged to declare conflict zone cash - news

Oil companies working in conflict zones or highly corrupt countries should be required to declare exactly how much they pay to host governments in taxes and concession fees,...

postal firms fall short on community work - news

Europe’s postal companies could do much more work on their community involvement, research has revealed. A year-long study of corporate social responsibility in Europe’s...

Co-op bank makes ACCA shortlist again - news

Last year’s UK social reporter of the year, Co-operative Bank, has been shortlisted again for the latest annual social reporting awards. The bank is one of 13...

UN to review global compact - news

The United Nations has sent a clear signal that it intends to address weaknesses in its Global Compact on business behaviour by creating an advisory council to look at ways...

inbrief - news

The Global Reporting Initiative, which runs the GRI guidelines on sustainability reporting, has set up a working group to select 36 people to form the nucleus of a...

inbrief - news

The 2002 Social Venture Network Europe Conference is to be held near Windsor, in the UK, from 23-26 May. SVNE is a grouping of ‘social enterprises’ committed to...

inbrief - news

The Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum is holding a conference in Vancouver from 28 April to 3 May on ‘Mining, minerals and society – a...

inbrief - news

Profiles of the ethical performance of seven European car companies have been compiled by the Brussels-based Stock at Stake research firm for use by analysts. The...

the EC must do something, but the question is, what? - news

As the most powerful policy maker in Europe, the European Commission has a unique chance to influence the future direction of corporate social responsibility. But what should it do? As...

the EC green paper: some early feedback - news

The green paper has prompted a large number of submissions from companies and other interested parties. EP reviews a selection of them The consultation period for...

energy sector wins plaudits - news

The energy industry has been praised for its ‘above-average’ performance on workforce pay and conditions. Analysis of the social and environmental performance of 19...

Rhodia takes French prize - news

The chemical company Rhodia has received an award for the best annual environment report in France. Rhodia won the second annual ‘prix de meilleur rapport environnement’...

UN to back 48-hour week throughout the world - news

The United Nations Commission on Human Rights looks set to call on companies not to require all employees to work more than 48 hours in a week. The draft Fundamental...

most business schools ‘could do better’ on CSR - news

Teaching of corporate social responsibility issues in postgraduate business courses is too ad hoc and poorly integrated with mainstream topics, according to a US study of MBA...

UK ethical purchases rise by 18 per cent - news

Consumer spending on ethical goods in the UK rose by almost a fifth in 2000, according to a purchasing index devised by the Co-operative Bank and the New Economics...

Dutch fund tests SRI approach - news

The Dutch pension fund manager ABP has set up two experimental socially responsible investment (SRI) portfolios. The portfolios, of US and European equities respectively,...

Eurosif works up policy - news

The founding partners of the European Sustainable and Responsible Investment Forum are to meet this month to discuss the body’s policy on various issues. Eurosif,...

Canada takes middle ground - news

A quarter of Canada’s top 100 companies now produce an environmental or social report. New research from the Canadian consultancy Stratos shows that 26 of the largest...

UK dominates SRI holdings - news

UK companies dominate the upper echelons of a league table of stocks most commonly held by European socially responsible investment retail funds, according to research by the...

CSR green paper will turn white - news

The European Commission’s green paper on corporate social responsibility now looks certain to be followed by a more comprehensive white paper that could usher in Europe-wide...

inbrief - news

Surrey University is running a two-day conference entitled ‘Dynamics of strategy: entrepreneurship, corporate social responsibility and globalization’ from 30-31 May...

inbrief - news

Emma Howard Boyd , head of UK-based Jupiter Asset Management’s environmental research unit, is to chair the European Social Investment Forum (Eurosif) launched last month. Howard...

inbrief - news

Procter & Gamble and Microsoft have joined CSR Europe, the business-led organization that campaigns on corporate social responsibility. CSR Europe now has 44 corporate members.

beware: government will step in if companies fail to self-regulate - news

The announcement that the UK government may require companies to disclose details of individual directors’ pay packages is an important milestone in the development of...

corporate responsibility in an economic downturn - news

The downturn poses a challenge to proponents of corporate responsibility, which has prospered in the long boom. How will it fare in recessionary times? The standard...

UK chemicals industry gears up for CSR assault - news

The Chemical Industries Association (CIA) is holding its first-ever session on corporate social responsibility at next month’s annual conference. The hour-long...

French companies told they must report on social issues - news

The French parliament has approved legislation that will require listed companies to report on social and environmental issues. The New Economic Regulations Bill, which will...

inbrief - news

German pharmaceutical group Bayer has posted on its web site details of its efforts to comply with the UN’s Global Compact. Bayer was one of the first companies to...

inbrief - news

European utility company Suez has signed an accord with the United Nations Volunteers programme to promote the use of its staff as volunteers in developing countries....

inbrief - news

Granada is the best performing media company in Europe on sustainability, according to an index that measures large European companies by economic, environmental and...

a response to the EC’s green paper on CSR - news

The EC is seeking views on whether it should become more involved in CSR. Proponents should resist the siren call, says Martin Le Jeune At the end of its comprehensive, if...

promoting socially responsible business practices in Europe - news

Why do we need a European campaign on corporate social responsibility? Anyone asking this question need look no further than the list of companies identified as...

Daimler gets top marks - news

DaimlerChrysler has come top in an assessment of the sustainability policies of ten large car manufacturers. The study, carried out by the SustainAbility consultancy, gave...

green performers get credit this year - news

Companies which have improved their environmental performance over the last year have been highlighted for the first time in the annual ‘naming and shaming’ exercise carried...

European companies respond to atrocities - news

Businesses across Europe have responded to the World Trade Center attack and its aftermath with an unprecedented wave of corporate giving that has generated hundreds of...

old economy companies report better - news

Old economy companies such as car makers are far more likely to publish standalone environmental or social reports than those in the new economy. A...

GSK cuts price of drugs in US - news

GlaxoSmithKline is to cut the price of its drugs for elderly people on low incomes in the US. GSK’s Orange Card programme will allow elderly people with annual...

Phillips reaps rewards from community strategy - news

An oil and gas company facing a vociferous campaign over alleged health hazards at one of its terminals has allayed the fears of the local community with a series of measures...

Europe gets new umbrella group on ethical investment - news

A Europe-wide body to promote socially responsible investment (SRI) will be launched this month. The European Sustainable and Responsible Investment Forum – or...

chocolate firms begin assault on slave labour - news

Chocolate manufacturers in Europe and the US have come together to produce a strategy to tackle child slave labour in the West African cocoa industry. The strategy...

ISO proposal receives limited US support - news

Proposals to create an ISO management standard for business conduct had a mixed reception when the Ethics Officer Association met the American National Standards Institute...

stress idea works wonders - news

A programme set up by one of the world’s biggest pharmaceuticals and life sciences companies to help its employees talk through their personal problems is saving the business...

Europe prepares big CSR drive - news

A huge drive to push corporate social responsibility into the mainstream in Europe will be unveiled this month with plans for a European Academy on CSR, ten national...

inbrief - news

‘Socially responsible investment for European institutional fund managers’ will be the focus of a conference on 9 November in London. John Gummer, former UK government...

inbrief - news

Registration forms for the European Union’s conference on corporate social responsibility in Brussels on 27-28 November are now available.

inbrief - news

Pharmaceutical company Roche is to cut the price of the Aids drug nelfinavir by 40 per cent in Brazil to ensure its availability to poor people. Brazilian government ministers...

inbrief - news

An analysis of the operating strategies of 20 ethical investment funds from five European countries is available on the internet from the Association of Chartered...

companies and investors would benefit from a global benchmark - news

It was only a matter of time before the help of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) was sought in developing a global management standard for business...

250 Brazilian firms report social impacts - news

Social reporting in Brazil is more developed than environment reporting, according to an analysis from Unibanco. Brazil’s fourth-largest private bank says that contrary to...

community work on the up at C&W - news

Seven out of ten Cable & Wireless business units have now appointed someone with specific responsibility for community involvement, according to the company’s first...

Danes, Norwegians and British ahead on CSR - news

Denmark, Norway and the UK have been identified as world leaders in the field of corporate citizenship. All three countries ranked highly in an assessment of levels of...

companies slow to act on environment policies - news

Three-quarters of European companies operating in more polluting sectors have now published policies on the environment, but less than half have put in place the systems...

accountants covet new role - news

Europe’s largest accountancy body has pledged to increase its involvement in corporate social responsibility issues, chiefly by becoming more involved in the development of...

‘world leader’ Novo gets tips on reporting - news

The Novo Group is considered a world leader in social and environmental reporting but could improve by giving more weight to ‘the voice of others’ in its reports, a study has...

130 join Dow Jones index - news

More than 130 companies will be added this month to the list of businesses deemed acceptable for inclusion in the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index (DJSWI). The...

ethical standards ‘are affordable’ - news

The cost of complying with ethical codes of conduct appears to be affordable to most emerging economy companies, according to a UK government-funded study. Figures on...

the EC green paper on corporate responsibility - news

The recent green paper is a first step towards the creation of ‘an overall European framework’ for corporate social responsibility. EP interviewed the official in Brussels...

inbrief - news

Energy company TXU Europe has published its latest sustainability report on the web with a summary printed version available on request. It has also produced a...

inbrief - news

The 12th annual conference of the European Baha’i Business Forum will be held in the Netherlands from 26-28 October. Its theme will be ‘the role of business in...

inbrief - news

The European market for socially responsible investment is the theme of a conference for institutional fund managers to be held in London on 9 November by Cadogan...

a response to the challenges set out in the EC green paper on CSR - news

A fundamental question underpins the European Commission’s consultative paper on corporate social responsibility: how can the EU best encourage companies to adopt uniform CSR...

AA1000 gets major overhaul - news

Moves to revise the AA1000 standard on social auditing have begun with the publication of a consultation document on how it should be updated. The document, produced...

ethics teaching ‘needs integration’ - news

More effort should be made to integrate teaching of business ethics into management degrees, a London conference has heard. Delegates at the City University conference on...

FTSE4Good will drop exclusion policy - news

Tobacco manufacturers, arms makers and nuclear power companies will eventually be allowed to qualify for inclusion in the FTSE4Good indices. Six of the eight socially...

Marks & Spencer bans Indian leather - news

Marks & Spencer is to stop selling clothes made with Indian leather because of concerns about the treatment of cows in the region. The UK-based retail chain said it had...

Ladbrokes is declared a ‘good corporation’ - news

Ladbrokes, the betting and gaming division of Hilton Group, and technology company ARM Holdings have become the first two large companies to be given the GoodCorporation...

bank shows way for Japanese - news

The first Japanese bank has signed up to a United Nations statement on sustainable development. By signing the UN Environment Programme’s ‘Statement by financial...

researchers form worldwide SRI service - news

Socially responsible investment (SRI) research bodies from 12 countries have joined forces to provide data on companies’ social and environmental performance for...

UN defends global compact - news

The United Nations has hit back at critics of its Global Compact, one of the key elements in its strategy to encourage large companies to become more socially responsible....

green paper sets off EU debate - news

The European Commission has shown its strongest support yet for corporate social responsibility (CSR) principles by publishing a green paper as a ‘launch-pad for debate’ on...

inbrief - news

Alcoa has won the annual Ron Brown Award for Corporate Citizenship in the US. The aluminium company won first prize for its ‘Safety – a way of life’ programme, which...

inbrief - news

New trends in socially responsible investment will be the subject of a seminar organized by European public policy advisors EPPA on 12 July in London. Speakers include...

each European member state needs a dedicated CSR minister - news

This month sees the publication of a green paper on corporate social responsibility by the European Commission – its first formal step towards developing a strategy in...

telecom firms form alliance - news

Some of the world’s largest telecommunications companies have created an alliance to promote sustainable development within their industry. The new group, called the...

EC plans to promote CSR agenda at Rio+10 - news

The European Commission is expected to promote corporate social responsibility as an important element of the Johannesburg world summit on sustainable development next year....

Nike finds new auditors as PwC unit moves out - news

The company that monitors Nike’s labour standards throughout the world has shut its US-based auditing unit that carries out much of the work. PricewaterhouseCoopers...

electricity sector best at reducing risk - news

Companies in the oil, gas and electricity sectors have been the most successful at reducing the social and environmental risks that affect their business, a new set of...

GSK leads way on cheap drugs for poor countries - news

One of the world’s leading pharmaceuticals companies has significantly extended its commitment to provide cheap drugs to developing nations. GlaxoSmithKline has said it will...

M&S taken off register over store closure plans - news

Marks & Spencer has been taken off the investment register of a European ethical investment research organization after being accused of failing to inform staff early...

EC launches green paper - news

The European Commission begins a major consultation exercise on its corporate social responsibility policies this month with the launch of a green paper. The...

UN develops draft human rights code - news

United Nations officials will meet this month to put the final touches to a set of UN business guidelines on human rights. The guidelines, which have been drawn up under...

inbrief - news

John Hill is to retire from his job as TXU Europe’s corporate sustainable business manager in September. His post will be split into two, with Steve Hyde moving internally from...

inbrief - news

An ethical review committee on animal experiments is to be set up by Novo. The Danish pharmaceuticals and biotechnology group says the committee will include lay...

inbrief - news

Seven steps to socially responsible business are set out in a World Business Council for Sustainable Development report Sustainability through the market, which...

Vodafone is top ethical stock - news

Vodafone heads a league table of UK companies favoured by ethical fund managers, according to the Ethical Investment Research Service. The mobile phone company has...

business coalition looks at taking on social issues - news

A US coalition of investors, companies and non-governmental organizations that works to improve companies’ environmental performance is considering whether to take greater...

reporters are told: ‘don’t gloss over your failings’ - news

Too many companies are glossing over thorny issues in their social and environmental reports, a social accounting expert has said. Carol Adams, professor at Glasgow...

Adidas turns up heat on labour standards - news

One of the world’s largest sports clothing companies has stepped up the monitoring of labour standards in its supply chain. Adidas-Salomon will carry out an internal audit...

Europe braced for green paper - news

A green paper on corporate social responsibility is expected to be issued this month by the European Commission’s employment directorate. The discussion paper is...

inbrief - news

A conference on ‘Ethical Investment Management’ will be run by Euromoney from 21-22 June in London. Speakers include Penny Shepherd MBE, executive director of the UK...

code projects take up EC cash - news

Around $1.7million (£1.2m) of European Commission money has now been allocated to projects designed to support and encourage the development of business codes of conduct....

retailers sign up to labour code - news

Two more clothing companies – Phillips-Van Heusen and Eddie Bauer – have become members of the US-based Fair Labor Association’s monitoring programme. Businesses that...

Levi Strauss gives support to Romany communities - news

Levi Strauss has stepped up its support for Gypsy communities in eastern Europe by supporting the first Romany radio station in the region. The jeans and clothing...

water company ready to go global on volunteering - news

The water company AWG is drawing up plans to extend its employee volunteering scheme worldwide. AWG – formerly Anglian Water – provides water for almost 12 million...

Royal Bank of Scotland starts social audit - news

Royal Bank of Scotland has begun work on its first community and environment report. The UK bank, the third largest in Europe, is producing the document in-house...

Shell takes Euro reporting award - news

Shell has won the fifth European Environmental Reporting Awards. Danish company Novo Nordisk took the best sustainability report award, Austria’s Obermurtaler...

US firms will take up Kyoto baton - news

Signs are emerging that some big US companies are willing to take a lead on global warming by working towards Kyoto Protocol targets – despite president George...

FTSE4Good should reward best practice in all industry sectors - news

The launch of the FTSE4Good family of ethical indexes has symbolic as well as practical value. It shows that one of the world’s leading equity index managers thinks socially...

corporate responsibility and the next UK election - news

The last four years of Labour rule have helped to advance the corporate social responsibility agenda. The involvement of business in regenerating rundown areas is emerging...

Belgians prepare to push CSR - news

The Belgian government is to promote corporate social responsibility during its six-month presidency of the European Union, which starts in June. The start of the...

drug companies extend help on Aids - news

Two of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies have announced measures to provide cheaper Aids drugs to the developing world, prior to an important court case on drug...

French set up SRI forum to lobby business and investors - news

A forum to encourage more socially responsible investment in France has been created in Paris. The launch of Forum pour L’Investissement Responsable on 8 March...

Italians move on citizenship - news

Results of a year-long investigation into corporate citizenship in Italy will be unveiled in Rome next month. Details of the study will be presented at a two-day...

FTSE to launch four ethical indexes for fund managers - news

Around half of the UK’s largest listed companies are expected to qualify for four new socially responsible investment (SRI) indexes to be launched by FTSE in June....

The Co-operative Bank is best social reporter - news

The Co-operative Bank has won the main prize in the UK’s second annual Social Reporting Awards. The bank was judged to have produced the best social report last year....

clothing company backs ethical trading - news

The Swiss clothing retailer Charles Vogele has agreed to become a ‘marketing partner’ of the fair trade company Amana, which runs the Link label. The...

inbrief - news

A web-based biannual review of corporate sustainability has been launched by Euromoney, Dow Jones Indexes and SAM Sustainability Group. Sustainable business investor...

inbrief - news

The UK Environmental Reporting Awards 2000 will be held at a ceremony in London on 23 March. The European Environmental Reporting Awards will be announced in Brussels...

inbrief - news

A workshop on how companies should implement OECD guidelines on the ethical conduct of multinationals is being run jointly by the European Parliament and the European...

inbrief - news

Global corporate citizenship will be the subject of a conference held from 2-4 May in Montreux, Switzerland. Speakers include Mary Robinson, UN high commissioner for...

inbrief - news

The pharmaceuticals company Merck has helped set up a new ethics organization in South Africa. The South African Ethics Institute aims to ‘advance ethical practices in...

corporate responsibility under president Bush - news

President George W. Bush has brought a reputation for conservatism with him to the White House. This has raised fears that the momentum behind corporate social responsibility...

France adopts SRI regulation - news

The French parliament has adopted new legislation that requires fund managers of employee savings plans to state their position on socially responsible investment (SRI)....

US mergers hit CSR plans hard - news

European companies are less likely than their US counterparts to cut back on social responsibility measures after takeovers, a new report claims. The challenges of...

UK non-reporters publicly named by minister - news

Reuters, Reed Elsevier, the Imperial Tobacco Group, United Business Media, Colt Telecom and the software company Sage have been named as ‘laggards’ on environmental reporting...

Polish companies take firm line on corruption - news

More than 20 companies have signed up to a new initiative that will fight business corruption in Poland. The Manus Puris association, which was officially launched in...

Adidas has agreed to send a senior manager to talk to members of the European Parliament about its ethical supply chain monitoring in Indonesia. The move follows...

e-businesses get help on social responsibility - news

Three new European initiatives have been launched to help internet businesses become more aware of corporate social responsibility issues. The projects come at the...

Heineken to gather ethics into one policy - news

Heineken is to pull together its internal ethical policies into one document that will be made available to the public. The Netherlands-based brewer has asked its ethics...

GRM provides SRI analysis for insurance giant - news

A London-based firm of analysts is to carry out research into the social and environmental performance of European companies for the asset management arm of CGNU, the worldís...

inbrief - news

PIRC's annual corporate governance conference is to be held in London on 22 February. Speakers include Rosemary Martin, company secretary at Reuters.

partnership research has a European focus - news

A two-year research project has begun into how public-private partnerships can help tackle social exclusion in Europe. The Copenhagen Centre will study six public-private...

Chiquita ends marathon certification programme - news

Fresh food giant Chiquita has finally met an independently verified social and environmental standard for all the banana farms it owns in Latin America after eight years of...

social audit model wins EC plaudits - news

The Danish company Br–drene Hartmann has won a European Commission award for its work in measuring its social and environmental impact on society. The packaging...

code overload causes concern - news

The global plethora of codes of conduct is hampering work by companies trying to improve the ethical performance of their suppliers, according to leading figures in the...

inbrief - news

An assessment of the performance of 46 major European companies on social and employment issues has been put together by CSR Europe (formerly the European Business...

making regeneration part of social responsibility - news

A new report, from a taskforce first announced by Gordon Brown, the chancellor, in February 2000, is likely to prompt businesses of all sizes and sectors to consider a review...

Nikko launches sustainable fund - news

A Japanese fund manager has launched a new vehicle to invest in companies judged to perform well on sustainability. Nikko Asset Management’s Global Sustainability Fund has...

Dutch fund moves toward SRI approach - news

The Dutch pension fund PGGM looks set to adopt socially responsible investment (SRI) principles across its entire portfolio. PGGM, which manages €50billion (£30bn) on...

Nike releases Latin American audits - news

Nike has posted social audits of 22 suppliers in South and Central America on the internet as part of its new commitment to openness about working conditions at 700 contract...

Grayson joins CSR practice - news

One of the leading figures in the development of corporate social responsibility in the UK has been appointed by the public policy consultancy firm EPPA to develop a...

social fund makes its first move - news

A $10million venture capital fund set up to invest in ‘environment-friendly’ Latin American and Caribbean businesses has made its first investment. The EcoEnterprises Fund,...

UK company law review bolsters planned OFRs - news

The UK company law review has dealt a final blow to any lingering hopes that it would require companies to produce mandatory social and environmental reports....

mixed signals from poll - news

A MORI poll of European consumers has found that 70 per cent of respondents claimed a company’s commitment to social responsibility was important when buying a product or...

Fuji subsidiary sets the pace with ethical code - news

A European subsidiary of the film company Fujifilm has launched an ethical programme which its operations throughout the world are to emulate in the near future. The...

talks start on creating Europe-wide SRI body - news

Plans for a Europe-wide body to promote socially responsible investment (SRI) are being developed by SRI practitioners from France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and the...

paper industry needs a social agenda - news

The social performance of forestry and paper companies is much less advanced than their sense of environmental responsibility, according to a study by the Swiss bank Sarasin....

top firms edge forward - news

Corporate governance standards among UK companies have marginally improved in the past year, but a significant number of companies still have boards and remuneration...

inbrief - news

European ethical retail funds numbered 175 in 1999, according to a study presented at a conference in Rotterdam last month.

inbrief - news

The European Business Ethics Network is to hold its 2001 annual congress in Valencia, Spain, from 12-14 September.

inbrief - news

DaimlerChrysler has been named Corporation of the Year in the US by the National Minority Supplier Development Council for its commitment to supplier diversity. The...

inbrief - news

Insurance and investment group Friends Provident has decided to produce a triple bottom line report on its activities next year. The group announced this summer that it...

inbrief - news

The first ever European Parliament hearing on ethical business took place in Brussels on 22 November. The one-day hearing, open to all members of the European Parliament...

corporate social responsibility and the European Commission - news

The European Commission is starting to take a greater interest in corporate social responsibility (CSR). At present this interest is manifesting itself in a series of...

consistency is the key to a strong corporate culture - news

When the aircraft manufacturer Boeing sent female sales engineers to make presentations in the Middle East, it found itself with a challenge: local customs deemed it...

Italians work on new standard - news

Seven companies with operations in Italy have agreed to pilot a new international quality standard on social and ethical responsibility. The standard, which is to be...

warning on pitfalls of over zealous approach to CSR - news

A warning of the dangers of senior managers imposing ethical policies on their staff by dictat has come from the chief executive of a US-based company that has set out to be...

study profiles typical ethical investor - news

The vast majority of individual UK ethical investors are middle-aged and well educated, according to a new poll. A survey answered by 485 ethical investors revealed that 78...

world’s best reporters are in Europe - news

The world’s six best sustainability reporters are all European companies – and five are from the UK – according to new rankings produced by an international...

Kraft expands its social marketing role - news

The food company Kraft is to embark on the third phase of a social marketing programme for disadvantaged children in Hungary this month when it launches a partnership with a...

new human rights law may affect many firms - news

The new Human Rights Act could be used by members of the public to challenge the behaviour of UK companies, legal experts have warned. The Act, which came into force on 2...

2005 is designated European year of CSR - news

The European Commission has agreed to hold a European year on corporate social responsibility (CSR). The decision was announced last month at the launch of a business-led...

Henkel signals expansion of CSR measures - news

The German chemical group Henkel has said it wants to add a more socially responsible dimension to its activities. The company says it has been particularly influenced by its...

ING ponders advice service - news

ING Bank may establish a European consultancy to service the increasing number of companies that are being approached by fund managers to explain their social and...

CWS unveils social report - news

The Co-operative Wholesale Society (CWS) has published its first social report. The 60-page document covers the co-operative’s food retailing business, and is largely...

Telekom looks to the future - news

Deutsche Telekom is to commit itself to becoming more socially responsible with a sustainability programme for the period 2001-4. Ignacio Campino, senior executive vice...

EC considers SRI directive - news

Pressure is growing on the European Union to produce a directive that would force pension funds to disclose their policy on socially responsible investment (SRI)....

fund seeks child labour talks - news

Four UK high street retailers have been approached by pension fund representatives to discuss their policies on child labour. WH Smith, Signet, Boots, and JJB Sports...

inbrief - news

A new newsletter about socially responsible investment in Europe, SRI in Progress, has been launched by Terra Nova Conseil, a Paris-based management consulting firm...

Ford begins to make progress on race relations in European factories - news

Ford has appointed three senior diversity managers as part of ongoing work to improve race relations at its European car plants. The motor company, which was heavily...

pension funds embrace SRI regulation - news

More than half of the largest UK pension funds have asked their fund managers to take ethical investment considerations into account when investing money, according to a new...

Walsh becomes CSR consultant - news

British Telecommunication’s head of reputation and social policy, Jan Walsh, has left the company to set up a consultancy specialising in corporate social responsibility...

inbrief - news

The annual conference of Social Accountability International (formerly the Council on Economic Priorities Accreditation Agency) will focus on 'The strategic management of...

business gets more value from its corporate giving - news

Corporate giving is growing significantly in the UK, but companies are putting more of their money into specific community projects rather than giving it straight to charity....

guest column: the practice of social and environmental reporting - news

A combined report cannot measure all social and environmental impacts. The most important thing is for companies to make a start, says Jon Woodhead As a developer and...

inbrief - news

Every European Union country should create a ‘sustainability ombudsman’ as a link between businesses and public authorities, an EU working group has recommended. The European...

inbrief - news

Robert Beckett has left the Institute of Social and Ethical Accountability, where he has spent the past three years as development director. He was involved in establishing...

chocolate makers monitor slavery claims - news

UK chocolate manufacturers have said they will look into allegations that they might be using cocoa produced by child slave labour in West Africa – but have said they are...

BASF opts for big culture change - news

Staff at one of the world’s largest chemical companies are to be given training on a statement of ‘values and principles’ which it hopes will become an integral part of the...

new package offers aid on supply chain ethics - news

A new CD-ROM package has been developed to help companies benchmark suppliers when managing the environmental impact of their supply chains. The package