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Three quarters of companies worldwide yet to acknowledge climate change as a financial risk - news

By Ethical Performance — Almost three quarters (72 percent) of large and mid-cap companies worldwide do not acknowledge the financial risks of climate change in their annual financial...

Seafood industry takes big steps toward sustainability - news

By Brian Collett — The tuna company Thai Union has joined forces with the environmental NGO Greenpeace to improve labour practices, expand sustainable operations and minimise destructive...

Candriam’s ESG study rates 74 countries globally as ‘investable’ - news

By Roger Aitken — The 2017 SRI Country report from Candriam, part of New York Life with assets under management of €108 billion as of this June, has categorised 74 countries globally...

MSCI launches new ESG indexes - news

By Stuart Doole, MSCI — Institutional investors increasingly are moving toward integrating ESG criteria into their portfolios and their factor allocations, in particular. This shift is...

First industry-wide global sustainability goals set by International Tourism Partnership - news

By Brian Collett — Four ethical goals have been set by the International Tourism Partnership , the London-based hospitality industry body, to celebrate its 25th anniversary.  ...

Three aspirations for long distance EVs - news

By Dr Peter Harrop, Chairman, IDTechEx — All the publicity currently goes to the race to make regular and premium cars have longer range. This is because most people want only one car so...

MSCI Supports NZ Super Fund’s Low Carbon Strategy - news

By Vikas Vij — Leading global investors increasingly recognize the challenges posed by climate change and its long-term impact on business and economy. Some of the major investors are...

The important business of ocean conservation - news

By Tom Birbeck, ARC Marine—According to a WWF report, our oceans are worth at least $24 trillion, so how can we afford not to protect and invest in it like any other business?  ...

Cities pushing beyond climate change - news

By David Connor, UK Regional Voice Lead — As the world conversely becomes better connected in an increasingly uncertain future, we are seeing the roles of cities and governments fluctuate...

New app increases access to investing in green energy - news

By Antonio Pasolini — Solar power is the first market to benefit from a new investment application called MyBit , an Ethereum blockchain platform that enables the crowdfunding of...

Big Oil urged to report financials in view of climate-related risk - news

By Elisabeth Jeffries — Had Exxon Mobil reported its reserves differently in 2016, investors might have taken a different view of the company’s future. It reported its Kearl oil...

C&A publishes list of 2,000 factories in its supply chain - news

By Brian Collett — The international fashion retailer C&A has published the details of all its suppliers in its efforts to achieve the most transparent supply chain.  ...

The Economist Intelligence Unit global business survey finds ‘strategic CSR’ - news

By Brian Collett — A small proportion of global businesses approached by a leading survey agency addresses climate change issues and child labour in their supply chains, though their...

Inventshift showcases social enterprises for global good - news

By Sangeeta Waldron — Social enterprises are a new way of doing business, where, by selling goods and services in the open market, the social enterprises reinvest the money they make back...

Walmart steps up certification of responsible sourcing of seafood - news

By Brian Collett — Walmart, which has more than 11,000 stores globally and is the world’s largest company by revenue, has announced it aims to eliminate forced and child labour and...

Al Gore at Ashden Awards: “Must, can, will we change?” - news

By Adam Woodhall — Al Gore started out giving speeches about the environment in 1989, first with flip charts, then slides, then a mix of digital imagery, animation and high-tech stagecraft...

London conference discusses urban sustainability - news

By Antonio Pasolini — Municipal leaders, diplomats and representatives of the private sector got together in London last month for the Cities Unbound conference. Attendees hailed from...

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...

Rising green bond market supports eco-friendly projects - news

By Vikas Vij — Green bonds are debt instruments designed to finance environment-friendly projects. With most of the world now more strongly aligned on tackling climate change, governments...

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...

HSBC’s investigation into own client saves Indonesian rainforest - news

By Roger Aitken — Action taken by HSBC, one of the largest banking and financial services organisations globally with an international network comprising around 7,500 offices in over 80...

Trust in an era of ‘alternative' facts - news

By Sangeeta Waldron — The Global Thinkers Forum is a social purpose organisation that launched in 2012 under the patronage of Her Majesty Queen Rania of Jordan. It works for change by...

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...

Mars, Tesco, Vinci and GE Join Leadership Group for Responsible Recruitment - news

By Brian Collett — Four large companies have signed up to the Leadership Group for Responsible Recruitment, an international business alliance campaigning to eliminate fees imposed on...

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.    ...

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...

Being bold at IKEA: Steve Howard on six years leading from the front - news

By Adam Woodhall — The man who last year brought us the concept of “peak stuff”, and is a self-proclaimed ‘professional optimist’,  Steve Howard of IKEA ,...

Say hello to the Global Good Awards! - news

For 2018, the National CSR Awards is rebranding as the Global Good Awards. Karen Sutton, CEO and Founder of the Awards (pictured above), explains: “These awards were originally born...

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...

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...

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...

Global coalition forms to promote sustainable cotton - news

By Ethical Performance — From its localized beginnings 5,000 years ago in Mexico and the Indus Valley in India, cotton has grown to be the most widely used natural fiber crop used in...

  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.        ...

Premier Inn and Lidl support sustainable seafood - news

By Brian Collett — Premier Inn has become the world’s largest national hotel chain to gain the certification of the Marine Stewardship Council, the NGO better known as the MSC, that...

Mars and Nestlé take steps to clean up their seafood supply - news

By Gina-Marie Cheeseman — Mars and Nestlé recently announced that they will take steps to ensure their pet food supply chains are free of illegally caught seafood and human rights...

Fashion For Good program starts up with grant from the C&A Foundation - news

By Brian Collett — Brands, retailers, and manufacturers have been invited to join a programme encouraging good practice by the C&A Foundation.   The Foundation,...

AB InBev sets goal of 100% renewable energy - news

By Brian Collet—AB InBev, the world’s largest brewery, with sales in 50 countries, aims to source all its electricity from renewables by 2025.    The group, whose...

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...

Tech innovation tracks cotton sourcing through supply chain - news

By Brian Collett — Pinpointing the source of cotton goods in today’s complex market has been made possible through technology devised by growers and scientists working in...

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...

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...

Shopping for a purpose  - news

By Adam Woodhall — There are many gathering storms our society is facing, but having a purpose is increasingly seen as a way to navigate these uncharted and often rough waters. Many...

Chocolate and cocoa companies commit to sustainable supply chains at meeting with Prince Charles - news

By EP staff — The Prince of Wales has hosted senior executives of the world’s largest chocolate and cocoa companies to discuss ending deforestation in the cocoa supply chain. ...

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...

Protests by 20 international clothing brands free striking labour leaders - news

By Brian Collett —All the remaining labour leaders detained after unrest in Bangladesh’s garment factories are to be freed after protests by more than 20 international clothing...

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...

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...

Rolex, Lego, and Disney top Reputation Institute’s 2017 Global Reptrak® 100 - news

Reputation Institute (RI), a provider of stakeholder measurement, membership and management services, has announced the company’s annual Global RepTrak® 100 rankings.  ...

ESG trends to impact capital markets in 2017 - news

By Vikas Vij —The beginning of 2017 marks an inflection point for institutions that want to invest for the long-term. Investors and policy makers have increasingly advocated against...

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...

Investing in sustainable cities to spur economic growth - news

By Vikas Vij — In the next 15 years, more than two-thirds of total investment infrastructure will be made in cities. By 2050, about 66 percent of the global population will live in urban...

Long-term strategy improves business performance - news

By Vikas Vij — Having the ability to envision the company’s future is a critical element of successful corporate leadership. Setting bold, long-term goals allows a company to move...

Call to companies to eliminate forced labour in textile industry - news

By Brian Collett — An appeal for close collaboration between businesses in the textile industry to eliminate forced labour has been made by a group led by Humanity United , an NGO that...

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...

Corporate sustainability helps improve employee engagement - news

By Vikas Vij — Employee engagement is the psychological engine that drives corporate performance. While employee engagement worldwide is on a decline, some companies are managing to beat...

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...

John Deere offers all-electric tractor to curb pollution - news

By Brian Collett — An all-electric tractor has been designed that could eventually cut pollution from farming by leaps and bounds.   John Deere, the Illinois-based maker of...

Top 10 business and human rights issues for 2017 - news

By Brian Collett — A priority for employers must be to rectify social inequality, now clearly highlighted by the wealth gap, reports the London-based Institute for Human Rights and...

Companies Vs. Climate Change issues call to action - news

By Brian Collett — Businesses must lead the action against climate change. The call was issued by 200 US and international business leaders meeting in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. ...

Subway signs on to responsible tuna sourcing - news

By Brian Collett — Subway, regarded as the world’s largest fast food company, has joined the global organisation that promotes responsible tuna fishing.    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...

Inspiring sustainability the Interserve way  - news

Interview with Tim Haywood, Interserve   By Adam Woodhall   I recently had a conversation with Tim Haywood, Group Finance Director and Head of Sustainability at...

Future generations prepare for work with DP World Education Programme - news

By Sangeeta Haindl — In our fast-paced, technology-driven and globalised world, consumers expect just about anything from anywhere delivered promptly to their door. International logistics...

Value chain approach: a focus on food waste - news

By Michael Grosse—Each year an estimated 1.3 billion tonnes of food is lost or wasted globally. This mountain of food would be over eight Eiffel Towers tall and includes about 45% of fruit...

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...

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...

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,...

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...

More companies getting involved in social issues - news

by Vikas Vij — As expectations rise for companies to engage with the communities through communications, advocacy or legal means – and as the implications for business become clearer...

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...

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...

250 core business changes, 2.5 million workers treated better— Ethical Trading Initiative - news

by Brian Collett — Credit for pay increases to 353,000 garment workers in Cambodia and Myanmar during the past five years is claimed by the London-based Ethical Trading Initiative...

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...

Carbon Trust reports on progress: 180 companies on board - news

by Adam Woodhall — The overwhelming scientific consensus is that climate change must be kept under 2, preferably 1.5, degrees. At COP21 in Paris last year, political leaders from around...

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...

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...

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...

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,...

Creating eco-friendly airport systems of the future - news

by Vikas Vij — Airports have traditionally been viewed as a prime source of anti-environmental activity. Whether it is the high amount of air pollution from the airplanes, the high-energy...

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...

Business & Climate Summit: inspiring a social movement - news

The Business & Climate Summit 2016 held in London is a leading annual forum for businesses, investors and policymakers on climate action.  One of the attendees was Charles Perry , a...

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)...

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...

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...

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...

What a waste of business resource! - news

By Mike Tuffrey, co-founder, Corporate Citizenship — Corporations spend billions every year on causes and in communities around the world. But a shocking new survey shows they...

From farmers to financiers: investors have begun to see farm animal welfare as a significant risk - news

By Leah Garces, USA Executive Director for Compassion in World Farming — Earlier last month in New York, a meeting took place that would have seemed implausible only a few years ago....

Helping companies understand their value chain - news

The 5 th GRI Global Conference 2016 , held in Amsterdam 18- 20 May, convened 1,500 sustainability leaders to exchange information about best practices, innovation, and trends. Alyson Slater ,...

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...

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...

UK and US studies issue warnings about impacts of climate change - news

by Sangeeta Haindle - A new study by the London School of Economics (LSE), published in the peer-reviewed journal Nature Climate Change , says climate change could cut the value of...

The (surprising) power of benchmarking - news

How good are you? Most companies tell their employees they are (of course) the best. But the truth is little time or money is spent confirming or dispelling the notion. Why take the risk of...

A force for good - news

Fujitsu’s  head of responsible business, Juliet Silvester, explains how the company creates long-term value. Interview by Tom Idle The Japanese ICT business Fujitsu is currently...

A measurable impact - news

by Frank E. Celli, CEO, BioHiTech Global   Each year, an estimated 133 billion pounds of food that farmers grow never makes it to our plates. Tons of it ends up in landfills, where...

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...

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...

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...

GRI and CDP issue guidance to help companies disclose impacts - news

GRI, pioneer of the most widely used sustainability reporting standards, and CDP, host of a global collection of self-reported climate change, water and forest-risk data, have just released...

The Body Shop speaks up - news

EP Journal The Body Shop’s new CSR strategy is designed to make consumers realize why they fell in love with the brand in the first place. by Tom Idle The influential...

Morningstar launches new sustainability rating for sustainable investors - news

Morningstar has introduced a new sustainable investing initiative, the Morningstar Sustainability Rating for funds. This rating will help investors evaluate mutual and ETF funds that invest in...

Global coalition comes together to change the future of protein - news

A group of international businesses and NGOs have joined to form The Protein Challenge 2040, a first collaboration across the protein system. Facilitated by Forum for the Future, a...

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...

Feefo announces “Trusted Merchant” Awards 2016 - news

Feefo has released its list of companies that have been accredited with “Trusted Merchant” status for 2016. Over 1,400 national and international businesses were awarded, including...

BLOG: Why diversity matters to capacity-driven success - news

Diversity tends to be a very hot topic on the web and in the news. It has been for decades. You would think there would be more movement in this direction, and while we gain inches here and...

Primark to expand ethical trading team as DFID partnership kicks off - news

Value fashion retailer Primark is to partner with the Department for International Development (DFID) in the UK to improve working conditions for garment workers in developing markets. The...

Wood-derived biofuel takes off with major airline backing - news

Six large companies have joined Canadian scientists in a consortium to promote the use of tree waste biofuels by airlines. A study backed by the US aerospace manufacturer Boeing has already...

BMW comes top in global sustainability rankings - news

Corporate Knights, the Canadian-based media and research company, has published its 2016 Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World (Global 100) ranking. Companies that make the...

Food and drink giants urged to do more on nutrition - news

The world’s largest food and beverage companies have made some progress towards improving consumers’ diets but they still have a long way to go if they are to play their full part in...

Future Perfect? - news

At the end of last year, the Institute for Human Rights and Business (IHRB), a global think tank, published its annual top 10 list of business and human rights issues for 2016. Here we...

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?...

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...

Rana Plaza: How it led to an Accord to help improve workers’ rights - news

Workers in developing countries can use the Accord signed by the likes of H&M, Primark and Zara following the Rana Plaza disaster as a template to improve their own safety and conditions,...

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...

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...

Chelsea Reinhardt joins Standards Division at GRI - news

As GRI begins its transition from sustainability reporting guidelines to Sustainability Reporting Standards, the Standards Division at GRI is expanding with the appointment of Chelsea Reinhardt...

BLOG: After COP21, what next for rainforests? - news

COP21 may be over, but on the rainforest front the work is just beginning, writes Claire Raisin, Director Size of Wales Rainforests are vital when it comes to preventing, and...

Supplier non disclosure hindering climate risk management - news

The largest ever study of climate change data from major corporates and their suppliers has uncovered a significant blindspot of supply chain risk.   While leading companies such as...

Animal welfare grows in importance to food companies worldwide - news

Noble Foods, Marks & Spencer, Waitrose and Coop Group (Switzerland) have attained the highest marks in the global Business Benchmark on Farm Animal Welfare report, out tomorrow (26 January,...

New commission to help business engage with SDGs - news

A new commission of business, labour and civil society leaders, has been set up to help businesses engage in achieving the SDGs. Established by Unilever CEO Paul Polman and former United...

BLOG: Businesses must unite to protect wildlife - news

HE Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Chairman of DP World, shares his thoughts on why business needs to unite to tackle the international problem of illegal poaching and trafficking. Many of the...

CEOs recognise value of 'corporate purpose' in business success - news

CEOs acknowledge that purpose – a clear reason to exist beyond making money – has become a key part of business strategy, according to PwC’s annual survey of global CEOs....

BLOG: Post-COP21 business needs to step up - news

Businesses need to look beyond their own boundaries in the post-Paris climate era, blogs Chris Cook, AkzoNobel Planet Possible Programme Director. Global leaders will meet this week at the...

Heineken bolsters responsible consumption with new campaign - news

Beer giant Heineken is tapping into the changing attitude to drinking among younger consumers with its latest marketing campaign. New research, conducted by trend-analysts, Canvas8, on...

Primark commits to improve working conditions for garment workers - news

Value fashion retailer Primark is to partner with the Department for International Development (DFID) to improve working conditions for garment workers in developing markets. The company...

IHRB outlines top 10 corporate responsibility issues for 2016 - news

The Institute for Human Rights and Business (IHRB), a global think tank, has published its annual Top 10 list of business and human rights issues for 2016. This year’s list includes...

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...

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...

Business’ social licence to innovate - news

To shape tomorrow’s sustainable economy business’ innovative capacity is essential. However the public trust in business innovations is dwindling and that is a problem for all....

Getting up a thirst for sustainability - news

‘Transformational’ improvements at its distilleries stand the global drinks giant Diageo in good stead in the face of ongoing carbon and water issues. But securing its long-term...

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...

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...

Over-hunted tropical forests could make climate change worse - news

The extinction of large animals from tropical forests could make climate change worse – according to researchers at the University of East Anglia. New research published in Science...

Pernod Ricard steps up measures to promote responsible drinking - news

Absolut vodka and Beefeater gin maker Pernod Ricard is extending its Wise Drinking programme by gradually adding, as inventories are renewed, the address www.wise-drinking.com to the back...

Unicef report highlights importance of post-COP21 action for children - news

As COP21 draws to a close, international children's charity Unicef has called for ambitious action on climate change. “The future of today’s children, particularly the most...

Adidas steps up pace over ocean pollution with Parley - news

Sportswear giant Adidas and creative think tank Parley for the Oceans have showcased a new footwear concept, the 3D-printed Ocean Plastic shoe midsole, to demonstrate how the sportswear and...

More big names sign up to renewable power commitment - news

BMW Group, Coca-Cola Enterprises, International Flavors & Fragrances Inc. (IFF), Nordea Bank AB, Pearson PLC and Swiss Post are the latest corporates to sign up to RE100, the global...

Turn deforestation pledges into action, urges CDP - news

Corporate momentum on tackling deforestation is at risk of stalling warns new analysis from CDP, the global non-profit which collates environmental data on behalf of investors. While seven...

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...

Unilever aims to become carbon positive by 2030 - news

At COP21 Prince Charles lauded Unilever's achievements in deforestation, as he expressed his hope that politicians and businesses were starting to act on the need to protect forests....

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...

Collaboration to yield ‘transformational’ platform for reporting - news

The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), the Climate Disclosure Standards Board (CDSB) and Ecodesk have joined forces to create The Reporting Exchange, a free-to-use,...

Stricter compliance policies required to end forced labour - news

Around the globe, desperate and poor people are still being sold or forced into slavery. Whether in fishing, agriculture, construction or other work, these men, women and children are ending up...

Richer nations less concerned about climate change: poll - news

Global public concern about climate change has declined over the past six years, especially in industrialized countries, finds a new 21-country poll from GlobeScan. Less than half (48%) of...

Russian business giants unite to address climate change challenge - news

Some of the biggest Russian corporates have introduced an initiative to consolidate the efforts of Russian business to mitigate environmental impacts and help prevent climate change by creating...

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...

ZSL expands palm oil web tool to bolster investor decision-making - news

The Zoological Society of London (ZSL) is aiming to bring further clarity to the complex world of palm oil production through the launch of its expanded Sustainable Palm Oil Transparency Toolkit...

Expectations high for business to take lead post-COP21 - news

Experts predict that business will be key to the success of climate change action post-COP21 Summit in Paris next month, according to the findings from a new study exploring leadership on...

Highland Spring tops ethical bottled water ranking - news

Ethical shopping comparison website, thegoodshoppingguide.com , has released ethical comparison research on all the main bottled water companies and brands. Highland Spring is the...

CDP ranking reveals corporate climate change champions - news

Apple, Diageo, Sainsbury's, Roche Holding and Google are among CDP's ranking of corporate 'A listers' for their actions to mitigate climate change.  The international...

ESG factors gaining recognition for boosting business performance - news

Successful shareholder engagement on environmental and social issues helps companies improve both their financial performance and governance, showing that involvement that is “less...

Corruption remains major cost for honest companies - news

Corruption is still a major cost to international business, finds the latest survey from global business risk consultancy, Control Risks. It found that 41% of global respondents reported...

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...

Refreshing the art of good story telling - news

Sustainability teams must work more closely with marketing if they are to realise the value of corporate social responsibility for their brands, says Michael Dickstein , director of global...

Putting people at the centre of the SDGs - news

Stakeholders from across the spectrum are looking to find better ways to work together to achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. Dr Phillip Goodwin , ceo of VSO , the...

IKEA reaches sustainable cotton milestone - news

Swedish furniture giant IKEA has become the first major retailer to use sustainably-sourced cotton across its entire products range.  Steve Howard, IKEA Chief Sustainability Officer,...

'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...

Forum calls for greater leadership for sustainable beauty industry - news

Sustainability non-profit, Forum for the Future, has invited members of the beauty and personal care industry to become part of a new leadership group that will steer the sector toward producing...

Clear-cut link found between ESG disclosure and business performance - news

New research has found a definitive link between ESG disclosure and business performance. The analysis by responsible investment manager Alquity and Cass Business School of over 4,400 listed...

Volvo charges up global electrification strategy - news

Swedish car giant Volvo is to develop an entirely new range of electrified smaller cars and build a full electric car for sale by 2019. As part of this new strategy, Volvo said it expects...

Car giant accelerates progress in gender diversity - news

The percentage of women employees at both Renault and Nissan has increased from a year ago - particularly in manager-level positions - following the car giant launching numerous programmes...

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...

Carbon nanofibre technology to pose ethical challenge to industry? - news

A newly created system that sucks carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and converts it into carbon nanofibres as raw material for manufacturing could eventually pose an ethical challenge to...

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...

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! –...

Piecing together profitable partnerships - news

As more and more corporates team up with environmental and social campaign groups to help drive improvements in sustainability performance, what impact is the changing landscape of partnerships...

Why channeling the energy of youth is key to sustainability - news

In recent years, as we’ve thought about social movements and the millennial generation, many have conjured up images of protesters, from the “Indignados” in Madrid to those who...

Cecil the lion and the big data revolution - news

‘Big data’ has been one of the buzz phrases of the last five years and has already spawned an analytics industry worth $125bn. But is it all hype or does it have the power to...

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...

Investors warned over risk exposure in backing extractives companies - news

Almost a third of all natural World Heritage Sites has the threat of oil, gas and mining exploration hanging over it, according to a new report. The threat rises to 61% in Africa. Natural...

Soft drinks industry urged to set sugar reduction targets - news

New research by Action on Sugar has revealed the shockingly high levels of free sugars found globally in sugar-sweetened soft drinks. With sugar-sweetened soft drinks being inked to the...

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...

Fortune 500 companies pledge to use 100% renewable electricity - news

Partner numbers at RE100 are swelling with news that a number of globally recognized US businesses have joined the campaign, pledging to source 100% of their electricity from renewable sources....

IKEA makes global commitment to serve sustainable seafood - news

IKEA has become the biggest food service provider of certified seafood worldwide. With a commitment for seafood sold and served in its stores to be both ASC1 and MSC2 certified, the Swedish...

P&G raises bar on greenhouse gas emissions reductions - news

Procter & Gamble (P&G) has set a new goal to reduce absolute greenhouse gas emissions from its facilities by 30% by 2020. The goal was developed in partnership with World Wildlife Fund...

DJSI 2015 recognises world's top sustainability performers - news

Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE) has been named in the 2015 Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI), the first time the company has been listed. The DJSI, reviewed annually by the S&P Dow...

Lise Kingo assumes role at UN Global Compact - news

Lise Kingo has taken up her role as executive director of the UN Global Compact, the world's largest corporate sustainability initiative. Kingo, who was appointed by UN...

BLOG: Why participate in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index? - news

There is always a competitive edge to sustainability ratings and rankings and the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) is no different, writes André Veneman, Corporate Director for...

Diageo joins World Business Council for Sustainable Development - news

Drinks giant Diageo has become the newest member of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD). Joining nearly 200 forward-thinking companies, some of Diageo’s...

OECD countries fail to combat bribery - news

Major exporting countries are failing to combat cross-border bribery, according to anti-corruption group Transparency International’s (TI) latest report. TI has found that 22 of the...

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...

We’re talking serious CSR here, aren’t we? - news

Why is CSR sometimes considered a dirty word in business circles? I’ve mentioned in this column before the sniffy attitude I’ve received at mainstream business events when I’ve...

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...

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...

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...

Hotel group shows no reservations over water stewardship - news

Leading hotel company InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) is to partner with the Water Footprint Network, to develop a worldwide water stewardship programme. IHG says the partnership will...

CGF drives zero deforestation goals with new palm oil guidelines - news

A new set of guidelines to help companies source palm oil more responsibly has been published by the Consumer Goods Forum. It's the Forum's first foray into the palm oil debate and...

IKEA first global retailer to offer LED only lighting - news

Swedish home furnishing retailer IKEA will become the first major global retailer to offer a 100% LED lighting range when the brand’s LED roll-out completes this September. Steve...

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...

Sweetening the deal for sustainability? - news

More and more companies are linking staff pay and bonuses to sustainability performance. Is it a fad, or a genuine tool to drive employee engagement at scale? And is it having the desired...

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...

FSC certification pays, finds WWF analysis - news

A new WWF cost-benefit analysis of Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification on a cross-section of forest operators finds that tropical and small or medium producers, regardless of...

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...

UK leads way in tidal energy technology - news

Despite the British government slashing support for renewable energy in the last few weeks, a new report from Frost & Sullivan finds that the UK is the market leader in the development of...

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...

BLOG: Why does health get forgotten in health and safety? - news

You can easily spot the colleagues wearing a personal activity monitor, writes CSC's CR lead Paula Sullivan . Whether they’re a Fitbit fanatic or a devotee of another brand of device,...

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...

Jumping jellyfish! TV channel pushes kids empowerment project - news

Nickelodeon, the TV channel behind Spongebob Squarepants and Dora the Explorer, has instigated a new social campaign to empower kids to make positive changes in the world around them. Called...

OECD warns of true cost of fossil fuel dependence - news

Governments should conduct a more rigorous evaluation of the true costs of coal, OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría has warned. With prices failing to fully account for the...

Nespresso makes progress in improving lives of coffee farmers - news

Nestlé Nespresso says it has made significant progress towards improving the lives of thousands of coffee farmers in countries ranging from South Sudan to Colombia, as part of the...

Unilever pioneers with inaugural Human Rights Report - news

Global consumer goods giant Unilever is leading the reporting way yet again with the publication of a first-of-its-kind Human Rights Report. The report outlines Unilever’s goal not...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Starbucks brews up $30m more loan aid - news

American coffee chain giant Starbucks is more than doubling the size of a loan program for farmers that it started seven years ago to help maintain its supply of ethically sourced coffee....

Are sustainability ratings asking the right questions? - news

Why is it that inherently unsustainable oil and gas companies rank so well in sustainability indices, such as the Dow Jones Sustainability Index? Tom Idle explores a new approach to...

Key considerations to successful ‘long-term’ capital allocation highlighted by Generation Foundation - news

A white paper published from Generation Foundation (‘Foundation’), the advocacy initiative of Generation Investment Management (‘Generation IM’), a boutique investment...

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...

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...

Environmental protection key business asset says customer survey - news

Four out of five customers would act against a company impacting natural World Heritage Sites such as the Great Barrier Reef, finds a new survey by WWF. The survey, part of the #SOSReef...

Starbucks steams ahead with extra shot for sustainable coffee farming - news

Coffee shop giant Starbucks has doubled the size of its Global Farmer Fund program to $50m (£31.5m), as part of the chain's ethical sourcing initiatives to help ensure the...

Higher prices for sustainable palm oil could save endangered species - news

Higher supermarket prices for eco-friendly palm oil could help save endangered species, according to University of East Anglia (UEA) research. Palm oil is used by the food industry as a...

Grievance system fails to hold corporates to account - news

Allegations of corporate wrongdoing over the past 15 years have almost never resulted in companies being held accountable, a new analysis of cases has found. OECD Watch's Remedy...

GRI sets strategy to help business learn more from sustainability data - news

GRI, the international CR and sustainability reporting organisation, is responding to the changing reporting landscape with a new four-pillar strategy. Speaking to Ethical Performance,...

Investors must take threat of climate change seriously: report - news

A new report from global consultancy Mercer identifies the ‘what?’ the ‘so what?’ and the ‘now what?’ in terms of the impact of climate change on investment...

Coca-Cola fizzes with sustainable packaging innovation - news

The Coca-Cola Company has unveiled the world’s first PET plastic bottle made entirely from plant materials at the World Expo - Milan.  PlantBottle packaging uses patented...

CGF booklet demonstrates successful climate change actions - news

Chief executives of some of the world’s largest companies have shared how they are successfully tackling climate change in a new booklet from the Consumer Goods Forum (CGF). The...

Oil and gas giants unite for unprecedented CO2 initiative - news

Major oil and gas companies - BG Group plc, BP plc, Eni SpA, Royal Dutch Shell plc, Statoil ASA and Total SA - have called on governments around the world and to the United Nations Framework...

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....

Amazon takes top spot in Gartner supply chain ranking - news

Information technology research and advisory company, Gartner has issued its annual Supply Chain Top 25. The top five include three from last year — Amazon, McDonald’s and...

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...

Unilever, Patagonia, WWF and Greenpeace viewed as most sustainable brands - news

In this year's GlobeScan/Sustainability Leaders Report over 800 experts were asked, unprompted, which companies are leaders in integrating sustainability into their business strategy, and...

BMW tops world's largest survey of corporate reputations - news

German automobile brand BMW has topped this year's Reputation Institute’s Global RepTrak 100 league table which reports the world’s most reputable companies on innovation,...

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...

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...

BLOG: Four ways to overcome uncertainty in renewables - news

As prices continue to fall, the potential for renewables is only really limited by uncertainty due to the power supply being largely dependent on the changing weather. In his blog for GE ,...

CEOs share positive climate change actions to inspire others - news

Chief executives of some of the world's largest companies have shared how they are successfully tackling climate change in a new booklet from the Consumer Goods Forum (CGF). The booklet...

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...

Unilever's 'sustainable brands' growing twice as fast as regular ones - news

At the London launch of its Sustainable Living Plan progress report, Unilever has revealed that its sustainable living brands such as Dove and Lifebuoy, are growing faster than regular brands....

BP shareholder Resolution 25 passed at AGM in oil industry ‘game changer’ - news

Shareholders at oil giant’s BP annual general meeting (AGM) held on 16 April at London’s ExCel Centre passed by an overwhelming majority Resolution 25 - a special resolution...

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...

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’...

Unilever scales up ambition to make sustainable living commonplace - news

Unilever is furthering its ambition to make sustainable living commonplace by partnering with global sustainability movements Global Citizen and Live Earth. This is the first time that the...

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...

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...

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 –...

Unilever scales up ambition to make sustainable living commonplace - news

Unilever is furthering its ambition to make sustainable living commonplace by partnering with global sustainability movements Global Citizen and Live Earth: Road to Paris. This is the...

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...

Banks warned over ESG risks of palm oil investments - news

Environmental and human rights groups have sent a global alert to several banks over their investment in Golden Agri-Resources (GAR), one of the world's largest palm oil companies....

McDonald's makes global commitment on deforestation - news

McDonald’s has announced a global commitment on deforestation across its expansive global supply chain. The commitment builds on the fast food giant's Global Sustainability...

Adidas to phase out plastic bags in retail stores - news

As a first move in its new commitment against ocean plastic pollution, Adidas is to phase out the use of plastic bags in its own retail stores. The German sportswear giant has gone into...

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...

CCC questions fashion chain H&M’s living wage claims - news

As H&M launched its 2014 sustainability report, pressure group Clean Clothes Campaign (CCC) called on the Swedish fashion retailer to show evidence to back up the 'fair living wage'...

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...

Unilever accelerates sustainable packaging target for 2015 - news

Magnum and Walls ice cream maker Unilever has brought its sustainable paper and board packaging use target forward. The multinational FMCG giant will now source all of its paper and board...

Greenpeace scales Arctic-bound Shell oil rig - news

Following six Greenpeace climbers intercepting an Arctic-bound Shell oil rig in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, and scaling the 38,000 tonne platform, Shell has taken out an injunction against...

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 &...

Lenovo takes CSR strategy into new markets - news

Chinese technology giant Lenovo has teamed up with non-profit United Way to support a variety of education projects in France, Israel, Romania and the UK. Catherine Ladousse, director of...

Supply chain transparency urged on anniversary of Rana Plaza disaster - news

Later this month, on 24 April 2015, people in 66 countries around the world will challenge global fashion brands to demonstrate commitment to transparency across the length of the value chain....

Getting the thumbs up for your sustainability comms? - news

As more and more corporates take to social media to engage with consumers around sustainability issues, do they really know what they are doing? Tom Idle explores what current best practice...

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...

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 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...

World's most ethical league table for 2015 published - news

Ethisphere.com has published its annual 'most ethical company'  league table.  “The World’s Most Ethical Companies embrace the correlation between ethical...

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...

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...

Apple bans bonded labour practices - news

Apple, the US technology multinational regarded as the world’s biggest company, has banned bonded labour and servitude, under which new employees are charged fees on recruitment. The...

Golden opportunity for jewellery industry to take a stand - news

Harriet Kelsall, designer and leading figure in the jewellery industry, explains why 'clean gold' should be the definition of modern luxury jewellery We believe the best approach...

Two heads better than one - news

As sustainability issues become increasingly complex, companies are realizing that they can’t make the necessary impact acting alone.   In the 2014 Sustainability Report, new...

inside investment Time shortening between ESG issues emerging and market reaction - MSCI - news

A report from MSCI ESG Research, a provider of research and analysis of the environmental, social and governance-related (ESG) business practices of companies globally, has suggested that that...

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...

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...

Adidas races ahead on sustainable cotton target - news

German sportswear giant  Adidas has sourced more than 30% of all its cotton sustainably, exceeding the originally planned 25% target. This marks the highest volume in sustainable cotton...

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...

Farm animal welfare remains 'immature business issue' - news

While some top food retailers are making progress on farm animal welfare, the issue remains immature according to a new benchmarking report, with half of the 80 companies assessed appearing in...

‘Forest 500’ rates top players in race against deforestation - news

FMCG giants Danone, Nestle, Procter & Gamble, Reckitt Benkiser, Kao and Unilever are among the top players tackling the problem of deforestation, according to a new ranking from charity...

Forum for the Future launches trends tracking digital platform - news

Forum for the Future is opening up access to its futures knowledge and expertise through a new digital platform, www.thefuturescentre.org . The sustainability non-profit believes the site...

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...

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...

Business needs to focus on people and purpose, says Deloitte Global - news

Business should focus on people and purpose, not just products and profits according to Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited’s (Deloitte Global) fourth annual Millennial survey. Deloitte...

Global economic system isn't working, says ITUC - news

The global economic system isn’t working for six billion people, labour leaders at the World Economic Forum in Davos, have warned. Mass unemployment, mistrust in institutions, rising...

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...

RepRisk releases latest Most Controversial Companies report - news

RepRisk, the provider of business intelligence on environmental, social and governance (ESG) risks, has released the fifth edition of its Most Controversial Companies (MCC) Report. The data...

New members join GRESB board - news

Mie Holstad, chief administrative officer at Norges Bank Investment Management, and Steven A. Wechsler, ceo and president of NAREIT (National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts), have...

Astellas broadens commitment to clinical trial data transparency - news

Japanese pharma giant Astellas is to make trial data available through www.clinicalstudydatarequest.com , an independent web site that enables researchers to request and access clinical trial...

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,...

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,...

Brewing up a ground-breaking partnership - news

UNICEF and The Ethical Tea Partnership (ETP) has launched a landmark new partnership that will improve the lives of thousands of children and young people living in the tea communities of...

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...

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...

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...

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,...

Poor countries fight back against toxic pollution - news

Some developing nations are making real progress in the battle against toxic pollution which kills nearly 9m people every year. A new report from the Blacksmith Institute For A Pure Earth,...

IBM and Mars partner to drive advances in global food safety - news

Scientists from IBM Research and Mars are to work together to establish a food safety platform that will leverage advances in genomics to further understanding of what makes food safe. In...

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...

Davos 2015: World needs new business model - news

The global economic system isn't working for six billion people, labour leaders at the World Economic Forum in Davos, have warned. Mass unemployment, mistrust in institutions,...

Corporate responsibility features high on millenials' radar - news

Business should focus on people and purpose, not just products and profits according to Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited's (Deloitte Global) fourth annual Millennial survey.  ...

GRI kicks off project to explore future of reporting - news

The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), architect of the world’s most widely used sustainability reporting framework, has kicked off a new project  - Reporting 2025 - aimed 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...

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...

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...

“More uniform reporting becoming a neccessity,” says GRI ceo - news

Early in 2015 the International Integrated Reporting Council plans to unveil a ‘landscape’ or overview of the current prevailing international reporting standards. It will be the...

Reform that would be worth its weight in gold - news

As the Three Wise Men didn’t arrive until 6th January, I think it’s perfectly acceptable to keep a quasi festive theme in this issue, the first edition of 2015 (particularly as I am...

Making the leap into a sustainable new year? - news

A new year, a fresh start... but how many organisations will boast new resolutions? Ethical Performance talks to key industry players about what they believe will be the prime sustainability...

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...

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...

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,...

Telecoms giant teams with Unicef to champion online safety - news

Millicom and Unicef have agreed to a three-year alliance to improve respect for children’s rights in the telecommunications sector. The telecoms giant and the international...

Going to extremes: weird weather forecast to continue - news

Extreme weather events are becoming more common according to researchers at the University of East Anglia (UEA). It is widely known that the Earth’s average temperature has been...

New benchmark to gauge corporate performance in human rights - news

A group of investors, an NGO, a think tank and an investor research agency, have launched a project to rank companies on their human rights performance. A total of 500 of the top global...

Denmark leads way in anti-corruption league - news

Denmark comes out on top in Transparency International’s annual Corruption Perceptions Index with a score of 92 (based on a 0-100 scale where zero is perceived to be highly corrupt) and...

Tax havens still shrouded in secrecy, says Christian Aid - news

Christian Aid campaigners wearing business suits and white masks outside the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in Westminster, London today have demanded faster progress towards tax haven...

US-China landmark emissions deal met with criticism - news

Businesses face challenging new carbon emissions targets set jointly for the next 15 years by the US and China. The US is committed to cut its 2005 level of emissions by 26%-28% before 2025....

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Too many still investing in cluster munitions, says PAX - news

Over 150 financial institutions worldwide invested US$27bn in companies producing cluster munitions from 2011 to 2014, according to a report by Cluster Munition Coalition member PAX (the...

Hyatt bolsters partnership with Women for Women International - news

Hyatt Hotels Corporation has initiated a four-year, one million dollar partnership with Women for Women International, a global development organization that offers education, training and...

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...

New wind power body for shipping industry in full sail - news

An international association has been created to facilitate and promote wind propulsion for commercial shipping worldwide. The International Windship Association (IWSA) will facilitate and...

Record fines hit banking giants over forex failings - news

HSBC, Royal Bank of Scotland, Swiss bank UBS and US banks JP Morgan Chase and Citibank have all been fined heavily by the Financial Conduct Authority for failing to control business practices in...

Merck bolsters diabetes awareness campaign in Africa and India - news

Coinciding with World Diabetes Day and dubbed ‘Get Informed- Get Active- Get Healthier’, pharma giant Merck is running a series of awareness camps in India, Kenya and Ghana in...

Investors call for global tax reform and transparency - news

In a global first, a group of institutional asset owners and managers are jointly calling for comprehensive transparency and disclosure to be adopted as core principles in reform of the...

Sustainability leaders growing in executive influence, says Verdantix - news

According to a new global survey of 260 heads of sustainability conducted by Verdantix, the independent analyst company, sustainability leaders have increasing executive committee influence....

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...

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...

Report uncovers new layers of inequity for women in STEM industries - news

While it’s no secret that women in tech roles in STEM- the science, technology, engineering and maths industries - face significant challenges, a new report shows that those on the...

inbrief - news

In an industry first, KPMG has revealed the detailed diversity profile of its 11,500 staff. At the same time, the professional services firm has also announced targets, across the four...

UNIDO and Dell establish e-waste management partnership - news

The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and Dell International LLC, the multinational technology solutions company, have signed an agreement to cooperate on identifying...

Sunny outlook for solar power ahead of fossil fuels - news

The sun could be the world’s largest source of electricity by 2050, ahead of fossil fuels, wind, hydro and nuclear, according to a pair of reports issued today by the International Energy...

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...

José Ugaz elected chair of Transparency International? - news

José Ugaz has been elected chair of the board of Transparency International, the global anti-corruption organisation. Ugaz, a Peruvian lawyer with a history of taking on grand...

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...

Water risk threatens growth for world’s largest companies - news

Two thirds of the world’s largest companies are reporting exposure to water risks, some of which have potential to limit growth. The news comes amid mounting shareholder concern around 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...

IHG rolls out Green Engage programme across global estate - news

From January 2015, InterContinental Hotels Group, one of the world’s leading hotel companies, will be rolling out its flagship IHG Green Engage programme across the company’s global...

Too few enforcing anti-bribery laws, finds Transparency International - news

Many leading economies are failing to stop their companies from spreading corruption around the world, anti-corruption group Transparency International has warned  in its annual progress...

M&S boosts supply chain monitoring through Labor Link - news

British high street stalwart Marks & Spencer (M&S) has scaled up its use of mobile technology in the supply chain to poll 64,230 workers across 46 manufacturing locations in 5 countries...

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...

Knorr cooks up support for World Food Day - news

Tomorrow on World Food Day (16th October 2014), stock cube brand Knorr is partnering with the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) rallying people globally to pledge their support for...

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...

Lego ends 50-year link with Shell - news

Danish toy giant Lego is ending its co-promotion contract with Shell. The move follows a three-month campaign led by Greenpeace which saw one million people sign a petition calling on the...

Winner of 2014 Nestlé CSV Prize announced - news

Today, Honey Care Africa (HCA) was announced as the overall winner of the 2014 Nestlé Creating Shared Value Prize during the global Creating Shared Value Forum, co-organised by...

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  ...

Midori prize winners announced - news

Dr. Kamal Bawa?president of the Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment, Dr. Alfred Oteng-Yeboah?chair of the Ghana National Biodiversity Committee and Dr. Bibiana...

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,...

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....

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  ...

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 –...

Partnership aims to tackle abuse in Indian tea communities - news

A ground-breaking new partnership between Unicef and the Ethical Tea Partnership aims to improve opportunities for tens of thousands of children in communities growing some of the world’s...

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....

Unilever and DFID join forces to help world’s poor - news

Unilever and the Department for International Development (DFID) have formed a new partnership to create jobs, improve water and sanitation and develop sustainable supply chains in developing...

Bee decline could signal threat to global nutrition - news

Declines in populations of pollinators such as bees and wasps may be a key threat to nutrition in some of the most poorly fed parts of the globe, according to new research. A major study,...

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...

Tech giants still failing on environment, says Greenpeace - news

While Apple is leading the consumer electronics sector in addressing its environmental footprint, the tech industry still has a long way to go, according to a new report from Greenpeace...

APP will meet pulp targets, say independent experts - news

An independent study has confirmed that Asia Pulp and Paper Group (APP) has sufficient plantation resource to meet the pulp requirements of its existing mills as well as its future mill in OKI,...

Daewoo International admits using cotton from forced labour - news

Daewoo International Corp., a major South Korean trading company has become a target of human-rights activists for using cotton that it admits is produced by child labour and forced adult labour...

P&G steps up palm oil pledge - news

Separating sustainable sources from non-sustainable sources in the production of palm oil and palm kernel oil is highly complicated, but Procter & Gamble (P&G) is stepping up to address...

Supply chain sea change at Hyatt Hotels Corp - news

Mega US hotel chain, Hyatt Hotels Corporation, has launched a global initiative to increase procurement of responsibly sourced seafood at its hotels, starting with an initial goal of responsibly...

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...

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...

TUI becomes first travel member of anti corruption business forum - news

TUI Travel plc, the leisure and travel company and owner of over 220 brands including Thomson and First Choice, has become the first company in the travel industry to be accepted into the...

Coming of age: the new sustainability math - news

Last week, I went surfing for the first time with my 10-year-old son Evan. Not wanting to be outshined or embarrassed, I spent more time then I care to admit reading up on websites proclaiming...

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...

Demand for CSPO grows faster than supply for first time - news

For the first time demand for Certified Sustainable Palm Oil (CSPO) has grown faster than supply, driven by a 64.7% leap in the sales of physical CSPO, according to new figures from the...

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,...

Supply chain sea change at Hyatt Hotels Corp - news

Mega US hotel chain, Hyatt Hotels Corporation, has launched a global initiative to increase procurement of responsibly sourced seafood at its hotels, starting with an initial goal of responsibly...

Freezer market hots up with Unilever’s energy efficient cabinets - news

Figures just out demonstrate how significant advances in refrigeration technology have resulted in a new generation of ice cream freezer cabinets capable of a 70% energy reduction. Unilever...

Time to stop shirking over too cheap t-shirts - news

Is it a chicken and egg situation this whole cheap t-shirt, cheap labour, ethical fashion debate? Do we as consumers have to turn around and say we don’t want to buy £3 T-shirts and...

Asda achieves global first in reporting on sustainable seafood - news

Supermarket giant Asda has become the first retailer in the world to open up its books and give a full disclosure of where and how it sources wild fish. This is coupled with an assessment of the...

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...

EY finds worrying levels of fraud, bribery and corruption worldwide - news

EY’s 13th Global Fraud Survey, Overcoming compliance fatigue: reinforcing the commitment to ethical growth, has found concerning levels of perceived fraud, bribery and corruption across...

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...

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...

The new breed of social worker - news

After earning an MBA at Yale, Christine Bader spent nine years with BP as manager of policy development creating social programmes to aid workers and local residents as the energy giant built...

Step up or step back: six essential lessons in cause marketing - news

Consumer scepticism and expectation of institutions is at an all-time high, and prominent brands are under more pressure than ever to do good… and prove it, writes Andrew Pederson....

Mars roars into overdrive with Tigers Alive programme - news

Whiskas maker, Mars Petcare, is expanding its support for the WWF Tigers Alive Initiative, a global conservation program to help protect tigers from extinction with a new target to double the...

Perion in CR push following merger - news

Following its reverse merger with Conduit’s Client Connect, app monetization and software company Perion is ramping up its CR efforts with a $1.5m volunteering initiative. Simone...

OECD move against tax dodging not good enough, says Christian Aid - news

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) have missed another opportunity to show it is committed to ensuring developing countries benefit from changes in international...

Supply chain tops global business challenge list - news

The supply chain was rated by consumer goods and retail executives as the number one challenge for their companies in the latest Global Top of Mind Survey by the Consumer Goods Forum and KPMG...

Novartis eyes collaboration deal with Google - news

Novartis’s eye care division Alcon has entered into an agreement with a division of Google Inc. to in-license its “smart lens” technology for ocular medical uses. The...

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...

PETA calls for end to wool trade - news

Animal rights pressure group PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) is asking retailers and consumers to say ‘no’ to products containing wool, citing the abuse of sheep...

Greenpeace ramps up LEGO/Shell campaign - news

Environmental group Greenpeace has released a film online, highlighting its campaign against toy giant LEGO’s association with the oil company Shell. It deems the association ‘a...

Bribery and corruption still rife, finds EY global survey - news

EY’s 13th Global Fraud Survey, Overcoming compliance fatigue: reinforcing the commitment to ethical growth, has found concerning levels of perceived fraud, bribery and corruption across...

Plastics Scorecard heralds new era of safer plastics use - news

By switching the plastic used in its IV bags, Dignity Health care system kept 700,000 pounds of high-concern chemicals - the equivalent in weight of a Boeing 747 airplane -- out of the...

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...

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...

Making room for CSR - news

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) may be an internationally recognised hotel brand but its business model is actually asset light in that it only directly owns 9 hotels worldwide. However,...

Initiative launched to improve supply chain environmental performance - news

The Foreign Trade Association (FTA) has launched the Business Environmental Performance Initiative (BEPI), a new business-driven service aimed at supporting retailers and importers to improve...

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...

Allergan tops Newsweek's Green Rankings - news

The 2014 Newsweek Green Rankings show improvement in environmental performance disclosure by global firms. The top-ranked company on the US 500 was Allergan, the California-based pharma...

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...

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...

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...

Apple faces renewed calls to address worker safety - news

Environmental and human rights organizations, socially responsible investment firms, and occupational health professionals from 27 countries have sent a letter to Apple vp of environmental...

Investors lose interest in UK renewables, says EY - news

The attractiveness of the UK renewables market in the eyes of investors and developers has decreased dramatically – falling back to levels last seen in November 2012, according to EY's...

Big brands top new global responsible business league - news

Coca-Cola, Microsoft, Samsung, Tata, Unilever and Nestlé top the list of the world’s most responsible companies based on a new global survey of Aspirational consumers by BBMG and...

Brazilians pay high price for World Cup sponsor tax breaks - news

FIFA must end its ‘obscene’ insistence on World Cup host countries giving tax breaks worth hundreds of millions to the event’s corporate sponsors, a new campaign is urging....

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,...

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...

Carbon spotlight falls on food giants - news

The ‘Big 10’ food and drink companies together emit more greenhouse gases than Scandinavia and, if they were an individual country, would rank as the 25th most polluting, a new...

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...

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...

Semrau cleans up at SC Johnson - news

Kelly Semrau, senior vp- global corporate affairs, communication and sustainability, at SC Johnson, tells Ethical Performance about the household cleaning giant’s approach to CR and...

Unilever to develop new tea varieties to 'future proof' supply - news

PG Tips maker Unilever is embarking on a tea research and development programme aimed at 'future proofing' the supply of the world's most popular beverage.  Using advanced...

Consumers sceptical over online data privacy, says Accenture - news

The vast majority (80%) of consumers aged 20-40 in the US and the UK believe total privacy in the digital world is a thing of the past, a new study by management consultancy Accenture shows....

‘Save the Arctic’ campaign escalates as activists block two more rigs - news

Greenpeace activists from 12 countries blocked two separate oil rigs destined to drill in the Arctic ocean this week (Tuesday 27 May 2014). The environmental group said that the threat to the...

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,...

OECD urges action to reduce road traffic pollution - news

Air pollution is costing advanced economies plus China and India an estimated $3.5 trillion a year in premature deaths and ill health and the costs will rise without government action to limit...

Carbon spotlight falls on Kellogg and General Mills - news

The 'Big 10' food and drink companies together emit more greenhouse gases than Scandinavia and, if they were an individual country, would rank as the 25th most polluting, a new report...

UTZ upgrades code to enable greater farmer uptake - news

UTZ Certified, the sustainable farming programme and label, has published a new code of conduct, which it says is stronger in content and simpler in structure. The company maintains that the...

Corporates waking up to need for greater tax transparency? - news

In contrast to Christian Aid's report earlier this week (see here ), big businesses are becoming more transparent over their tax affairs, according to a new report from PwC. Almost...

WBI and Sedex team to tackle responsible supply chain data - news

An online platform where buyers will be able to browse the sustainability credentials of suppliers is under development by the World Bank Institute (WBI) and Sedex. The free-of-charge Open...

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...

Paperless plane no flight of fancy at Easyjet - news

Easyjet is nearing the era of the paperless plane. The UK's largest airline with a fleet of 220 Airbus aircraft will complete the fitting of Panasonic Toughpads, in place of laptops and...

Responsible Tourism 2014 awards now open for nominations - news

Nominations are now open for the Responsible Tourism 2014 awards, run by responsibletravel.com and sponsored by the Oman Ministry of Tourism. This year the Awards have expanded their roster...

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...

One year on and brands still failing victims of Rana Plaza disaster - news

According to the Clean Clothes Campaign, the voluntary Donor Trust Fund set up to take the donations as part of compensation programme remains woefully underfunded. A year after the collapse,...

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...

Time to take a look at your data supply chain footprint - news

There’s a large elephant in your server room (data centre), writes Eiríkur Hrafnsson, co-founder and coo of GreenQloud. It’s something you’re not thinking about as...

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...

Barclays urged at AGM to ‘stop bankrolling’ dirty coal - news

With the World Development Movement (‘WDM’), a UK-based campaigning group focussed on global justice, having successfully campaigned last year to make Barclays pull out of food...

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...

FTSE Group develops fossil fuel excluding index - news

FTSE Group has developed indices which will omit companes linked to ownership and/or extraction of carbon based fossil fuel reserves.  It claims that the move is ground-breaking and...

Unilever steps up sustainability plans - news

Anglo-Dutch fmcg giant Unilever is stepping up several of its sustainability commitments in the areas of deforestation, food security and public health. Commenting on progress it has made...

Brands still failing Rana Plaza survivors & victim’s families - news

As events take place around the world to remember those who died and were injured in the Rana Plaza building collapse a year ago, campaigners are demanding brands pay up. According to the...

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...

NASA celebrates Earth Day with #GlobalSelfie - news

With five NASA missions designed to gather critical data about planet Earth launching to space this year, the US space agency is marking this significant year with a social media campaign...

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...

Sedex and Verité tackle supply chain slavery risk - news

Sedex Global has partnered with the training, consulting and research NGO, Verité, to publish a new briefing tackling modern day slavery risks in global supply chains. The Modern Day...

Procter & Gamble commits to no deforestation policy - news

American FMCG giant Procter & Gamble (P&G) has committed to a new no deforestation policy that will provide full traceability for all the palm oil and derivatives it uses. The...

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...

Big business calls for global action on climate change - news

Governments must put policies in place to prevent the cumulative emission of more than a trillion tonnes of carbon, according to a statement from leading global businesses today. 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)....

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...

Big business making too little progress on sustainability - news

Big business is doing too little and making too little progress on sustainability according to oekom’s latest Corporate Responsibility Review 2014. Over the last year, there has been...

Responsible sourcing unearths unseen benefits - news

By Jon Woodhead, Head of UK Sustainability, DNV GL – Business Assurance As expectations grow on companies to take responsibility for sustainability-related issues beyond that of...

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...

Investment in soft commodity trading ‘problematic’ says report - news

The most recent quarterly ‘Amity Insight’ report from Ecclesiastical Investment Management, which has been at the forefront of socially responsible ethical investments since 1988,...

Anderson takes up reins at UNEP FI - news

Charles Anderson is the new director to head the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI). The UNEP FI platform brings together the United Nations and the global...

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...

Steiner re-elected at UNEP - news

The United Nations General Assembly has unanimously re-elected Achim Steiner for a third term as executive director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) for a two-year period...

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...

Driving culture change is key to ensuring gender equality - news

Single initiatives to promote gender diversity are unlikely to succeed without achieving cultural change, according to a new report by Tomorrow’s Company, the London based business think...

Nominations open for Transparency International's 2014 Integrity Awards - news

The global anti-corruption organisation Transparency International is now accepting nominations for its 2014 Integrity Awards. Launched in 2000, the awards recognise the courage and...

Ernst Ligteringen to step down as ceo at GRI - news

Ernst Ligteringen is to step down as chief executive at the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI)  by the middle of 2015. “During his tenure, the number of organizations producing...

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...

Herbert Smith Freehills sets gender balance targets - news

Herbert Smith Freehills has announced a 30% gender target for the proportion of women in its global partnership, making it one of the only global firms to publically commit to international...

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...

SC Johnson expands crusade against dengue and malaria - news

SC Johnson says it is expanding its dengue and malaria prevention initiatives in India, Malaysia, Indonesia, Brazil, the Philippines, Mexico, Costa Rica and Vietnam. The household products...

Mars commits to fully sustainable palm oil by year-end - news

American candy giant Mars is to develop a fully traceable pipeline back to known palm oil processing mills by year-end 2014. The policy is at the forefront of the business' strengthened...

Four new man-made gases found in atmosphere - news

Scientists at the University of East Anglia (UEA) have identified four new man-made gases in the atmosphere – all of which are contributing to the destruction of the ozone layer, they...

Jaguar Land Rover extends collaboration with ClimateCare - news

Jaguar Land Rover aims to create a range of humanitarian, conservation, environmental and educational initiatives as part of its new Environmental Innovation Strategy. In collaboration with...

Global project to build investment metrics for greener construction - news

A major global project which will help to define the health and productivity benefits of green office buildings has been launched by the World Green Building Council (WorldGBC). While...

Banknote business trailblazes industry-wide code of ethical conduct - news

Crane Currency, De La Rue plc and Innovia Security have become the first companies to be accredited under the Banknote Ethics Initiative (BnEI). The BnEI was launched last year at the...

Procter & Gamble comes under fire over palm oil use - news

Greenpeace has called on household products titan Procter & Gamble (P&G) to commit to an immediate “no-deforestation” policy after linking the company to palm oil suppliers...

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...

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...

Taking a gamble on greater responsibility - news

At the time of writing I am waiting to hear details of how bookmaker Ladbrokes is going to measure success in its promise to link executive pay to efforts to tackle problem gambling. The...

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....

Socially responsible investment prognosis set positive for 2014 - news

The year 2014 is “unlikely to see the spectacular equity returns” enjoyed during 2013, but it will be a year in which assets in a logical manner can be managed, according to Amy...

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...

Tea industry to collaborate as new report slams human rights record - news

A new collaboration between key players in the global tea industry has been launched by sustainability non-profit, Forum for the Future. The Tea 2030 partners include four of the seven...

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...

A case of rum and reason - news

Ethical Performance talks to Dave Howson, CSR and sustainability director of Bacardi, the world’s largest privately-owned drinks company   Starting out as a warehouse manager...

GRI vs IIRC vs SASB: no synergy, no leadership - news

Elaine Cohen, ceo of Beyond Business Ltd, discusses the current state of play in reporting frameworks   We are witnessing a leadership battle for ownership of sustainability...

IFAD and Unilever sign first global PPP agreement - news

The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and consumer goods giant Unilever have signed a public-private partnership (PPP) agreement aimed at helping to improve the livelihoods...

Mondi makes environmental stewardship move with WWF - news

Packaging, pulp and paper producer Mondi Group and WWF International are to work together in a three-year strategic partnership that focuses on increasing environmental stewardship in the...

Soccer project scores winner with robust football design - news

Tim Jahnigen has designed a football that never goes flat, even when punctured multiple times. Inspiration struck while he was watching news footage about traumatized refugee youth in Darfur...

Call for tea industry to collaborate for sustainable future - news

As Columbia Law School publishes a report slating the human rights record of several Indian tea plantations, a new collaboration between key players in the global tea industry has been launched...

Environmental management budgets set to escalate - news

More than 62% of corporations worldwide will increase spending on environmental management initiatives in 2014 and 31% will increase spend in the double-digits according to a new report from...

High levels of unauthorised absence ring supply chain alarm bells - news

A high level of unauthorised absence should ring alarm bells for retailers when assessing their suppliers as it can often indicate poor working conditions says new research from Responsible...

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...

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...

Because we’re worth it... - news

Ethical Performance talks to Alexandra Palt, CSR and sustainability director of French beauty giant L’Oréal What does sustainability mean to you? In order to prepare for a...

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...

Cannibals on a health kick eating only vegetarians - news

I really wish I could take credit for that headline but I can’t. It belongs to one of my favourite British poets, Roger McGough. The first line goes like this: “There are fascists...

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...

Carnivores in decline says study - news

hree quarters of the world’s big carnivores - including lions, wolves and bears - are in decline, says a new study. A majority now occupy less than half their former ranges according to...

Confectionery giants make significant palm oil progress - news

Both The Hershey Company and Cadbury maker, Mondelez International, say they have made siginficant progress in their moves towards a sustainable supply chain for palm oil. Mondelez has...

Sea freight supply chain partnership - news

Technology provider EcoVadis and BSR’s Clean Cargo Working Group (CCWG) have set up a partnership aimed at standardizing sustainability reporting requests for the sea freight supply chain....

BMS market takes first step with FTSE4Good - news

The market for breast milk substitutes is a highly contentious ethical area, especially for investors. The FTSE4Good criteria for the category – launched last year – is an attempt...

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...

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...

Qatar downgraded to ‘extreme risk’ for working conditions - news

Qatar, the 2022 World Cup host, is among 11 countries to be downgraded to ‘extreme risk’ for working conditions, due to the multiple deaths of migrant workers on construction sites...

Unilever, Symrise and GIZ partner to support vanilla farmers - news

Unilever, its ingredient supplier Symrise and GIZ, a German federal enterprise in the field of international cooperation for sustainable development have partnered to improve the...

Burberry to remove hazardous chemicals from supply chain - news

British luxury brand Burberry has made a commitment to eliminate the use of hazardous chemicals from its supply chain by 2020. Burberry’s move comes after two weeks of people-powered...

Westpac ranked world's most sustainable company - news

Australia's first bank Westpac has been ranked number one in ‘Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World’ at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. ...

Barcardi to ramp up responsible drinking efforts - news

The world’s largest privately owned drinks company, Bacardi Limited, has announced plans to strengthen and expand its responsible drinking and responsible marketing efforts globally....

Mondelez hits sustainable palm oil target two years early - news

Cadbury owner Mondelez International has achieved Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) coverage for 100% of the palm oil it bought in 2013 – two years ahead of schedule....

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...

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...

New BlackRock fund screens out tobacco stocks - news

Global investment manager BlackRock has launched the BlackRock Developed World ex Tobacco Index Fund to meet demand from organisations in the healthcare sector, charities, medical foundations...

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....

Intel takes affirmative acton on conflict minerals - news

Intel, the world’s largest electronic chip maker, is now excluding all minerals mined in conflict zones from its products. Much of the gold, tin, tungsten and tantalum used in...

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...

McDonald’s makes sustainable beef move - news

Fast food chain McDonald’s has committed to a goal of purchasing verified sustainable beef by 2016. Admitting it’s both ‘complex’ and ‘a big challenge’,...

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...

Buck moves up to director at GRI - news

Bastian Buck has been appointed director sustainability reporting standard at the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI). In the role, Buck will lead the ongoing development and implementation of...

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...

Alcoa builds up sustainability - news

Greener by design… Pillars of Sustainable Education, a new $1.5m cross-sector programme created by Alcoa Foundation and Architecture for Humanity to explore the use of sustainable...

Many top companies still emitting unsustainable levels of CO2 - news

While big names like Unilever and Eli Lilly have earned top spots in a new sustainability ranking, on the flip side 51% of companies were found to be emitting unsustainable levels of CO2....

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...

Panasonic boosts solar lanterns CR initiative - news

Japanese electronics giant Panasonic is boosting its  aim to donate a total of 100 thousand solar lanterns to locations without electricity by 2018, with a new initiative called “Cut...

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...

H&M commits to living wage for textile workers - news

Dutch high street fashion chain H&M has committed to paying textile workers in its supply chain the living wage by 2018. At a recent supply chain conference in Berlin, Helena...

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....

P&G reports absolute reductions in waste, water, CO2 and energy - news

Consumer products giant Procter & Gamble has reported making significant progress in meeting its sustainability in its 15th sustainability report. Len Sauers, vp of sustainability at...

A very CSR festive favourite… - news

I recently revisited an old DVD festive favourite, A Miracle on 34th Street (the original starring Edmund Gwenn, not the horrendous Nineties remake with Sir Richard Attenborough) and was...

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...

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...

Wilmar commits to end Indonesian forest destruction - news

The world's largest palm oil trader, Wilmar International, which supplies to hundreds of high street brands has announced that it has committed to a ‘no deforestation’ policy....

Walden report identifies distinct types of social change agent - news

According to a new report from America’s Walden University, there are six distinct types of social change agent. The international report identifies them as: Ultracommitted...

CR risk not sufficiently tied to exec pay, says KPMG - news

Whie most large companies acknowledge risks from environmental and social “megaforces” like climate change, few link corporate responsibility to executive remuneration, finds a new...

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...

GRI and RAFI collaborate to advance respect for human rights - news

The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and the Reporting and Assurance Frameworks Initiative (RAFI) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to underline their mutual commitment to...

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...

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)....

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...

Greenpeace vows to continue Arctic protest - news

Greenpeace says its campaign of opposition to Russia’s oil drilling project in the Arctic will continue even though 30 of its protesters were arrested during their demonstration in...

Taking an ethical stance and sticking with it - news

Disappointed doesn’t come close. News that IKEA failed to make a stand on lesbian and gay rights in Russia, dismays and disillusions me. Only months ago, the Swedish furniture giant was...

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...

Polman in pole position at WBCSD - news

The member companies of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) have unanimously approved significant changes to the organization’s governance and supervisory body....

New kids on the block at Global Child Forum - news

Inger Ashing has joined Global Child Forum as executive director. She was previously deputy head of the government agency Swedish National Board for Youth Affairs and serves as chairman of the...

Wadstrom wins Polhems Prize - news

In collaboration with the UN and praised by President Obama, Petra Wadstrom’s portable water purifier has saved the lives of some of the most vulnerable people in the world. Now she has...

Novartis honoured with Global Corporate Citizenship Award - news

In recognition of its significant on-going contributions to malaria control and elimination, Novartis has been honoured with the Global Corporate Citizenship Award at the Malaria No More...

Billionaire population booms - news

The inaugural Wealth-X and UBS Billionaire Census 2013, reveals that the global billionaire population reached a record 2,170 individuals in 2013 and total billionaire wealth in Asia surged...

Ceo role under the spotlight - news

Companies are more likely to hire prior ceos because they are increasingly unwilling to take the risk of hiring executives with no previous job-specific experience. But according to a new study...

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...

Health bodies unite to tackle pharma fraud - news

Ten global health organizations have joined together in a worldwide campaign to protect consumers from the dangers of fake medicines. According to the Fight the Fakes campaign, in some...

Turkish stock exchange to launch sustainability index - news

The Turkish stock exchange, the Borsa Istanbul, is to partner with EIRIS, the global responsible investment research provider, to develop the BIST Sustainability Index, which will be...

Poorer nations need say in latest international tax clampdown - news

The latest international clampdown on tax evasion must involve both rich and poor countries if it is to stop criminals hiding billions from the taxman, campaigners say today. The new...

UK puts brakes on coal fired power plants - news

All nations at this week’s international climate change talks must leave Warsaw with a clear political understanding that a new global climate deal will be agreed in 2015, UK Energy and...

Rae steps down at RJC - news

Michael Rae, ceo of the Responsible Jewellery Council, is stepping down to pursue interests closer to his former home in Melbourne, Australia. Rae has worked at the London-based RJC for seven...

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...

Life-saving ‘bubble’ wins GSK and Save the Children funding - news

A simple, low-cost device that helps newborn babies to breathe and has the potential to transform the life chances for thousands of African babies has been awarded the highest fund in the first...

Co-op HQ named world’s greenest building - news

The Co-operative Group’s new head office in Manchester has been declared the most environmentally-friendly building in the world. The British Research Establishment Environmental...

Unilever to transform market for sustainable palm oil - news

Anglo Dutch conglomerate Unilever says that all of the palm oil it buys globally will be traceable to known sources by the end of next year. The fmcg giant says the pledge is a significant...

Typhoon Haiyan crisis deepens in Philippines - news

UNICEF is urgently appealing for $34m to aid the more than four million children of the Philippines affected by Typhoon Haiyan, which ripped through the archipelago four days ago. "With...

Web-based support tool for G4 reporting goes live - news

G4 Online is a new web-based tool to support organizations preparing sustainability reports using the latest generation of the Global Reporting Initiative’s Sustainability Reporting...

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...

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...

Consumer study shows powerful shift in sustainable consumption - news

One third of consumers now regard the sustainability proposition as the ‘cool thing to do’ rather than just the ‘right thing to do’. So says a new global consumer study...

Alcoa bolsters manufacturing sector with internship programme - news

American aluminium giant Alcoa’s corporate foundation has instigated a $1.25m internship programme for 500 students in eight countries over the next two years. The programme is a...

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...

Oxfam calls for food companies to ensure responsible sourcing - news

Some of the biggest names in the food and drink industry are not doing enough to stop poor people from being forced from their land to make way to grow crops, according to a new report from...

Dell ramps up CSR strategy with Legacy of Good plan - news

ITC giant Dell is incorporating a 2020 Legacy of Good plan into its current ‘Powering the Possible’ CSR strategy. The computer company says that the plan is designed to...

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...

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...

Pressure mounts on World Bank to stop private water firm investments - news

A month in SRI with Roger Aitken... Nestlé’s former ceo Peter Brabeck-Letmathe once sparked controversy after declaring that access to water was “not a public...

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...

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...

L'Oréal's Sharing Beauty for All nominates expert panel - news

L’Oréal’s latest sustainability commitment, Sharing Beauty for All, is being monitored by a panel of experts headed by José Maria Figueres, former president of Costa...

World Food Prize goes to Mary-Dell Chilton - news

Syngenta Biotechnology founder and Distinguished Science Fellow Mary-Dell Chilton, PhD, received the 2013 World Food Prize along with two other distinguished scientists. The $250,000 World...

WCD board members $8 trillion market cap - news

Women Corporate Directors (WCD) – a global community of more than 2,500 directors – recently aggregated the market capitalization of the public companies on whose boards their...

Make carbon pricing the cornerstone of climate policy, says the OECD - news

Countries should make carbon pricing the cornerstone of climate policy, says the OECD. Releasing the report, Climate and carbon: Aligning prices and policies, OECD secretary-general Angel...

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...

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....

L’Oréal’s looking good with latest sustainability commitment - news

French beauty giant L’Oréal is sitting pretty with its rebranded sustainability commitment, Sharing Beauty With All , which maintains the company will ensure 100% of its products...

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...

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...

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...

Alliance Boots comes under fire over corporate tax avoidance - news

Pharmacy giant Alliance Boots has been accused of using a legal loophole to avoid paying £1.1bn in tax in the UK.  In a new report trade union Unite and the charity War on Want...

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...

OECD calls for coherent approach to carbon pricing - news

Countries should make carbon pricing the cornerstone of climate policy, says the OECD. Releasing the report Climate and carbon: Aligning prices and policies , OECD Secretary-General Angel...

Leading export nations fail to enforce foreign bribery rules - news

Some leading member nations of the G20 are still non compliant with the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention according to a new report from Transparency International (TI). The anti-corruption...

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...

Green beauty industry held back by sustainability issues - news

Although the palette of green ingredients has widened in recent years, beauty product manufacturers still face many technical and sustainability issues when using naturals, warns research agency...

inbrief - news

In deep water... T he International Tourism Partnership (ITP) has warned that by 2030 demand for freshwater may outstrip supply by 40%. In its latest report on water risk issues, the ITP...

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...

Top down commitment to sustainability thwarted by economic climate - news

Despite a top down approach to sustainability, more than two thirds of chief executives (67%) believe that business is not doing enough to address global sustainability challenges, according to...

inbrief - news

Jewel in the crown.. . CIBJO, the World Jewellery Confederation, and the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). The MOU will work to further...

inbrief - news

Energy boost... The global energy industry must play a greater role in the transition to sustainable energy systems if UN goals are to be met, warns a report from the World Energy Council...

Consumers more engaged with eco packaging than ever before, says Tetra Pak - news

More consumers than ever are looking for environmentally-friendly logos on packaging finds a new global report by packaging giant Tetra Pak. It says that it’s a top concern for 37% of...

UN proves sustainability pays as Church calls for fossil free policy - news

The United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) has long been criticised for promoting a loose definition of corporate sustainability, keeping it simple by asking compact signatories to “embrace,...

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...

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...

Female quotas make no difference to board's effectiveness: study - news

Positive discrimination towards women at board level fails to improve bottom-line business performance, maintains an expert in business ethics. Professor Nada Kakabadse, a global authority...

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...

Fashion brands still failing on safety & wage fronts - news

Despite many high street brands having signed up to the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh, there are still some notable exceptions. A new campaign by the Trades Union Congress in...

P&G builds on partnership with Habitat for Humanity - news

American FMCG titan Procter & Gamble (P&G) is partnering with Habitat for Humanity to fund the construction, repair, and cleaning of homes in 12 countries around the world. The...

UNICEF launches business toolkit on children’s rights - news

UNICEF has launched a toolkit aimed at integrating the rights of children into business operations. The new tools recommend ways for businesses to incorporate children’s rights into...

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...

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....

inbrief - news

Fine affair… The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has fined JPMorgan Chase Bank N.A. £137,610,000 ($220 million) for serious failings related to its Chief Investment Office (CIO)....

Putting materiality to the test - news

Business in 2013 is increasingly aware that it is no longer possible to be competitive without being sustainable. But sustainability reporting in 2013 is about more than transparency and...

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,...

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...

City Climate Leadership Awards honour 10 cities for urban sustainability - news

Bogota, Rio and Mexico City are three of the 10 cities recognised for excellence in urban sustainability by Siemens and the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40) in their inaugural City...

inbrief - news

Good old M&S… Marks & Spencer (M&S) has signed a one year deal to work with social enterprise technology provider Good World Solutions to facilitate direct communications...

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

Greener Google… Berlin-based search engine Ecosia - a search engine that donates 80% of its income to rainforest protection – has undergone a complete revamp. The search engine...

inbrief - news

On fire… Sedex is partnering with labour standards NGO, Verite, on a briefing series exploring sustainability issues in global supply chains. The first in the series of issue-led...

inbrief - news

Olympic feat… Offsetters Climate Solutions has reaffirmed its partnership with the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) as its Official Carbon Partner in a partnership that will last through...

Corruption risk continues to blight key growth markets - news

While anti-corruption laws are in place in all the BRIC economies,  implementation and enforcement remains consistently weak finds the latest  annual Corruption Risk Index (CRI) from...

Lack of consensus on climate change damages UN energy targets - news

The global energy industry must play a greater role in the transition to sustainable energy systems if UN goals are to be met, warns a report from the World Energy Council (WEC). The...

CEO commitment to sustainability thwarted by economic climate - news

Despite a top down approach to sustainability, more than two thirds of chief executives (67%) believe that business is not doing enough to address global sustainability challenges, according to...

Land stewardship – the next big environmental issue? - news

Land stewardship is not a well-known term; however, for the mining industry it is becoming increasingly critical. The concept of land stewardship is intended to address what has been...

Eco packaging high on consumer agenda, says Tetra Pak study - news

More consumers than ever are looking for environmentally-friendly logos on packaging finds a new global report by packaging giant Tetra Pak. The survey reveals that it’s a top concern for...

Sky bends it like Beckham with Beyond Sport award - news

Sky has been named the Corporate of the Year at the annual Beyond Sport Awards for its Sky Sports Living for Sport initiative.? The Beyond Sport Awards, now in its fifth year, recognise...

Aguilera lights up the sky with KFC for world hunger relief effort - news

American singer Christina Aguilera is backing Yum! Brands annual world hunger relief initiative. The pop superstar recently visited Rwanda where she saw the effects of hunger first hand and...

Bangladesh workers’ leader targets London Fashion Week - news

The leader of Bangladeshi garment workers, Amirul Haque Amin, is to address delegates at the TUC’s annual conference demanding a living wage for people making clothes for UK retailers....

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...

City Climate Leadership Awards honour 10 cities for sustainability - news

Bogota, Rio and Mexico City are three of the 10 cities recognised for excellence in urban sustainability by Siemens and the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40) in their inaugural City...

Pressure groups put in plea for G20 action on tax evasion - news

As yet another corporate tax avoidance story hits the headlines – Vodaphone will not be liable for tax in Britain following the sale of its £84bn stake in Verizon – a new...

Freshwater demand to outstrip supply by 2030, says ITP - news

The International Tourism Partnership (ITP) warns that by 2030 demand for freshwater may outstrip supply by 40%. In its latest report on water risk issues, the ITP highlights a range of...

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...

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...

Gender pay gap biggest in Japan - news

Women earn relatively more money when they choose careers not dominated by men, new research suggests. A study of 20 industrialised nations found that in countries where men and women worked...

inbrief - news

Olympic opportunity... The UK based Carbon Trust is to provide the Brazilian national electricity operator, ONS, with best practice advice learnt from the 2012 London Olympics Games as Brazil...

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...

Investors see risk of climate change but struggle on gauging green assets - news

Institutional investors may be sophisticated enough to model the effect that accelerating global warming has on their portfolios, but generally struggle to assess which green investments work...

Fletcher welcomes BUPA's Carbon Trust certification - news

International healthcare group Bupa has become the first healthcare company in the private sector to be awarded global Carbon Trust Standard certification. The Carbon Trust assessed and...

“Green Google” undergoes revamp - news

Berlin-based search engine Ecosia - a search engine that donates 80% of its income to rainforest protection – has undergone a complete revamp. The search engine now boasts a new...

P&G ramps up partnership with Habitat for Humanity - news

American FMCG titan Procter & Gamble (P&G) is partnering with Habitat for Humanity to fund the construction, repair, and cleaning of homes in 12 countries around the world. The...

Aviva develops new way to measure carbon offsetting - news

Insurance giant Aviva has partnered with  ClimateCare to develop a new way to measure and report the full impact of offsetting carbon emissions. For the first time, Aviva has been able...

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...

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...

Global uptick in consumer willingness to back ethical brands - 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...

Ethical funds outperform non-ethical rivals - news

The past 12 months have been a notable period for ethical fund performance with the average ethical fund posting gains of 24% compared with 18% growth from the average non-ethical fund. The...

ITP’s green guide goes global - news

The International Tourism Partnership’s (ITP) comprehensive guide detailing the basic steps towards “greening” hotel operations is now available in Arabic, Portuguese and...

Sweden proves world's most sustainable country - news

RobecoSAM’s new study has found Sweden to be the most sustainable country in the world. The study, which evaluates 59 countries (21 from developed and 38 from emerging markets) on a...

ICT companies need to take human rights seriously - news

In June, Apple, AOL, Dropbox, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, PalTalk, Skype (Microsoft), Twitter, Yahoo! And YouTube (Google) were accused of allowing intelligence services to access their servers...

Kyoto milestone… - news

The Kyoto Protocol’s clean development mechanism (CDM), the international market-based tool that incentivizes greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction projects in developing countries, has...

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....

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...

Uren takes top spot at Forum for the Future - news

Sally Uren has stepped up as chief executive of Forum for the Future, the sustainability non-profit organisation where she was previously deputy chief executive. The Forum says Uren will...

Jon Lukomnik wins top award - news

Jon Lukomnik, executive director of the Investor Responsibility Research Center Institute (IRRCi), has won the 2013 International Corporate Governance Network (ICGN) Award for Excellence in...

CRS is the real thing at CCE - news

Joe Franses is director of corporate responsibility and sustainability (CRS) at Coca-Cola Enterprises. He tells Ethical Performance how he works across the business’s network of experts...

Social network risk... - news

The Ethics Resource Center has published a new study about the ethics associated with social networking and the workplace. National Business Ethics Survey of Social Networkers: New Risks...

Governments need to heed call for action over bribery - news

More than half the 114,000 people in 107 countries interviewed in a Transparency International survey believed corruption had spread during the past two years. At the same time participants...

ETI launches guide to supply chains & trade unions - news

The Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) has launched a guide to support companies uphold the right to freedom of association within their supply chains. Freedom of association is the right for...

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 &...

Volunteering trips removed from top travel website - news

Responsibletravel.com, the travel agent for responsible holidays, has removed 10 volunteering trips from its website that send volunteers to work in orphanages around the world. The trips...

IKEA backs UNICEF’s Early Childhood Development kit - news

In a new collaboration, the IKEA Foundation is donating a range of toys to UNICEF’s Early Childhood Development (ECD) kits to help meet the needs of some of the most vulnerable young...

OECD Action Plan on tax fails developing countries, says NGO trio - news

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) Action Plan tackling multinationals’ tax dodging is a step forward but fails developing countries, the Global...

CDP, CDSB & IIRC form alliance to accelerate integrated reporting - news

CDP, the Climate Disclosure Standards Board (CDSB) and the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC), are forming an alliance that will achieve greater momentum towards the evolution of...

KLM on a high with environmental award win - news

Dutch airline KLM has been recognised for its commitment to sustainability by scooping the Environment Award at the Airline Strategy Awards. Taking home the accolade for the second time -...

Girl power musters to protect planet - news

The Alcoa Foundation in the US is sponsoring nearly 700 girl scouts and girl guides from 12 countries within the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) to "twin"...

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...

Coca-Cola ramps up environmental goals with WWF - news

American drinks giant Coca-Cola is looking improve its water efficiency by 25% by 2020 as part of a new set of global environmental goals and an expanded global parternship with World Wildlife...

Call for global ban on deadly sandblasting in garment industry - news

Activists are demanding urgent action from governments and companies to stamp out the continued use of sandblasting and other unsafe finishing processes in the manufacture of denim jeans....

Corruption still widespread reveals worldwide poll - news

More than one person in two thinks corruption has worsened in the last two years, according to the world’s largest public opinion survey on corruption from Transparency International....

Business warned over human rights violations following data breaches - news

Following PRISMgate where companies such as Apple, Google and Microsoft were accused of allowing intelligence services to access their servers to retrieve data about users, Vigeo has warned of...

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...

Getting the green light to tell your ethical story - news

How about this for the ultimate in greenwashing? Michinoku, a Japanese company which was - up until recently - making pampered pooch treats from one of the rarer species of whale, described...

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...

Tetra Pak packs a punch - news

Tetra Pak, the food processing and packaging giant, has launched a global marketing campaign to shed more light on renewable materials and the role they can play in helping to protect the...

Groupon goes global - news

Groupon Grassroots, Groupon’s social innovation programme, is partnering with WWF to globally address a common cause - the environment - by launching more than 20 campaigns around the...

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...

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...

“Days of making a return or a difference now over” - news

“The days of making a return or making a difference are over,” Justine Greening, Britain’s secretary of state for international development, told delegates at the recent FT/IFC...

SAP in autism-focused recruitment drive - news

The German computer software giant SAP has launched a recruitment drive to attract people with autism to join it as software testers. “Only by employing people who think differently...

Puma signs Bangladesh safety agreement - news

German sport & lifestyle brand Puma has signed the Bangladesh Fire and Safety Agreement set up by global trade union IndustryAll to ensure that the company’s six supplier factories in...

Changing behaviour over children’s rights - news

Companies interact with children on a daily basis, although often this is neither directly nor purposefully. Children are workers in their factories and fields, family members of their...

Selfridges swims with sharks to raise conservation awareness - news

London department store Selfridges is ramping up its retail activism in promoting marine conservation by backing a new concept, Shark Parks, areas of the ocean dedicated to the conservation of...

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...

World’s largest hotel chains collaborate over carbon emissions - news

The hospitality industry has issued an update of its programme enabling hotels to calculate and communicate the carbon footprint of stays and meetings consistently and transparently. The...

Report highlights global differences in environmental attitudes - news

People care for the environment, and a large majority state that they are willing to make compromises to green their lifestyle according to a new OECD survey of 12,000 households. However, the...

Hyatt Hotels check out community engagement - news

Global hospitality company Hyatt Hotels Corporation recently unveiled a new social pledge campaign called Commit To Thrive, which asked employees, guests, and local residents to take an online...

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...

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...

Talking the talk... - news

US business consultancy BrownFlynn has put together an online glossary of ‘sustainable speak’. From ‘Accountability’ to ‘Zero Waste’, the terminology of...

UKSIF calls for G8 to address barriers to responsible investment - news

As the G8 Summit kicks off in North Ireland, the UK’s Sustainable Investment and Finance Association (UKSIF) has called for attendees to use the event to make progress in breaking down...

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...

Toyota tops Best Green Brand report - news

Car brands dominate this year’s Best Global Green Brands Report from brand consultancy Interbrand. Toyota comes top – for the third year running – with Ford second and...

Dell upgrades to waste-free packaging - news

Global IT company Dell is stepping up its environmental efforts by setting itself a 100% waste-free packaging stream by 2020. “Packaging is often the first part of our products that...

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...

Natural capital depletion signals huge risk for investors - news

It’s a well-known fact that we are depleting the Earth’s natural resources at a faster rate than we are replacing them. Now a report published by an international business coalition...

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...

P&G clean water commitment hits milestone - news

American FMCG giant Procter and Gamble (P&G) has delivered its 6 billionth litre of clean drinking water as part of its Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) commitment to save one life every...

Coca Cola Enterprises looks to transform at-home recycling habits - news

Given that it is responsible for the production and distribution of over 2bn litres of soft drinks a year (and that’s just in the UK), it’s no wonder that Coca Cola Enterprises...

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...

Institutional integrity... - news

Three quarters of companies targeted in an investor engagement aimed at improving disclosure and understanding of companies’ anti-corruption risk management have significantly improved...

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...

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...

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...

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 “...

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 -...

Trust takes years to build, just seconds to break - news

TV game show-wise I’ve always been more Mastermind (general knowledge round of course) rather than University Challenge, so when ITV broke new ground with Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, I...

Squeaky clean... - news

Colgate-Palmolive has been named to Fortune Magazine’s 2013 list of “World’s Most Admired Companies,” an annual ranking of the world’s most admired and respected...

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...

Coca-Cola makes pledge to stop advertising to under 12s - news

While the US drinks giant ended advertising to under 12s in the UK as far back as 2009, Coca-Cola is now making it a global initiative as part of its anti-obesity drive. The move comes amid a...

US tops KPMG’s first ever Green Tax Index - news

The US heads the first KPMG Green Tax Index, which assesses 21 of the world’s largest economies for their use of tax as a tool to drive sustainable corporate behaviour and achieve...

Landmark level... - news

Carbon dioxide levels hit the historic 400.03 ppm mark in May according to monitoring at Mauna Loa (NOAA). Greenpeace UK executive director John Sauven has since commented: “This is a...

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...

Can do... - news

Novelis, the aluminium rolling and recycling company, has developed the beverage industry’s first independently certified, high-recycled content aluminium. With a minimum of 90 percent...

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...

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...

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...

Animal attraction... - news

Ogilvy & Mather Chicago has launched a social responsibility video on behalf of APES, to highlight the importance of protecting all primates, not simply the “cute” ones....

GSK & Save the Children ramp up collaboration - news

Save the Children and pharma giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) are ramping up their collaborative efforts with an ambitious new partnership to save the lives of a million of the poorest children in...

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...

Sweet deal… - news

Sweet deal… American candy company Hershey is expanding its sustainability initiatives with an aim of achieving 100% certified cocoa by 2020. As part of this, the company has issued a...

Impact assessment… - news

Impact assessment… The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) has launched an Eco4Biz toolkit to better manage ‘natural capital’. “Assessing...

Social impact portal… - news

Social impact portal… The Social Hotspots Database is a new web portal for use by corporate directors, investors, product designers, supply chain managers and policymakers to help...

New Horizons... - news

New Horizons... The Technology Strategy Board, the global sustainability non-profit organisation, has launched ‘Horizons’ (beta), a free digital tool designed to help businesses...

Mother knows best... - news

Mother knows best... Working Mother magazine has named Sodexo one of the “Best Companies for Hourly Workers” for 2013.  This is the fourth consecutive year that Sodexo has...

Business urged to push children’s rights further up CSR agenda - news

New research from UNICEF and Ipsos MORI shows that while more than two-thirds of UK businesses interviewed think that responsibilities to children will become more important to UK companies over...

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...

Panasonic lantern programme lights way in developing countries - news

Japan’s Panasonic Corporation has instigated a project to donate a total of 100,000 solar lanterns to people in regions of the world without electricity, by 2018.    As...

Financial services grow in developing nations - news

Financial services will be available to hundreds of thousands more low-income people under new commitments to Business Call to Action (BCtA), the UN anti-poverty programme. The projects will...

Dow tests waters with new digital platform - news

The Dow Chemical Company has developed a new digital platform to promote increased understanding of water use and expanded its work to implement clean water technologies.  ...

Employment provides “much more than just wage packet” in rural communities - news

Independence was the greatest benefit from employment stated by working women surveyed in Africa and Asia. Altogether 36% said independence accompanied by choices was the most valued aspect,...

Disney takes more transparent approach to reporting - news

Family entertainment giant and American institution, Disney is changing the way it records and publicises its CSR strategy in citizenship.    The company’s new Citizen...

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...

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...

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...

RobecoSAM kicks off CSA research - news

RobecoSAM, the asset manager focused exclusively on sustainability investing, has invited the 2,500 largest companies (in terms of free float market capitalization) from all industries to...

Bloomberg & Dow Chemical ranked highest for sustainability reporting - news

A new research report conducted by BPA Worldwide, the global audit organisation, and Integrated Reporting & Assurance Services (IRAS) has ranked Dow Chemical highest among Fortune 100...

RSPO makes commitment to smallholders - news

The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), the international multi-stakeholder organisation and certification scheme for sustainable palm oil, has set up a Smallholders Support Fund (RSSF)...

Small-scale mining needs sustainability focus too - news

A sustainability research body has started a campaign to raise awareness of artisanal and small-scale mining and to ensure that the industry improves lives and safeguards local environments....

Queen ratifies historic human rights Commonwealth charter - news

History was made recently when the Queen signed the first charter backing equal rights for women and gay people in every Commonwealth nation. The Charter unequivocally embraces the ideal of...

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...

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...

IHRB guide calls for effective integration of human rights risk in investments - news

A new guide from the IHRB will help investors work with companies to ensure they have the systems and know-how to deal with human rights risks, Margaret Wachenfeld, director of legal affairs at...

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...

IFC introduces new green building certification - news

World Bank (IFC) has produced a new green building certification scheme for low to middle income buildings. It is designed to make green building certification affordable in developing countries.

Access to Nutrition Index launched - news

The world’s largest food and beverage manufacturers must do more to increase access to nutritious products and positively exercise their influence on consumer choice and behaviour, says...

Oxfam campaign targets chocolate industry - news

Oxfam Hong Kong is focusing on the chocolate industry as part of the charity’s global Behind the Brands campaign. It has targeted Nestlé, Mondelez and Mars for their failure to...

Ethisphere publishes World's Most Ethical list - news

A record 145 businesses from 36 industries and more than 100 countries appear in the World’s Most Ethical Companies 2013 list published recently by Ethisphere, the US responsible practice...

Sedex issues supply chain workbook - news

Sedex has issued a new supply chain workbook offering tools for building controls into business processes including helping companies meet their social and environmental responsibility...

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,...

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...

Unilever to phase out 'microbeads' - news

Unilever is to phase out the minuscule plastic ‘microbeads’ used in its facial scrubs and exfoliators in a move welcomed by the Marine Conservation Society (MCS) and the North Sea...

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...

Barclays in the dock again - news

Barclays, rescued in 2008 with £7bn mainly from Qatar and Abu Dhabi, has been accused of misleading its shareholders after it emerged that Sheikh Mansour, the Manchester City soccer club...

IT industry responsible for 2% of carbon emissions - news

Research by the Centre for Energy-Efficient Telecommunications (CEET) and Bell Labs has revealed that the information technology industry – encompassing the internet, video, voice and...

New board members at GFSI - news

The Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) welcomes three new board members. They are: John Carter, senior director own brand and product quality Assurance, Metro Cash & Carry, Germany; ...

Kauer joins ATNI - news

Inge Kauer has been named executive director of the Access to Nutrition Index (ATNI), a new initiative that will rank food and beverage manufacturers on their nutrition practices. In this role,...

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...

Governments urged to target lobbying and political funding to increase transparency - news

Corruption remains a serious threat facing humanity, Transparency International (TI) declares in a new report. In its 2012 Corruption Perceptions Index, TI speaks of poor families being...

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...

Management must become more inclusive to resolve ‘crisis of trust’, claims Edelman - news

The legacy of scandals involving big corporations and public figures is a continuing crisis of public trust in leadership, according to the 2013 Edelman Trust Barometer. Fewer than one...

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...

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...

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...

Diversity advice: sold like snake oil in the Wild West - news

To propose the ‘business case’ for diversity is misleading. To me, a business case is meant to introduce something, yet to happen to an organisation, balancing reasons for and...

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...

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...

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...

Electronic brand benchmark study: results - news

Apple, Dell and HP perform well on disclosing environmental and social supply chain issues compared with some of their Asia-headquartered competitors, according to Sustainable Supply Chain...

Ben & Jerry's goes Fairtrade - news

As part of Ben & Jerry’s drive to make its entire range of ice creams, frozen yogurts and sorbets Fairtrade certified by the end of this year, the chain announced last month that it is...

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...

RJC certifies De Beers - news

The Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC) has in the last two months certified nine of its members as meeting the highest ethical, human rights, social and environmental standards. These include...

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...

Henderson joins Black Sun - news

Simon Henderson has been appointed Black Sun’s corporate communications division managing director. He joins the company from Centrica, where he was director of CR and digital media.

Bacardi appoints Kraus - news

Bacardi has appointed Eric Kraus to the newly-created role of senior vice president, chief communications and corporate affairs. Eric will lead all facets of Bacardi’s corporate...

Sustainalytics appoints new director - news

Wilco van Heteren has been appointed director of Sustainalytics research products team. He will work alongside Esther Hougee, Heather Lang and Hendrik Garz to manage more than 70 analysts...

New board members for Sustainability Consortium - news

The Sustainability Consortium’s membership has elected four new corporate members to its board of directors: Charlene Wall-Warren, of BASF; Karen Hamilton, of Unilever; Kim Marotta, of...

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...

Companies ‘all talk and no action’ on water scarcity - news

Most of the world’s largest companies are guilty of lacking a long-term water management strategy, even though they discuss the issue in corporate documents.   And, in their CSR...

World Gold Council launches conflict-free standard - news

The World Gold Council has developed the Conflict-Free Gold Standard, an industry-led approach to combat the potential misuse of mined gold to fund armed conflict. The council hopes the...

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...

Walmart extends security investigation - news

Walmart’s internal investigation into violations of the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act has been extended from its operation in Mexico ( EP, July 2012, p16 ) to also cover Brazil, India,...

Walmart in sustainable supply chain push - news

Meanwhile, Walmart has also announced a series of measures to help make its worldwide supply chain more sustainable. The company used an event in Beijing, the Chinese capital to announce that it...

Grumberg travels to Carlson Wagonlit - news

Francoise Grumberg has been appointed the new position of senior director for global responsible business at the business travel specialists Carlson Wagonlit Travel. Francoise will lead the...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Sourcing standard gives artesanal gold producers path to formal markets - news

Gold produced by artesanal miners certified as meeting the Fairtrade & Fairmined Standard (F&F) can now be considered ‘eligible material’ for chain-of-custody sourcing after...

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...

Living wage: ethics and economics converge - news

No global supply chains consistently pay a living wage. While food prices and energy costs escalate, the issue of a living wage has become more important – and challenging – than...

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,...

Barrick Gold & DIHR to collaborate - news

Barrick Gold and the Danish Institute for Human Rights (DIHR) have signed a two-year agreement to collaborate on developing and promoting human rights tools for businesses and on ensuring the...

UN launches Water Action Hub - news

The UN Global Compact’s CEO Water Mandate initiative has launched a global Water Action Hub, which it describes as the world’s first online platform to unite companies, governments,...

Auto industry collaborates on conflict mineral tool - news

More than 20 car manufacturers have collaborated to develop a new online reporting tool for conflict minerals. The companies – which include Honda, Ford and the Chrysler Group – have...

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,...

Global 500 companies lag behind emissions targets - news

Few companies are setting the targets or investments needed for long-term resilience to climate change, reports the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), the non-profit body that advises business on...

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...

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,...

CFOs say sustainability key driver of financial performance - news

Nearly half of chief financial officers (CFOs) say sustainability is a key driver of financial performance, and two-thirds are involved in driving strategies in their organisations, according to...

UN issues health warning over chemical misuse - news

Increased chemical misuse is causing health and environmental damage, especially in emerging economies, and governments must do more to carry out a promised clean-up by 2020, a UN report claims....

Shopping app screens for unethical sourcing - news

A new app and browser plug-in that screens online shopping for products associated with the exploitation of children, has been launched. Called aVOID, it works with all major online shops by...

First State Investments in exec shake-up - news

Will Oulton has been appointed global head of responsible investment at First State Investments, in London, and Pablo Berrutti has taken the newly-created role of head of responsible investment...

Bettercoal appoints Christie - news

Dr Martin Christie has been appointed executive director of Bettercoal, and will lead its global initiative to promote corporate responsibility in the international coal supply chain. Bettercoal...

Higg Index gives apparel firms sustainability measure - news

Members of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition – 30 manufacturers and retailers which includes Walmart, Nike, Target, JC Penney and Levi Strauss – (EP, December 2010, p8) have unveiled...

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...

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...

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...

Five stock exchanges to promote corporate responsibility - news

Nasdaq is among five stock exchanges that have committed to promoting CSR principles among the nearly 5,000 companies collectively listed on their markets.    The US technology...

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...

Alliance calls for standard on sustainability reporting - news

A passage in the Rio+20 final document covering sustainability reporting by publicly listed and large companies has won the support of the Brazilian, Danish, French and South African...

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...

A duty of business: to protect human rights - news

Harvard professor John Ruggie has been toiling on behalf of the UN since 2005 to devise a framework for ways in which businesses should manage their interactions with the lives they affect. Are...

Animal management under BB spotlight - news

Concerns about farm animal welfare have prompted the Business Benchmark on Farm Animal Welfare to start an evaluation of animal management. A previous lack of agreement on ways to manage farm...

Cohen joins UL Responsible Sourcing - news

UL Responsible Sourcing, a global provider of corporate responsibility auditing and ethical sourcing consulting services, this month announced that Dennis Cohen has joined the company as vice...

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...

Portal highlights workers’ issues to promote rights - news

The Business & Human Rights Resource Centre has created a free human rights portal to promote improvements in workers’ conditions. The portal will provide news of industrial...

Lack of access to data thwarts war on corruption - news

Information about worldwide corruption is being withheld by governments, including the UK administration, campaigners have claimed after an investigation. In November 2009, the UN...

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....

Hotels agree emissions measurement standard - news

A partnership of prominent global hospitality companies has created a system to ensure a consistent approach to measuring and reporting on carbon emissions. The Hotel Carbon Measurement...

Reckitt cleans up its act eight years early by concentrating on packaging and propellant - news

Reckitt Benckiser, a leading producer of household cleaning and consumer healthcare products, has exceeded its 2020 target of cutting carbon emissions by a fifth – eight years early....

It’s all down to business ... as usual - news

Leaf through the pages of this edition of Ethical Performance and you could be forgiven for thinking that this is our sustainability issue. Since the date was set for the UN Conference on...

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...

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...

CDP & GCP form alliance - news

The Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) and Global Canopy Programme (GCP) have formed an alliance that will see the GCP’s Forest Footprint Disclosure Project (FFD) merge with CDP over the next...

KFC targeted by Greenpeace protesters - news

KFC is facing an increasing number of Greenpeace protests worldwide. Greenpeace activists dressed as orang-utans to protest at stores in Delhi and Calcutta against the use of pulp from...

UN endorses ‘historic breakthrough’ on land access rights - news

The UN’s food security working group has endorsed landmark global guidelines to safeguard access-to-land rights for people in developing countries. The Voluntary Guidelines on the...

Apple and Amazon rapped over ‘dirty’ cloud computing - news

A new cloud computing report has deemed Amazon, Apple and Microsoft to be failing on climate change criteria through reliance on coal-to-power data centres, provoking the release of sensitive...

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...

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...

Barclays and MSCI introduce indices to promote growth in ESG investment - news

Global ESG indices for fixed-income bonds are to be introduced by MSCI and Barclays. MSCI, the investment consultancy and index provider, and Barclays, which publishes market bond...

News Corp’s shares soar despite scandal fall-out - news

The investor backlash against the scandals surrounding News Corp appears to have stymied in recent weeks, despite criminal charges brought against former News of the World editor Rebekah Brooks...

When ‘fessing up’ is by far the better option - news

Walmart is the eighth-largest company in the US. It employs two million staff worldwide, and they serve customers more than 200 million times per week in 10,130 retail outlets in 27 countries....

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...

Taking accountability back to where it belongs: at the top of the value chain - news

The newly-formed Asset Owners Disclosure Project seeks to build on the work of the Carbon Disclosure Project to see if emissions data can better drive change. Its executive director, Julian...

Diageo pulls Heartland funding - news

Beverage multinational Diageo has pulled its funding of the climate change-denying Heartland Institute following a controversial ad campaign that compared belief in climate change with mass...

Facebook to observe at GNI - news

Facebook has agreed to be an observer at the Global Network Initiative, an organisation that aims to prevent censorship of the Internet by authoritarian governments. The initiative, an...

UN Global Compact appoints 14 new board members - news

The United Nations Global Compact has appointed 14 new members to its board. The following have been newly appointed to serve three-year terms: Jorge Abrahão (Ethos Institute), Kurt Bock...

‘Investor ambivalence’ a drag on ESG performance - news

Global stock exchanges are the leaders in promoting CSR performance and reporting but remain restricted by regulation and investor ambivalence, according to new research from Aviva Investors in...

Negative investor sentiment hits mining offenders - news

RepRisk has named Alpha Natural Resources, Newmont and Glencore as the world’s most controversial mining companies in its latest research on ESG risks to corporate reputations....

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...

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...

Trust deficit means business must prove its ethics - news

There was once a time when business leaders could just tell society ‘trust me to do the right thing’ and the general public would do so. Then, with increased regulation and pressures...

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...

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...

Children take CSR centre stage in new UN business principles - news

New UN principles specifically covering children's rights have been published for the use and guidance of businesses worldwide. The Children's Rights & Business Principles,...

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...

Seven years on, Compact sees 3,000th expulsion - news

The number of companies expelled from the UN Global Compact has now passed 3,000, and the organisation says CSR has reached 'a major crossroads' worldwide. For failing to...

Energy extractives industry sees guidelines updated in wake of BP disaster - news

New non-financial reporting guidance for the oil and gas industry has been produced by the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI). Designed for companies at various stages of the oil, gas and...

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...

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...

Magnum ices get ethical - news

Magnum ice-cream products have become the latest confection to achieve Rainforest Alliance certification. Unilever, which owns Magnum, says the move to source 100% of its global cocoa supply...

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...

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...

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...

Grumberg travels to Carlson Wagonlit - news

The Dutch business travel and events multinational Carlson Wagonlit Travel (CWT) has appointed Françoise Grumberg to lead its global CSR activities. Grumberg will prioritise CWT’s...

Foxconn factory first in Apple’s supplier labour practices review - news

Apple has bowed to pressure over alleged labour abuses in its factories and taken one of the most significant CSR steps in its chequered history on the issue by appointing an NGO to inspect all...

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...

Kimberley Process restarts dialogue with Global Witness in bid for reconciliation - news

The diamond-monitoring Kimberley Process is attempting to rebuild bridges after a clash which saw its main NGO partner leave the scheme.   Gillian Milovanovic, Kimberley’s...

Fashion industry launches SME sustainability drive - news

A programme to drive sustainability co-operation and innovation in the fashion industry has been set up by the UN Global Compact. In the Compact’s first sector-specific project, it...

Technology giant faces up to its China syndrome - news

I still remember the first time I used an Apple Mac computer, back in the early stages of my career, nearly 25 years ago. The experience was a significant moment and must have been replicated...

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...

Rio+20 agenda topics - news

Discussions on 15 priority areas, which could lead to commitments or international agreements, are on the agenda hinted at by the UN for its June Conference on Sustainable Development, Rio+20....

Global fairtrade fund makes debut - news

A Zurich-based SRI firm has launched what it is calling the world’s first global fairtrade fund. With the aim of generating “a reasonable return on investment by worldwide...

Hershey's to buy Rainforest Alliance cocoa - news

US confectioner Hershey’s has announced it will start buying Rainforest Alliance cocoa, apparently bowing to popular pressure on the issue. At the end of last year, the company was lobbied...

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...

Clements-Hunt leaves UNEP FI - news

Paul Clements-Hunt has resigned as head of the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) to pursue a career in SRI within the private sector. Clements-Hunt, who has...

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...

Downturn brings greater risk of child exploitation - news

Child labour is on the increase thanks to the global economic crisis and deteriorating security worldwide. Countries such as Brazil and Russia are now considered at ‘extreme risk’ to...

Global Compact told to rethink its relation to the private sector and UN objectives - news

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has reiterated his organisation’s commitment to exploiting the private sector to advance international development, and demanded an expansion of the Global...

Hasbro commits to high principles as it publishes first CSR report - news

Toy and game maker Hasbro has emphasised its commitment to “being a highly principled, trustworthy and transparent company” with the release of its first ever CSR report. Hasbro...

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...

A global call for corporate sustainability - news

Sustainable development, and the critical role of business in sustainability, has become a repeated theme on these pages and in CSR commentaries around the world. With Rio+20 now firmly on the...

Durban gives business a new focus on results - news

At this winter’s UN Climate Conference (COP17) in Durban, I was pleased to be a member of the largest private sector contingent to attend a COP to date. And there was a great deal for...

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...

Business awaits the sustainable generation - news

Today’s generation of budding business leaders are much more likely to see sustainability as a cornerstone of their management agenda. Their real challenge will be promoting it in the...

Obesity 'a ticking time bomb' says SAM - news

Sustainable Asset Management (SAM) has outlined the investment opportunities created by solutions to obesity. The Zurich-based firm lists the possible returns for the private sector in a range...

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...

‘Broader action’ needed on water stewardship - news

Little progress has been made on water-related issues by large corporations after initial promises on the CSR issue last year. Research by the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) shows that the...

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...

War-torn Iraq becomes latest member of the Global Compact family - news

Iraq has become the latest country to launch a local UN Global Compact network, just as US troops are set to leave the country at the end of the month. Last month, representatives of...

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...

Time to focus on the ‘health’ of global supply chains - news

Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) is an integral part of sustainability, fitting well into the social dimension of the triple bottom line. It features in all the key global reporting...

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?...

Ten years and counting on broadening demand for ESG investment tools - news

The FTSE4Good index was launched a decade ago, but its senior executive Tony Campos tells Mike Scott that ESG-driven investments are set to break out of their niche It’s been ten...

How by Dov Seidman - news

Perhaps the closest thing yet to a philosophical justification of CSR, Dov Seidman’s book is, apparently, a ‘how’ rather than a ‘how-to’ book. By this he means the...

MBA candidates fail on ethics - news

Just one in five human resources professionals believe MBA candidates know enough about business ethics. That’s according to research by the Institute of Business Ethics, which follows a...

UN publishes environmental engagement report - news

The United Nations has published a report outlining the key contribution employee engagement can make to achieving environmental targets. Making Environmental Employee Engagement Happen,...

WindMade label flies high - news

Companies that source their power from wind energy can now proclaim it by attaching the WindMade label to their products. Under criteria published in October, the label can be used by companies...

Sedex issues new risk assessment tool - news

The Supplier Ethical Data Exchange (Sedex), the collaborative platform for sharing ethical supply chain data, has launched a new risk assessment tool. Developed with Maplecroft, the new tool...

ISO clarification - news

Clarification: Last month EP referred to the ISO as the Independent Standards Organization. This is, of course, how the organisation describes itself, its formal name being the International...

Murdochs ride out shareholder revolt - news

Pressure mounts on News Corp as a shareholder-led campaign seeking the removal of key board members prompted a huge protest vote at the company’s AGM. Head of News International James...

CO2 standards focus on business case for cuts - news

Two new international emissions standards have been produced that are likely to set the tone of carbon footprint management for years to come, encouraging companies to better measure and report...

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...

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...

Time to see if CSR can give business its moral compass - news

There is a strong connection between the Occupy Wall Street movement – which is said to have spread to more than 900 cities worldwide – and what I call ‘transformative...

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?    ...

Momentum grows for standardised integrated reporting - news

Tomorrow’s company annual report will look very different to today’s as investors increasingly demand professionally-produced, trustworthy non-financial information, Wim Bartels...

AccountAbility sets up advisory council - news

Standards consultancy AccountAbility has appointed an advisory council to provide strategic guidance to its operations. Its members include John Fraser, chief executive of UBS Global Asset...

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...

Iran, China & Burma top oppressive regime listing - news

Iran, China and Burma have been named as the world’s most oppressive regimes by Ethical Consumer magazine. The research, which examined a wide range of human rights abuses in 196...

Nestlé reinstates Sinar Mas - news

Nestlé has become one of the first companies to reinstate Sinar Mas into its supply chain after dropping the group over environmental concerns last year. The food multinational has begun...

A financial planning tool that ‘predicts CSR value’ - news

The private arm of the World Bank has launched the Financial Valuation Tool, a resource for predicting returns on future CSR investments. The International Finance Organization programme,...

Integrated reporting framework sets out stall on clarity and simplicity - news

An international framework for integrated reporting that will see firms providing more comprehensive, long-term and user-friendly information has been proposed. The International Integrated...

‘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...

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...

The business climate’s not changing quickly enough - news

As humans, we’re in the lucky position of being able to rationalise. We can weigh up facts and make sophisticated, balanced decisions in pursuit of a defined outcome. But though we can and...

In search of sustainable, low-carbon growth - news

While governments dither on sustainability, businesses increasingly see SRI as value-driven. But, HSBC’s Nick Robins tells Mike Scott, investment is being hampered by the harsh world...

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...

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...

ISO & GRI further sustainable cooperation - news

The Independent Standards Organization (ISO) and the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) have agreed to increase co-operation on sustainable development. The world’s largest standards...

Security & Human Rights toolkit launched - news

A toolkit for implementing the UN Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights has been launched, as John Ruggie’s “norms” become more and more established in the business...

inbrief - news

A consumer website claiming to answer the question, “How many slaves work on your behalf?” has been launched to raise awareness of forced labour in supply chains. Based on a survey...

inbrief - news

The International Corporate Governance Network (ICGN) has appointed three new board members. Nasser Saidi, head of the Hawkamah Institute of Corporate Governors, is the ICGN’s first board...

inbrief - news

Vicky Bullivant has joined Rolls-Royce as the company’s new global head of sustainability. Bullivant, previously head of corporate responsibility at E.ON, will be based at the firm’s...

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...

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...

Reasons to be hopeful about the state we’re in - news

Welcome to this September issue of Ethical Performance . I’m welcoming you to this, my first edition as editor, having succeeded Peter Mason in this role last month. I’m new to CSR...

A corporate accident waiting to happen - news

The phone-hacking scandal has not only closed the UK’s News of the World newspaper, but has cast doubt over the Murdochs’ future at News Corp Tabloid journalism in Britain...

Investors have the data. Now’s the time for action - news

Awareness of corporate climate impact has been transformed since the Carbon Disclosure Project was born in 2000. But its chief executive Paul Simpson tells Mike Scott that disclosure alone is...

inbrief - news

Nike scored a publicity victory over rivals Adidas when the two were challenged by Greenpeace to detox by committing to eliminating releases of all hazardous chemicals across its entire supply...

inbrief - news

Johnson & Johnson has set itself a series of five-year goals in a miniature version of Marks & Spencer’s Plan A. The detailed targets include launching 100 health education...

inbrief - news

Paul Snyder has been named InterContinental Hotels’ new corporate responsibility head. Snyder, an internal appointment, will lead the implementation of sustainability and community efforts...

GRI takes another shot at producing XBRL guide - news

An attempt is to be made to revive interest in the use of eXtensible Business Reporting Language, or XBRL, in sustainability reporting. The Global Reporting Initiative and Deloitte have...

Framework should help firms - news

Corporate ‘preparedness’ on human rights risks is growing, but companies are in need of a clear and robust framework on the issue of business and human rights. That’s...

Database will help out with water risk - news

A new, large-scale project to measure water risk will give companies and investors locally specific data. The Aqueduct project, which has been set up by the US-based World Resources...

AA1000 standards get new seven-strong board - news

Prominent CSR figures have been chosen to serve on an Interim Standards Board for the AA1000 series of standards.   The new seven-member board will serve for a period of one year and will...

Ethical decision-making requires more support - news

A guide detailing ‘ethics in decision-making (EiDM)’ has recommended support for staff so that they feel able to implement company policy and never feel they alone are responsible...

UN approves Ruggie’s work - news

John Ruggie’s principles on business and human rights have been adopted by the United Nations Human Rights Council. The principles, the product of six years of work on the issue,...

Coffee maker optimistic that it will reach targets - news

Global coffee business Nespresso has announced ‘strong progress’ towards its 2013 sustainability targets, two years after launching an ‘ecolaboration’ programme that aims...

Firms get online children’s rights advice - news

A new online tool for businesses that threaten children’s rights has been created by the Business and Human Rights Resource Centre. The new section of the large non-profit website...

Avon makes new pledge on palm oil - news

The beauty group Avon has become the latest company to commit to sustainable palm oil. The multinational joins Boots, Cadbury and Kraft Foods in a commitment to purchase GreenPalm...

BBC child labour footage ‘was probably faked’ - news

The BBC Trust has admitted that footage purporting to show clothing retailer Primark using child labour was faked. The BBC’s apology refers to a Panorama programme broadcast in June...

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...

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....

We now have the proof: SRI is at least as good any other strategy - news

Barely a week now goes by without the unveiling of a new piece of research showing that investment in socially responsible companies is likely to bring greater returns. Last month, Pictet Asset...

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...

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...

Good governance in the 21st century - news

Joachim Ahrens, Rolf Caspers, Janina Weingarth (eds). Edward Elgar  Publishing. Hardback, 374 pages. £89.95 This book, written almost entirely by academics,  explores how...

inbrief - news

Chanel has certified its products against the Responsible Jewellery Council’s certification system. The French luxury goods brand was already a member of the RJC, and joins eight...

inbrief - news

Halliburton and Royal Dutch Shell have been named as the world’s most criticized companies for the practice of ‘fracking’, or extracting natural gas from shale by pumping large...

inbrief - news

Corporate progress on CSR has been labelled tangible but insufficient by the United Nations Global Compact, especially in human rights and anti-corruption areas. The Compact’s latest...

CSO role gains ground as Coca-Cola appoints Perez - news

Coca-Cola has become one of a growing group of companies to create a post of chief sustainability officer (CSO) to oversee corporate responsibility matters close to board level. The...

Palm oil changes take shape, so lending ban is lifted - news

The World Bank is to lend to the palm oil sector for the first time since September 2009, now that the industry has adopted a more environmentally friendly investment strategy. The bank and...

Big business ethical claims to be tested - news

Dozens of UK and US companies have been invited to participate in research examining their claims about embedding sustainability.   The Ashridge business school in the UK is exploring...

Firms want investors to tackle poverty - news

More than 650 companies have called for ‘substantial private investment’ in the world’s poorest countries, seeking a bigger role for business in third world development....

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...

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...

Denim makers told: stop sandblasting - news

Retailers and brand companies have been told by their membership organization to remove all sandblasted denim products from their supply chains.   The Brussels-based Business Social...

Weapons data offered to financial institutions - news

A ‘controversial weapons monitor’ has been launched by the oekom research firm, allowing investors to review shares or bonds held in potentially risky companies. Banks and other...

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...

Wealth funds get ethics tips - news

Principles establishing clear ethical responsibilities for borrowers and lenders of sovereign debt have been proposed by the United Nations.   Work on the standards began at the height...

GRI starts work on revision - news

The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) is asking its network and the public for input as it begins work on new sustainability guidelines. The fourth generation of the GRI’s...

Listed status can be a liberation - but it can also act as a straitjacket - news

The flotation of the global commodities trader Glencore hasn’t just raised tens of billions of pounds. It has also brought up uncomfortable questions about the company’s record on...

C-Suite is impressed with returns from CSR - news

A new survey shows that many companies feel their sustainability initiatives produce benefits that have exceeded expectations. EP looks at  the findings The majority of businesses say...

Stopping the investment flow to genocide - news

Investors Against Genocide emerged out of the Darfur crisis and now holds some of the world’s biggest financial institutions to account on their investments. Mike Scott talks to...

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 ...

inbrief - news

Maersk Oil has become the latest supporter of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI). The Danish group, which operates across Asia, Africa and Latin America as well as in the...

inbrief - news

A free-market non-profit organization has alleged that some of the Western world’s largest multinationals are ‘becoming hostage’ to environmental and human rights...

inbrief - news

The Responsible Jewellery Council and Social Accountability International have agreed to work together to align their standards on jewellery. A newly-signed  Memorandum of Understanding...

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

Soya manufacturer Alpro has become the first food company to join the WWF Climate Savers programme. Alpro has committed to keep its plants’ carbon emissions below 2008 levels until 2013 as...

inbrief - news

The International Council on Mining and Metals has signed up two new members – Areva, the world’s largest uranium miner, and Norsk Hydro, the first companies to join under a more...

inbrief - news

The idea of a universal charger for personal electronic devices has come a step closer after the Global e-Sustainability Initiative (GeSI) adopted a new international standard on the issue....

Interim AA1000 board to be appointed for one year - news

An open invitation has been issued to ‘interested stakeholders’ who might want to serve on an Interim Standards Board for the AA1000 series of standards.   The new...

‘Silence sullies the reputation of good and bad alike’ - news

In April 2005, Sir Geoffrey Chandler wrote a guest column for Ethical Performance entitled ‘Why business has to end its vow of silence’. Here is an edited version of that article,...

Compact under the cosh from its own inspectors - news

The United Nations Global Compact has delivered ‘unclear results’ and exposed the UN to reputational damage in its first ten years, according to two of the UN’s external...

New regime aims to block conflict minerals by 2012 - news

A system has been introduced by the electronics industry to ensure that minerals sourced from conflict zones no longer find their way into devices such as mobile phones. The voluntary...

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...

Kellogg’s plumps for palm oil offsetting - news

The world’s largest cereal manufacturer has bought offset certificates in a new ‘palm oil trading’ scheme, citing the present unavailability of sustainable palm oil for use in...

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...

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...

Sport needs to tackle high reputational risks - news

Bribery, supply chain issues and pay differentials have been identified as key ethical risk areas in the global sports industry. A briefing by the UK-based Institute of Business Ethics...

GRI demands reports or explanations - news

A ‘Report or Explain Campaign’ has been launched by the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), calling on governments throughout the world to regulate on corporate sustainability...

More nuanced approach may end the stalemate in baby milk debate - news

FTSE’s decision to adjust the way it assesses company performance on the marketing of breast milk substitutes has to be a welcome step forward ( see page four ). The fact that no...

Can investors create a sustainable economy? - news

SRI has a role in the transition to a green economy, but its value should not be overstated, argues Rory Sullivan While there is a substantial body of evidence that investor engagement...

A clear way forward, but with wiggle room - news

John Ruggie’s final report on business and human rights, expected to be passed by the UN’s Human Rights Council next month, contains 27 pages of ‘guiding principles’....

Earthwatch and Rio Tinto – celebrating 20 years - news

Earthwatch film. 14 mins. After a vacuous first few minutes in which the viewer is told how ‘life on earth comes in many forms’, this film gets down to its subject of the...

inbrief - news

Delta Airways has signed the code of conduct for Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation in Travel and Tourism. The international airline joins 947 other tourism companies worldwide...

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

The Business and Human Rights Resource Centre has appointed Amanda Romero as its first Latin America and Caribbean representative. Romero, previously of the American Friends Service Committee,...

inbrief - news

Rob Lake has been appointed as the new director of strategic development at the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment. Lake, previously head of sustainability at APG Asset...

Ruggie: ‘build your own complaints mechanisms’ - news

Companies and industry sectors should consider setting up their own grievance mechanisms to look into complaints that they are breaching human rights, according to the final report of John...

IT sector to get guidelines on CO2 reporting - news

Guidance for information technology companies on a universal standard for the reporting of carbon emissions is to be developed in a large-scale collaboration of environmental organizations....

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Pension fund pledges to take tougher stance human rights - news

One of the world’s largest institutional investors has said it will aim to be more ‘active’ and ‘robust’ on corporate governance in its dealings with companies....

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...

Mining firms begin to disclose more information - news

Transparency in the mining and metals sector is increasing, the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) and the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) have announced. The two bodies...

Unfortunately, Ruggie hasn’t told us anything we don’t already know - news

It’s hard not to be disappointed by the end-product of John Ruggie’s six-year investigation into human rights and business ( see page one ). There’s no doubt that the process...

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...

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...

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...

The myth of the ethical consumer - news

Timothy Devinney, Pat Auger & Giana Eckhardt. Cambridge University Press. Paperback,  240 pages. £21.99, $36.99 Here is the antidote to all those surveys purporting to show...

inbrief - news

Visa has partnered with a group of humanitarian aid organizations to make donation distribution faster and safer. With the Cash Learning Partnership, Visa will support research into delivering...

inbrief - news

An updated version of the Global Reporting Initiative’s sustainability reporting guidance was published last month. The new ‘G3.1’ guidelines include various small changes and...

inbrief - news

Six new countries have achieved compliance with the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), more than doubling the global standard’s membership. The Central African...

inbrief - news

The United Nations has appointed six more people to to the Global Compact board, which now has 22 members. They are: Monica De Greiff, chief executive of the Colombian Grupo Energia de Bogota;...

inbrief - news

Hewlett Packard has won the ‘best report’ category in the 2011 CR Reporting Awards run by CorporateRegister.com. Virgin Group won the best first time report category, while...

inbrief - news

Manufacturing multinational Rockwell Automation has appointed Michael Loke as its new sustainability manager. Loke is an internal appointment.

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

Prupim, the international real estate fund manager, has appointed Nina Jackson as head of its sustainability and environment department. Jackson joins from Upstream Sustainability Services,...

Drive to encourage XBRL proves to be a global flop - news

Hopes that companies will begin adopting eXtensible Business Reporting Language, or XBRL, in their corporate responsibility reports appear to be fading, with fewer than a handful having done so...

50 corporations will give help to ‘lower rungs’ mainstream - news

A new CSR leadership programme has been set up by the United Nations, under which more than 50 large companies will work on a ‘sustainability roadmap’. Project Lead, announced...

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...

Compact opts for new tiered reporting regime - news

Signatories to the United Nations Global Compact will in future have to comply with one of three levels of reporting on how they are observing its ten principles. A new...

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...

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...

‘Scrooge’ firms deny anti-union stance - news

Three of the world’s largest food multinationals have vehemently denied accusations of violations of workers’ rights of association. Chiquita, Dole Foods and Del Monte were...

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...

New principles to help poor - news

A group of 40 investors has produced a set of principles to help improve access to financial services among the world’s poorest people. The Principles for Investors in Inclusive...

Private equity move to back ethical firms - news

Co-operative Asset Management has agreed to work with the private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts to invest in start-up socially responsible companies. The deal means Co-operative Asset...

XBRL: it’s up to GRI to show progress or explain failure - news

More than four years have passed since the Global Reporting Initiative began working on the adoption of XBRL – eXtensible Business Reporting Language – to manage corporate...

inbrief - news

Revised sustainability reporting guidelines for the oil and gas sector have been published by three industry associations – IPIECA, API and OGP.  The second edition of the guidance,...

inbrief - news

The online version of the 2011 Ethical Performance CSR Professional Services Directory is now live.

inbrief - news

Coca-Cola has been added to the Calvert Social Investment Fund Index in light of recent improvements on labour and human rights and water use – to the point where it is ‘even...

inbrief - news

The first gold refiner has been certified by the Responsible Jewellery Council against the organization’s human rights, social and environmental standards. Metalor Technologies, a Swiss...

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

The current draft of the International Finance Corporation’s revised sustainability policy and standards does not go far enough on human rights, says a group of NGOs. The Center for...

inbrief - news

Brewer SABMiller has become the target of a new boycott campaign by Action Aid, which accuses it of avoiding £20million of taxes in Africa and India every year by using subsidiaries in tax...

inbrief - news

Peter Hughes has filled the new post of head of corporate responsibility at the international media business Pearson. He was previously a director at the Corporate Citizenship consultancy.

inbrief - news

Andy Szyman has been appointed co-chair of the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative’s property working group, replacing Paul McNamara, head of research at Prupim. Szyman...

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,...

Bloc resignation exposes row over AA1000’s future - news

A major conflict over future stewardship of the widely-used AA1000 corporate responsibility standards has erupted with the resignation of the entire standards board that oversees them. 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...

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...

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...

Responsible firms ‘should maintain WikiLeaks links’ - news

Technology companies have been urged not to withdraw their services from WikiLeaks after several businesses boycotted the organization under government pressure. When WikiLeaks published...

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...

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...

Business ‘can broker peace’ - news

A plea has been made for corporations to be included alongside governments and civil society in peacemaking efforts in trouble-torn countries. A research paper by the NGO swisspeace says...

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...

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....

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...

Setback for Ruggie vision - news

An alliance of NGOs has severely criticised the proposed United Nations framework on business and human rights – damaging hopes that a consensus on its final shape may soon emerge. In...

Wind energy gets new label - news

The first consumer label identifying companies using products made with wind energy has been created by a group of NGOs and businesses. Windmade will offer consumers a way to test leading...

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...

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...

Big goals and a backlash: how 2011 might shape up - news

Aron Cramer, president and CEO of Business for Social Responsibility, outlines the corporate responsibility trends he believes we should look out for this year   Sustainability...

Atmosphere of mistrust led to public showdown - news

EP looks at how the collapse of the body that oversees the AA1000 standards is rooted in a wider conflict – and at what might happen now it has disappeared The dramatic collective...

One report: one plan for future financial stability - news

Efforts to establish integrated reporting have been stepped up in recent months. Mike Scott speaks to Michael Krzus, an accountant at Grant Thornton and crusader for the cause In the...

Business risk management handbook - news

Linda Spedding & Adam Rose. Elsevier/ Cima Publishing. Hardback. 738 pgs. £95 This monster effort is nothing if not comprehensive. Weighing in at more than 700 pages,...

inbrief - news

Case studies in the latest issue of Ethical Performance Best Practice can now be accessed online on the EP website.

inbrief - news

Apparel manufacturer Levi’s has started retailing ‘waterless’ jeans which, it claims, require up to 96 per cent less water in manufacturing. The jeans have been developed by...

inbrief - news

The online version of the 2011 Ethical Performance CSR Professional Services Directory, which lists 530 organizations, is now live.

inbrief - news

Three business executives have each been given a new award recognizing their efforts to combat human trafficking. Christopher Davis, international campaigns director at Body Shop, Marylin...

inbrief - news

Nataxis, the investment arm of France’s second largest bank, has joined the Equator Principles. Part of Groupe BPCE, it becomes the 71st signatory to the principles, which are an industry...

inbrief - news

The SustainAbility consultancy has formed a council of ‘experts and influencers’ from business, civil society and academia to provide it with advice and ideas. The 19 members include...

inbrief - news

Bridget Boulle has joined Henderson’s SRI team as an analyst. Boulle comes from the UK-based Pensions & Investment Research Consultants, where she was a senior researcher. Henderson...

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...

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...

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...

'Green muting' to end in 2011 - news

Companies that are normally reticent about their sustainability achievements will begin to communicate them more boldly in 2011. That's the prediction of the Verdantix analyst firm,...

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...

Core backs idea of state intervention - news

The state should intervene to resolve human rights disputes between people and corporations, and should fill other gaps in existing frameworks, says a submission to the United Nations...

Food firms still don't have a grip on sourcing - news

The weak point of the food industry remains working conditions and problems in sourcing raw materials, according to a new sustainability study by Bank Sarasin. The bank, which is a large...

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...

'Halo effect' can distort consumer view of CSR - news

A company acting responsibly in one part of its business is likely be regarded by consumers as doing so in other connected areas - even if it isn't. Researchers at the Insead...

Bankers alliance begins to grow - news

The Global Alliance for Banking on Values has signed up four new members to add to its nine founders. The grouping of alternative banks, whose founders include Triodos, aims to build 'a...

Firms need to speak to the weak, not the strong - news

Researchers are studying the idea that multinationals spend too much stakeholder engagement time talking to large, loud NGOs rather than weaker-voiced community organizations that can give them...

Finnish index earmarks top 40 - news

Finland now has its own sustainability index for use by investors. The OMX GES Sustainability Finland Index was launched last month by the Nasdaq OMX trading exchange group and the...

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,...

Was 2010 a watershed year for women in business? - news

One 2010 trend that could easily have been identified by our CSR experts on page nine of this issue was the striking rise up the business and political agenda of the idea that we need more women...

NGOs really need to learn the lessons of their past - news

Non-profits can't just shout about what they don't want - they  must be more constructive, says Hilary Sutcliffe Is the role of NGOs about to change? Money is tight,...

Forget Cancun: we need unreasonable CEOs - news

In the wake of the latest underwhelming climate change summit, Geoff Lye, executive chairman of SustainAbility, argues that business leaders should stop looking for a governmental lead on...

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...

Putting the 'S' back into ESG: the Oxfam way - news

Oxfam has published research looking at how investors can influence international development and poverty work. Mike Scott speaks to Rory Sullivan, the initiative's community lead...

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,...

inbrief - news

Case studies in the latest issue of Ethical Performance Best Practice can now be accessed online on the EP website.

inbrief - news

Companies are being encouraged to simultaneously use the Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the Global Reporting...

inbrief - news

Jewellery giant Cartier has been certified by the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC). Last year Cartier was named in a report by the Washington DC-based environmental pressure group Earthworks...

inbrief - news

Armies of ‘ethics ambassadors’ should be created across the corporate world, according to the Institute of Business Ethics (IBE). The IBE says companies should make existing staff...

inbrief - news

Melissa McDonald has been named as the new business manager of responsible investment at HSBC Global Asset Management. McDonald, leaves her position as global head of responsible investment at...

Coming soon: a fourth revamp of GRI guidelines - news

The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) has announced another comprehensive revision of its sustainability reporting guidelines – just four years after the last major overhaul. The GRI,...

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....

Hershey’s debut is hit by spoiler tactics - news

A group of NGOs has released an alternative CSR report on the activities of the multinational confectioner Hershey’s, simultaneously with the publication of the company’s own first...

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...

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,...

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...

CSR ‘should start with the recruitment process’ - news

Businesses that are serious about corporate responsibility ought to be carrying out ‘ethical due diligence’ of prospective employees during recruitment. That’s the view of...

Investors form property alliance - news

A group of property investors has created a body to help them manage their real estate more sustainably. Founding members of the International Sustainability Alliance, formally established...

Revealed: child labour’s dirty dozen - news

Bangladesh, India, Nigeria and Pakistan have been assessed as being among the 12 most problematic countries on the issue of child labour. The Child Labour Index and map, produced by the...

Levi Strauss, Walmart are best on supply chain - news

A global survey of supply chains in the US apparel industry has named Walmart and Levi Strauss as having the most developed compliance programmes to improve factory working conditions. The...

Fairtrade rejects ‘froth’ slur - news

The Fairtrade Foundation has countered allegations that its labelled products may not deliver as many benefits as claimed. The Institute of Economic Affairs, a right-wing UK-based think...

Majority now have hotline procedures - news

Two-thirds of FTSE 250 companies now use whistleblowing hotlines to help stamp out unethical and corrupt activities. Research commissioned by the SAI Global consultancy showed a 26 per cent...

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...

Business ‘must lobby more’ - news

Companies have been told to put more time and effort into positive lobbying on climate change in the wake of this month’s United Nations summit in Cancun, Mexico. The Carbon...

Time to rethink knee-jerk resistance to regulation - news

The vexed issue of lobbying is raising its head once again. On the one hand, the Carbon Disclosure Project reports that large companies are not putting enough pressure on governments to promote...

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...

Should CSR have a professional body? - news

The Corporate Responsibility Group is toying with the idea of changing itself into an association for individual CSR practitioners. Is there a need for such a thing? When the CRG...

The corruption of capitalism - news

Richard Duncan. CLSA Books. Paperback. 228 pgs. £16 / $25. Richard Duncan is that rare thing – an unequivocal economist. His diagnosis of our current problems is that...

inbrief - news

Case studies in the latest issue of Ethical Performance Best Practice can now be accessed online on the EP website.

inbrief - news

AccountAbility, the think tank and standards body, is to develop a guide to help organizations better understand the linkages between the new ISO 26000 social responsibility standard and the...

inbrief - news

The US-based multinational industrial manufacturer Eaton Corporation has joined the Geneva-based World Business Council for Sustainable Development, an alliance of 200 companies working to...

inbrief - news

Ethical Investment Research Services (Eiris) has appointed Carlota Garcia-Manas to the role of head of research, replacing the outgoing Stephanie Maier. Garcia-Manas, an internal appointment,...

inbrief - news

Darrel Webber is the new secretary general of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil. Webber moves from his previous post as senior associate of Global Sustainability Associates, a subsidiary of...

inbrief - news

Clare Melford has been appointed as chief executive of the International Business Leaders Forum. Melford was previously general manager of MTV Networks in Sweden. She replaces Adam Leach,...

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...

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...

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...

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...

New map sets out skills required in the CSR world - news

A ‘competency map’ for corporate responsibility practitioners has been produced by Business in the Community (Bitc). The map lists the knowledge and behaviours required for a...

Project finance guidance to get a major overhaul - news

The Equator Principles on ethical project financing are to be updated. A ‘strategic review’ will be conducted by the newly created Equator Principles Association, which is run by an...

The large investment bank with big SRI ideas - news

JP Morgan was one of the rare financial institutions to come out of the credit crisis unscathed. Mike Scott speaks to vice-president Jemma Green to find out what’s so special about the...

New man for a new era: all change under Misser - news

EP talks to the recently appointed head of AccountAbility about his controversial vision of how the organization should be re-inventing itself and altering its ethos They wear sober...

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...

Responsiveness should never be a substitute for performance - news

On the face of it, the conclusion from recent research that sustainability ratings favour companies that are most responsive to data information requests, rather than those that are actually the...

CSR ratings are ‘skewed’ - news

Sustainability ratings generally favour companies most responsive to data information requests, rather than those that are necessarily the best performers, new research suggests. Results...

Human rights concerns feed into OECD review - news

Seventeen new alleged corporate breaches of the guidelines for multinationals of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) were accepted for investigation last year....

Levi Strauss offers money for old jeans - news

Levi Strauss has created a $100,000 denim insulation fund to encourage the re-use of unwanted jean material as building insulation. The fund will provide grants to community organizations...

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...

Software error could lead to DJSI changes - news

Company scores that feed into the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes (DJSI) could be adjusted next month after the discovery of a software glitch. SAM, the Switzerland-based investment...

Compact offers a template - news

Developing world companies have been provided with a ready-made document that should help them publicly report on how they are living up to the United Nations Global Compact. The template...

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Unilever has joined the core group of members of the Global Business Initiative on Human Rights, whose corporate participants aim to take more account of human rights issues within their...

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

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...

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Guidance on how to produce biofuels has been produced by WWF, Conservation International and the consultancy Ecofys. The advice says biofuels have to be produced sustainably without...

inbrief - news

Just five per cent of board positions in India’s 100 largest companies are held by women, according to new research by Standard Chartered Bank. The figure compares to 14.5 per cent in...

inbrief - news

Updated advice for companies on how to deal with homeworkers in the supply chain has been issued by the Ethical Trading Initiative. The guidance has been posted on a new homeworker...

inbrief - news

Aegon, one of the world’s largest life insurance and pensions companies, has appointed executive vice-president Marc van Weede to the new post of global head of sustainability, reporting...

inbrief - news

The Carbon Disclosure Project has appointed Paul Simpson to replace Paul Dickenson as the NGO’s chief executive. Simpson is promoted from the post of chief operating officer, while...

FTSE4Good invents new expulsion category for BP - news

BP has become the first company ever to be suspended from the FTSE4Good indexes. The oil giant was one of eight businesses to be taken out of the index last month in the wake of the...

Food giant repudiates rainforest violation claims - news

Cargill, the US-based food group, has vehemently denied violating palm oil standards to which it has signed up. A report by the international non-profit Rainforest Action Network (RAN) says...

Hotels drag their heels on human trafficking - news

Hotel multinationals have been attacked over their performance on human trafficking by a faith-based investment adviser. Having analysed a survey asking hotel chains about child protection...

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...

Emerging market CEOs ready to commit to CSR - news

There’s good reason to believe emerging market countries will be in the vanguard of future CSR initiatives, according to an analysis of chief executive opinions in such nations. A new...

New criteria open way for nuclear firms - news

The FTSE4Good index will no longer automatically exclude nuclear power companies from its socially responsible investment indexes after announcing new criteria for businesses in the industry....

Attack on ‘flawed’ CSR provokes global response - news

CSR practitioners from around the world have rallied to defend the concept of corporate responsibility in the wake of a prominent Wall Street Journal article attacking it as...

Jean makers set up ban on sandblasting - news

Clothes firms Levi Strauss and H&M have announced a global moratorium on sandblasting for all future product lines. The process, a finishing technique used to create a worn or stressed...

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,...

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...

Events: ten ideas to make them better - news

As the corporate responsibility conference season moves into full swing, EP suggests ways that event organisers could improve the overall experience Make more use of the ‘chat...

inbrief - news

The recession has led to ‘resounding indecision and confusion’ in boardrooms on the issue of sustainability, according to a UK study conducted by the Future Laboratory think tank for...

inbrief - news

The Global Compact has created an online resource to help multinationals respect human rights. The Human Rights and Business Dilemmas Forum, devised in partnership with Maplecroft, allows...

inbrief - news

The world’s first fair trade photographic greetings cards have been introduced by Netherlands-based Fairmail Cards. The cards will provide photographers, all teenagers from India and Peru,...

inbrief - news

A new standard for cattle farms has been set by the Rainforest Alliance to enable them to be certified by the organization. The Standard for Sustainable Cattle Production Systems, the first of...

inbrief - news

The global insurance industry has outlined its intention to help combat climate change in the developing world. The Geneva Association, the Munich Climate Insurance Initiative and ClimateWise,...

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Household goods giant Unilever has announced a sustainable paper packaging sourcing policy. The company has pledged to source 75 per cent of its paper and board packaging from sustainably...

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One in five of the world’s largest 500 companies are beginning to show significant greenhouse gas emissions reductions, according to latest data collected by the Carbon Disclosure Project...

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Andrea Thomas has been named Walmart’s new senior vice president of sustainability. She replaces Matt Kistler, who moves into a new management role in marketing. Thomas joined Walmart in...

Stone sector bedevilled by bogus ethical claims - news

A clampdown has begun on companies in the stone industry that are making misleading claims about their 'ethical' sourcing, including suggestions that they are members of the Ethical...

New wind blows as Zadek is replaced - news

An era has drawn to a close at the UK-based AccountAbility organization as its long-term head, Simon Zadek, has been officially replaced by Sunil Misser. Misser, who began as chief...

The recession has done CSR a favour, say CEOs - news

Eight out of ten corporate leaders believe the economic downturn has raised the importance of sustainability, suggests a study.  The survey of 766 chief executives worldwide found 80...

Corporate MDG role is greater than thought - news

The private sector is playing a vital and 'under-appreciated' role in contributing to the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). That's the conclusion reached from...

Luxury brand commits itself to 'eco-friendly' fashion - news

Gucci has become one of the first luxury fashion houses to tackle the sector's perceived environmental shortcomings by starting a worldwide sustainability programme. The decision,...

New senior roles will take CSR closer to the board - news

Many companies will soon create a high-level post of chief sustainability officer to take the corporate responsibility agenda forward. Sector observers and recruitment specialists say the...

Puma suppliers to get more help - news

Puma is to expand its support for a project that helps its suppliers produce brief CSR reports. After a pilot involving three South African firms, the clothing company will now give advice...

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...

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...

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...

Wait is over: ISO 26000 will be out by November - news

The long-awaited ISO 26000 social responsibility standard is to be published by the end of October after receiving a final tidy-up over the next month. The last meeting of the International...

Vigeo measures lobbying - news

The increasing importance of corporate lobbying as a CSR issue has been recognised by the Vigeo ratings agency, which will now include an assessment of 'the transparency and integrity of...

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...

BP's travails in the Gulf are a sign of things to come - news

Oil firms are beginning to fall foul of working in increasingly hostile environments, says Seb Beloe Who would have thought when the original accident happened on BP's Deepwater Horizon...

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...

Spearheading the fight against complacency - news

Mike Scott speaks to Catherine Howarth of FairPensions about her organization's ongoing campaign, which calls on institutional investors to place more demands on the companies in which they...

Bad ideas? An arresting history of our inventions - news

Robert Winston. Bantam Press. 432 pages. Hardback. £20. This is a whirlwind tour of human history that explores the negative, usually unintended, consequences of the drive to...

inbrief - news

STR Responsible Sourcing has become the first business accredited by the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC) to audit companies against its certification system. STR, which has auditors in 30...

inbrief - news

Donald Macdonald is standing down as chairman of the UN Principles for Responsible Investment. Macdonald, who has chaired the PRI since its inception in 2006, is expected to be formally replaced...

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...

P&G scorecard will keep tabs on suppliers - news

A suppliers’ environmental scorecard has been introduced by the world’s largest household goods company, which hopes it will be the first step towards an industry standard....

Ethical business oath goes global with UN backing - news

A Hippocratic-style oath for business managers is to go global after being backed by the United Nations Global Compact. The oath, which has been designed as a ‘guiding compass’...

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...

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...

The recipe for success: board-level champions - news

New guidance on how to embed corporate responsibility throughout an organization has stressed the importance of having CSR subcommittees and ‘board-level champions’ to underpin such...

School for buyers launched - news

Training courses in ethical purchasing have been introduced by the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) to help companies’ individual employees with buying decisions and practices. The...

Carlson puts training at heart of new CSR drive - news

All employees at one of the world’s largest hotel groups are to undergo compulsory corporate social responsibility training of two and half hours, starting this year. Carlson Hotels,...

Nestle bows to pressure on rainforest products - news

Nestle is to stop using products from sources that contribute to rainforest destruction, after a campaign against its use of palm oil linked to deforestation. The food giant will identify...

Accounting body calls for greater transparency - news

Proposed new requirements for the global extractive industry have suggested that companies should disclose key financial information country by country for transparency purposes – but stop...

NGOs get own guidelines - news

Non-governmental organizations have been given a specific version of the Global Reporting Initiative’s sustainability reporting guidelines. Although some NGOs already use the main GRI...

Having more data is great, but can we trust the figures? - news

Esther Rodriguez argues that carbon reporting is seriously undermined by a lack of assurance There’s no denying that carbon reporting is now an important element of sustainability...

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...

Advising on SRI change and growing complexity - news

Pension fund advisor Towers Watson has stepped into the breach created by some of the structural shifts occurring in responsible investing. Mike Scott speaks to Emma Hunt, head of sustainable...

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...

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...

inbrief - news

Farmers from Brazil, Vietnam and elsewhere have sold record volumes of sustainably sourced coffee under the Utz Certified sustainability scheme. More than 32,000 tons were purchased by coffee...

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EP subscribers are invited to take part in our online readers’ survey, which should take five minutes to complete.  

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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

Sedex, the ethical business membership organization, has appointed Carmel Giblin as its new general manager. Giblin, who joins from BSkyB, where she was head of CSR, will lead the group’s...

Compact offenders are given one-year reprieve - news

Developing world companies that fail to report properly on their adherence to the United Nations Global Compact principles will escape punishment for 12 months. The Compact board has...

10% have known only CSR - news

This year’s CR Salary Survey has highlighted an emerging phenomenon – a generation of corporate responsibility professionals who have only ever worked in the field. The...

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...

Puma unveils ambitious five-year plan - news

Puma has set out targets to cut carbon emissions, energy, water and waste by a quarter over the next five years via a packaging and distribution overhaul. By reducing the use of traditional...

Beware futile gestures, says campaigner - news

A prominent British environmental activist has warned companies to be wary of ‘green hopefuls’ who encourage them to make eye-catching but essentially futile corporate gestures....

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...

Human rights principles suffer from ten-year itch - news

Adherents to the business-focused Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights have celebrated the tenth anniversary of their foundation by agreeing a ‘vision statement’...

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...

Miners get Fairtrade mark - news

The first certification system for artisanal gold mining has been created by the Fairtrade Foundation and the Alliance for Responsible Mining (ARM) in an attempt to impose some order on...

ISO 26000 is almost there - news

The draft ISO 26000 social responsibility standard has overcome its last big obstacle, and is set to be published this year as planned. The document has been approved by a vote of...

Communicators must take a more engaging approach - news

Non-financial reports are virtually useless if no one actually reads them, says Simon Hodgson What if you gave a party and no-one came? You’ve cooked all day, laid the table,...

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...

Ethical marketing and the new consumer - news

Chris Arnold. Wiley. 272 pages. Hardback. £14.99. As a marketing professional, Chris Arnold has delivered both ethical and traditional marketing campaigns.  His book therefore...

inbrief - news

Technology giant Intel is to create a board committee on sustainability after a shareholder resolution. The company announced its decision after talks with Harrington Investments, a niche SRI...

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...

inbrief - news

Draft reporting advice drawn up by the Global Reporting Initiative for the oil and gas industry is now open for public comment. The consultation period ends on 2 June.

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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...

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Sustainability consultancy Two Tomorrows has announced a partnership with the environmental data company Trucost. Under the deal, Two Tomorrows clients will receive Trucost data on their direct...

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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

The United Nations should establish a permanent advisory office on human rights and business, the UN special representative on the subject has said. In a progress report to the UN Human Rights...

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Zoe Knight, Merrill Lynch’s senior SRI research director, has joined Absolute Strategy Research, an investment research provider to investors, as a consultant.

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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...

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Helen Ford took over as corporate responsibility director at the clothing group Pentland Brands last month, replacing Lesley Roberts, who has left to pursue other interests. Ford previously...

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...

Big firms adopt new voice - news

Large mainstream companies are beginning to use the bright and breezy language of ‘alternative’ businesses when talking about their corporate responsibility programmes, reports a...

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,...

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...

Just two nations pass the EITI’s latest test - news

Only two countries met last month’s deadline for external verification of their progress on transparency under the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI). The two-year...

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...

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...

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...

Agribusiness firms are over-reliant on auditing - news

Companies involved in agribusiness have been told to stop relying on audit results for ‘off-site issues’ in managing their supply chains. A paper on increasing the contribution...

Investor takes SRI into new territory - news

One of the world’s largest asset managers is merging its sustainable investment and emerging market equities services. F&C, which operates in 14 countries, will establish an...

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...

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...

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...

NGOs to get their own reporting requirements - news

Non-governmental organizations will shortly be given their own version of the Global Reporting Initiative guidelines on sustainability reporting. A draft NGO supplement to the guidelines...

Delta and Virgin are best airlines of a ‘sorry’ bunch - news

Delta Airlines has been ranked top of a recycling league of the world’s largest airline businesses, against the background of an industry in a ‘sorry state’ on the issue....

Walmart targets emissions - news

Walmart has announced a plan to eliminate 20 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions from its global supply chain by 2015 – one and a half times its estimated carbon footprint growth...

We must make the business case – even if it’s a messy, tiresome task - news

John Elkington has been working with distinction in the corporate responsibility field for so long that he’s perhaps entitled to feel a little jaded with the continuing debate about how to...

New technique is useful, but needs careful handling - news

Rory Sullivan warns that ‘enhanced analysis’ is no panacea in the responsible investment field I’ve recently become involved in Oxfam’s Better Returns in a...

A short guide to reputational risk - news

Garry Honey. Paperback. 120 pages. Gower Press. £25/$50. This is precise, explicit and jargon-free – no small compliment for a book dealing with a field that, as its author...

inbrief - news

Whitbread, the UK’s largest hotel and restaurant company, has joined the International Tourism Partnership. It says it has signed up with the body, an association of companies founded in...

inbrief - news

Ben & Jerry’s, the ice cream company, is to have all its products certified as fair trade, after having overcome resistance from parent group Unilever. Ben & Jerry’s,...

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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

Two of the world’s biggest fair trade organizations are to collaborate on improving working conditions and sustainability in the tea industry. The Ethical Tea Partnership (ETP) and the...

inbrief - news

Adrian Hodges has joined GlaxoSmithKline as head of corporate responsibility and community partnerships. Hodges, who spent 12 years at the International Business Leaders’ Forum, replaces...

Code of conduct sets out rules for CSR profession - news

The first ever code of conduct for corporate responsibility practitioners was unveiled last month. The voluntary code, which can be used by CSR professionals across the globe, has been...

Law partners put ethics first - news

New ethical procedures at a global law firm have led to an increase in the number of partners discussing reputational issues before taking on new business. UK-based Linklaters says the rise...

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...

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...

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...

AA1000 revampers named - news

The heads of CSR at a lottery operator and an Australian bank have been drafted on to a technical committee that will oversee a remake of the most commonly used standard on stakeholder...

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...

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...

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....

Progress on ethical gold is tarnished by laggards - news

US jewellery retailers are making progress on the ethical-sourcing of gold – but a number of laggards still remain. A new report on the gold retailing sector from the Washington...

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....

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...

BBVA boosts CSR team to 60 - news

Spanish bank BBVA has bucked the recessionary trend by appointing six new corporate responsibility practitioners across its operations. While some companies have cut back on CSR staff over...

This code of conduct is a good start, but it needs more clarity all round - news

Publication of a code of conduct for CSR practitioners (see page one) should be cause for celebration. Certainly it ought to be seen as a pioneering effort to set standards for a profession that...

Lawyers urge OECD changes - news

A global lawyers' organization has said the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development should put new advice on ethical supply chain management, human rights and climate change...

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...

Sustainable event management - news

Meegan Jones. Earthscan. 384 pages. Paperback. £29.95. What does ‘event’ mean to you? Trade show? Exhibition? Conference? Convention? Festival? If the latter, then...

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Shell Nigeria and the US-based vehicle manufacturer Visteon are among 859 companies recently de-listed from the United Nations Global Compact for failing to communicate on their progress. The...

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The annual Greenpeace Public Eye award for irresponsible corporate behaviour has gone to the Royal Bank of Canada for its financing of companies involved in oil sands, while Roche won the Swiss...

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Three companies have recently joined the International Council on Mining and Metals, a chief executive-led industry group that tackles social and environmental issues in mining. They are:...

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A labelling system that will help consumers to discover the social and environmental impact of electronics products is being devised by a retailers’ and manufacturers’ group....

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The Hedge Fund Standards Board (HFSB) has appointed two new investor representatives to its board. Two of the biggest international hedge fund investors, New Holland Capital and the Future Fund,...

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An ethical sourcing consultancy has created an international online referencing service for labour laws and employment standards. US-based STR Responsible Sourcing will provide full-text English...

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...

IT sector sets bold target - news

A consortium of information technology companies has launched an ambitious bid to make communications networks 1000 times more energy-efficient. The businesses, which include AT&T,...

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...

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...

Primark escapes censure as ETI offers its support - news

The Ethical Trading Initiative has decided after a year-long investigation not to take action against the clothing retailer Primark over allegations of workers’ rights abuses at some of...

60 firms test new standards - news

Two new greenhouse gas standards are being tested by 60 corporations to measure the emissions of their products and their supply chains. The Product Life Cycle and the Scope 3 Corporate...

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...

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...

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)....

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...

Bank crisis has hit trust in all firms - news

Banking failures have severely dented trust in all British business – especially among younger people, says an Ipsos Mori poll.   The survey found the proportion of 16 – 34...

Kraft may have good intentions, but its buyout raises questions - news

Will Kraft’s takeover of Cadbury damage the British company’s corporate responsibility profile? Who can be sure?   It would be naive to accept Kraft’s early assurances...

Facts and figures will never tell the whole story - news

We must go beyond classic reporting rules when dealing with sustainability, argues Beckie Herbert ‘Tell me a story’ – the phrase conjures up thoughts of wizards and...

The top 50 sustainability books - news

Wayne Visser. Greenleaf Publishing. 256 pages. Paperback. £25/$45. This is not only an excellent idea but, more importantly, well executed. Taking the 50 best books on...

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The first SRI index covering companies in the Middle East and North Africa is to be set up this year by Standard & Poor’s. Criteria will be developed with input from a Dubai-based...

inbrief - news

Almost three-quarters of corporate executives say their company has not developed a clear business case for sustainability. A global study by The Boston Consulting Group found just over 70 per...

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The world’s sixth-largest law firm is to allow its most senior lawyers to work part-time to encourage more women into such roles. The London-based Allen & Overy has previously regarded...

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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...

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...

Nokia stands out - news

Nokia, Samsung and Sony Ericsson have been named as the ‘greenest’ electronics firms in a Greenpeace index. The companies were rated the most responsible on the basis of toxics...

Swedes back HER project - news

The Swedish government has stepped in with $1million to expand a global corporate programme that helps factories in the developing world provide healthcare advice and facilities for female...

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...

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...

Chemicals sector criticised for making little progress - news

Sustainability performance is ‘at a standstill’ in the chemicals industry despite technological advances, says an investment research provider. In a sectoral analysis assessing...

Utilities must work harder - news

Utilities companies are failing to translate their CSR policies into responsible practice, and most businesses in the sector are neglecting even to set targets for the majority of their main...

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...

Gucci pledges to avoid deforestation - news

One of the world’s largest luxury fashion companies has dropped a controversial supplier in a bid to eliminate all paper made from Indonesian rainforests. Gucci Group has joined...

UN links contracts to Compact support - news

Businesses that fail to commit to the Global Compact could find themselves frozen out of contracts and partnerships with the United Nations. Revised guidelines on co-operation between the...

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...

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...

The way forward: integration, foresight, and a path to the top - news

As we enter a new decade, our thoughts turn to how the CSR profession ought to develop over the next ten years and where we should be in 2019. The ‘Noughties’ have been an...

Don’t ignore the power of the board outsiders - news

Non-executive directors can play a crucial role in setting the ethical agenda, argues Danielle Cohen Company training can instil good behaviour in employees, but if corporate culture...

Ethics in public relations - news

Patricia Parsons. Kogan Page.  187 pages. Paperback. £19.95 Working in the world of public relations opens your eyes to both the power of communications and the daily ethical...

Building a sustainable property sector - news

As huge carbon emitters with a low stock turnover, those who manage buildings face challenges that are underestimated by investors. Mike Scott talks to Paul McNamara of Prupim about the future...

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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 website of utilities firm Centrica has come out top in an audit of CSR communications among the FTSE 100’s 30 largest firms. The site won the UK CSR Online Awards, based on research by...

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You can now follow Ethical Performance on Twitter, which will provide updates on stories, EP activities and other interesting CSR snippets.

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Government officials and senior business executives from around the British Commonwealth have issued a communique stressing the importance of corporate responsibility. The document, issued at...

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A global food sector body has published voluntary guidelines for food and drink companies on communicating portion sizes. The guidelines, from the 700-member IGD, are designed to help people eat...

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Readers may notice a new, space-saving style of ‘further information’ point at the end of EP articles. These web addresses can be used as they are – in other words without an...

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A case brought against Unilever for alleged breaches of the OECD Guidelines on Multinational Enterprises has been closed after a three year investigation. The UK’s National Contact Point...

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All new Coca-Cola vending machines and coolers will be hydrofluorocarbon-free by 2015, the company has said. The move will reduce the equipment’s direct greenhouse gas emissions by 99 per...

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Control Risks, the global business risk consultancy, has bought Social Risks, a two-year-old US-based risk management consulting firm. As a result it will be setting up a North...

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...

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...

Abbott saves 5 billion gallons - news

A multinational healthcare company has saved a billion gallons of water annually since introducing a programme to reduce water use five years ago. US-based Abbott says it has reached its...

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...

All change for AA1000SES - news

The most commonly used standard on stakeholder engagement is to be revamped and republished next year. Consultations on changes to the AA1000 Stakeholder Engagement Standard, known as...

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...

ETI provides stepping stone for newcomers - news

The Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) is to offer a lower level ‘foundation membership’ to companies that are new to the ethical trading sphere.   ETI will support...

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...

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...

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...

The corporate world must be ready to accentuate the negative - news

Sometimes what you leave out says more than what you put in. So it is with sustainability reports. A new analysis commissioned by the Global Reporting Initiative, the steward of the most...

Lack of reporting subtlety is starting to cost the earth - news

Craig Mackenzie argues that for comparable climate change data we need more detail, not less Over the last 15 years the CSR community has built a large international sustainability...

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...

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US-based AIG Investments has announced its withdrawal from formal responsible investment activities by closing its Sustainable Investment Group. Last month AIG sold the investment business to...

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The Schulich School of Business at Toronto’s York University has been named as the provider of the world’s best MBA programme on CSR issues. In an index published every two years by...

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You can now follow Ethical Performance on Twitter, which will provide updates on stories, EP activities and other interesting CSR snippets.

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Tips on responsible marketing practices have been issued by the Institute of Business Ethics (IBE). Marketing Responsibly looks at topics such as marketing to children and promoting...

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The latest issue of Ethical Performance Best Practice , which features case studies of responsible business practice, can be seen online. Every case study is available in pdf format.

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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...

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...

GRI steps up diversity plea - news

Companies have been urged to ask their suppliers for more information on diversity performance, and to consider submitting such data to third-party audits. New guidance from the...

Food giant paves way for higher pay in the fields - news

The world’s largest catering business has become the latest company to agree new labour standards with Florida’s tomato pickers in a deal that could increase wages by two-thirds....

Wealth funds ignoring their own principles - news

The world’s largest sovereign wealth funds (SWFs) have been accused of failing on CSR principles agreed one year ago. The most important signatories to the Santiago Principles, a...

Privacy guidelines set for use in wider spheres - news

Guidelines on freedom of expression and privacy issues for internet companies could be modified to a wider selection of technology businesses. The guidance, from the Global Network...

UN puts focus on tax issues - news

The importance of tax avoidance as a CSR issue moved up a notch last month with a decision by the United Nations Business and Human Rights Resource Centre to dedicate a section of its website to...

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UK broadcaster Sky has signed a three-year agreement with WWF to preserve trees in the Amazon rainforest. Sky Rainforest Rescue is aimed at protecting three million hectares in Brazil,...

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Hewlett-Packard has won the annual Clarion Award from the International Visual Communications Association for its Global Citizenship 2008 report and the communications plan built around it.

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Multinational insurance company Aviva has made Marie Sigsworth its corporate responsibility director. Sigsworth, an internal appointment, will run diversity, environmental performance and...

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Matthew Kiernan is to leave the CSR consultancy RiskMetrics, eight months after the company acquired Innovest, which Kiernan founded and managed. When Innovest was taken over Kiernan became...

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Citizen journalism on the web is becoming increasingly important to CSR reputations, says a new report on corporate responsibility and the media. The study, by David Grayson of the Doughty...

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Investment consultants who advise charities often dissuade them from investing ethically, according to new research from Ethical Investment Research Services. Eiris found that less than...

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Technology company Hewlett-Packard has introduced a Facebook application encouraging students to take social and environmental responsibility into consideration as they enter professional life....

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An appeal court in the US has dismissed a lawsuit against the North American energy firm Talisman over allegations of human rights abuses in Sudan. Residents of an area in southern Sudan had...

The Dark Side: critical cases on the downside of business - news

Emmanuel Raufflet and Albert J Mills (eds). Greenleaf.  294 pages. Hardback. £24.95 CSR dominates the landscape of thinking about business and society, and in this landscape...

Let’s end our subordination to endless profit and growth - news

We can no longer assume unfettered capitalism is for the public good. Change is needed, says David Loy Despite all its benefits, our economic system institutionalizes greed in at least...

Corporate world needs to act now, regardless of Copenhagen 2009 - news

There are clearly hopes in business circles that next month’s United Nations climate change conference in Copenhagen will provide the catalyst for companies to cut their greenhouse gas...

Insurance principles floated - news

Work could soon begin on United Nations-backed ‘principles for sustainable insurance’ created for the global insurance industry. The idea for the principles has been floated by...

New ratings will place spotlight on all sectors - news

New CSR ratings for industry sectors are to be published six times a year by the sustainability consultancy Two Tomorrows. The consultancy’s Value Ratings will benchmark companies on...

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...

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...

Kimberly-Clark signs up with former tormentors - news

An unusual alliance has been struck-up between the tissue products giant Kimberly-Clark and Greenpeace, which will see a turnaround on the company’s policies towards the protection of...

inbrief - news

Meagan Thompson-Mann has become special adviser on corporate governance to the United Nations-backed Principles for Responsible Investment Initiative. She has previously worked as corporate...

Ruggie tests complaints idea - news

A pilot to test out grievance procedures on alleged human rights abuses by companies has been set up by the United Nations special representative on business and human rights, John Ruggie....

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...

Circumspect firms may fall victim to ‘greenhush’ - news

Some companies are now so afraid of being accused of greenwash that they are avoiding all communication on sustainability matters, it has been claimed. The new phenomenon –...

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...

Indigenous rights ‘ignored’ - news

More investors should be addressing the business risks associated with indigenous peoples, an investment research consultancy has concluded. UK-based Ethical Investment Research Service...

Property is given SRI focus - news

An SRI strategy on commercial and residential property, including carbon emission cuts, has been announced by one of the world’s largest asset management companies. Henderson Global,...

Yes, let’s have a professional code – but it needs teeth from the outset - news

One of the issues raised by the bizarre unfair dismissal case brought by CSR practitioner Tim Nicholson against his former employers (see page one), is whether a code of practice for the...

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...

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...

50 lessons on corporate responsibility and sustainability - news

Doughty Centre/50 Lessons. www.50lessons.com/collections This set of short films offers the opinions and experiences of academics, business executives and practitioners on various...

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High school students from Germany and the US have attended a two-week ‘summer sustainability camp’, funded by Germany-based chemicals company Bayer. The camp, held in Pittsburgh, was...

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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...

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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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BT, IBM and Dow Chemicals have been named the world’s most gay-friendly corporations in inaugural rankings produced by the Copenhagen-based International Gay and Lesbian Chamber of...

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Mike Wallace is to join the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) as director of the Sustainability Reporting Framework. Wallace was previously at the ERM consultancy and Business for Social...

Security sector to work on code - news

Three major private security industry associations have agreed to help develop an international code of conduct for private military security companies. The Pan-African Security...

Business is 39 years shy of climate targets - news

The world’s largest companies will reach recommended levels of greenhouse gas cuts 39 years too late to avoid dangerous climate change, according to the Carbon Disclosure Project. The...

CSR heads require nous, not technical knowledge - news

The ideal head of corporate responsibility must have excellent communication and networking skills, the ability to influence people, a certain gravitas and plenty of commercial acumen –...

Walmart unveils plan for social labels on goods - news

The world’s largest retailer has announced plans to develop a sustainability labelling system for all the products it sells. Walmart is undecided what form the labelling will take,...

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...

ISO2600 makes progress towards 2010 launch date - news

Work on the development of an ISO standard on social responsibility will move another key step forward next month with the publication of an international draft version. The emergence of...

UN shows displeasure with five PRI backsliders - news

Five signatories to the United Nations-backed Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) have been de-listed for not complying with its annual reporting and assessment process. The...

Compact heals rift with ISO - news

A disagreement between the United Nations and the body drawing up the new ISO standard on social responsibility has been patched up after diplomatic maneouvering. The spat arose when the UN...

Charities are adopting SRI - news

More than half of large British charities now have an ethical investment policy, according to a new survey. The study of 164 organizations indicated that 60 per cent of charities with...

Getting to grips with executive pay: a litmus test for the CSR profession - news

Many people were caught with their pants down when the global financial crisis erupted a year ago – and CSR practitioners were among them. A key role of a corporate responsibility...

Good communication means both listening and learning - news

Business must talk to stakeholders in the forums they choose – and hear what they say, argues Ben Richards Over the past decade we’ve changed the way we communicate. The...

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...

Investment opportunities for a low carbon world - news

Will Oulton (ed). Hardback. 365 pages. GMB. £35.63 Based on the premise that much of the movement towards a low carbon world will need to be driven by investors, this...

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...

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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...

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A project to establish health watchdogs near uranium mining sites has been started by the French mining group Areva. An agreement between the company, non-governmental organization Sherpa and...

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The Ethical Tea Partnership has announced that it will no longer monitor tea estates that have achieved Rainforest Alliance, Fairtrade or UTZ certification. The partnership hopes co-operation...

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A family of 16 indices, including the Domini 400 Social Index, is  to be rebranded as a result of a partnership between KLD Research and Analytics and FTSE Group. All indices developed by...

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Manoelle Lepoutre has been appointed executive vice-president of sustainable development and the environment for Total. She was previously vice-president of research and development at Total...

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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...

Guest Column: Are sustainable products more saleable? - news

The jury may still be out but companies are seeking more rigorous sustainability information and more effective customer dialogue to support the sales process, says Simon Aumonier, ERM’s...

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...

Compact snubs ISO 26000 draft - news

The United Nations has asked that all mention of the Global Compact be removed from ISO 26000, the forthcoming international CSR standard. The UN says the Compact has not been referenced in the...

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...

Merger of SRI institutions needs careful managing - news

The UN’s takeover of the Enhanced Analytics Initiative raises many issues, says Steve Waygood As you may have read in EP at the back end of last year, the Enhanced Analytics...

Chiquita goes for ethical pineapples - news

Chiquita has announced that all its pineapples will soon become Rainforest Alliance-certified. The fruit multinational, which sources pineapples from Panama and Costa Rica, will certify 90...

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Melissa McDonald has been appointed global head of responsible investment at Axa, succeeding Raj Thamotheram, who assumes a new part-time role as senior responsible investment adviser. McDonald...

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...

Food firms fortify products - news

A number of food companies are to collaborate on providing products fortified with vitamins and other nutrients for developing countries. Businesses including Unilever, PepsiCo, and the...

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...

Elements of ethics for professionals - news

W. Brad Johnson and Charles R. Ridley. 200 pages. Palgrave Macmillan. £12.99. The publishers say this book is a must-have for ‘business leaders striving to create an ethical...

Boycott sets sights on secondary, not primary, targets - news

A new boycott campaign on the extraction of oil sands is homing in on companies that are only indirectly related to the business. The Ethical Consumer Research Association is urging...

CSR reporting often of ‘no use’ says professor - news

Information in most large companies’ CSR reports is virtually useless, a business management academic has argued. In a stinging attack, Graham Hubbard, professor of strategic...

‘Forest disclosure’ is next on the agenda - news

A project has been set up to help investors understand the financial hazards of deforestation. The Forest Footprint Disclosure Project (FFD) is modelled on the Carbon Disclosure Project,...

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,...

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...

Firms’ sustainability information moves a step closer to home - news

Corporate responsibility data is now only a couple of mouse clicks away from most large companies’ home pages. New research by the consultancy Radley Yeldar shows that a third of...

Caution on data ‘hot air’ - news

The current emphasis on reporting and product labelling in the management of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions may be diverting companies’ attention from actually doing things to tackle...

FTSE4Good prepares health & safety criteria - news

One of the world’s main socially responsible investment indices is to introduce criteria on health and safety that companies will have to meet for inclusion. The new health and safety...

Seafood will get ethical label - news

A certification programme for responsible seafood farming is to be offered to businesses across the world.   The Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC), founded by the World Wildlife...

Rio Tinto wins plaudits for transparency - news

Mining multinational Rio Tinto has become the subject of rare praise by a transparency organization for its voluntary disclosure of tax and royalty payments made to 13 of the countries where it...

CSR managers warned: don’t preach to the board - news

CSR practitioners have been warned against becoming too evangelical when talking to board members about corporate responsibility. Arnaud Cohen Stuart, ING Group’s business ethics...

Forum to oversee ethical behaviour of wealth funds - news

A permanent global forum has been set up to monitor a new voluntary code of conduct for sovereign wealth funds (SWFs). The International Forum on Sovereign Wealth Funds, established at a...

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...

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...

Executive pay: a battle for hearts as well as minds - news

Mike Scott talks to Tom Powdrill of investor advisor PIRC, which wants an overhaul not just of the rules on executive remuneration but of the way that investors – especially trustees...

Stakeholder politics - news

Robert Boutilier. Greenleaf. 248 pages. Hardback. £24.95 At last, a book that gets to the heart of stakeholder issues: the dynamics of power. At least that’s what I expected...

inbrief - news

Sports clothing company Puma has become the first member of the Global Reporting Initiative’s Global Network for Transparency in the Supply Chain. Through Puma’s membership of the...

inbrief - news

Younger employees are less likely to take an ethical approach in the workplace than older ones, a poll has shown. The Ipsos Mori survey of 791 UK employees, carried out on behalf of the...

inbrief - news

Transparency and sustainability guidelines for electricity providers have been published by the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI). The document is the latest addition to the GRI’s specific...

inbrief - news

A searchable directory of CSR programmes developed by companies worldwide has been launched on a website called CSR-pedia, which also lists recent corporate social responsibility awards.

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Two Tomorrows has been appointed to work on new projects in the US and Asia, extending the sustainability consultancy’s global reach. It will help Atlantic LNG, the world’s fifth...

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John Ruggie, the United Nations special representative on business and human rights, is to look into the feasibility of developing guidance on ‘responsible contracting’ for...

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Global business consultancy Logica is offering a new information technology package for companies to assess and report on their social and environmental impacts. The Sustainability Indicator...

inbrief - news

Anji Hunter is to take over the CSR brief at Anglo American in August as successor to Edward Bickham. Hunter, who was previously at BP as director of communications, joined Anglo American on 1...

inbrief - news

Gavin Morris has been appointed managing director with responsibility for engagement at Governance for Owners, a partnership offering help on shareholder activism to investor clients. Morris was...

Global Compact agrees further rule-tightening - news

Signatories to the United Nations Global Compact will soon have to meet more stringent standards just announced by its board. From 1 July new business participants will be given one year,...

EP: from humble past to news-filled present - news

In this ‘basement’ slot of Ethical Performance ten years ago, the late Alistair Townley set out his aims as EP ’s publisher. That first issue, May 1999, promised...

Blog goes live - news

Henderson Global Investors has launched a sustainable and responsible investment blog, in which members of its socially responsible investment team will share their views with readers. 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...

WWF backs FSC logo as critics begin to circle - news

A leading environmental group has reaffirmed its backing for the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) amid a growing debate about whether the body’s timber certification scheme is still...

Coalitions need NGO partners to shape up - news

Non-governmental organizations have been urged to alter the way they operate so they can work better in cross-sector partnerships. A new study from the global management consultancy...

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...

Tobacco firm pledges to tackle field worker sickness - news

The cigarette company Philip Morris International is taking steps to counter a condition called green tobacco sickness, which affects workers in supplier tobacco fields. The...

Joe Public gets say in new online rankings - news

A new online ratings system will assess companies’ ethical performance using a combination of expert analysis and the views of the public. The consumer-focused Scryve website gives...

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...

From navel-gazing to real action: it’s been a decade of great strides - news

It is ten years to the month that Ethical Performance first saw the light of day. That’s not long ago in the general scheme of things, but it can be considered a lifetime in the world of...

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...

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...

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...

inbrief - news

Mobile phone companies Telefonica and Nokia have signed an agreement to bring educational material to remote schools in Latin America by using mobile technology. The partnership will build on...

inbrief - news

Vodafone has again been judged the world’s best corporate responsibility reporter by report-readers. The mobile phone company has taken the second annual Corporate Register Reporting...

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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...

inbrief - news

The Global Reporting Initiative has introduced new sustainability reporting guidelines for electricity providers. The document is the latest of GRI’s sector supplements, following...

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Sue Chan has joined RCM, an equity investment management company that is part of Allianz Global Investors, as a senior portfolio manager with responsibility for sustainability. She was...

Leaders to go abroad for corporate peace of mind - news

Two hundred of IBM’s ‘future leaders’ from nearly 40 countries will participate in projects in emerging markets this year as part of the company’s Corporate Service Corps...

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...

Food sector CSR feels the pinch - news

The global recession has pushed corporate responsibility down the priority list of the food industry. A survey of 600 decision-makers in the in 54 countries shows that CSR, placed at number...

Major airlines push for emissions targets - news

The aviation industry’s carbon dioxide emissions must top the agenda at this year’s meeting of governments on climate change, a group of leading airlines has said. The Aviation...

Sponsors begin to favour grass roots over the elite - news

Companies are increasingly putting chunks of their sponsorship budgets into projects that are community-based, reports a specialist consultancy. Montreal-based Sponsorium International,...

The Elk: world’s leading CSR thinker - news

John Elkington has emerged in a new poll as the world’s number one corporate responsibility ‘thought leader’. Elkington, founder of the SustainAbility consultancy and...

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...

Third world companies match western peers - news

Some third world businesses now match their counterparts in developed countries on environmental matters such as climate change, but still lag far behind on human rights and other social issues,...

GRI calls for tougher regimes on reporting - news

The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) has issued a strongly worded statement arguing that a lack of corporate transparency has contributed substantially to the worldwide recession. Its...

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...

ISA supports vaccination - news

An unusual ethical investment vehicle to support vaccination programmes worldwide has been set up by HSBC. The bank’s new ethical individual savings account (ISA) aims to raise...

Can you be sure you won’t go the way of the banks? - news

The ethical recklessness of the financial sector has lessons for all people in business, says Danielle Cohen The recent revelations of former HBOS head of regulatory risk Paul Moore that...

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...

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...

Just good business - news

Kellie A. McElhaney. Paperback. 272 pages. Berrett-Koehler £14.44/ $29.95 This do-it-yourself offering on corporate responsibility and branding works well as an easy introduction...

inbrief - news

Five CSR briefing papers for accountants are being produced by a leading global accountancy organization. The guides, covering areas such as reporting and social auditing, are to be published by...

inbrief - news

Two more companies have joined the Eco-Patent Commons, a business effort co-ordinated by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development to protect the environment by pledging...

inbrief - news

PricewaterhouseCoopers has recruited Mark Schofield to lead its global sustainability and climate change tax network as part of its global strategy of bringing together tax and human resources...

inbrief - news

Gwen Ruta has been appointed to Henderson’s Global Investors’ Socially Responsible Investment Advisory Committee. Ruta is the corporate partnerships vice-president at US charity...

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...

Coalitions ‘are way forward’ for pro-poor ideas - news

Companies trying to implement ‘bottom of the pyramid’ schemes should pool their efforts, not work in isolation, the Ashridge business school has said. An Ashridge report says...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Private equity giants sign up to code - news

Some of the world’s best-known private equity companies have agreed responsible investment guidelines. The companies, all members of the US-based Private Equity Council (PEC), will...

Oil and gas sector starts work on GRI guidance - news

Five multinational oil groups are to work with the Global Reporting Initiative to produce sustainability reporting guidelines for oil and gas companies. Amerada Hess, BP, ENI, Shell and...

‘Black holes’ undermine supply chain progress - news

Many manufacturing and retail companies still have huge gaps in their ethical supply chain management programmes, according to a leading global asset management firm. F&C...

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...

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...

Don’t make staff redundant – lend them out to society - news

Secondment programmes can be a useful corporate tool in a recession, say Matthew Farmer and Ed Williams At a time when major companies are announcing redundancies and the jobless toll is...

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...

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...

Sustainable investing: the art of long-term performance - news

Cary Krosinsky & Nick Robins (Eds). Hardback. 272 pages. Earthscan. £19.99 Although it was largely written before the recent market turmoil, this is a most useful book, summarizing...

inbrief - news

British Airways has pledged to halve its net carbon dioxide emissions by 2050. The target, which BA claims is the most ambitious set by an airline, is to be achieved through various measures,...

inbrief - news

Healthcare multinational Baxter has updated its code of conduct to make it more user-friendly with a question and answer section, guides on making ethical decisions and links to further...

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GoodCorporation has introduced an online assessment procedure applicable to small organizations. The assessment is for companies with fewer than 50 employees and takes less than four weeks....

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Heidelberg Cement, the German building materials company, has published guidelines for promoting biodiversity at its mineral extraction sites. The guidelines are intended to establish uniform...

inbrief - news

A total of 403 companies were de-listed by the United Nations Global Compact last year for failing to submit ‘communications on progress’ (COPs) detailing their efforts to observe...

inbrief - news

The CSR Professional Services Directory 2009, published by Ethical Performance and sponsored by Achilles, is now online.  

inbrief - news

Impactt consultancy, which advises companies on labour standards in their supply chains, will open an office covering the Middle East and North Africa next month. The office, in Dubai, will be...

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...

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...

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,...

Multinationals pledge to be ethical leaders - news

Seventeen companies with a combined turnover of $1trillion (£737billion) have become founder members of a new body on business ethics. Firms that join the US-based Business Ethics...

Finance sector gets advice on global warming - news

A group of international financial institutions has combined with the environmental organization The Climate Group to produce guidance for the finance sector on dealing with climate change....

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....

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...

Clinton initiative reined in - news

The activities of the Clinton Global Initiative, which supports companies in making new corporate responsibility commitments, have been restricted after last month’s appointment of Hillary...

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...

To make real progress we need better leaders - news

Technology can help us transform the world, but commitment is lacking at the top, says Mark Lee Not so long ago I was at the miraculous green space that is The Eden Project – an...

‘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...

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...

Making sustainability work - news

Marc J. Epstein. Hardback. 288 pages. Greenleaf. £17.50 In his foreword, John Elkington draws parallels between this book and Robert Pirsig’s Zen and the art of motorcycle...

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 –...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Huge deal aims to change face of security industry - news

The world’s second largest private employer has signed an Ethical Employment Partnership with the biggest international grouping of trade unions. The security company G4S, which...

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...

Internet giants sign up to fight online censorship - news

Google, Microsoft and Yahoo have signed up to principles whereby they agree to offer better protection for online freedom of speech. The voluntary Global Network Initiative principles,...

Sodexo pleases investors with group-wide policy - news

The facilities management multinational Sodexo has adopted a group-wide human rights policy after an investors’ engagement campaign. The Paris-based company, which has 342,000...

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...

Silence on ownership structure ‘hampers CSR debate’ - news

A call has been made for more debate about how company ownership structures should be changed to encourage responsible business practices. Members of a panel at the recent annual Business...

22 OECD cases in pipeline - news

More than 20 alleged breaches of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) guidelines for multinational corporations are being investigated by governments around the...

Wal-Mart is most improved - news

Wal-Mart made the best progress on corporate responsibility issues in the retail industry last year, according the annual industry report from the Geneva-based reputational research company...

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...

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...

Recommended actions to foster the adoption of CSR practices in SMEs - news

Carlo Cici & Federica Ranghieri. Free download. Inter-American Development Bank. www.iadb.org Since wading into Latin America’s corporate responsibility arena some six years...

2009: a year to keep our collective resolve - news

The next 12 months are not likely to be easy for anyone. EP asked a selection of people in the CSR world for some new year’s resolutions in the troubled times ahead. Anthony Perret,...

inbrief - news

British corporate responsibility recruitment consultancy Ruston Wheb has joined forces with Hobbs & Towne, a North American business in the same field. The companies have entered a...

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...

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Richard Adkerson, chief executive of mining group Freeport-McMoRan, has been appointed chairman of the International Council on Mining and Metals, which advises on the sustainability of the...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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....

Call for new ethical label to cover third world - news

Companies should be offered a new way of labelling ‘ethical’ goods that benefit people in the developing world, a think tank has recommended. The London-based Overseas...

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...

Tribute: ‘dedicated, authentic, generous and engaging’ - news

More than 350 tributes were sent to EP in the few days after its founder Alistair Townley’s death. Here, just a few of them give a sense of the affection and respect he inspired...

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...

CSR should be ‘weaved in’ - news

Companies have been urged to think more about using existing communication channels to get corporate responsibility messages to employees, rather than looking for special ways to do so....

Corporate social responsibility: readings and cases in a global context - news

A Crane, D Matten, L Spence (eds) Paperback. 544 pages. Routledge. £32.50. This collection of essays  drawn together under three headings (‘understanding’,...

Why SRI could be propelled into the spotlight - news

Mike Scott talks to pioneering ethical investment advocate Peter Kinder about his belief that the current financial turbulence could teach mainstream investors the wisdom of long-term thinking...

inbrief - news

A new website run by eBay will sell ‘ethical products’ such as clothing and beauty goods sourced mainly from developing countries. Suppliers will be independently audited by a group...

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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...

CSR executives put brave face on the financial crisis - news

The consequences for corporate responsibility of an impending recession remain unclear, but many in the field are taking an optimistic view as business begins to grapple with redundancies and...

Business leaders assist Ruggie with his ongoing deliberations - news

A leadership group has been set up by the United Nations to advise John Ruggie, its special representative for business and human rights. The 15-strong body will include former United...

iPod lure reels in readers - news

A global bank is testing some novel ways to increase readership of its annual sustainability review, including a prize draw for staff to win iPod players. Standard Chartered, with 75,000...

Firms urged to strengthen their rights reporting - news

Three organizations with links to the United Nations are making efforts to encourage more in-depth coverage of human rights in sustainability reports. The project, Human Rights: A Call to...

AA1000 takes on a new, more detailed, look - news

A new version of the AA1000 Assurance Standard was unveiled last month. The standard, used by assurers as a guide to verifying sustainability reports and by companies to guide their...

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...

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...

Trio accused of failing indigenous people - news

Survival International has picked out Perenco, Samling and Vedanta as three of the worst companies for ‘abusing tribal people’s rights’. The influential non-governmental...

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...

Ethical firms are treading on charities’ toes - news

Charities may soon have to compete with companies for the ethical high ground, a third sector fundraising specialist has said. Alan Clayton, a well-known figure in charity funding, told...

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...

The global financial crisis presents a challenge for CSR practitioners - news

Not the least important among the many issues raised by the turmoil in financial markets is the performance of the executives working in the CSR and sustainability fields. Within the corporate...

Right now, business needs more walk and less talk - news

The financial crisis has shown that reporting is no substitute for firm action on ethics, says Leo Martin The rise and rise of corporate responsibility reports might make the casual...

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,...

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...

inbrief - news

International law firm DLA Piper staged a month-long campaign during October to encourage sustainable travel among its 8000 employees. The Travelsmart campaign urged partners and staff in its 65...

inbrief - news

A CSR management standard used in the Spanish-speaking world has been given a facelift. The SGE 21 Standard, first introduced in October 2000, has been updated to reflect new requirements on...

inbrief - news

An online network of academics dedicated to the advancement of responsible investment has been set up by the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment Initiative.

‘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...

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...

Failure to sign principles leads to loss of business - news

Three investment management companies have lost contracts to manage £185million ($332m) of global equities because they are not signatories to the United Nations Principles for Responsible...

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...

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...

Bid starts to get suppliers into CSR reporting mode - news

Multinationals are to be urged this month to help small- and medium-sized supplier companies produce their own non-financial reports. The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) will make the...

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...

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

Nili Safavi has become corporate responsibility consultant at DNV, specializing in the assurance and verification of CSR reports.

inbrief - news

An online game has been devised to clarify the problems of ethical supply chain management. The Buying Game, introduced last month by the fair trade company Traidcraft and the Chartered...

The Oxford handbook of corporate social responsibility - news

(eds) A Crane, A McWilliams, D Matten, J Moon, D Siegel. Hardback. 590 pages. Oxford University Press. £80/$150. Practitioners beware: the foundations of this book are deep...

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...

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...

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,...

Danes lead bid to fund ‘practical’ research - news

Investors, company executives, government officials and academics are to meet in the US next month to establish an international fund for sponsoring SRI research. A roundtable of about 30...

Light shines on assurers’ ‘inferior’ double-tasking - news

Consultancies that help companies produce a sustainability report and then provide assurance for it have been criticized for doing so. CorporateRegister.com, which keeps an exhaustive log...

Corporate social responsibility and the global financial crisis - news

The credit crunch has exposed one of the greatest pieces of corporate social irresponsibility ever. It has revealed flaws not only in the banks, regulators and other actors directly involved,...

Chouinard is 2008 leader - news

Yvon Chouinard, co-founder of the US-based outdoor clothing company Patagonia, has won this year’s Sustainability Leadership Award for his work on corporate responsibility in the textile...

Rio Tinto hit by exclusion - news

Rio Tinto has expressed dismay at being dropped on ethical grounds from one of the Norwegian government’s pension funds. The global Government Pension Fund, commonly known as the oil...

Tennant changes direction to pursue credit card idea - news

A leading SRI figure of the past two decades has left the sector to head a credit card loyalty scheme to combat climate change. Tessa Tennant has become executive chair of the International...

Accountants ‘must do CSR’ - news

Accountants should have compulsory modules about corporate responsibility in their professional training, one of the world’s most influential accountancy bodies has said. The...

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...

Firms are offered KPIs for conflict zones code - news

Companies that have signed up to the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights have been given 11 key performance indicators (KPIs) against which they can measure themselves. The...

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...

Legal action opens new front for anti-Israel lobbyists - news

Further signs have emerged in recent weeks that companies operating in or sourcing from the occupied West Bank of Palestine are coming under increasing pressure from pro-Palestinian campaigners...

Companies take strategic view of climate change - news

Companies seeking climate change advice are choosing consultancies that offer commercial and financial guidance rather than those provide technical expertise only. An analysis of the global...

IBM enters the market - news

IBM has diversified into corporate responsibility consultancy. The group’s Global Business Services division, which previously concentrated on mainstream strategy advice, is to offer...

Use of migrant workers is put under microscope - news

A two-year research project is to consider how multinationals can limit the exploitation of migrant workers in their supply chains. It will be led by US-based Business for Social...

Samsung tops ranking of controversy - news

Samsung was the world’s most environmentally and socially controversial company in the first half of 2008, according to a new analysis. Monitoring of news from thousands of sources,...

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...

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....

Compact may raise the bar - news

Signatories to the United Nations Global Compact may soon have to meet a minimum standard for the content of their annual ‘communications on progress’ (COPs), which are public...

The PRI seeks to pull off a tricky balancing act - news

The United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment have passed the two-year mark. EP talks to executive director James Gifford about investor collaboration. The UN Principles for...

The Difference Makers - news

Sandra Waddock. Paperback. 320 pages. Greenleaf Publishing. £21.95 . Who makes a difference? And how do they do it? This book is Sandra Waddock’s answer to these questions....

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...

inbrief - news

Entries are being sought for this year’s Robin Cosgrove Prize for Ethics in Finance. The $20,000 (£10,700) award, set up last year in memory of investment banker Robin Cosgrove, who...

inbrief - news

PricewaterhouseCoopers has been appointed global adviser and report writer to the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP). PwC will compile next year’s company responses to the project and produce...

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...

Ruggie wins more time - news

The United Nations Human Rights Council last month extended the mandate of John Ruggie, its special representative on business and human rights, for three years. Among other things, Ruggie has...

Emerging nation web users think more about ethics - news

Online consumers in developing nations are more likely to consider ethical issues when making buying decisions than those in developed countries, a Mori poll has found. The survey of 23,306...

Big four clothes firms fare best on sustainability issues - news

Adidas, Nike, Puma and Timberland have been identified as leaders in sustainability among clothing manufacturers. A study by Switzerland-based Bank Sarasin found the four have 'above...

OECD acts to address criticism of its guidelines - news

The OECD is examining ways to extend the reach of its guidelines for multinationals into China. Forty countries - among them 10 non-OECD countries - have now established National Contact...

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...

Bottom-up approach may improve factory conditions - news

A collaborative approach to ethical supply chain management can lead to 'substantive' improvements in factory working conditions, according to the experience of two high-profile western...

Primark problems show audits cannot reveal all - news

The retailer Primark has blamed the presence of child labour in its supply chain on 'wholesale deception' by three suppliers and the difficulty it has in auditing subcontractors....

Diversity is still a blind spot for big business - news

FTSE 100 companies have made progress on many corporate responsibility issues over the past five years, but they are not doing so well on board diversity and equal opportunities. Ethical...

Software giant backs One Laptop project - news

Microsoft has agreed to allow its Windows operating system to be used by the non-profit One Laptop Per Child programme (OLPC), which provides cheap portable computers for schools in developing...

Nanotechnology businesses agree ethical guidelines - news

Companies in the developing area of nanotechnology are to be invited to adopt seven responsible practice principles that have been agreed by a working group. The Responsible NanoCode has...

Advising pension funds on sustainability issues - news

Pension funds are increasingly seeking to reflect long term sustainability considerations in their investment strategies, Jane Goodland tells Mike Scott The Watson Wyatt consultancy,...

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...

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Investment risk consultancy Style Research and the environmental research company Trucost have formed an alliance to guide asset managers in analysing the carbon performance of their equity...

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Xstrata Coal South Africa has won the Business Excellence Award, presented annually by the Global Business Coalition on HIV/Aids, TB and Malaria. The company won the award for a public-private...

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A consultancy specializing in ethical trade has been set up in the UK and Kenya. The company has been co-founded by Annie Tiranti, who has spent the past two years providing consultancy work for...

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...

SA8000 standard gets new look - news

One of the most widely used corporate responsibility standards has been made more explicit after a two-year revision. The SA8000 workplace standard, used by major brands to improve...

New mandate for Ruggie? - news

A new mandate is expected to be handed to John Ruggie, the United Nations special representative on business and human rights, allowing him to explore further how the UN can encourage companies...

IBM high-fliers get an exclusive volunteering scheme - news

IBM has set up a programme that it likens to an in-house version of the US Peace Corps, through which ‘high-potential’ employees will use their skills to aid emerging nations....

Pressure mounts on ‘slow’ chocolate sector - news

A group of Fairtrade companies, faith groups and non-governmental organizations has produced basic principles on the sourcing of cocoa to spur the chocolate industry into doing more to improve...

Petrobras wins report accolade - news

The world’s best sustainability report is produced by Petrobras of Brazil, according to an online survey of 1700 report readers by the Global Reporting Initiative. Other winners of...

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...

Rio Tinto expands sustainability data in its annual report - news

Rio Tinto has devoted an unusually large section of its latest annual report to information on corporate responsibility. The mining group has set aside 12 pages under the heading of...

CSR is toughing out the slowdown – for now - news

The corporate responsibility recruitment market appears to be largely unaffected by the growing economic difficulties worldwide, although the picture is mixed. With some recruitment areas,...

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...

Enthusiasts find they have a global hit on their hands - news

Ethical Investment Research Services first began assessing companies a quarter of a century ago. Mike Scott talks to its chief executive Peter Webster Peter Webster, chief executive of...

XBRL: the new answer to questionnaire fatigue? - news

A new system for managing financial information should make it easier for readers of sustainability reports to extract the data they want. EP looks at how it will work What is XBRL?...

Corporate responsibility: a critical introduction - news

Michael Blowfield and Alan Murray. Paperback. 452 pages. Oxford University Press. £29.99. Aimed at the burgeoning number of undergraduate and graduate students now taking modules...

Numbers are nice, but words are always our best friends - news

The use of statistics and numerical data is no substitute for a written explanation, says Roger Cowe A picture is supposedly worth a thousand words (although as a former journalist I...

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Access to a website critical of the United Nations Global Compact has been reopened to staff at UN headquarters in New York after complaints that they were blocked from viewing it. The UN said...

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A ‘fair trade’ agency has been founded for developing world photographers. Majority World, which will specialize in selling pictures taken by people born and working in Africa, Asia...

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Tony Hodge is to be the full-time president of the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM). Hodge, at present professor of mining and sustainability at Queen’s University,...

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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...

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...

L&G UK Ethical Trust has its strong points, but they come at a cost that may be unpalatable to some - news

L&G Ethical Trust is an ethical tracker, and there aren't many of those about. Ideally, such a fund would provide investors with low-cost exposure to a basket of ethical companies from...

EITI begins to take flak over ‘free rider’ concerns - news

Pressure is growing on the secretariat of one of corporate responsibility’s flagship global programmes to take action against ‘free rider’ companies.   Civil society...

Businesses fail to get message across to graduates - news

Many companies are throwing away the chance to hire quality staff because they fail to mention their business’s ethical credentials. Communications consultancy Edelman says companies...

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...

Avon signs deal to stop violence against women - news

The cosmetics company Avon has created a partnership with the United Nations to address the issue of violence against women. The US-based group, which brands itself globally as ‘the...

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...

Societal benefits of sport are ‘too often overlooked’ - news

Too many businesses are failing to include sporting activities in their social responsibility programmes, according to the International Business Leaders’ Forum. The not-for-profit...

GRI needs strategies not stories - news

Companies using the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) guidelines are failing to explain how their sustainability strategies are likely to affect their business’ position in the...

Counting companies in is preferable to shutting them out - news

Ethical investment is going back to the past. The earliest ethical funds, such as the Friends Provident family of Stewardship funds in the UK and the Pax World fund family in the US, grew out of...

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...

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...

What can we expect from Howard’s way? - news

EP talks to the new chief executive of Business in the Community about expansion, putting pressure on members – and working more closely with other organizations Expect a significant...

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...

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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...

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Two global consultancies, Aravo Solutions and WSP, have combined to provide a corporate responsibility software and advisory service. WSP, which has 65 offices worldwide, offers mainly...

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Seven companies, including Heidelberg Cement and Hitachi Metals, have been deleted from the FTSE4Good Index for failing to meet its new climate change criteria. In all, 15 companies were removed...

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Social networking site MySpace has produced security measures to protect users from sexual predators. The site, owned by News Corporation, will create an email registry so parents can bar their...

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Vodafone has been judged by report readers to have produced the best corporate responsibility report for the year ended 31 March 2007. The mobile phone company took the inaugural Corporate...

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Dow Chemical Company and humanitarian healthcare agency International Aid have announced a partnership to provide safer water. Dow will supply 300,000 filters for a lightweight water...

Food and drink firms make water their new priority - news

Leading food and drink makers have signed a collective agreement to cut their water use in the UK, providing further evidence that the issue is now a key corporate responsibility concern....

Trio team up on disasters - news

Three logistics companies are to work alongside the United Nations on emergency responses to large-scale natural disasters. Agility Logistics, TNT and UPS will collaborate with the UN...

Employees exert most influence on responsible practice - news

Pressure from employees is the most significant influence on corporate responsibility in companies, a survey reports. A poll of 150 US and British CSR practitioners, mainly working within...

Chevron is first ‘corporate champion’ - news

The oil corporation Chevron is to give $30million (£15.4m) over three years to the Global Fund to Fight Aids, tuberculosis and malaria. Chevron is making the donation through the...

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...

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...

GSK sets up malaria alliance - news

GlaxoSmithKline and the non-profit group Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV) are to collaborate on the production of new malaria drugs. Under the deal MMV will provide funding for...

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...

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...

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...

Lawyers can do it, so why not other business professionals? - news

Legal firms are showing the way on pro bono work – and more of us should follow, says Aaron Hurst While it can sometimes be tempting to criticize lawyers, there’s one area in...

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...

inbrief - news

In the January 2008 issue ( EP9, issue 8, p 6) we referred to the supply chain data-sharing project Sedex as being run by the Impactt consultancy. In fact, for some time Sedex has been a...

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Two large cosmetics manufacturers are to stop using shark liver oil in moisturizers and lipsticks because of conservation worries. L’Oreal and Unilever will replace the compound squalene,...

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...

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...

Adidas opens its supplier list to public scrutiny - news

Adidas has become the latest major clothing retailer to disclose the names of all its supplier factories. The German footwear manufacturer said that a review of data management systems...

Intel leaves laptop project - news

One of the world’s largest information technology companies has withdrawn from an initiative to spread the use of computers in poor countries after only six months involvement in the...

UN’s human rights chief says norms are a long way off - news

The United Nations high commissioner for human rights has warned that it is unrealistic to think the UN will produce binding norms on corporate responsibility in the near future – and says...

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....

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...

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...

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...

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...

Studies present business case - news

Examples of emerging market businesses that have gained a commercial advantage by taking account of their social and environmental impacts have been collected by the private sector arm of the...

A bright future is in prospect for ethical investment indices - news

Another day, another ethical investment index. Last month, three big equity index providers added to their already extensive offerings. Standard & Poor’s launched the ESG Index of 50...

The A to Z of corporate social responsibility - news

W Visser, D Matten, M Pohl & N Tolhurst. Hardback. 539 pages. Wiley. £55/$110 It’s a sign of the coming of age of corporate social responsibility that it now merits...

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...

inbrief - news

Shenzhen Water, Cemex and Marks & Spencer are among companies featured as examples of innovators in A new mindset for corporate sustainability , a research paper sponsored by Cisco and BT.

inbrief - news

TNT, the postal services company, has certified all 44 of its facilities in non-OECD countries to the SA8000 workplace standard. TNT announced its intention to achieve certification at the...

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...

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Rob Tacon, Standard Chartered’s head of group risk management, is the new chair of the United Nations Environment Programme’s Finance Initiative for two years. He succeeds Martin...

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