Wednesday, 18 December 2013

New online tool provides insight into international corporate responsibility instruments

A comparison tool for the OECD Guidelines, ISO 26000 and the UN Global Compact


The Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations (SOMO) has launched a new online tool that compares three corporate responsibility instruments and shows the most important overlaps or distinctions between them. The instruments compared are: the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, ISO 26000: Guidance on Social Responsibility and the UN Global Compact. Next to the online tool, a downloadable version is available that offers a more extensive comparison of the three instruments. With this online tool and download version, SOMO hopes to provide civil society organisations (CSOs) with a way to quickly determine whether and how to use these instruments in their work to promote and enforce corporate accountability.

Friday, 25 October 2013

Lacking impact, CSR leaves business exposed

Guest blog by David Sogge

Picture retrieved from:
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) makes no significant societal contribution in Europe. That is the headline conclusion of a massive research effort to assess the impacts of CSR on Europe’s economy, society and environment. Because the Global Compact is one more brand of CSR apparel for business, these findings leave its corporate sector participants looking rather naked.

The decision to assess impacts of CSR as practiced by companies in Europe took place after a 2007 resolution of the European Parliament expressed a certain impatience: “the EU debate on CSR has approached the point where emphasis should be shifted from process to outcome.” Given decades of up-beat messages about CSR not backed by systematic knowledge, and amidst a no-nonsense policy climate in which programmes are supposed to be terminated if they don’t produce results, that resolve to probe CSR is understandable.

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Ban Ki-moon urges Global Compact members to sign Bangladesh safety accord

Photo: Desiree Koppes
In the wake of the Rana Plaza tragedy Secretary General of the UN, Mr. Ban Ki-moon challenged the UN Global Compact to do more to ensure safe and sustainable employment. He said: “too many businesses are still willing to sacrifice workers’ rights and safety for the bottom line”. He further added: “it is time for all companies to police their supply chains, not distance themselves from them”. The UN Secretary General made his remarks during a lunch event of the Global Compact Board on May 6.

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Does Barrick Gold deserve to be a member of the Global Compact?

Barrick Gold, the Canadian mining giant, has been the centre of controversy over the past few weeks. The company that joined the Global Compact in 2005 has been removed from a New Zealand government pension fund for human rights and environmental violations in Papua New Guinea and Tanzania. In Chile, the company was ordered to suspend its Pascua Lama project. Additionally, Barrick Gold was fined for USD 16 million for environmental violations in the Chilean-Argentinean border region.

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Mango linked to Bangladesh factory collapse?

Photo retrieved from The Independent
On April 24, an eight-storey building collapsed in in Savar, near Dhaka, Bangladesh, causing the death of over 200 people, and injuring more than 1200 others. The building accommodated a number of garment factories including Ether Tex, New Wave Bottoms, New Wave Style, Phantom Apparel and Phantom Tac.. Activists who entered the ruins after the tragedy found labels and documentation linking the manufacturers to various European and US brands and retailers. Preliminary evidence also points to the Spanish high street brand and Global Compact participant Mango. In a statement issued by Mango, the company said that they were in conversation with  Phantom Apparel to produce a test order.The Rana Plaza building collapse is yet another tragedy in a series of factory accidents in the export oriented Bangladesh garment industry where sub-standard buildings, poor emergency procedures, blocked fire exits, overcrowded workplaces, and vastly inadequate control and auditing practices are rife.