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Modern slavery addressed with new laws, new technology - news

By Brian Collett — India has set itself a goal of eliminating child slavery by ratifying two global agreements on the employment of minors.          ...

Ethical Trading Initiative issues guides to child labour and modern slavery - news

By Brian Collett — The telltale signs of slave labour are flagged up in a free guide just released by the Ethical Trading Initiative , the London-based alliance of companies, trade unions...

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...

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...

Human rights rise to top of business agenda - news

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

EU calls for ban on vegetable oils in biofuel - news

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

Human rights rise to top of business agenda - news

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

Minimum wage policy under review in Myanmar - news

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

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...

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...

Fairtrade gold activist awarded MBE in Queen's New Year Honours - news

Greg Valerio, jeweller, activist and Fairtrade campaigner has been awarded an MBE (Member of the British Empire) in the Queen’s New Years’ Honour list 2016 for his work in Fairtrade...

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...

Two-thirds of UK investors ignorant of ESG performance of their investments - news

A new study reveals that almost two-thirds of investors don’t know whether the activities of industries or companies they are investing in are ethical or not. According to the survey...

Japan Tobacco makes progress with sustainability initiatives and reporting - news

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

ICI makes significant progress in children's access to education - news

As a direct result of International Cocoa Initiative's (ICI) efforts to promote education last year, 4 000 children now have improved access to quality education and are less likely to be...

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...

Fairtrade in new push for ‘clean gold’ - news

Following its success with tea, coffee and bananas, the Fairtrade Foundation is looking to further its engagement with the gold industry. “Not enough people know about Fairtrade gold....

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...

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...

ESG factors having stronger effect on consumer attitudes - news

Corporate performance on environmental, social, governance and ethical grounds can have a strong effect on how consumers feel about their bank or wealth manager. Indeed, a new Ipsos MORI...

Samsung reduces business with supplier using child labour - news

Samsung Electronics Co Ltd said it would do 30% less business with a Chinese parts supplier after discovering employment of child workers at the firm. In July, Samsung Electronics suspended...

Banks beware: consumers rate ESG factors as high as service levels - news

Corporate performance on environmental, social, governance and ethical grounds can have a strong effect on how consumers feel about their bank or wealth manager. Indeed, a new Ipsos MORI survey...

US govt turning blind eye to supply chain human rights - news

The US government – the largest single purchaser in the global economy – is turning a blind eye to harms caused by its procurement laws and practices, including human rights...

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...

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...

Only half of UK firms audit suppliers’ ethical behaviour - news

UK manufacturers could be inadvertently relying upon slave and child labourers in their supply chains because they are not always auditing suppliers and relying only on trust, according to new...

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...

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...

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....

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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....

Indian textiles industry comes under human rights spotlight - news

Garment and textile companies in India have been asked to provide details of their activities by campaigners intent on stamping out labour rights abuses. The demands for greater openness...

EU seeks to engage business on CSR with guide on trade union rights and child labour - news

The right to join a trade union and conduct collective bargaining are the main features of an EU draft guide to human rights in business and now out for public consultation. One of the...

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...

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...

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...

Burma reaches deal with ILO - news

The Burmese government has reached a new memorandum of understanding with the International Labor Organization (ILO) on stamping out forced labour. Extending an existing understanding, the...

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...

London Olympics races to neutralise sweatshop row - news

The London Olympics organising committee is introducing measures to protect workers in its supply chain after evidence of sweatshop labour at its Chinese suppliers' factories. In a...

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,...

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...

Nestlé uses FLA to find child labour in cocoa chain - news

Nestlé is to allow the Fair Labor Association (FLA) to investigate its Ivory Coast cocoa supply chain for the presence of child labour. The Swiss multinational has taken the unusual...

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...

Online campaigners make it tricky for one chocolate Halloween treat - news

More than 50,000 consumers have signed an online petition urging a US chocolate maker to buy certified child labour-free cocoa in time for Halloween. In one of the largest ever petitions...

Majority of Asian companies ‘failing to recognise basic employee rights’ - news

Nine-tenths of Asian companies have no human rights policies covering their operations in sensitive countries, and are failing to consider the International Labour Organization’s basic...

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...

Cocoa buyers join forces on African child labour - news

A $2m (£1.3m, €1.5m) public-private partnership to combat ‘the worst forms’ of child labour in Africa’s cocoa-growing industry has been formed by a multinational...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Why Nordic investment is in the vanguard of SRI - news

Socially responsible investors have long looked to the Scandinavian region as a model. Mike Scott speaks to Ulrika Hasselgren to find out what’s so special about the area’s ethical...

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...

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...

dairy giant brings in new code - news

The multinational dairy business FrieslandCampina is reinforcing its CSR commitments with a code of conduct based on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The code pledges the company, among...

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...

ECGD changes cause upset - news

An open letter to the UK government attacking its plans to abolish CSR requirements on foreign investment projects has been written by Mary Robinson, chair of the Institute for Human Rights and...

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)....

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...

An SRI outlook that aims for mutual benefit - news

Mike Scott talks to Andrew Gay of UIA, an insurer to trade union members that tailors its investments to the social and environmental concerns of some of Britain’s most politicized...

‘Child labour’ in US hits retail chains - news

Three US supermarkets have blacklisted a Michigan blueberry farm found using children as pickers. Wal-Mart, Meijer and Kroger say they have evidence that children as young as five were seen...

Why an SRI pioneer feels that ‘the time is right’ - news

Mike Scott talks to Walden Asset Management’s Tim Smith, who’s in bullish mood about changing attitudes to to risk and, more specifically, issues such as excessive executive pay and...

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...

End to Uzbek child labour is not all it seems - news

Child labour is still widely used in Uzbekistan’s cotton industry, contrary to claims that corporate influence is putting an end to it, says a new report. Despite pressure from large...

Under-fire Primark starts to put its house in order - news

The cut-price clothing retailer Primark has responded to continuing bad publicity about conditions in its supply chain by creating the post of ethical trading director. At the same time the...

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...

‘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...

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...

Why ISO 26000’s ugly duckling may eventually turn into a swan - news

It would be easy to adopt a sceptical position on the potential value of the ISO 26000 social responsibility standard, not least because there are so many other apparently similar guidelines and...

Ethics code is proposed for security companies - news

An outline of a proposed international code of conduct for private military and security companies has been produced by an influential Swiss think tank. The Geneva Centre for the Democratic...

ETI takes tough stance as Primark upsets members - news

The Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) has gained its members’ backing to consider sanctions against the UK clothing retailer Primark over claims of poor labour standards among suppliers....

Corporate clout leads to Uzbek ban on child labour - news

Wal-Mart is claiming dramatic progress on eliminating child labour in the central Asian republic of Uzbekistan by using its purchasing and lobbying power against the country’s government....

Odegard tackles child labour in Nepal - news

The US carpet design company Odegard is to further its policy of addressing child labour in Nepal’s carpet industry with a working capital loan from RSF Social Finance, a non-profit...

TV programme fuels Dutch SRI fever - news

A television documentary has been credited with prompting an eightfold increase in the value of assets managed along socially responsible lines over a two-year period in the Netherlands....

EU feels child labour heat - news

The European Union has been urged to ensure that its support for any European company through trade missions and subsidies be withdrawn if the business is found to be using child labour in its...

Gap partnership targets women - news

Gap, the US apparel and footwear group, has started a national women and children welfare project in collaboration with the Indian women and child development ministry and several state...

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....

Allegations of unfair play in production of Euro 2008 footballs - news

Crédit Suisse is donating a million Swiss francs ($1million, £490,000) to the United Nations children’s fund after reports that child labour in Pakistan was used to make Euro...

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...

Child labour plan unveiled in Delhi - news

An 18-point action plan to fight the use of child labour has been announced at an international conference in Delhi. The Action Plan for Companies to Combat Child Labour was introduced by...

Tesco bows to pressure over Uzbekistani cotton - news

Tesco has asked its suppliers to stop sourcing cotton from Uzbekistan over concerns about state-sponsored child labour. The supermarket chain has made its decision after a three-year campaign by...

Cocoa board will monitor child labour - news

An independent body has been formed to curb child labour in the West African cocoa sector. The Cocoa Verification Board, set up by the US non-profit organization Verite with the support of...

India tries harder on child labour - news

Renewed attempts are about to be made by the Indian government to eliminate child labour, which is deterring some countries from buying the country’s exports. The decision follows...

Chinese companies respond on human rights - news

Chinese companies are making an effort to respond to allegations that they are violating human rights, according to the East Asia researcher of the Hong Kong Business and Human Rights Resource...

US intervenes to promote ethics in its own backyard - news

The US government has made a rare direct foray into the world of corporate responsibility by providing $2million (£960,000) to improve labour standards and practices in Latin America. The grant,...

Gap acts on child labour findings - news

Gap, the US clothes retailer, is reducing by half the orders it places with a vendor whose sub-contractor used children to sew garments in squalid conditions in India. After learning that child...

Motorola acts to stamp out child labour - news

Motorola has revealed that it found evidence of child labour at two of its suppliers last year. The US multinational, which makes mainly mobile phones, found three workers under 16 at two sites...

Brown told to get moving on ethical buying regime - news

Oxfam has urged UK prime minister Gordon Brown to create a more ‘enabling environment for ethical trade’ in public procurement. The UK public sector spends £125billion ($250bn) annually on...

firms told to involve staff - news

Companies are to be urged to make greater efforts to bring their employees into the fight against child labour. A draft 15-point action plan says too many businesses fail to keep their...

charity to engage Indian firms on child labour - news

Save the Children Sweden is to hold talks with selected companies in India on management policy and CSR. The move follows publication of a new report by the charity, Corporate social...

multinationals reject child labour accusations - news

Multinationals involved in cottonseed production in India have rejected suggestions that they are turning a blind eye to the use of child labour. A group of non-governmental organizations...

Nike goes back into Sialkot - news

Nike, the official supplier of hand-stitched soccer balls to the English Premier Football League, is to buy again from Pakistan. Last year the company withdrew orders from the manufacturer...

sugar cane sector decides to lay down ground rules - news

Sugar cane growers, processors and food companies are to draw up social and environmental ‘principles and criteria’ with a view to reducing the industry’s impact. The move has partly been...

maximizing returns by taking an SRI approach - news

Mainstream investors are now adapting SRI investment techniques to help satisfy their clients’ overriding need for good financial returns. EP talks to Neil Brown, head of governance and...

sweet makers in a corner over child labour efforts - news

Pressure is growing on the global confectionery industry to show that its measures to bear down on child labour at cocoa farms in Africa are paying off. Amnesty International announced last...

making sense of where climate change fits into CSR - news

Five years ago, at the height of the furore about Enron, some within the SRI community sought to present CSR as the first cousin of corporate governance, then a prime business concern. Corporate...

Hershey targets suppliers - news

An American snack food company is to develop an ethical supply chain monitoring programme that goes beyond recent efforts by chocolate manufacturers to tackle child labour and poor workplace...

high street store offers SRI fund to its customers - news

Marks & Spencer’s finance arm has launched its first ethical unit trust. The M&S Ethical Fund, which will be jointly managed by Jupiter Asset Management and Sinopia Asset Management,...

Toyota shuns CSR scheme - news

The difficulty of raising international standards in an intensely competitive industry sector has been highlighted by the efforts of a group of vehicle manufacturers to improve workplace...

Nike drops football stitcher - news

Nike, the international sports apparel and equipment manufacturer, has stopped buying hand-stitched soccer balls from Saga Sports in Sialkot, Pakistan. Nike complains that the supplier has failed...

Hong Kong firms lack transparency - news

Most of Hong Kong’s large garment companies have refused to disclose their employment policies, including their attitudes to child labour, to an Oxfam survey. The survey on labour...

Group set up to tackle Indian quarrying abuses - news

A project has been started in the Netherlands to eliminate inhuman and environmentally undesirable policies among Indian companies supplying natural stone to Dutch businesses.     ...

eight firms reported over ‘breaches’ of UN Compact - news

Eight official complaints about alleged breaches of United Nations Global Compact principles by signatory companies have been registered in the six months since a review procedure was introduced,...

business input contributes to first fall in child labour - news

Efforts by companies to reduce under-age working have been partly credited for the first measured decline in child labour across the globe. The International Labour Organization reports that the...

Asia tea producers ‘fall short on CSR’ - news

The tea sector in Asia still has a ‘grim’ record on observing accepted workplace standards, according to a new study. The survey, by the India Committee of the Netherlands (ICN), found a ‘sad...

SA8000 to get major revamp - news

A workplace standard used at more than 800 factories worldwide is to be revised this summer. Social Accountability International, which devised the SA8000 ethical standard in 1997, is...

IFC completes long-haul revision of ethical policies - news

Revamped social and environmental standards at the World Bank’s private sector lending arm will come into effect at the end of this month. The ‘performance standards’, made public last month,...

Bayer subsidiary gets tough on child labour - news

Proagro, a Bayer Cropsciences subsidiary, is penalizing 11 hybrid cottonseed farmers in Andhra Pradesh, India, and is cancelling its contracts with three more after finding they were employing...

inbrief - news

Tyre multinational Bridgestone is embroiled in a lawsuit over alleged complicity in the use of child labour in Africa. The case, filed in a district court in California by the International...

palm oil sector addresses social obligations - news

Social impacts of the palm oil industry have been given equal prominence with environmental problems in a set of principles for the sector agreed by dozens of companies around the world....

Morocco embraces CSR - news

The Moroccan government says it wants to ‘differentiate’ the country from other emerging markets by gaining a reputation for high workplace standards in human rights, environmental impact and...

CSR school goes to Hong Kong - news

A field trip to look at practical stakeholder engagement is on the programme for this month’s CSR Asia winter school in Hong Kong. The subjects for the workshops at the school include human...

Puma discloses details of ethical supplier audits - news

Sports clothing giant Puma has publicly released the results of its ethical auditing of supplier factories for the first time. The German-based multinational has audited all its suppliers...

India's record finds favour - news

India's labour rights and environment legislation has been applauded by the SustainAbility consultancy in the first of its studies of CSR in emerging countries. The report records the closure of...

tobacco firms test water with project to counter child labour - news

The tobacco industry has begun a pilot programme to eliminate child labour in parts of the former Soviet republic of Kyrgyzstan. The two-year $170,000 (£91,000) project, to be run by the...

three-year haul brings dividends for six retail pioneers - news

Six companies broke new ground last month by completing a three-year programme of ethical supply chain monitoring in conjunction with the US-based Fair Labor Association. The FLA says...

Ikea targets child labour - news

Ikea has begun discussions with Unicef, the United Nations children’s agency, on countering child labour in the north Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. The talks are connected to the Swedish-based...

institutional investor interest in SRI at bottom rests on ethics, not risk - news

Financial markets may be faltering, but ethical or socially responsible investment continues to gain ground. The number of UK ethical investors in pooled funds now stands at a record 475,000....

Cambodia factories pass child labour scrutiny - news

Forced and child labour were not found in Cambodia when the International Labour Organization conducted its latest regular investigation into the country’s garment industry. ILO investigators...

breathing new life into ethical supply chain management - news

Many CSR practitioners will have heard stories of supply chain auditors who visited a factory in a developing country only to discover that the underage workers they were looking for had slipped...

Ikea targets child labour - news

Ikea has begun discussions with Unicef, the United Nations children’s agency, on countering child labour in the north Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. The talks are connected to the Swedish-based...

toy firms make headway on factory certification - news

An ‘ethical manufacturing programme’ started by the global toy industry in 2002 appears to be on course to meet its monitoring targets.   Across China – where 75 per cent of the world’s toys...

De Beers adds ethical conditions to contracts - news

The marketing arm of the world’s largest diamond company is now including specific ethical provisions in contracts with companies that supply it with stones. The Diamond Trading Company (DTC),...

Toshiba targets suppliers - news

Toshiba has drawn up a procurement policy for its 400 companies establishing CSR standards it requires from suppliers. The Japanese corporation, whose products include telephone systems, office...

McDonald’s suppliers get the message - news

McDonald’s has now trained two-thirds of its global suppliers in social responsibility. The fast food group, which has 30,000 restaurants in more than 100 countries, had put 1813 of its 2670...

OECD cases revealed - news

The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development has for the first time publicly listed ‘specific instances’ of alleged non-compliance with its guidelines for multinational enterprises....

FTSE4Good sets bar on labour standards - news

Sixty-eight of the 900 companies in the FTSE4Good index family will be required to meet new criteria on supply chain labour standards by July 2005 if they want to remain as constituents. The new...

new SRI tack for Dexia - news

A new socially responsible investment approach concentrating only on labour standards has been established by the Belgian insurance group Dexia. The approach, named Portfolio 21, will screen out...

child labour initiative shows signs of strain - news

Strains have emerged in an alliance of companies and non-governmental organizations attempting to tackle child labour in India’s cotton seed industry. The main NGO in the Child Labour Eradication...

coffee giants sign up to industry agreement - news

Four of the world’s largest coffee companies have signed an agreement to improve the industry’s social and environmental standards. Kraft, Nestlé, Sara Lee and Tchibo have agreed to follow a new...

New business group tackles human rights - news

An advisory group has been formed to help businesses in the Far East tackle human rights abuses, child labour, poverty, environmental degradation, legal compliance, corruption, regional conflicts...

more on the issues and less on the mechanics, please - news

EP talks to Alan Knight about his belief that CSR practitioners have lost sight of the pressing global problems that should dictate their agenda Few individuals have had more...

trawl of factories finds no use of child labour - news

No cases of child or forced labour were found by the Fair Labor Association during its monitoring of 110 factories used by brand clothing companies last year. The...

tour operators pledge to produce CSR policies - news

Eight major tour operators are to draw up corporate responsibility policies within the next year. Cosmos, First Choice, Kosmar, Kuoni, My Travel, Thomas Cook, TUI...

time to make a virtue of legislative necessity - news

The voluntary approach has its limits. Mandatory corporate disclosure would help markets, not hinder them, argues Sir Geoffrey Chandler ‘You can’t legislate...

seed business to use child labour monitors - news

Multinational agribusiness Syngenta is close to signing a deal with the US-based Fair Labor Association that will lead to child labour checks on its cotton seed suppliers...

Dutch firms targeted by engaging investors - news

Most large Dutch listed companies have been questioned by investors on their social and environmental performance, a study has found. Nine out of ten firms listed on the...

Sodexho gives suppliers some food for thought - news

The US division of one of the world’s biggest catering and facilities management companies has sent a code of conduct to suppliers as part of its campaign to become a CSR...

inbrief - news

Putting an end to child labour in the developing world would produce economic benefits of $5100billion (£2700bn), the International Labour Organization...

firms eye social labels - news

A voluntary system of social labelling for products is likely to face its first big test this autumn. Dozens of Belgian businesses are considering whether to apply...

Danisco discovers room for improvement on CSR - news

Three-quarters of the production sites owned by the sugar and food ingredients group Danisco now comply with the company’s CSR policy, according to an internal assessment....

FTSE4Good gets tough on supply chain criteria - news

Companies without clearly defined policies and programmes on labour standards in their supply chains could soon be excluded from the FTSE4Good family of ethical indices....

Imperial to report in 2004 - news

A second international tobacco company is to compile a social report. Imperial Tobacco, the world’s fourth largest, expects to publish its first CSR document early next...

cocoa firms set up schools to fight child labour in Africa - news

Field schools for West African cocoa farmers have been started by international cocoa and chocolate manufacturers to combat child labour. A coalition of companies and...

toy industry auditing begins in earnest - news

The global toy industry has appointed five companies to check whether manufacturing sites adhere to ethical business principles. The five companies – Benchmarks,...

downturn will not hit CSR, say chief execs - news

Less than one in five global company leaders believe the current economic downturn will affect their business’s commitment to corporate social responsibility....

warning on partnerships - news

A warning on the dangers of the partnership approach to corporate social responsibility has come from a senior representative of a non-governmental organization active in the...

Italian authority gives priority to SA8000 firms - news

Companies that have been certified under the SA8000 ethical workplace standard will receive preferential treatment when bidding for local government contracts in a region of...

world’s toy industry to begin ethical audits - news

The global toy industry is to begin auditing manufacturing sites throughout the world against a set of ethical business principles. The work, which is being co-ordinated by...

P&G turns CSR into CSO - news

Procter & Gamble is adopting a new approach to corporate social responsibility that places as much emphasis on developing socially beneficial products as on trying to...

pledges and commitments are storing up trouble for companies - news

Promises, promises, promises. Companies seem hell-bent on making them in their social and environmental reports. And why not? Pledges and commitments have a comforting ring....

Dixons under fire over supply chain ‘secrecy’ - news

Electrical retailer Dixons has been criticized by a group of UK local authority pension funds for failing to disclose its policies on ethical supply chain management....

9/11 boosts CSR awareness - news

Chief executives claim they are thinking more about corporate social responsibility but not many are devoting more money or resources to it, according to research in the US....

firms offered help with questionnaire fatigue - news

A novel way of tackling questionnaire fatigue has been developed by an Australian social and environmental investment research body. The Sustainability Reporter web site,...

child labour findings spur firms into action - news

Around 284,000 child labourers work in hazardous conditions on West African cocoa farms supplying western chocolate manufacturers, a study of the industry has found....

Global Compact acts on weak submissions - news

None of the first batch of reports submitted by companies to the United Nation’s Global Compact office have met expectations. An analysis of the first 30 reports, conducted...

Kidde makes reporting debut - news

A leading fire and safety products company has for the first time included a section on corporate social responsibility in its annual report. UK-based Kidde has...

tobacco firm enters CSR arena - news

British American Tobacco will begin the process of publishing no fewer than 13 different social reports this month as it becomes the first cigarette manufacturer to enter the...

SA8000 passes 100-factory landmark - news

The number of factories certified to the SA8000 ethical workplace standard has now passed 100, according to figures from Social Accountability International, the organization...

Swedish prime minister spearheads CSR drive - news

The Swedish government has taken the initiative on corporate social responsibility by asking companies to sign a commitment to uphold international standards on CSR....

inbrief - news

Child labour activists have said they will use this summer’s football world cup as a focal point for a campaign against companies whose suppliers use children to produce sports...

use of indicators still ‘sporadic’ - news

Most FTSE100 companies are not yet using meaningful indicators to illustrate any progress they may be making on key social issues, according to a study. Research by...

UN to back 48-hour week throughout the world - news

The United Nations Commission on Human Rights looks set to call on companies not to require all employees to work more than 48 hours in a week. The draft Fundamental...

Ikea completes talks on code - news

Retail group Ikea has completed face-to-face visits to all its 2000 suppliers to explain its code of conduct. Ikea says the visits to supplier companies were arranged ‘to...

chocolate firms begin assault on slave labour - news

Chocolate manufacturers in Europe and the US have come together to produce a strategy to tackle child slave labour in the West African cocoa industry. The strategy...

a response to the challenges set out in the EC green paper on CSR - news

A fundamental question underpins the European Commission’s consultative paper on corporate social responsibility: how can the EU best encourage companies to adopt uniform CSR...

retailer’s supply chain work wins plaudits - news

The food retailer Coop Italia received the Humane Workplace Award at this year’s Corporate Conscience Awards for its work to improve conditions for workers in its supply...

green paper sets off EU debate - news

The European Commission has shown its strongest support yet for corporate social responsibility (CSR) principles by publishing a green paper as a ‘launch-pad for debate’ on...

UN develops draft human rights code - news

United Nations officials will meet this month to put the final touches to a set of UN business guidelines on human rights. The guidelines, which have been drawn up under...

retailers sign up to labour code - news

Two more clothing companies – Phillips-Van Heusen and Eddie Bauer – have become members of the US-based Fair Labor Association’s monitoring programme. Businesses that...

clothing company backs ethical trading - news

The Swiss clothing retailer Charles Vogele has agreed to become a ‘marketing partner’ of the fair trade company Amana, which runs the Link label. The...

export credits given new ethical screen - news

A new regime to assess the social and environmental impact of British business projects abroad is being piloted by the UK government’s Export Credits Guarantee Department...

Heineken to gather ethics into one policy - news

Heineken is to pull together its internal ethical policies into one document that will be made available to the public. The Netherlands-based brewer has asked its ethics...

glossy social reports damage reputation - news

A glossy 'picture book' social report can damage a company's reputation rather than enhance it, a leading expert in the field has warned. Simon Zadek, who chairs the...

Nike releases Latin American audits - news

Nike has posted social audits of 22 suppliers in South and Central America on the internet as part of its new commitment to openness about working conditions at 700 contract...

university sets up CSR centre with help from BAT - news

The University of Nottingham has defended its decision to establish an International Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility using money donated by the world’s...

CWS unveils social report - news

The Co-operative Wholesale Society (CWS) has published its first social report. The 60-page document covers the co-operative’s food retailing business, and is largely...

fund seeks child labour talks - news

Four UK high street retailers have been approached by pension fund representatives to discuss their policies on child labour. WH Smith, Signet, Boots, and JJB Sports...

inbrief - news

A four day SA8000 course is to be run by the Institute for Responsible Business at Nyenrode University in the Netherlands. The course will take place from 28 November to 1...

chocolate makers monitor slavery claims - news

UK chocolate manufacturers have said they will look into allegations that they might be using cocoa produced by child slave labour in West Africa – but have said they are...

guest column: why the media is shy of corporate best practice - news

Journalists are not paid to peddle good publicity, but to produce stories that their readers are interested in, argues Roger Cowe   All publicity is supposed to be good...

McDonald's tightens up on animal welfare - news

McDonald’s in the US has given its suppliers until the end of the year to change their animal welfare practices. The fast food chain has told 27 supply companies they must...

hotline could aid audits - news

Companies trying to gauge working conditions in third world supplier factories may find a telephone hotline is one of the best ways of getting workers to report their concerns,...

supply chain monitoring proves to be a long haul - news

Pioneering retailers have established that it is possible to audit the social and environmental performance of their suppliers in developing countries, but an industry consensus on...

supply chain consensus a long way off, warns IBE - news

Companies trying to address ethical issues in their supply chains have been warned it may take up to 15 years to reach a consensus on how to carry out efficient monitoring A new...

editorial: publish and don’t be damned - news

Nike’s decision to begin publishing details of independent audits of its suppliers on the internet will stimulate enormous interest among other global corporations which are beginning...

a sensible business response to child labour - news

New guidelines on how to tackle child labour suggest that the debate about the corporate social responsibility of retailers is now becoming more sophisticated The guidelines,...

Dole goes for SA8000 mark - news

The Dole food company has decided to seek certification under the SA8000 social accountability standard. Dole’s decision to seek SA8000 certification will mean that its practices...

CSR minister who backs the power of the market - news

The UK is the first European country to have appointed a minister for corporate social responsibility. Ethical Performance talked to Kim Howells about his early thoughts on the role of...

inbrief - news

A short course titled Linking business and civil society for the common good takes place 15-17 June at the Schumacher College in Devon. Organised by the New Academy of...

retail sector leading the way forward in Germany - news

The German retail sector has begun to develop policies on corporate social responsibility (CSR). Seven large German clothing and textile retailers have signed up to...

business misses e-trick - news

UK companies are revealing very little via the internet about their policies on social, environmental and ethical issues such as child labour, climate change and genetically modified...

inbrief - news

New supply chain tracking guidelines from the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (CIPS) are expected to be issued within the next month. The guidelines will provide...

charities seek lottery money - news

Two of the UK’s leading trade and development charities have applied for a £150,000 National Lottery grant to advise pension fund trustees on international development issues such as...

United Utilities on top - news

United Utilities has been judged overall winner of the 1999 UK Environment Reporting Awards. The group’s report was praised by judges of the Association of Chartered...

auditors to focus on gender - news

Companies monitoring their supply chains for labour standards must use auditors who are the same gender and race as the workers they are talking to, a forthcoming study will...

follow-up planned for company behaviour poll - news

The largest ever international survey of public opinion on company behaviour is to be followed up with another worldwide study later this year. The Millennium Poll on corporate...

Indian child labour project targets football stitchers - news

A new scheme to eliminate child labour in the football stitching industry of northern India has begun under the supervision of the Societe Generale de Surveillance (SGS) consultancy....

managing sustainability issues in the supply chain - news

By working in partnership with suppliers to improve their social, ethical and environmental performance, companies can reduce business risks for both parties, says Melanie Eddis...

BAT tackles poor image with 2000 social audit - news

One of the world’s leading tobacco manufacturers has committed itself to producing a social report in 2001. British American Tobacco (BAT) will publish the document from a social...

Severn Trent prepares to widen its ethical agenda - news

Severn Trent may soon widen the remit of its external environmental advisory panel to cover social and ethical issues. The UK’s second largest water and waste management group is...

purchasers to look at supply chain guidance - news

New guidelines on how to tackle supply chain issues such as child labour are to be drawn up by the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (CIPS). The institute, which has...

measuring social performance by what the general public thinks - news

Two broad themes emerge from this month’s issue. The first is how best to measure the environmental, social and ethical performance of a company. The second is the difficulty of convincing...

ethical policies are thin on the ground - news

Less than one in 10 of the UK’s largest companies have an ethical policy, according to new research. A survey of 98 of the FTSE 100 companies has shown that only eight have...

inbrief - news

The Foreign Office has said it will publish this autumn its manual advising UK companies on how to invest ethically overseas . The manual, which is being written by the...

ILO attacks child labour - news

A new international convention outlawing the worst forms of child labour has called on governments to work with businesses to protect anyone under 18 from hazardous workplace...

inbrief - news

Benetton has asked the Italian authorities to commit a journalist on the Corriere della Sera for libel with aggravated circumstances over allegations in the newspaper that the...

Aberdeen plumps for new pension fund idea - news

A new ethical investment model is to be pioneered by Friends Ivory & Sime (FIS) on a £20 million pension fund portfolio for Aberdeen City Council. Fund managers at FIS, which was...

M&S firms up its child labour guidelines - news

Britain’s best known retailer, Marks & Spencer has warned its suppliers around the world that they risk losing contracts if they employ workers below the age of 15 years....

Foreign Office guide will stick to the ethical basics - news

The man responsible for drawing up a new Foreign Office manual to help companies invest ethically overseas has said the guide will take a tough stance on child labour, the...

Stop Child Labour - companies

Child Labour Eradication Group - companies

EcoVadis – Supplier Sustainability Ratings - directory

EcoVadis operates the 1st SaaS collaborative platform helping major companies assess their suppliers’ environmental and social performance worldwide.?? EcoVadis combines an...

Marshalls plc: 7th Annual UNGC Communications on Progress Report - reports

Marshalls is the UK’s leading hard landscaping manufacturer supplying superior natural stone and innovative concrete products to the construction, home improvement and...

Publication of the 2015 Nestlé in society Creating Shared Value and meeting our commitments report - reports

How many farmers worldwide supply directly to Nestlé?  Did the company meet its target for zero waste in factories?  The 2015 report by Nestlé continues the practice of...

Nestlé publishes its Creating Shared Value report 2014 - reports

With sales of CHF 91bn in 2014, Nestlé is the world's leading nutrition, health and wellness company. Headquartered in Switzerland, the company employs more than 339,000 people, and...

Sowing the Seeds for Sustainable Global Supply Chains - reports

The Business Social Compliance Initiative (BSCI), the leading business-driven initiative supporting companies committed to improve working conditions in their global supply chains, is pleased to...

BSCI Annual Conference 2014 Sowing the Seeds for Sustainable Global Supply Chains - reports

The Business Social Compliance Initiative (BSCI), the leading business-driven initiative supporting companies committed to improve working conditions in their global supply chains, is pleased to...

Full 2013 “Nestlé in Society: Creating Shared Value and meeting our commitments” report published - reports

Nestlé has published its full 2013 report. “Nestlé in Society:  Creating Shared Value and meeting our commitments” has been prepared according to GRI’s...

Sowing the Seeds for Sustainable Global Supply Chains - calendar

The Business Social Compliance Initiative (BSCI), the leading business-driven initiative supporting companies committed to improve working conditions in their global supply chains, is pleased to...

Human Rights Training for Companies - calendar

Please Note: this training is in Dutch, but can be conducted in English upon request. www.aimforhumanrights.nl/mensenrechtentraining www.amnesty.nl/mensenrechtentraining Child labour,...

Impactt Conference 2012 - calendar

Finding the Sweet Spot: Smarter ethical trade that delivers more for all An inspired and pragmatic one-day conference focused on making sustainable, worker-led and business-focused changes...

Nestlé launches 2010 Creating Shared Value report - reports

Nestlé has just published its latest Creating Shared Value (CSV) Report, which, this year, focuses on the company's contributions toward rural development.

Imperial Tobacco Publishes its 2009 Corporate Responsibility Review - reports

Imperial Tobacco Group PLC has published its 2009 Corporate Responsibility Review. The Review reinforces Imperial Tobacco's ongoing commitment to 'Operating Responsibly' to the high standards...

Monsanto Releases 2008-09 CR and Sustainability Report - reports

Monsanto Company has released its 2008-2009 Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability Report

Telefónica S.A. publishes its CR Report 2008 - reports

The online version of Telefónica's seventh Corporate Responsibility Annual Report outlines the company's five-step strategy on sustainability.

British American Tobacco publishes 2005 Social Report - reports

The British American Tobacco 2005 Social Report is now available online

Paving the way against child labour - bestpractice

An innovative three-year partnership between stone paving supplier Marshalls and UNICEF is all about tackling child labour in the stone quarries in Rajasthan, in India. Traditionally...

African business schools become new CSR frontier - bestpractice

How do you convince company executives, as well as government and other officials in developing countries, that suppliers should have the same commitment to sustainability and responsible...

Creating shared values - bestpractice

Nestlé, the world’s largest food and nutrition company, has been involved in rural development in emerging countries since the 1920s. At that time, the Swiss giant built factories...

A driver of future value - bestpractice

Wearing Well: a struggling clothes and home-ware retailer; losing touch with customers; sales nose-diving; share price dropping. Add to that the question marks over its supply chain, low staff...

giving youth a chance - bestpractice

Kawali is a village in central India similar to many others in the country's 'cotton belt'. But the small community has something few of its neighbours can boast: a 'village motivator' in the shape...

Telefónica publishes sixth CR Annual Report - reports

Telefónica has just published its sixth Corporate Responsibility Annual Report.

setting a standard - bestpractice

For most businesses, implementing a robust ethics policy in Northern Europe is one thing, but applying the same rigours to other regions is quite another. Swedish construction company Skanksa...

SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE INVESTMENT - bestpractice

Fund manager Friends Ivory & Sime argues that institutional investors have a responsibility to encourage companies to improve their governance of ethical and...

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