CSR News Stories
An alliance of news organisations, including the Guardian, Sydney Morning Herald, El Pais, Le Monde, India Today and China Daily have said that they will share climate change content in the run-up to the forthcoming UN summit. The agreement is designed to help raise the profile of the issues.
Paul Polman has called on world leaders to set clear targets on greenhouse gas emissions to force the pace of innovation. Talking ahead of the Paris climate summit, he said that business leaders could help create 'political licence' for governments to promote clean energy.
Apple, which currently meets a reported 87% of its direct energy use via renewable sources, has raised the bar out of sight with its statement that it aims to do the same for the energy emissions it doesn't directly own or control - those in its supply chain.
Bank of America has said that it will reduce its financial exposure to coal companies based on an assessment of the risk to such investments from future regulation and competition from lower carbon natural gas. The announcement is the latest development in the continuing progress of the fossil fuel divestment campaign that has seen a growing focus on the possibility that current oil and coal reserves might come to be 'stranded assets' of no financial value.
Paul Polman, chief executive of Unilever, has said that the company's brands which have the strongest commitment to sustainability as part of their overall brand identity have shown stronger sales growth than the rest. "These brands accounted for half the company's growth in 2014 and grew at twice the rate of the rest of the business," he said, showing that consumers are increasingly demanding socially responsible products.
HSBC has warned of fossil fuel reserves becoming 'stranded assets' according to a private report reported by Newsweek. It says that fossil fuel companies may become 'economically unviable' as moves are taken away from carbon-based energy sources with the potential that this will mean some reserves of fossil fuels never have their financial value realised.
EU regulators to test whether companies like Amazon and Google cross the line into abusing your privacy
Brussels has given notice that it will be scrutinising some of the large US tech groups to see if their practices are either anti-competitive or too intrusive on people's right to privacy. The draft plan for a 'digital single market', made public by the Financial Times, says that the EU will probe such areas as how search results are affected by paid advertising and whether companies like Netflix, Whatsapp and Skype are providing unfair competition to traditional media and telecoms companies.
PepsiCo has announced that it is to end the use of artificial sweetener aspartame in its diet drinks in the second half of this year. The move only affects US markets for now, and the company says it is responding to consumer preferences there.
High end fashion firm Burberry and pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline have been accredited as Living Wage employers, meaning that they have acted to ensure that employees and subcontractors are all paid a minimum of the Living Wage rate, currently set at £7.85 an hour.
Chipotle Mexican Grill has become the first major US restaurant chain to say that it will only serve food that is free from genetically modified organisms (GMOs). The first was previously the first of its peers to label all such foods in its product range - a move which was followed by a small number of others.
Toyota has said that it is to share over 5,000 patents that it holds relating to its fuel cell cars without royalties or other charges. The move is intended to help the spread of the more environmentally friendly technology in order to facilitate its take-up worldwide.
US doughnut brands Dunkin' Brands and Krispy Kremes have responded to pressure on palm oil and deforestation with a commitment to sustainable sourcing.
The government in Lithuania has announced a ban on the sale of caffeine energy drinks to people under the age of 18. The move marks a first within the EU, and Lithuania predicted that others would now follow suit.
Christian Aid, the UK charity with a track record of attacking the CSR movement amongst businesses, has released a report accusing many of the key companies "that claim to be driving corporate responsibility" of secrecy because of subsidiaries in tax havens.
Anglo American was criticised at its AGM for what was described as procrastination over the payment of compensation to former gold miners who are dying of the effects of silicosis.
New research suggests that female chief executives are more likely to be fired than their male peers. The study, which reviewed the 2,500 largest corporations showed that 10 percent more women CEOs were fired than male - a difference between four in ten women and three in ten men.
Major businesses in Europe will be required to produce social and environmental reports as part of their standard annual report following the passing of a law in the European Parliament.
The Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (GRSB) has produced draft principles which are open for comment until mid May. The group brings together companies such as Walmart and McDonalds along with NGOs such as WWF and the Rainforest Alliance.
British retailer Primark has said that it will pay an additional sum of compensation to the victims or their families of the Rana Plaza factory collapse which affected one of their suppliers New Wave Bottoms. It had already paid over £1m.
Global telecom company Orange has withdrawn its advertising from the Ugandan tabloid newspaper that has pursued a vigorous anti-gay campaign over recent months.
The Business Respect email newsletter has been produced since 2001 to give news and commentary on CSR worldwide
See the archive of past issues