Business Respect - CSR Dispatches No#111 - 8 Jul 2007

An email newsletter with news and discussion focusing on corporate social responsibility globally, looking at the companies in the news and the emerging issues. Linked to the website at http://www.businessrespect.net and produced every two weeks.

This web page provides news stories and articles from the newsletters. Newsletters also include links to features on the internet, Mallen's blog, and other resources.

In this issue, we look at the issues around vulnerable customers to coincide with the launch of the All Party Parliamentary Report to take place later this month.

Welcome

This month, the All Party Parliamentary Group on CSR - a UK group of parliamentarians interested in the subject - will be launching the report following its inquiry into vulnerable customers. It is a project that I have provided the drafting input for, and constitutes one of the reasons amongst several this newsletter has been somewhat erratic in appearance of late. I am still trying to sort out the time management challenge on that one. In any case, the issue is a good one, so I thought I would break with tradition and use the same article here I have used for my Ethical Corporation column since it gives an overview of what the issues around vulnerable customers are about.

The vote on the website will be changed before the next issue, so just a week or so left to register your views. As things currently stand:

Recent announcements by the big supermarkets about environmental practices represent:
A real shift towards sustainable practice 224 (28%)
A small step only, with much more needed 354 (45%)
Nothing but cynical public relations 211 (27%)

Thanks as alwasy to the 789 people that have voted.

News

Potential danger from wholesale move towards biofuels

The UK investor Co-operative Insurance (CIS) has added its voice to concerns raised about the huge growth in interest in biofuels as part of the solution to climate change, suggesting that long-term impacts may be being ignored in the rush to embrace an easy solution.

Korea: Google to introduce age verification on searches

Google has conceded to a request by the South Korean government to introduce age verification on the results of certain searches via the Korean Google website.

Wal-Mart critics leave to join political campaign

Two of the key figures behind the anti Wal-Mart campaign are about to leave to join the presidential campaign of Democrat John Edwards, raising questions about whether the recent aggressive campaign approach will begin to lessen.

US: Kohl's withdraws Daisy Fuentes clothes over sweatshop attack

Kohl's has withdrawn some lines of its Daisy Fuentes clothing brand after one of its Guatemalan suppliers was accused of operating a sweatshop where workers are forced to work unpaid overtime.

UK: McDonald's turns cooking oil into biodiesel

Fast food company McDonald's has announced that the cooking oil it uses in its UK restaurants will be re-used as fuel for its fleet of lorries.

Global Compact Summit: Leaders boost momentum for change

The Global Compact Leaders Summit has seen a range of initiatives and pledges aimed at boosting the momentum behind responsible business practice worldwide.

Nigeria: British American Tobacco faces accusations of targeting the young

British American Tobacco and other tobacco companies are being sued by four Nigerian states over allegations that they targeted young and underage smokers in Nigeria to increase smoking rates.

Article

The invisible problem

Author: Mallen Baker, dated 8 Jul 2007

At first glance, you may not even see them, or notice them. But how you do business may do them desperate damage, or give them a lifeline. They are your vulnerable customers.

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