ABB: As part of ABBs social responsibility policy, the engineering group is working with a local initiative to help young people build a future free from gang-based violence and drugs.
Akzo Nobel: This international chemicals company makes health, safety and environmental protection an integral part of its business policy. Its website lists initiatives at plants in Europe and the United States to reduce, manage and recycle industrial waste.
Altos Hornos de Mexico: Mexico's largest steel-maker has set up a cyber based Environmental Management System open to its own staff and other companies. The company is determined to remain at the cutting edge of sustainable development.
Aventis: Thanks to Aventis' committment to the World Health Organization's fight against sleeping sickness progress is already being made.
British American Tobacco: Souza Cruz SA, the Brazilian subsidiary of BAT, has launched a programme to combat child labour. The programme, The Future is Now, seeks to ensure that children under the age of 16 receive a proper education.
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BP: How the company seeks to contribute to the development of civil society by establishing clear ethical standards for itself and its contractors. The site includes community case studies covering environmental protection, education and health care, including initiatives in war-ravaged Angola.
Citigroup: Financial services giant Citigroup is encouraging sustainable enterprise in Latin America through its work with the World Resources Institute on the New Ventures initiative.
Credit Suisse Financial Services: The Swiss firm unites with UNICEF to launch the Ticket to Life campaign to ensure children everywhere have official papers, like birth certificates, thereby obliging governments to take responsibility for their welfare.
DaimlerChrysler: Through its POEMA project (Povery and Environment in the Amazon), DaimlerChrysler encourages small communities in the Brazilian rainforest to farm their land in a sustainable manner. The natural fibres are then used in vehicle production.
Deutsche Bank: The Deutsche Bank Microcredit Development (MDF) backs small loans for poor people in developing countries, giving them the chance to buy basic equipment and raw materials to set up or expand a business, thus breaking the poverty cycle.
DSM: One of many chemicals companies throughout the world that endorse Responsible Care, a voluntary international action programme set up by the chemical industry to improve safety, health and environmental performance.
Ericsson: The Swedish communications company has launched a humanitarian offensive to donate expertise and hardware to assist victims of disaster. The Ericsson Response campaign aims to provide on-the-ground assistance to the world's leading disaster relief agencies including the United Nations and the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.
Fiat: The car maker has teamed up with the Italian Ministry for the Environment and the country's oil industry association Unione Petrolfera in a new drive to promote low-emission methane-powered vehicles and reduce air pollution in Italy's cities.
Fransabank: Lebanon's oldest bank is helping its country's development and reconstruction process. Fransabank's contributions range from large donations to help rebuild Lebanon's infrastructure, to the maintenance of public gardens and the promotion of tree-planting along the streets of Beirut.
Gerling: The German insurance group is providing financial and managerial support to an initiative that will alleviate the drinking water shortage threatening the Greek island of Milos.
GlaxoSmithKline: runs a worldwide good corporate citizenship programme, including:
Â· water supply projects for developing countries
Â· HIV patient communication initiatives
Â· community projects in South Africa to combat tuberculosis and other diseases.
H&M: Former child labourer Reena has set up a business making bags in Bangladesh, two years after graduating from a sewing course run by international clothes firm H&M.
HSBC Holdings plc: As part of a US$ 50 million contribution to Investing in Nature, a joint project with the conservation charities Earthwatch, WWF and Botanic Gardens Conservation International, this international banking and financial services organization will pay for its employees to help scientists collect data for environmental projects.
Levi Strauss: The company's Global Sourcing and Operating Guidelines help it to select business partners who follow work place standards and business practices that are consistent with company policies. These requirements are applied to every contractor who manufactures or finishes products for Levi Strauss & Co.
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L'Oréal: L'Oréal has joined forces with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to encourage women to pursue scientific careers. The programme awards annual prizes to eminent women scientists aswell as providing grants for young women researchers. The winners' research focuses mainly on alleviating human suffering through medical innovation or technologies that will increase food production.
Mondragón Corporación Cooperativa (MCC): The largest business corporation in the Basque Country, has stepped up support for a local university in the region - another example of how business is supporting the values of the UN-business Global Compact.
Nestlé: The world's biggest food company set up its first factory in China more than 10 years ago in the country's North-Eastern region, where the climate is one of harsh winters and hot summers. The milk products factory at Shuangcheng has brought many benefits to local farmers, including programmes for improved cattle breeding, better milk prices, better road systems between the farms and the factory and improvements in livestock feed to increase milk production.
Nike: In a mission statement, Nike pledges to lead in corporate citizenship through proactive programmes "that reflect caring for the world family of Nike, our teammates, our consumers and those who provide services to Nike." The site sets out policies, practices and programmes "affecting the lives and well-being of people making Nike products around the world."
Novartis: As partner of the "Global Alliance for the Elimination of Leprosy" Novartis donates drugs to the World Health Organisation. As part of its commitment to corporate citizenship, the company is also providing drugs for the "Roll Back Malaria" programme to the WHO at cost.
Ondeo: As part of its commitment to providing sustainable water supplies in developing countries, Ondeo, the international watercompany, has helped bring clean water to rural villages in South Africa. The scheme is self-financing and local communities participate in its management.
Reebok: A section devoted to human rights features on the Reebok site. The company reports on the code of conduct implemented in factories manufacturing Reebok products to ensure safe and healthy working conditions. Reebok says that factory workplace conditions are assessed with the assistance of external monitors.
Royal Dutch/Shell: Shell Brasil describes how it became the first gasoline distributor in Brazil to insert in its contracts with suppliers a ban on the use of child labour. By November 1999, the clause had been introduced in contracts with 39 distilleries.
TEPCO: The Tokyo Electric Power Company has taken its fight against global climate change and environmental degradation on to the world stage with innovative schemes in Australia, China, Indonesia, Russia and Thailand.
Unilever: The company is heavily engaged in sustainable farming, fisheries conservation and clean water stewardship. Initiatives range from tree planting in Thailand to adult literacy programmes in Brazil.
WebMD Foundation: This leading medical organization is using the Internet to spearhead a plan to deliver free, instant medical assistance to people in the world's least developed nations.
Baxter's Treated Wastewater to Irrigate Nursery Stock Round Lake, Illinois - Baxter Healthcare Corporation and Synnestvedt Company's nursery division have launched a novel water reclamation project that will beneficially reuse treated wastewater at Baxter's Round Lake, Ill., campus. The project, a first-of-its kind in Illinois, involves Baxter leasing approximately 185 acres of land to Synnestvedt for the planting of nursery stock, which will be irrigated with Baxter's treated wastewater.
India: Coca-Cola ordered to stop extracting water in Kerala
The Kerala High Court has ordered Coca-Cola to stop extracting the ground water for its controversial bottling operations that have seen accusations that the company is draining the region's natural resources and despoiling the environment.The ruling could end up forcing the plant to close, as alternative sources of the high quantities of water required will be difficult to envisage. It has been given one month to cease its extractions. The move comes as a major victory for large numbers of local residents that have claimed the company's overconsumption of water was turning their agricultural land into a desert. Justice K Balakrishnan Nair told the company that it owned the 40 acres of land upon which its plant stood, but not the ground water underneath it, which was a national resource belonging to the entire society.
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He said: "Every landowner can draw a 'reasonable' amount of ground water which is necessary for its domestic and agricultural requirements. But here, 510,000 litres of water is extracted per day, converted to products and transported, thus breaking the natural water cycle."
India: Coca-Cola attacked for 'toxic' fertiliser gifts to farmers
A News item from Business Respect, Issue Number 60, dated 25 Jul 2003
According to a BBC report broadcast on its Radio 4 'Face the Facts' programme, the Coca-Cola plant in Kerala has been providing commercial waste to local farmers as fertiliser which has proved to be contaminated with toxic substances.
The programme said it had discovered dangerous levels of cadmium and lead in the sludge produced by the plant which was lying on the fields of local farmers. It was alleged that the substance was actually useless as a fertiliser. BBC reporters also said they had seen waste leaving the factory to be dumped directly into a local river.
The Vice-President of Coca-Cola in India, Sunil Gupta, said that the fertiliser was absolutely safe.
However, Professor John Henry, consultant at St Mary's Hospital in London, said that the levels of toxins found in water samples taken near to the plant would cause serious problems of pollution that could have "devastating consequences".
Meanwhile, Coca-Cola is suffering a call for a boycott from unions across the world over the persistent allegations of involvement in the use of violence and intimidation by bottlers against workers in Colombia.
A current lawsuit had seen Coke removed by the judge from the case, with the process continuing against the bottlers. However, campaign groups have not been similarly satisfied that the company bears no responsibility.
India: Many bottled water brands found to contain pesticides
A News item from Business Respect, Issue Number 49, dated 3 Feb 2003
Residues of powerful pesticides such as lindane and DDT have been found in amounts many times over maximum safe levels in a variety of popular bottled water brands in India.
The pesticides are persistent and highly toxic, building up in body tissues over the years. They can cause cancer, attack the nervous system and weaken the immune system.
Amongst the worst brands were Aquaplus, given to railway passengers, with pesticide at 104 times the safe limit, Bisleri, the top selling brand, with pesticide at 79 times the limit, and Coca-Cola's Kinley, with concentration levels 14.6 times above the limit.
Malaysia: Business should help to eradicate poverty
companies that play their part in meeting their social responsibilities can expect to generate better returns, whilst creating an educated workforce and enhancing the country's ability to attract foreign investment. "This will create more opportunities for businesses to prosper," he said in his presentation on "Bridging the Gap Between Business Priorities and Poverty Challenges". For example, he said that a more affluent population would lead to lower levels of corruption, which in turn would reduce the costs of doing business.
Companies need to answer to two aspects of their operations. 1. The quality of their management - both in terms of people and processes (the inner circle). 2. The nature of, and quantity of their impact on society in the various areas.
Ten leading banks sign up to social and environmental principles
Ten leading banks have announced that they have adopted a set of principles to govern how they manage social and environmental issues relating to the financing of development projects. The banks, from seven different countries, are ABN AMRO Bank, N.V., Barclays PLC, Citigroup, Inc., Credit Lyonnais, Credit Suisse Group, HVB Group, Rabobank, Royal Bank of Scotland, WestLB AG, and Westpac Banking Corporation. In adopting the Equator Principles, the banks should provide loans only to those projects whose sponsors can demonstrate that projects have been developed in a socially responsible manner. The banks will apply the Equator Principles to all loans for projects with a capital cost of $50 million or more. The Equator Principles are based on the policies and guidelines of the World Bank and International Finance Corporation (IFC). The banks received extensive advice and guidance from IFC, the private-sector investment arm of the World Bank, in drafting the Equator Principles.
a Louisiana bank that was approached by an environmental group seeking help to save local wetlands. The bank president realized that his bank had branch offices in all the communities where the wetlands were disappearing. The disappearance of the wetlands would affect local economies and, consequently, the bank. Though the bank had not caused the problem, the president realized that, for the bank's own good, it had to deal with the problem. The bank's subsequent remedial actions could be considered an "asset" that would appear in an environmental report but not in a standard financial report.
Several countries and companies are using or referring to GRI guidelines. The Netherlands requires public companies to report, and it refers to GRI guidelines. France mandates sustainability reporting by corporations, but does not provide a reporting framework or principles. Australia has aligned its environmental guidance with that of the GRI. Japan has just announced that it will mandate environmental reporting and is working with the GRI to develop a compatible framework. Alyson Slater, associate director of the GRI, said that some 450 public companies have issued triple-bottom-line reports using the GRI framework. That number is three times the number of 2002. Half of the companies are in Europe, but Japan is the country with the most companies reporting. Slater explained that sustainable development can directly drive or limit value creation.
The big accounting firms are seeing increasing business from consulting on sustainability reports, and participation by industry leaders indicates an interest in the concept. Samuel A. DiPiazza, chief executive officer of PricewaterhouseCoopers, has participated in a Forum for Corporate Conscience panel, and James H. Quigley, CEO of Deloitte & Touche USA, is on the forum's board of advisors.
KPMG has formed a global sustainability services consultancy. It involves some 400 people worldwide. About a third of them are CPAs. Another third have backgrounds in corporate governance. Another third are engineers and technical specialists in fields relating to sustainability.
A Dow Jones Sustainability Index tracks the economic, environmental and social performance of more than 300 global companies (such as Siemens, Nokia and Home Depot). PricewaterhouseCoopers recently published a survey of 140 U.S. corporations, arguing that companies that ignore the triple bottom line are "courting disaster." (PwC does not, however, offer names of the strong and weak performers.) The triple bottom line, PwC concludes, "will increasingly be regarded as an important measure of value."
Here's one way Dow Chemical is helping its bottom line. It took friendly advice from the Natural Resources Defense Council on 17 low-cost pollution-reduction changes to Dow plants. The result was a 43% reduction in pollution discharges and a $5 million annual savings in production costs.
The first example of shareowner advocacy dates back to 1967 when the social justice group FIGHT attended the annual meeting at Eastman Kodak (ticker: EK) to promote better treatment of black workers.
The first socially responsible shareowner resolution, filed in 1969, questioned the morality of napalm and Agent Orange production by Dow Chemical (DOW).
The first "modern" SRI mutual fund, the Pax World Fund (PAXWX), was established on August 8, 1971.
Truck Convoy Carrying Relief Supplies for Afghanistan Traverses Historic Trade Route
Under the auspices of the European Union, DaimlerChrysler initiates a relief transport on the "New Silk Road" which brings over 200 tons of supplies for reconstruction projects to Afghanistan. The development of Transport Corridor Europe-Caucasus-Asia (TRACECA) is vital to restoring economic growth and political stability in central Asia
DaimlerChrysler is Helping Rebuild the Earthquake-Hit Region of Bam, Iran
DaimlerChrysler has sent an aid convoy to the victims of the catastrophic earthquake in Bam, Iran. The convoy departed from the company headquarters in Stuttgart, Germany, and its journey will in part take it along the Traceca route of the "New Silk Road" into Iran.more
ABB sees results from Access to Electricity program to ease poverty
ABB's Access to Electricity program, designed to promote sustainable economic, environmental and social development in poor communities, is yielding its first concrete results - in a remote village in southern Tanzania.
By Editorial services The 1,800-strong village of Ngarambe, on the edge of the Selous National Park, has received electricity under the program. Changes and improvements - in such areas as small businesses, education and health care - are already noticeable. ABB and WWF, the global conservation organization, have teamed up to ensure the sustainable development of the village. The project is serving as a model for further, larger Access to Electricity projects aimed at easing poverty in other rural or semi-urban parts of Africa and Asia.Part of UN Global CompactThe Access to Electricity program is ABB's response to the United Nations Global Compact which urged companies and organizations to provide greater assistance to least developed countries. ABB was one of the first international companies to sign on to the Global Compact after UN secretary general Kofi Annan launched it in 2000.The program is much more than a rural electrification project. ABB works with other stakeholders - governments, companies, non-governmental organizations, aid agencies, civil society - with each partner bringing its complementary skills to the project. It is not an "outside-in"program - emphasis is placed on working with local authorities to establish villagers' needs, and ensure that whatever is introduced - such as electricity -is affordable long-term.In Ngarambe, power from a diesel-fired generator is lighting up the school, dispensary, local government office, mosque, small businesses on the main road and a number of homes. The electricity - which is cheaper the kerosene used until now - is on for four hours a day after dusk.Improved health care and educationThe benefits are tangible: The local school holds classes stay open at night. "They can study more for their exams, and it will be beneficial to society," says a teacher. The number of pupils has risen from 250 to 350 since the arrival of electricity in mid-2004.At the dispensary, the doctor can now also treat his patients at night. He is intending to install a refrigerator for medicines. The measures will save some of his patients from the lengthy journey to the nearest hospital 70 kilometeres - or two hours ride - from Ngarambe.Local stores and a teashop are also feeling the benefit from being able to stay open longer and provide cold drinks.ABB supplied the generator, installed underground cables and low-voltage equipment, and trained local people to run the power supply. WWF provided guidance on issues ranging from reducing deforestation to health care and environmental education.Expanding the programFurther steps are planned. Feasibility studies are under way to introduce a windpower installation to replace the generator; to electrify a maize mill and a sawmill; and more homes are being linked to the mini-grid.ABB and WWF are exploring similar projects in other parts of Tanzania, including nearby villages in the Selous game reserve. And ABB is working with other partners on World Bank-financed projects in Senegal and Uganda.The Access to Electricity program is a commercial, as well as social venture for ABB. External funding is therefore needed for further projects.Successful start"The project in Ngarambe marks a successful, concrete start to ABB's Access to Electricity program, and we are now seeking to expand it in Tanzania and beyond," says Christian Kornevall, head of ABB Group Sustainability Affairs. "It is important that stakeholders realize that a large company can be part of a solution to a problem, in this case helping to ease rural poverty.""Together with the local community and authorities, WWF's field work in Ngarambe has focussed on developing sustainable solutions to improve people's livelihoods," says Claude Martin, Director General, WWF International This first step in the cooperation with ABB resulted in a locally adapted solution. We look forward to the next step, with the implementation of a renewable energy solution."
Citibank India community partners extend micro-credit to low income women in urban areas. They have successfully organised women's collectives and channelled financial resources to those women who are otherwise left out.
American Bank has a semi-permanent partnership with SOS Children's Villages , where they invite employees to contribute a certain amount from their salaries.
ICICI launched a social development portal, www.icicicommunities.org . The portal comprises a medium for online donation and resource centres on education and infant mortality prevention. Besides, a trading zone to local communities enabling them to access the global retail market is envisioned.
Thomson Electric in 1997 under a scheme gave certain amount to CRY a NGO for each set sold.
a) Jet Airways . From 1997, has been able to raise a considerable amount of money for 'Save the Children India'
b) Proctor & Gamble 's initiative with UNICEF
c) Inter-Continental Hotels : Round-up for children with UNICEF
HMT watches has tied up with Amar Jyoti a NGO which works with disabled children in New Delhi. HMT gave training to repair the watches and enlisted the equipment, which was required to do the same. British council & Action Aid provided this equipment. In few months full-fledged repair unit was opened which gave employment to many. Now Amar Jyoti is handling almost 25 per cent of the watch repair work in and around Delhi.
Microsoft has committed $1 billion in cash, software, curriculum and technology assistance over the next five years to Unlimited Potential and other efforts to help reduce the global digital divide. Since May 2003, the company has made grants of cash and software totalling nearly $50 million to more than 150 programs in 45 countries.
Procter & Gamble contributed more than $73 million worldwide in cash and products in 1998-1999. More than $6 million was in the form of product donations and personnel on loan to non-profit organisations.
Avon Products Inc; Bed, Bath & Beyond Inc; Estee Lauder Companies Inc; General Motors Corporation; IBM; The Disney Store Inc; The Gap Inc; The Gillette Company; The Reader's Digest Association Inc ; etc have all tied up with Gifts In Kind International , the world's leading charity-in-product philanthropy.
In India, one of IBM's major initiatives in the area of Corporate Community Relations (CCR) has been in the setting up of the Gandhi Institute of Computer Education and Information Technology, in partnership with the Bharatiya Vidya Bhawan. Set up in Mumbai, Delhi, Gopalganj and Hazirabagh, it provides free computer education to students from the economically weaker sections of the society. The company has also partnered with the Victoria Memorial School for the Blind in Mumbai and donated PCs and other equipment to open a computer centre for imparting training to visually-impaired students from the disadvantaged sections. Kidsmart is another CCR programme being rolled out in India. It aims to use IT to give pre-school children, from the age of three to seven, from economically weaker sections, a jump start in their education through the use of age-appropriate software developed by the company. While IBM's team of volunteers and experts from Global Crisis Management Team helped during the Gujarat quake, there are other continuous efforts like EXITE (Exploring Interest in Technology and Engineering) camps to generate interest in maths and science among young women; and donation of refurbished computers, etc.
Aptech has recently launched 'My Vidya', a basic computer literacy course priced at only Rs 450. 'Project Saraswati' is yet another endeavour towards complete IT literacy to underprivileged students. It has teamed up with leading NGOs in this programme Some of the other efforts include-donation of a computer lab in a village near Pune; support to NGO Pratham's 'balwadis'; computer literacy projects with the Rotary International, etc. In the future, the company plans to take Project Saraswati to the global level. It has already initiated literacy programmes for underprivileged women in Bangladesh and is now extending the same to Nigeria. At Aptech it is the Strategic Business Council team that decides the resource allocation, which is done in sync with the business strategy of the organisation.
In Infosys it is the Management Council, which decides on the resource allocation. One percent of Infosys' profits is, in fact, given to the Infosys Foundation. The company executes its corporate social activities in three areas-The Infosys Foundation, a non-profit organisation set up to undertake projects for the underprivileged. Infosys on its own also conducts training programmes and computer education programmes for rural schools. Employees of the company also donate their money and time to various causes. They undertake projects in rural schools and reach out to communities around them. On a third level, the senior management at Infosys is voluntarily involved in a lot of activities. A few initiatives of the Infosys Foundation are: providing Rs 38 lakh financial assistance to war widows in various parts of India; ongoing construction of Super Speciality Hospital in Pune (at a cost of Rs 3.5 crore); reconstruction of schools in AP and Karnataka, etc.
All big and small IT companies in the country are involved in CSR activities, only the percentage of investments vary. In a world where brand value and reputation are increasingly seen as a company's most valuable assets, CSR can build the loyalty and trust that ensures a bright sustainable future.
Bank opens its doors to Sonagachi's sex workers
With the help of a local NGO, and the relaxation of several banking norms, sex workers in Asia's oldest and largest red light area can now open savings accounts with the State Bank of India
Lupin lends helping hand in Rajasthan
Many villages in the state have come a long way thanks to assistance from the Lupin Human Welfare and Research Foundation . Lupin India Ltd has helped ensure sustainable development in 154 villages in Rajasthan
At Tata Steel, sexual harassment is a punishable offence
In an effort to protect women employees from being harassed in the workplace, Tata Iron & Steel Company Limited has incorporated a sexual harassment clause in its Works Standing Orders (WSO)
If shirts could speak, and people listen
In Bangladesh's textile industry female workers endure appalling conditions. Anita Roddick, founder of Body Shop, calls for a new campaign that starts with forcing international corporations to grant maternity leave to those who clothe the world
Greater corporate accountability will lessen rights violations: Amnesty
United Nations norms are key to the creation of an internationally binding treaty that will hold companies to account for human rights violations, says the global human rights body
Tata Steel's 'Operation Muskaan' brings back smiles
Hundreds of people born with cleft lips or cleft palates have been operated on, for free, through 'Operation Muskaan' a project initiated by steel giant Tata Steel. It's a small operation that has made a huge difference to people's lives
The Fabindia School: Harbinger of change in rural Rajasthan
Girls in rural Rajasthan are being given the opportunity to stand shoulder to shoulder with their brothers, at the path-breaking Fabindia School established by William Bissell to empower the youth of the state
TTK's hospital of hope
A hospital in Chennai rehabilitates victims of alcoholism and drug abuse
Business mentors help set up 450 units
The Bharatiya Yuva Shakti Trust has pioneered the concept of business mentoring, with experienced businessmen helping underprivileged youth set up small businesses.
Cipla prompts a worldwide slide in the price of anti-HIV drugs
The Indian pharmaceutical's move has made anti-HIV drugs more accessible to patients
From diamonds to development
The Bhansalis have ploughed a substantial part of their profits from the diamond trade into health, women's education and disaster management since 1969 More
Protecting the environment, the corporate way
Ion Exchange makes profits in a socially-relevant way: through water treatment, afforestation and organic farming