CSRwire reports the top sustainability and corporate social responsibility news for July 2013.
By Joe Sibilia
Who says only soft news breaks in summer? Big news from major corporations took the month of July by storm—and, a lot of it, good news. Coca-Cola and Mars made significant environmental and supply chain commitments; technology giants AMD and Dell released their corporate social responsibility reports. And as for corporations not acting in good faith, well, our readers took note of that too. Learn more in July’s top-ranked CSR and sustainability news.
Meaningful partnerships between multinational companies and NGOs continue to show signs that collaboration works better than competition. The Coca-Cola Company and the World Wildlife Fund always attract attention. When they combine forces to agree on manageable conservation and performance targets, our audience responds bringing news of their collaboration in at number one for the month of July.
On the other hand, when a multinational picks up the cudgels against an NGO, it doesn’t seem to help the stock price (more on that later). Even though Chevron prevailed in arbitration for a long-standing claim against the Ecuadorian government, the Amazon Defense Coalition claims that the award will go to the Ecuadorian villagers harmed by Chevron. This news came in number two for the month. Their fight continues.
We hear a lot about ‘disruptive technologies’ and how it creates new business opportunities. When a company can get engaged comments from a diverse audience in real time, they are better informed and can react more nimbly. That’s the case with the third most popular story of the month. Mars (think M&M’s, Snickers, Wrigley’s, Uncle Ben’s, etc.) put their Principles in Action in front of a diverse and engaged audience on Twitter, receiving over 650 tweets and four million impressions. It might take them a while to digest the commentary but the intelligence obtained during such an event certainly disrupts the traditional method of survey collection.
CSRwire Talkback bloggers kept CSR and sustainability professionals in check with the month’s posts, concentrating heavily on leadership.
Susan Heaney had the courage to invoke the memory of a great Monty Python movie in her blog that came in at number one for the month, persuasively suggesting that CSR – and the need for CSR leaders – will never die.
Is the field of ethics getting more attention because of a continually slow economic recovery? Are employees loosing confidence in their managers' ability to make ethical decisions? Does compliance truly work? And can ethics be translated into transparent reporting? Elaine Cohen answers these and other questions in the second most popular blog for the month of July.
Women have been quietly leading the CSR/sustainability movement for a while now despite their notable absence in the top echelons of leadership. With surveys suggesting that the more influence women have on Boards, the greater the return for companies, more women want in. Taking the number three slot for July, Andrea Learned shares some examples of women leaders who are leading the charge.
Hot news also came from Fortune 500 Companies setting new standards with these CSR reports:
Some of the biggest news of the month came when AMD, Dell and Sanofi released their industry-leading CSR reports. AMD and Dell both addressed conflict minerals and ensuring responsible supply chain management. Sanofi tackled key advancements to securing access to healthcare globally.
We're headed into a future where reports such as these will be integrated into the Financial Report making the combined effort immediately actionable by investors, stakeholders and influencers. Until that time comes, these reports will act as a great resource for attracting talent and reducing capital costs.
It’s great to see how a company’s global influence changes when geographically depicted, making it hard to reconcile technology with something like conflict minerals. At the same time it’s inspiring to know that credible efforts are under way to change that. Technologically advanced and available across several media, that’s the pulse of the number one CSR report for the month from technology giant AMD.
With all the attention lately focused on whether Michael Dell is going to get his company back, the Dell CSR report received its share of attention as well. The company is earnestly working to adhere to responsible business practices and is requiring its suppliers to uphold the same standards. The Dell report came in number two for the month.
With over 100,000 employees across 100 countries, Sanofi is improving our quality of life in several ways – and the healthcare company leverages over 100 pages to explain that in its latest CSR Report, coming in at number three for July. Sanofi explains and matches evidence with data well for its materiality index. Hopefully, more reports in the future will do justice in targeting their footprint in a similar manner.