In England, businesses are worried that increasing demands for corporate social responsibility could become "compulsory, as in France. From 2003, French companies will have to demonstrate their commitment to CSR by giving detailed accounts of their social and environmental reporting."
Corporate Social Responsibility
A PR firm's survey shows that fewer companies are devoting time and resources to corporate social responsibility. Jericho Communications polled 264 CEOs of Fortune 1,000 companies and found that 52 percent of the respondents believe corporations acting responsibly can weaken the influence of terrorist groups, while 36 percent are more conscious of corporate social responsibility since the Sept. 11 attacks.
Oil company executives meeting at the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) in South Africa say they "want to put a kinder face on their industry practices. But their critics are skeptical and none is smiling yet," reports Associated Press writer Bill Cormier.
Our latest issue of PR Watch exposed the gap between words and deeds at the United Nations World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, South Africa. Amid lofty-sounding proclamations, the Bush administration and business lobbyists are blocking measurable standards and accountability, while pausing for periodic photo opportunities with the same environmental, labor and human rights groups that they are working to neutralize.
Coinciding with the World Summit on Sustainable Development taking place in Johannesburg, the Green Oscars announced this year's winners. In the category of Best Green Actor for achievement in Corporate Greenwash, the award goes to BP, for their Beyond Petroleum rebranding campaign, and their "Oil is old news" ad.
In the wake of recent corporate scandals, Business Ethics magazine, which promotes the movement for corporate social responsibility, is facing up to some unpleasant realities. "It appears that much of the corporate social responsibility movement has dealt in peripheral matters, in language, in mechanical social screens.
"Even the executive from Philip Morris Companies Inc., the parent company of the largest cigarette maker in the United States, couldn't ignore the irony that he had been scheduled to speak about corporate responsibility," writes Marc Levy in an Associated Press report on a speech delivered on Monday by PM vice president David Greenberg.
"British American Tobacco (BAT) has vowed to plow on with its corporate social responsibility program (CSR) -- despite criticism that its first-ever CSR report is simply a PR exercise," PR Week writes. BAT's released its CSR report last week "after a series of face-to-face forums designed to establish dialogue with its critics." But according to PR Week, more than 130 organizations targeted by BAT refused to participate in the dialogue.
During the recent meeting of the US Conference of Mayors, DuPont received special attention as a partner with the mayors in Cities United for Science Progress (CUSP).
Radio stations won't let environmentalists at the Sierra Club run a radio ad urging the US car industry to build more fuel efficient cars. The ad spot specifically names Bill Ford Jr. of Ford Motor Company, an executive who excels at greenwashing his company with rhetoric, while failing to 'walk the walk.' Ford gives lip service to fuel efficiency, but staunchly opposes laws that would require it. Radio stations doing business with Ford and running its car ads are refusing to run the Sierra Club's radio spot.