Corporate Social Responsibility

"I Shop. Therefore I Give."

Tags on clothing for sale at J.C. Penney that promise a donation to WWF.'Tis the season of gift giving, and of retailers trying to grab as much of their market share as they can. While encouraging consumerism and excessive consumption, sellers also seek to tap into nobler urges toward benevolence and charity at this time of year.

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Numbers Game

In late November the accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers announced the results of a survey of 353 East African corporate executives for its "Most Respected Company" award for 2007. The winner was the Kenyan mobile phone company, Safaricom. One of Safaricom's claims to fame is that it boasts the highest profits of any company in the region.

No

Greenwash Hoaxes

In January 2008, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) will "examine carbon offsets and renewable energy certificates that claim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in one place to offset emissions elsewhere." It's part one of the agency's review of "green" marketing guidelines. The review was initially slated for 2009, but is being moved up due to the rapid increase in marketing things like carbon offset programs, a "$55 million market that is largely unregulated." A legal staffer for the U.S.

No

Olympic Sponsors Go for the Green (Forget Darfur and Tibet)

Human rights, environmental, health and labor campaigns around the Beijing 2008 Olympics that seek to change China's behavior are increasingly targeting Olympic sponsors.

No

Fire-Safe Cigarette Laws Don't Light Any Fires Under Tobacco Companies

fireMost people don't know it, but cigarettes sold in some states are now more dangerous than ones sold in other states. Deaths and damage from cigarette-caused fires have motivated New York, Vermont, California and other states to enact laws in recent years requiring that only fire-safe cigarettes be sold in their states.

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McDeaths

An extract from Bob Burton's Inside Spin: The Dark Underbelly of the PR Industry.

Cover of Inside Spin: The dark underbelly of the PR industryBrian Page, a 42-year-old railway worker, had been busy before Easter 1992 buying furniture for a house he had just moved into at Mt Pritchard, a south-western Sydney suburb. On their way home, his daughter Melissa wanted to stop at McDonald's in Fairfield for lunch. Shortly after returning home, Brian Page began vomiting and had diarrhoea. As Page's symptoms were initially indistinguishable from a bout of the flu, his doctor gave him a medical certificate and sent him home. Page took to bed for the next three days but on the fourth day went back to work, even though he wasn't feeling well. His boss noticed that Page was unable to write properly and seemed disoriented and confused by his work. He was so concerned about Page that he called a taxi and sent him home, but by then Page recognised something was seriously wrong and went straight to Liverpool Hospital. What was unknown to Page and his doctor was that he had been exposed to Legionella bacteria. If detected early, Legionnaires disease can be treated with antibiotics. Untreated, it can be a killer. Two days after being admitted to the intensive care unit of Liverpool Hospital, Page died. On what would have been his 43rd birthday, more than 100 family and friends attended his funeral.14

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