Tag Archive for ‘Human Rights’
Executives responsible for sustainability and corporate social responsibility programs at large companies are overwhelmingly optimistic that those initiatives will be part of the “core strategies and operations” of global businesses in the next five years, according to a new survey. Top priorities for those companies in the year ahead are human rights and workers’ rights, climate change, and the availability and quality of water on a global basis.
In July 2011, the United Nations Human Rights Council endorsed a set of principles designed to address human rights abuses by business. In an interview, the man who led development of those principles – Harvard professor John Ruggie – discusses their implications and explains why he thinks the newly-coined term “human rights due diligence” has already become a permanent entry in the lexicon of international business.
The UN’s endorsement of the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights marks not just a successful end to the mandate of UN Special Representative John Ruggie. It also signals a new beginning for business and human rights as companies around the world begin to implement the principles to ensure respect for human rights in all their operations.
In July 2010 the United Nations agreed to a new resolution declaring the human right to “safe and clean drinking water and sanitation.” While the resolution itself carries no regulatory weight, backers view it as important to raising awareness of the problem and engendering support for solutions.
Apple Inc.’s latest Supplier Responsibility report shows a 25% increase in audits of supplier facilities during 2010 to establish compliance with the company’s standards for hiring, training and worker safety. The company said a report by an independent team of suicide prevention experts about suicides last year at a supplier plant in Taiwan found the supplier’s response “had definitely saved lives.”
Business leaders responsible for corporate social responsibility and sustainability programs expect budgets and activity for corporate initiatives in the sector to hold steady or increase despite economic uncertainty, according to a new survey. Climate change was chosen more than any other issue as either a “significant” or “very significant” priority for companies.
The long-running TV series opened this week with a grim depiction of its own animation being made by hundreds of Asian workers and child labor in a dark rat-filled factory. The sequence was reportedly inspired by reports that Simpson characters are animated in Seoul, South Korea. It closes with a gloomy credit to Twentieth Century Fox.
Boards of directors of a majority of large U.S. corporations now have committees charged with oversight of environmental and social issues, but that oversight is often not integrated into the companies’ strategic planning and operations, according to a new research study. The study also found that boards at smaller companies are far less likely to have committees charged with oversight of corporate responsibility issues.
One of the most persistent corporate responsibility issues for many global brands is how to manufacture products in less developed countries while paying fair wages and maintaining acceptable working conditions. The New York Times reports on an experiment by a U.S. clothing company that is paying factory workers in the Dominican Republic a “living wage” – three times the average pay of the country’s apparel workers.
Illegal logging and tropical deforestation are the focus of two newly-announced initiatives – one focusing on the legal risk to companies that buy illegally harvested wood, the other highlighting potential rewards to American business of U.S. legislation that would help end illegal logging and tropical deforestation. “Saving rainforests isn’t just for treehuggers anymore,” said a representative of the Ohio Corn Growers Association,