You Don’t Need to be a Healthcare Company to Care for Health

Recently, I’ve been writing about ethics and how an organization embraces an ethical obligation, even when it seemingly conflicts with the bottom line.

Along these same lines, I’ve been seeing many organizations that have taken active steps to push ahead with a CSR initiative in a way that supports both the stakeholder and the community at large.  There is a growing understanding that positive societal and environmental outcomes need to be a part of a company’s mission.

Take Unilever as an example.  This month, the company’s food service arm, Unilever Food Solutions, is campaigning among restaurants to cut 100 calories …

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Serving the Corporate Responsibility Profession

Back in April 2009, I was a founding member of the governing board of the Corporate Responsibility Officers Association.  In a short post I wrote at the time I noted my aspiration “that one of the things the CROA will be able to contribute to will be increasing the structure and recognition of the role and in so doing, will enhance the professional standing of practitioners.”  In fact I made such a big thing of this at the governing board meetings that I was asked to set up a new committee of the association to address exactly this. (What I …

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When is It Right to Cut Off Social Media and Telecoms?

Many years ago, before I ever knew what CSR was, I had a task to identify phone numbers in another country that were being used to carry pornographic services.  Bear with me on this!

Due to a peculiarity of the payment system for international calls at that time, a small foreign nation stood to gain a lot of money from such calls. By chance, the particular combination of international access code and country dialing code looked, to the uninitiated, like a London phone number. Cards with these numbers on them were being distributed to teenage boys in the UK, outside the gates …

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Beyond Compliance or Meddling In Government’s Role?

The response from corporations to WikiLeaks raises important questions about the boundaries of corporate responsibility. In many ways in refraining from accepting WikiLeaks related financial transactions, companies like MasterCard and PayPal have had a more immediate impact on WikiLeaks than government is able to have.

I define corporate responsibility as ‘beyond compliance’ and that is where I try to spend most of my time. But I also realize that there are limits to how far that approach can be applied. The challenge for a company is identifying the boundary between appropriate action ‘beyond compliance’ and inappropriate meddling in the government’s role.…

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Corporate Responsibility Officers Need an Ethics Code!

I posted this on the blog of the Corporate Responsibility Officers Association on October 4, 2010

Doctors have an ethics code. PR professionals, accountants, lawyers, ombudsman, engineers and ethics officers all have ethics codes.  In many ways, a well crafted ethics code defines a profession; it gives guidance to its practitioners to support the most taxing judgment calls they will have to make and articulates its defining values to those outside the profession.

Deciding between what is right and wrong can sometimes be difficult. Corporate Responsibility practitioners often have to go further and decide between two rights.  We also have …

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