SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE COMPANIES – WHO IS DOING THEIR PART?


/images/12877-12348/subaru.jpg”>            The Naked Corporation: How the Age of Transparency Will Revolutionize Business


The idea behind the sexy title of this 2003 book was that information technology, chiefly the Internet, puts corporate misbehavior on display as never before. Thanks to the Web, consumers can compare product info, disgruntled employees and whistleblowers can air dirty laundry and upload embarrassing documents, investors can get wind of financial shenanigans and activists of all stripes are able to publicize a company’s environmental and social transgressions. Now, three years later, corporations realize this and are fighting to prove they are in fact socially responsible.

Japanese automaker Nissan has made its way onto the top-50 list of the worlds most socially responsible companies. Nissan placed 49th on the list and was one of just 5 Japanese companies named. Ford was the only other automaker to make the list which was released recently.

The results came from a survey by Global Reporters which combines information from consultancy and think-tank SustainAbility Ltd., the UN Environment Program (UNEP) and Standard & Poor’s (S&P). The survey looks at CSR reporting by worldwide companies according to globally accepted standards, and results have been published biannually for over a decade.

In an age where many corporations are seen by the public as having little more purpose than profit generation at any cost, Nissan is excited to have made the list. They say that the results emphasize their strong commitment to corporate social responsibility based on principles of corporate governance, accountability and transparency.


                        SStarbucks Corp. has launched an aggressive plan to ensure coffee sold in its stores comes from environmentally friendly farms paying workers a fair wage, Chief Executive Orin Smith said in an interview.


By 2007, Starbucks expects that 60 percent of its coffee will come from farmers following strict rules on everything from forestation to pesticides to labor practices. About 10 percent of Starbucks’ coffee is bought from suppliers following such rules now. “It’s very aggressive,” Smith told Reuters in an interview recently.


To benefit Global Green USA, top celebrities are designing, painting and transforming Starbucks umbrellas into original works of art based on the theme “Be Green This Summer.”


Last month, the umbrellas were being auctioned to the public with winning bid amounts benefiting Global Green USA, an organization working to stem climate change. In addition to the winning bids, Starbucks will contribute $25,000 to this forward-thinking organization. Learn more about Global Green USA. Starbucks is also involved with Save The Children , Mercy Corps, and American Wildlife Foundation.


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Business Ethics publishes an annual report on the top 100 Socially Responsible companies. Green Mountain Coffee, with over 600 employees, has taken the number one honor 4 years in a row. There is a dominance of technology firms among the top 10. Hewlett-Packard  is enjoying its seventh time in the top 10. On the environmental front, HP is reducing greenhouse gas emissions by cutting employee travel and using renewable energy.


Advanced Micro Devices (No. 3) made its first appearance on the list last year. Motorola is enjoying its third time in the top 10, and Agilent Technologies its second time.


Others in the top 10 are list newcomers Salesforce.com (No. 7) and Cisco Systems (No. 8). Dell (No. 9) leaped from No. 71 last year, and Texas Instruments (No. 10) moved up from No. 50.


One of the most impressive advances on the list was made by Timberland, which jumped from No. 74 last year to No. 6. Timberland has one of the strongest employee volunteer programs in the country, with its decade-old “Path of Service” program giving employees 40 hours of paid time to contribute to the community during working hours.


The bottom line is you better conduct business responsibly, embrace diversity, be responsible to the community, help reduce your environmental footprint, provide a great work environment….or else!




 

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