Archive for the ‘Corporate Responsibility’ Category

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A Referendum On CSR?

Friday, February 4th, 2011

The Nobel Prize winning economist Milton Friedman once wrote “the social responsibility of business is to increase profits.” An American public relations firm created a survey where they asked individuals from “the informed public” what their opinion was on Mr. Friedman’s message. An excerpt of  the results were published in The Economist.

The world’s striving nations tend to disdain CSR. The top ten Friedmanite countries include four emerging markets (India, Indonesia, Mexico and Poland) and two recently emerged ones (Singapore and South Korea). But there are important exceptions to the rule. Well-informed folk in China and Brazil almost match their peers in Germany and Italy in their enthusiasm for corporate do-gooding.

It is not surprising that several European nations were more in favor of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) than place like the UAE. What was interesting is to see Swede’s so opposed to CSR. The article suggests that because their cradle to grave safety net affords them little need for CSR.

Full Article Here: Milton Friedman goes on tour

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Sustainable business success through corporate social innovation

Tuesday, January 4th, 2011

In an article for eco-busness.com, Tania Ellis writes:

Today’s business world is a world of disorder. Global mega crises ranging from security threats, global warming and the depletion of natural resources to food shortage and the growing gap between the rich and the poor, as well as higher personal levels of stress are changing companies’ freedom to operate, their reputations and brand value, the cost of capital and perceived investor risk.

According to Ellis, this reality is leading to the following investment trends throughout the world:

  1. Socially responsible investing (SRI) is increasing the attention on corporate social and environmental practices by identifying companies that benefit society.
  2. Large pension funds around the world are already using screening agencies to assess how companies tackle so-called ESG (environmental, social, governance) issues.
  3. Since the 2008 financial crises the number of large investment managers and private equity firms signing on to the UN-backed initiative Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) has more than doubled. These signatories manage a total of $18 trillion in assets.
  4. As a result of the growth of SRI, companies are increasing reconfiguring their way of doing business by seeking profits through responsible and sustainable actions.

 

To learn more, read the article: Sustainable business success through corporate social innovation

Why ethical bond investing is a growing opportunity

Wednesday, December 1st, 2010

Tatjana Greil-Castro writes for CityWire

Socially responsible investing has traditionally focused on equities but more and more markets are opening up in the fixed interest arena, says Tatjana Greil-Castro of Muzinich & Co.

Socially responsible investing (SRI) is growing. Statistics from the Investment Management Association (IMA) show that ethical funds had net retail sales of £74 million in the third quarter of 2010, up 25% from the same period the previous year.

Much of the focus traditionally has been on equity investing, with shareholder activism in particular the preferred method for encouraging changes in corporate behaviour. Until recently socially responsible fixed income investing had been limited to micro-finance, community-based lending and some low-yielding government and investment grade funds. Fortunately this is beginning to change and there is now more opportunity for ethical fixed income investing.

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Major Survey finds the vast majority of Brits think banks should lend “ethically”

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010

Brits are now putting more pressure on Banks to use social criteria when making loans to companies.

A new study by the non-profit research organization EIRIS found that nearly two-thirds of the UK public thinks banks should follow ethical lending policies when making loans to corporations. Respondents called for the implementation of polices that prevent banks from investing in companies that have poor environmental records, are associated with human rights abuses, and are involved in controversial areas such as arms manufacturing.

The study also found that the vast majority of British citizens think the new regulations aimed at controlling excessive risk taking by banks are not strong enough. A total of 66% of those surveyed thought that the major banks and financial institutions in the UK have have not learned the lessons needed to avoid a financial crises in the future and are quickly reverting back to “business as usual.”

In a related finding, the Green, Social and Ethical Funds in Europe 2010 Review revealed that SRI funds grew by 29% over the year from 683 to 879, with the biggest growths recorded in France, Switzerland, Germany and Belgium.

Read Two-thirds of Brits think banks should lend ‘ethically’, survey finds

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Consumers: Corporate Responsibility Matters

Monday, November 22nd, 2010

Mark Dolliver reports for Adweek

The tough economy has not persuaded consumers to regard corporate social responsibility as a luxury companies can now forgo. Rather, a Harris Poll released this week finds an uptick since pre-recession days in the number of respondents saying a company’s “reputation for social responsibility” affects their inclination to do business with it.

In the current poll (fielded in September), 18 percent said a company’s reputation in that area “has a strong effect” on their decisions “about what to buy and who to do business with,” up a shade from 16 percent saying the same in May 2007. Another 35 percent said it “sometimes affects my decisions,” up a percentage point from the earlier poll.

Read Consumers: Corporate Responsibility Matters

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