Saturday, 21 February 2009

Design the Ethic

Ideally, CSR policy would function as a built-in, self-regulating mechanism whereby business would monitor and ensure their adherence to law, ethical standards, and international norms. Business would embrace responsibility for the impact of their activities on the environment, consumers, employees, communities, stakeholders and all other members of the public sphere. Furthermore, business would proactively promote the public interest by encouraging community growth and development, and voluntarily eliminating practices that harm the public sphere, regardless of legality. Essentially, CSR is the deliberate inclusion of public interest into corporate decision-making, and the honoring of a triple bottom line: People, Planet, Profit.

It is a fairly new idea and after WIKIPEDIA again, it was created as there is 'a demand for more ethical business'.


1. PRIMARK CASE shows how easy is to break human rights outside the Western World. Article is from 22nd of June 2008, which shows a view from only couple of months ago. It also shows how profitable that is. Being one of the biggest retailers of British streets it brings in all the problems and concerns in the CSR issues.

· One in six children in the world today is involved in child labour, doing work that is damaging to his or her mental, physical and emotional development.
· Globally, between 210 and 240 million children are child labourers.
· 126 million of these children are engaged in hazardous work.
· Every year 22,000 children die in work-related accidents.
· 73 million working children are under 10.
· Sub-Saharan Africa has the largest proportion of working children - nearly one-third of children aged 14 and under.
· 5.7 million children are forced into debt bondage or other forms of slavery.
· 70 per cent work in agriculture, fishing or forestry, 8 per cent in factories, wholesale and retail trade, restaurants and hotels.


You may argue that there is a conflict between the business itself and being ethical. Really? Body Shop was founded by human rights activist - Dame Anita Roddick in 1978. It's success is proven all over the world and also shows that there are ways of making ethic work for you. Body Shop website covers it in more detail, having the whole ethos of the company written in their selling culture.

I am not a fan of making ethic being a selling point. I belive that this should be a norm not an USP. From a consumer's point of view though, I can tell that I don't necessarily want to trace every single product which I buy to make sure that the producent/importer and so on are dealing with the human rights on a civilized level. This article about making human rights mandatory is very interesting. I strongly feel that Ethical Business should get as much support from governments and international business institutions as possible.

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