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What hope for corporate accountability

Here are some musings on the – rather sad – state of corporate accountability in 2015. It is a report of a conversation I had with the folk at the SustainAbility consultancy.

The advantages of second sight

We all love a good Post Office,  I’m sure – but what happens when the Post Office goes bad?

A few days ago we learned that the continuing rumbles about the training for and the functioning of the Post Office’s key operational Horizon computer system, introduced in 2000, did have some foundation. Or at least I think . . . → Read More: The advantages of second sight

The disappointment of mergers and acquisitions

Do mergers and acquisitions make sense?

Kraft and Heinz are to merge. Is that good or bad? The answer depends on who you are. But mergers and acquisitions rarely create shareholder value, according to received wisdom. Of course some (some shareholders, the advisers) are going to benefit otherwise they wouldn’t happen. But the businesses as a . . . → Read More: The disappointment of mergers and acquisitions

What’s wrong with finance?

Why are there so many scandals within the finance sector? From the many news reports the banking, finance and insurance sector across the world seems rife with malpractice.

Insurance seems to be commonly mis-sold – to those who don’t need it and to those who don’t care enough to shop around at the end of the . . . → Read More: What’s wrong with finance?

What are corporate citizens to do when there’s an election?

The answer isn’t to vote – unless of course you are based in the City of London when the number of voters you can appoint for local elections is proportional to the number of your staff.

But there’s a general election coming up, so what can a corporate citizen do?

Businesses have a great interest in . . . → Read More: What are corporate citizens to do when there’s an election?

The social case for value

How does an organisation find out whether it is doing its part to justify its licence to operate? See my guest blog here.

 

Why is it so taxing?

Starbucks was recently accused of paying almost no tax in the UK. In fact it claims it won’t be doing so for several more years. The fact that this has gone on for about 16 years is surely not a testament to the incompetence of its management but to the commitment Starbucks has to the UK, where . . . → Read More: Why is it so taxing?

Unilever has such a nice image

But is it complicit with the TTIP process?

Articles like this one in the Guardian have celebrated the virtues and actions of Unilever in both environmental and social fields. And it is true that they have done a number of positive things and Paul Polman, their CEO, seems personally committed to sustainability. You would have thought . . . → Read More: Unilever has such a nice image

Asda: discounting women?

It may not be quite two women for the price of one man, but Asda appears to have a problem with equal pay. The wider Walmart group, of which Asda is the UK arm has a long history of troubled labour relations – but you might expect a better outcome in the UK, since it is the only country . . . → Read More: Asda: discounting women?

Those that sell to children should report to them

Sustainability and CSR reports are rarely read – with the exception of those who write them and those who audit them. That doesn’t make them useless. At their best, they provide an anchor point and focus for those within companies trying to manage business impacts.

Still, that is a lot of time and money spent on little return. . . . → Read More: Those that sell to children should report to them