Has the Companies Act made a difference?

My recent research shows that the Companies Act seems to have made little difference to what companies actually report.

Companies are supposed to have a business review and that should contain reference to non-financial information. But the key findings are that for the FTSE100:

  • 8% have no clearly identifiable business review, leading to confusion for shareholders and stakeholders alike.
  • 17% made no reference to environmental issues, despite wide acceptance that climate change is a business risk.
  • 8% completely failed to include any social issues in their business review; 14% failed to include any social issues other than labour.

Materiality, Transparency and Social Impact courses

I shall be leading courses on materiality, transparency and reporting and social impact in May and June.

Materiality – What Matters (May 27th) – ½ day (afternoon)  Course Aim: To explore how companies can assess whether issues are material

Materiality is a key criterion for deciding what to report and a central plank of credible reporting. But how can it be assessed systematically? For example, to what extent is materiality a function of the scale of an impact? How is stakeholder materiality different from business materiality? And why do companies report so much that may not be material?

 Transparency & Reporting (May 28th) – 1 day Course Aim: To explore the significance, practical delivery and limits of transparency in modern corporate life

It is widely accepted that transparency creates trust. But transparency is much more than reporting yet it is not clear what it really means or how it can be delivered. When is it necessary and when is it dangerous?

 Social Impact – Measuring and Managing Your Social Footprint (June 4th) – 1 day Course Aim: To provide a systematic approach to understanding, identifying, measuring and managing corporate social impact.

Social impact is often said to be the poor relation to environmental and economic impact within the sustainability family. It is poorly understood and under-reported. Why is this? How far is it possible systematically to identify, measure and manage social impacts?

Further details may be found here.


Does CSR Make any difference?

I shall be talking at a seminar to explore the effectiveness of CSR and how it can be measured on Wednesday 2nd December at Middlesex University.

Other speakers are Michael Blowfield and George Frynas.

Pleases follow the link to book a (free) place.


ISO26000 public consultation

The ISO26000 Draft International Standard (DIS) on organisational responsibility is now available for public comment here. ISO has been working on a standard for organisational responsibility for over 5 years. The standard is likely to be influential across much of the world.

Comments with specific suggested wording will be more powerful. In the UK, comments may be sent to Faye Kalisczack. Elsewhere, contact Kristina Sandberg.


Transparency, Responsibility and Privacy: what do they mean for therapy?

In a world of MPs fiddling their expenses and of obscure financial transactions that have brought down the world economy, how much transparency is needed – and from whom? Is personal transparency and integrity just as important as corporate transparency – or should we expect more from companies? What is the place for privacy within therapy? And can it all go too far? Are there limits to how much people should expect to know about others?

On Thursday 8th October at 8pm,  I will be exploring these questions and considering some of their implications for therapy practitioners – at: The Philadelphia Association, 4 Marty’s Yard, 17 Hampstead High Street, London NW3 1QW. Tel: 020 7794 2652


Co-moderator of Nanotechnology Regulation Conference

I shall be running sessions at the 5th Nanoregulation Conference at Rapperswil, Switzerland on 25th and 26th November 2009.

What is it about? In the light of the European Parliament calling for adaptations of the regulatory framework regarding manufactured nanomaterials, what will be the strategy of the European Commission? Which nano-specific information is indispensable for authorities and consumers? Which instruments for communication and transfer of nano-specific information along the value chain are available?

Nanotechnology is an emerging technology that as yet, society does not know quite how to handle. This is not surprising, as perfectly ordinary substances when ground down to a nanometer scale acquire properties that can be terrifying – for good or ill.