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 . . . → Read More: Unilever has such a nice image

Can corporate affairs be justified?

Can ‘corporate diplomacy’ ever deliver an enduring social licence to operate? See my review of Witold Henisz’ book on corporate diplomacy here. The review looks at the limitations of the business case for delivering true accountability.

What attitude should companies take to Russia?

Russia has annexed Crimea – what is a company to do about it? Russia has ignored due process in annexing the Crimea, yet the level of popular support for Russia in the Crimea seems very high. And Ukraine is clearly split – but then it has been tossed between higher powers, like so much of . . . → Read More: What attitude should companies take to Russia?

How transparent is it possible to be?

Vodafone is trying to put pressure on the government to allow it to disclose requests for wiretaps. Vodafone aims to follow in the footsteps of Google which has been issuing ‘transparency reports’ for a few years.

As the Guardian reports, UK regulations make even the disclosure of the existence of warrants an offence. The current . . . → Read More: How transparent is it possible to be?

Transparency of lobbying?

The new Draft UK Bill on lobbying is a second rate offering. Key loopholes include:

lobbyists must only register if they communicate with a Minister – other officials, however important, do not count all local and regional government lobbying is excluded from the register the register will only capture lobbying initiated by lobbyists. So if . . . → Read More: Transparency of lobbying?

Companies: too much like citizens

How much do we want to share our democracy with companies? There’s no doubt a place for companies to make stuff and sell it – but should there be a place for them to pay for political parties and influence party policies? Individuals have the right to petition and influence their rulers, but should companies . . . → Read More: Companies: too much like citizens

What went wrong at Rio?

How did it happen that Rio+20 is universally seen as a failure? The best that can be said is that it was a disappointment. And Greenpeace’s view of the agreement is vitriolic:

“Gone from the Rio agreement is a commitment to end subsidies to the fossil fuel industry. Gone is any clear commitment to protect . . . → Read More: What went wrong at Rio?

Lobbying: forked tongues in action

Global Witness has pointed out that some companies are lobbying both for and against dealing with conflict minerals.

While some companies that use minerals such as tanatalum and tungsten are working within industry bodies to implement the US Dodd Frank Act requirement for supply chain audit for conflict minerals from West Africa, others in industry . . . → Read More: Lobbying: forked tongues in action