Clicking On to Ethics

The web is rich source of information for companies needing to know more about the greening of business and the aims and objectives of corporate social responsibility (CSR). CSR is an increasingly hot management topic as companies undergo the transition to more sustainable profitability. Managers will play key role in the transition and understanding the issues is good place to start. The web offers some comprehensive reading on all aspects of sustainability and CSR. An excellent resource for finding out about CSR, this site is run by business membership organisation Business for Social Responsibility. Easily navigable, there’s information here about all aspects of CSR from business ethics and governance to corporate citizenship and the environment. It offers an online magazine, written resources and latest research from the world of CSR. Much information is free but some resources require membership. There’s also subscription-based newsletter. This site has everything to jump-start business on the sustainability bandwagon. Another excellent site, this is the European equivalent to BSR. It’s sponsored by Corporate Social Responsibility Europe. Its mission is to help companies achieve profitability, sustainable growth and human progress by taking CSR into the business mainstream. The site provides similar information to the BSR site including news articles, latest research, best practice case studies and social reporting. It also offers interesting demographic material on the potential size of the CSR market in Europe – the site claims 70 percent of consumers in Europe believe company’s commitment to social responsibility is important when buying product or service. pretty nifty site design. This site describes itself as “the gateway to the leading business led organisations on CSR worldwide”. useful site to launch foray into CSR, it includes link to, site that contains database of links to CSR organisations such as the World Council for Sustainable Development and the Institute for Global Ethics. This is the website for the Electronic Policy Network, consortium of top public policy organisations and advocacy groups. This is resource for new thinking in progressive economic policy. The homepage for the World Business Council for Sustainability. Here you can read the business case for sustainability, implications of the Kyoto Protocol on business, as well as access latest news and case studies from the world of sustainability. Not particularly comprehensive, but the site contains some useful information. Ethics feature strongly in CSR and this site provides data from several business ethics surveys run between 1994-2000. There are links to other ethics-based websites and also there’s research bibliography covering topics such as ethics programmes or ethics in global economy. Check how ethical your company is with the “Ethical Effectiveness Quick Test” which can be completed online with results emailed to you. good site for keeping up to date with news and initiatives in the field of sustainable business. There’s “green dream jobs” section, links directory, and green business directory which lists everything from loan funds for green projects to business opportunities. The website for veteran sustainability specialist John Elkington’s UK company SustainAbility, company which has been at the forefront of initiatives relating to triple bottom line reporting. The site features monthly round up of triple bottom line issues, information about stakeholder engagement, and sells copies of The Global Reporters – survey of corporate reports and reporting, in particular looking at the quality of sustainability disclosure and communication. The website for growing sustainability movement. The Natural Step (TNS) is an initiative founded in Sweden by Dr Karl-Henrik Robèrt in 1989. It provides practical framework for businesses to operate sustainably. New Zealand companies such as The Warehouse and Phoenix Natural Foods have implemented the framework and internationally companies such as McDonald’s and Electrolux are using it. It’s fairly bare bones, but this site gives all the basic information you need to find out about ground level TNS. It offers quarterly subscription newsletter from the US branch of TNS, case studies from companies using the framework and online written resources from sustainability gurus like Paul Hawken. The Investor Responsibility Research Centre claims to be leading source of impartial, independent research on corporate governance, proxy voting and corporate responsibility issues. This site is resource base to help companies make decisions relating to CSR effectively and efficiently. Not the most outstanding example of practical website but functional enough.

Damon Birchfield is an Auckland-based freelance writer. Email:[email protected]

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