Posts Tagged ‘Katharina’

The Future of CSR: Reporting In Order To Guarantee A Responsible Consumer Behavior

While writing all the blog entries, we always came across the topic of us as consumers being responsible for a company’s behavior, too. We can have a major affect on businesses by boycotting products. But how can we even know, which information is true and which not?

CSR reporting is a very important aspect that needs to be looked at when we talk about consumer responsibility. Companies need to be transparent, need to publish information about their business and supply chain. This way people, who already have realized their importance in making the world more sustainable, can get information and therefore can influence their consumer behavior. But can we really trust these reports? As long as there is no standardized way of reporting it will be difficult for stakeholders to compare and decide, which company one wants to support.

“The corporate social responsibility (CSR) reporting community is now calling for standardized Integrated Reports – reports that combine the financial information of annual reports with the environmental, social and governance (ESG) data traditionally included in CSR reports”, argues this article.

Furthermore, Robert G Eccles, a Senior Lecturer at Harvard Business School explains:

„Integrated reporting is a simple idea, but it is an idea whose time has come. Voluntary filing programs are an easy and practical way to make this idea the common practice in companies’ external reporting. It is now up to regulators to make it happen.“

And then it is very fascinating to see young, innovative people deal with the aspect of „how can customer easily access the information provided in these reports? Sometimes you don’t have to go far to find a solution. A student of the Berlin School of Economics came up with the “Sustainable Traffic Lights”. It is an App called WeGreen for mobile phones, which allows you to take a picture of the barcode of a product. You then get information about the CSR report of the company’s product on your phone.

It is a very innovative idea and maybe this will work hand in hand with the trend for integrated CSR reporting. Thus it will lead to a more sustainable and environmental friendly behavior of customers.

We cannot assume that companies by themselves will change their profit-oriented behavior; but by building up some pressure we maybe will lead them in the right direction!



CSR Is No Crisis Management

In times of the disaster in the Gulf of Mexico it is important to realize that CSr does not equal crisis management. As this article states, CSR needs to be seen as follows:

„CSR policy is to identify environmental, social and governance risks and prevent disasters from happening in the first place.“

So this means in the case of BP they should now treat the problem in a way it will avoid further problems in the future. Transparency is a big and important word in this context. And if you think about the fact that BP used be in some major CSR rankings and called it a company that takes care of its environment, I found this video quite interesting. Especially if you keep in mind the earlier mentioned definition of CSR. Prevent disaster. Identify environmental, social and governance risks.
The oil spill in 1979 could have been a warning fort he oil drilling industry. Back than they tried the same technology to try to stop the oil spilling out. Nothing of what BP has tried so far worked back than. Why would it today?
And as this website shows and argues, BP is a great example fort he fact that CSR is no optional thing for companies. It is a must.

BP and CSR: A Tragedy?

The oil spilling in the Gulf of Mexico has been going on for about two month now and still we have not heard about any significant steps towards a solution of this problem.

BP is one of the biggest companies and also was one of the companies that really made an effort in CSR and, as say claimed, were doing some good work concerning social and environmental aspects.

“BP Plc has spent up to US$125 million annually on its corporate social responsibility CSR campaign to enhance its socially responsible image in its transition from British Petroleum to Beyond Petroleum since 2000. BP Plc made monumental investments in solar energy and after a string of acquisitions BP Plc even became the largest maker of solar panels in the world.” Furthermore they allow shareholders to get information through their online performance about sustainability.

Today criticism is everywhere and BP and its CSR strategy have experienced a mayor downfall if it comes to its success. Today with the current oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico „The speculation that this could result in a collapse of the company is becoming warm in recent days. BP have been removed from the Dow Jones Sustainability Index this week. The index exists as a benchmark stock measurement for the companies that excel in CSR.“

Tuff times are ahead for BP. But at least they still proclaim to be engaged in a lot of social and environmental topics. But somehow this seems a bit contradicting and makes their CSR efforts look very inefficient and dubious.


Deepwater Horizon Response

It seems like BP is not really doing anything in a sufficient way. We get tired of hearing about BP having an idea but taking so much time to make the idea happen. But is it true? Do they really work in such a inefficient way?

There is a website called “Deepwater Horizon Response”, which allows us to follow ever single step and gives us an idea of the timeline of problem solving. It gives us addresses to contact, information about behind the scene stuff and maybe also a bit hope about the fact that things are happening.

You can get information about all the American states that are affected by this tragedy, about all their plans on solving the problem maps about how widely spread the oil is. It is actually the first time something makes a very confidential impression and it is a website, which combines all necessary information, especially for all the people that are affected.

BP’s Responsibility

When you type in „BP Responsibility“ and search it, surprisingly the first links will lead you to the Corporate Social Responsibility webpage of BP, which will shock you even more. You can find different articles on how BP is dealing with their responsibility in general, but you cannot find something about most current and important issue- the disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.

It somehow shows the denial of the dimension of this issue. And do they also not want to admit that they are responsible for this disaster?

It is very obvious that BP is responsible for the disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. They are now trying to point the responsibility to somebody else and therefore tries to shift the blame onto Transocean, the rig owner. An article by the Wall Street Journal U.S. states: “In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, two BP executives who declined to be publicly identified claimed that Transocean’s own documents specify that its workers aboard the Deepwater Horizon rig were in charge of operations and monitoring the oil well.“

Obviously BP and Transocean are discussing about who is in charge of providing money for the clean up in the Gulf of Mexico. BP is arguing that employees of Transocean were in charge of controlling the rig and therefore the company is in charge for the disaster. At least „regardless of who is ultimately deemed responsible for the accident, BP acknowledges it is responsible for stopping the spill.“

If you would like to find out a bit more about this topic of who is responsible, please check out this interesting article by the “Wall Street Journal“.