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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Social Entrepreurship: Legislative Innovations

This white paper, developed by the MaRS Discovery District, is part of a series that explores the opportunities and challenges supporting the growth of social ventures in Ontario.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Monday, March 22, 2010

Google Blog - "A New Approach to China: An Update"

Interesting blog post by David Drummond, SVP, Corporate Development and Chief Legal Officer for Google, view here.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Grievance Processes for Internal and External Stakeholders

The purpose of this post is to consider the issue of internal and external stakeholder grievance mechanisms from a legal perspective.  The impetus was an interesting article I read by John Sherman, a senior fellow with the Corporate Social Responsibility Initiative of Harvard Kennedy School on the topic.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Law Times: Workplace death sparks charges

"Ontario’s first instance of criminal charges against a corporation under a recent federal law may be a signal authorities are taking a more aggressive approach to workplace safety following a recent public outcry."  See full article here.

Report: Nestle Cancels Sinar Mas Contract After Greenpeace Palm Oil Report

"Nestle has replaced the Indonesian company Sinar Mas as a supplier of palm oil with another supplier for further shipments. The Switzerland-based company has also committed to using only "certified sustainable palm oil" in its products by 2015."  See full article here.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

FT: Google to shut China search engine

"Google has drawn up detailed plans for the closure of its Chinese search engine and is now “99.9 per cent” certain to go ahead as talks over censorship with the Chinese authorities have reached an apparent impasse, according to a person familiar with the company’s thinking."

See full article from Financial Times here.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Global CSR Monitor - First Issue Released!

Ogilvy Renault's "Global CSR Monitor", released this week...

Bill C-300 - Opposition Making Sense

While attending the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) conference in Toronto Canada this week, I had some very interesting conversations regarding Bill C-300.

PDAC E3 Plus CSR Guidelines

I attended the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) conference this week.  It is a huge conference that takes place every year in Toronto, Canada, a trade show for the exploration and development sector of the mining industry.  Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) issues abounded throughout the conference, with interesting discussion of PDAC's E3 Plus Framework.

Globe & Mail: China sends Google stern warning

"Obey the law or ‘pay the consequences,' country's top Internet regulator says." Full article here.

This development puts starkly the question of how legal compliance fits with CSR practices.  What happens when they conflict?  The assessment of the Chinese official is factually correct - failure to comply with state requirements will result in sanctions.  Google has the choice of staying or going.  But, they also have the choice of staying and trying to maintain their integrity in terms of openness, transparency and non-censorship to the best of their ability, despite the inherent struggles and pressures they will face. I hope they pick the third option, and I look forward to seeing what creative ways they come up with to do so.  As noted in an earlier posting this might include working through supranational organizations to promote the transparency agenda.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

How CSR Practice Can Create Legal Rights or Obligations

I have noted in previous postings that CSR standards, once adopted and consistently acted upon by organizations or industries, could become evidence of customary practice that might have legal implications.  The purpose of this post is to develop this thought and briefly discuss one way in which this could happen.

Wall Street Journal: Goldman Warns Investors That Bad PR Could Hurt Business

"Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) has added something new to the laundry list of financial risks it faces: unflattering attention..." See full article here.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Globe & Mail: Syncrude asks court to drop charge in dead ducks trial

"Forcing oil sands company to face both federal and provincial charges at the same time would be akin to ‘double jeopardy,' lawyer argues." See full article here.