Along with the Rockefeller Foundation and the International Union for Conservation of Nature, CSRI organized a conference, Developing Untapped Potential: Strengthening Resilience through Business, Public and Civil Society Collaboration, held on November 25 and 26 in Bellagio, Italy. With just 25 high-level participants, the conference brought together practitioners and thought leaders from business, government, and civil society for debate and reflections on lessons in collaboration and resilience and to map pathways forward.
On November 6 at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, CSRI Director Jane Nelson spoke on a panel, Corporate Social Enterprises: A Business-Driven Approach to Development, looking at the example of the Niger Delta Partnership Initiative (NDPI). Nelson noted that NDPI's success is due to several factors, including its intentionally hybrid model incorporating both business and social objectives; its independent governance structure; and its attentiveness to developing local capacity. Fellow panelists included
The International Association for Impact Assessment (IAIA) has selected CSRI Faculty Chair John Ruggie as recipient of its 2014 Global Environment Award. Ruggie received the honor for his work on the UN Guiding Principles on Business & Human Rights.
In a podcast with Ethical Corporation, CSRI Faculty Chair John Ruggie reflected on the two years since the launch of the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, how they have been implemented to date, and the challenges to come.
CSRI Director Jane Nelson served on a panel, "Bigger and Better: Tapping Into Partners for Scalable Impact," at the Business Civic Leadership Center's annual conference on October 10, 2013. Fellow panelists included Jim Coughlan, President of Customer Solutions for UPS, Deborah Holmes, Americas Director, Corporate Responsibility, Ernst and Young, and Simon Winter, Senior Vice President of Development at TechoServe.
CSRI Faculty Chair John Ruggie spoke at the opening plenary of the UN Global Compact Leaders Forum on September 20. Ruggie, the former UN Secretary-General's Special Representative for Business and Human Rights, discussed the new Business Engagement Architecture platform, its intent to help scale sustainability efforts, and its relationship to the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.
At the UN Global Compact meetings in New York on September 19, the Corporate Social Responsibility Initiative (CSRI), along with Business Action for Africa and the Partnering Initiative, launched the new report, A New Global Partnership with Business: Delivering the Post- 2015 Development Agenda, which draws on insights from a wide range of business partnership case studies across Sub-Saharan Africa to set out recommendations on how best to unlock the full potential of business for a new era of development progress. A panel moderated by CSRI Director Jane Nelson discussed how best to address the challenges of translating global development goals into effective and sustained local action, how to enable transformational partnerships with business to enter the development mainstream, and how to establish effective accountability and governance mechanisms to underpin the Post-2015 development framework. Panelists included Ambassador Macharia Kamau, Permanent Representative, Kenya Mission to the United Nations; Andy Wales, Senior Vice President for Sustainable Devleopment, SABMiller; Olav Kjorven, Assistant Secretary-General and Director of the Bureau for Development Policy, United Nations Development Programme; and Miguel Veiga-Pestana, Vice President for Global External Affairs, Unilever.
CSRI is delighted to announce a new report, The Coca-Cola Company’s 5by20 Initiative: Empowering Women Entrepreneurs across the Value Chain, co-published with Business Fights Poverty. The report, authored by CSRI Senior Fellow Beth Jenkins and Research Fellows Kara Valikai and Piya Baptista, examines Coca-Cola's commitment to economically empower five million women entrepreneurs through its global value chain by the year 2020.
On September 4, CSRI Faculty Director John Ruggie spoke at the launch of the UK government’s national action plan for implementing the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. The UK is the first government to announce such a comprehensive plan.
CSRI is pleased to share Bringing a Human Rights Lens to Stakeholder Engagement, the third report from the regular Business Learning Workshop held jointly with Shift. The report focuses on the importance of meaningful stakeholder engagement in a company’s efforts to meet its responsibility to respect human rights.
CSRI Faculty Chair John Ruggie discussed the challenges of implementing the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights with Optima.
CSRI Director Jane Nelson moderated a CEO Roundtable on Cross-Sector Perspectives on Shared Value Adoption at the Shared Value Initiative's Global Leadership Summit on May 23, 2013. Panelists included Vincent Forlenza, Chairman, CEO and President of Becton Dickinson; Neal Keny-Guyer, CEO of Mercy Corps; and Judith Rodin, President of the Rockefeller Foundation.
DVDs of CSRI's award-winning Corporate-Community Dialog video series may now be ordered online. The series makes a compelling case for Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) methods and processes, using real life corporate-community case studies to show the immediate and long term benefits of facilitated dialogue. Each DVD includes all four films in the series.
CSRI is delighted to announce a new report, Project Nurture: Partnering for Business Opportunity and Development Impact, which examines how Project Nurture, an $11.5 million partnership among The Coca-Cola Company, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the international non-profit organization TechnoServe, demonstrates the potential for building sustainable and inclusive value chains through cross-sector partnership. The report, authored by CSRI Senior Fellow Beth Jenkins and by Lorin Fries, explores the partnership's work to double the fruit incomes of more than 50,000 smallholder farmers in Kenya and Uganda by 2014 by building inclusive mango and passion fruit value chains. Business Fights Poverty has published a series of blogs by each partner organization, as well as by CSRI Director Jane Nelson and CSRI Senior Fellow Beth Jenkins.
CSRI Director Jane Nelson moderated a panel, Getting to the Next Level of Integrating Sustainability in Business Planning, at the World Environment Center's Gold Medal Colloquium on May 10, 2013. Panelists included Thomas Hahlin Ahlinder, Senior Vice President, DuPont Nutrition & Health; John W. Conover, President of Security Technologies, Ingersoll Rand; and Paulette Frank, Vice President, Sustainability and Environment, Health & Safety, Johnson & Johnson.
On May 2, 2013, CSRI Director Jane Nelson spoke with NPR's Jackie Northam on the governance issues around the most recent factory tragedy in Bangladesh.
CSRI Director Jane Nelson moderated a panel on Effective Collaboration Between NGOs and Corporations at Interaction's Forum on May 1, 2013. Panelists included Jack Muhs, Senior Vice President, U.S. International Planning, Engineering & Global Trade Services, FedEx Express; James C. Borel, Executive Vice President, DuPont; James Bernard, Global Director, Strategic Partnerships, Microsoft Education; and Katherine Pickus, Divisional Vice President, Global Citizenship and Policy, Abbott, and Vice President, Abbott Fund.
CSRI is delighted to announce a new book published by the Brookings Institution, Getting to Scale: How to Bring Development Solutions to Millions of Poor People. CSRI Director Jane Nelson, who serves as a Nonresident Senior Fellow at Brookings, authored the book's final chapter, "Scaling Up Impact through Public-Private Partnerships." The book was edited by Laurence Chandy, Akio Hosono, Homi Kharas, and Johannes Linn.
CSRI Director Jane Nelson's new book, Corporate Responsibility Coalitions: The Past, Present, and Future of Alliances for Sustainable Capitalism (co-authored with David Grayson), was reviewed by Mike Tuffrey in Corporate Citizenship Briefing on May 1, 2013.
CSRI Director Jane Nelson's essay, "A Call to Action for Business," was published in the Spring 2013 issue of YOUth magazine, a publication of the International Youth Foundation. Nelson makes the case that businesses must look for ways to include youth in their core business operations and value chains, support youth through philanthropy and community engagement, and advocate for youth through public policy dialogue.
CSRI Director Jane Nelson delivered the keynote address at the VI Latin America Socially Responsible Business Forum in Mexico City on April 11, 2013. The event was co-hosted by the Mexican Center for Philanthropy (CEMEFI) and Forum Empresa, the alliance of Latin American organizations promoting corporate social responsibility.
CSRI Faculty Chair John Ruggie discussed the framework behind his work as UN Secretary General's Special Representative for Business and Human Rights and gave insights into his new book, "Just Business: Multinational Corporations and Human Rights," at the Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government's seminar on March 28, 2013.
CSRI Faculty Chair John Ruggie discussed the Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights on NPR on March 4, 2013.
CSRI Director Jane Nelson participated in Oxfam America's kickoff event on March 1, 2013, for its new Behind the Brands scorecard, an evaluation of social and environmental impacts of the world's ten largest food and beverage companies. The top three spots on the scorecard went to three members of CSRI's Corporate Leadership Group: Nestle, Unilever, and Coca-Cola. Oxfam's Jonathan Jacoby blogged about the event.
CSRI is pleased to share a new blog post by Merrick Hoben, Director, Consensus Building Institute, on lessons learned from Chevron Nigeria Limited's GMOU process in the Niger Delta. The process was the subject of the film "The Only Government We See," which is part of CSRI's award-winning Corporate-Community Dialog series.
In a February 4, 2013 commentary for the Institute for Human Rights and Business, CSRI Faculty Chair John Ruggie responded to Human Rights Watch's views regarding the UN Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights and corporate accountability.
CSRI is delighted to announce the publication of a new book, Corporate Responsibility Coalitions: The Past, Present, and Future of Alliances for Sustainable Capitalism, by CSRI Director Jane Nelson and David Grayson, Director of the Doughty Centre for Corporate Responsibility at Cranfield University (UK). The book, published by Stanford University Press in the US and Greenleaf Publishing in the UK, is the first to chronicle the progress and potential of business-led corporate responsibility coalitions.
On January 25, 2013, CSRI Director Jane Nelson moderated the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) LEAD's high-level discussion in Davos, Switzerland, on "Designing the Post-2015 Architecture: The Leadership Agenda." Featuring UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and 30 CEOs and CSOs of global corporations, the discussion centered on how business can help structure positive engagement with the public sector once many of the Millennium Development Goals expire in 2015. UNGC LEAD supports UNGC participants as they strive to achieve levels of corporate sustainability performance as outlined in the Blueprint for Corporate Sustainability Leadership.
In a January 24, 2013 blog post for GE, "Radical Collaboration Through Technology," CSRI Director Jane Nelson discusses the potential that developments in information and communications technology have for collaboration. Nelson serves on GE's Citizenship Advisory Panel.
On January 23, 2013, CSRI Director Jane Nelson moderated the discussion at the Grow Africa dinner in Davos, Switzerland on how best to ensure continuing private sector investment in agricultural transformation in Africa. Launched in 2011, Grow Africa is an African-owned, country-led, multi-stakeholder platform focused on catalyzing market-based solutions to African growth and is convened by the African Union Commission, the NEPAD Agency and the World Economic Forum. The organization has already helped generate more than US $3.75 billion worth of investment commitments by domestic and international companies, and is working with 8 African countries.
CSRI is pleased to share the World Economic Forum's New Vision for Agriculture (NVA)'s new report, "Achieving the New Vision for Agriculture: New Models for Action." The report, prepared by NVA in collaboration with McKinsey and Company, looks at a comprehensive approach to transforming whole value chains and systems, harnessing the power of market-based solutions, and engaging local and global stakeholders in an unprecedented joint effort to deliver food security, environmental sustainability and economic opportunity. CSRI Director Jane Nelson served as knowledge partner for the report.
CSRI is pleased to publish a new working paper by Professor Michael W. Toffel of Harvard Business School, “Reinforcing Regulatory Regimes: How States, Civil Society, and Codes of Conduct Promote Adherence to Global Labor Standards.” The paper, co-authored by Professor Jodi L. Short of UC-Hastings School of Law and Melissa Ouellet of Harvard Business School, compares adherence to labor codes of conduct to determine what combination of institutional conditions promotes compliance with the global labor standards embodied in codes.
CSRI Senior Fellow John Sherman's article,"UN Guiding Principles: Practical Implications for Business Lawyers" was published by In House Defense Quarterly in its Winter 2013 edition.
CSRI Director Jane Nelson moderated the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) Business Alliance Forum in London on December 10, 2012, where members and expert practitioners discussed the latest market-driven interventions to increase the availability of more nutritious and affordable products to Base of the Pyramid consumers.
The United Nations' first annual Forum on Business and Human Rights took place in Geneva, Switzerland, from December 3-5, 2012, including some one thousand participants from 85 countries, 150 businesses, and 170 civil society organizations. The Forum is designed to promote the implementation of the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, a set of internationally accepted principles which provide a global standard for preventing and addressing the risk of negative human rights impacts linked to business activity. CSRI Faculty Chair John Ruggie, the former Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General on the issue, led the work to develop the Principles and is first chairperson of the Forum; Ruggie's keynote remarks are available here.
CSRI is delighted to announce that its Corporate-Community Dialog video series won “best communication or publication” award at the biennial Centre for Effective Dispute Resolutions (CEDR) awards ceremony held in London on November 29. The series makes a compelling case for Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) methods and processes, using real life corporate-community case studies to show the immediate and long term benefits of facilitated dialogue. Awards were made in six different categories, with 22 finalists making the most extensive shortlist in the Awards’ 20 year history. Click here to view the films.
In November 2012, CSRI Director Jane Nelson and David Grayson, Director of the Doughty Centre for Corporate Responsibility at Cranfield University (UK), published an essay for Ethical Corporation, "Sustainable capitalism and the potential of corporate responsibility coalitions," examining the future of the business-led corporate responsibility coalitions. The article is excerpted from their forthcoming book, Corporate Responsibility Coalitions: The Past, Present, and Future of Alliances for Sustainable Capitalism, to be published in Spring 2013 by Stanford University Press in the US and Greenleaf Publishing in the UK.
CSRI is pleased to share a new report on materiality and sustainability in corporate reporting by Steve Lydenberg, Founding Director and Senior Fellow at the Institute for Responsible Investment.
CSRI Director Jane Nelson spoke on a panel on Business and the New Development Agenda at the "Business, the MDGs and Beyond" event coincident with the UN General Assembly on September 25, 2012. Led by Business Fights Poverty and the UN Global Compact, the panel also included leaders from Pearson, RED, Eni Spa, and Oxfam America.
CSRI Senior Fellow Caroline Rees, CSRI Research Fellow Rachel Davis, and Deanna Kemp of the Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining, Sustainable Minerals Institute, University of Queensland, published a report on Conflict Management and Corporate Culture in the Extractive Industries: A Study in Peru.
CSRI Director Jane Nelson spoke on a panel on global performance standards at the Society of Petroleum Engineers' International Conference on Health, Safety and the Environment in Oil and Gas Exploration and Production, held in Perth, Australia, on September 11, 2012. The conference, with more than 1,200 attendees, focused on the industry's challenges in protecting people and the environment.
CSRI Faculty Chair John Ruggie has authored an issues brief on the case Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum, which will be reheard before the US Supreme Court on October 1, 2012.
The Canadian Office of the Extractive Sector Corporate Social Responsibility Counsellor spotlighted a recent report co-authored by CSRI Research Fellow Rachel Davis on the costs of community conflict in the extractive industry.
During the Corporate Sustainability Forum of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), held from June 14-18, CSRI Director Jane Nelson spoke at several key sessions. Nelson gave a keynote presentation on the evolving role of business in development in a session entitled Profits and Opportunities at the Base of the Pyramid. Nelson also moderated a UN Global Compact panel on Transformational Partnerships for Food, Nutrition and Development. The final overview and outcomes of the Corporate Sustainability Forum included more than 200 practical commitments from companies and business networks that ranged from the CEO Water Mandate’s Water Action Hub to sustainability within stock exchanges to voluntary business principles for sustainable agriculture. Nelson also participated in Business Action for Sustainable Development's Business Day on June 19, which focused on the challenge of scaling up impact. At the time of the original 1992 UN Conference on Environment and Development (also known as the Earth Summit), Nelson worked for the Business Council for Sustainable Development and co-authored its report on business and sustainable development in Africa.
CSRI Faculty Chair John Ruggie submitted an amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court to clarify use of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights in the case Esther Kiobel et al., v. Royal Dutch Petroleum Co., et al. Ruggie, along with NYU Professor Philip Alston and the Global Justice Clinic at NYU School of Law, noted that corporations may have direct liability under international law for gross human rights abuses; that states are generally not required, nor are they generally prohibited from doing so provided that there is a recognized jurisdictional basis, to regulate the extraterritorial activities of businesses domiciled in their territory and/or jurisdiction; and that the weight of international criminal law jurisprudence in cases involving individual perpetrators supports a knowledge standard for aiding and abetting human rights abuses.
On June 19, 2012, CSRI Faculty Chair John Ruggie's op-ed in the Christian Science Monitor noted that given the Obama Administration's ease of sanctions on Myanmar, foreign investors and their governments now have the opportunity to show that businesses can and must operate responsibly in even the most challenging of environments.
CSRI Faculty Chair John Ruggie will receive an honorary doctor of letters and give the convocation address on June 14 at the University of Waterloo, Canada.
On May 14, 2012, CSRI Senior Fellow John Sherman was profiled in Chile's business newspaper Pulso for his work on business and human rights.
In May 2012, CSRI published two case studies as part of its workstream on inclusive business ecosystems (the communities or networks of interconnected, interdependent players whose actions determine whether or not inclusive business models will succeed and generate impact at scale).Mobilizing the Southern Agricultural Growth Corridor of Tanzania, by Research Fellow Beth Jenkins, and Building a Strategic Alliance for the Fortification of Oil and Other Staple Foods, by Research Fellow Christina Gradl, follow the initial framing paper by Gradl and Jenkins, Tackling Barriers to Scale:From Inclusive Business Models to Inclusive Business Ecosystems, published in September 2011.
CSRI Faculty Chair John Ruggie's letter to the editor of The New York Times on the working conditions at Apple's overseas factories was published on April 4, 2012.
An interview with CSRI Director Jane Nelson, "The Power of Development Partnerships," was published in the March/April issue of USAID's Frontlines magazine.
A recent speech by CSRI Director Jane Nelson was profiled by Richard Edelman, President & CEO of Edelman, in his blog of March 14, 2012. Edelman's annual Trust Barometer takes a global look at the public's trust in institutions including business, government, media, and NGOs.
CSRI congratulates Steve Lydenberg, Founding Director of the Institute for Responsible Investment, on winning the practitioner award from the Investor Responsibility Research Center (IRRC) Institute for his research arguing that a combination of reason and rationality – consideration of others and the norms of society as well as of self-interested advantage – is necessary for a comprehensive undertaking of fiduciary practice. Lydenberg co-teaches BGP-230M, Corporate Social Responsibility, with CSRI Faculty Chair John Ruggie and CSRI Director Jane Nelson.
CSRI Senior Fellow John Sherman discusses the American Bar Association's recent resolution endorsing the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights in a blog published by Lawyers for Better Business in February 2012.
CSRI's work on grievance mechanisms was profiled in a new research report, "Stakeholder Perceptions and Suggestions," published in January 2012 by the World Economic Forum's Responsible Mining Development Initiative. CSRI's profiled research was led by Caroline Rees.
CSRI Faculty Director John Ruggie discusses the convergence among major international standard setting bodies regarding how states and business enterprises must meet their respective human rights commitments under the UN “Protect, Respect and Remedy” Guiding Principles in a January 2012 commentary for the Institute for Human Rights and Business (IHRB). Ruggie is the chair of IHRB's Advisory Board.
2011 and earlier
CSRI Senior Fellow John Sherman and the charity Advocates for International Development announced the release of a new report that considers how the new UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights should be implemented by law firms.
CSRI released the second of three films on resolving conflict between companies and communities through dialogue. The films are produced on behalf of the mandate of the former Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Business and Human Rights, and CSRI Faculty Chair, Professor John Ruggie.
CSRI Faculty Chair John Ruggie was interviewed in the October 30, 2011 publication of Business Ethics: The Magazine of Corporate Responsibility.
CSRI, together with regional partner organizations, is developing a new Company-Community Dialogue Facilitators Forum; individuals and organizations with relevant experience are invited to join and help build this ground-breaking initiative.
CSRI Faculty Chair John Ruggie rings the closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange as part of a gathering of leaders improving business and society on September 27, 2011.
CSRI Director Jane Nelson moderated the United Nations Business Call to Action plenary on Encouraging, Expanding and Scaling Up Inclusive Business in Support of the Millenium Development Goals on September 21, 2011. The plenary focused on the report "Delivering Results: Moving Towards Scale."
On September 20, a high-level task force on Scaling Up Nutrition presented its initial findings to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. CSRI Director Jane Nelson was part of the private-sector task force.
Catalyzing Transformational Partnerships between the United Nations and Business was published on September 20, 2011, by the UN Global Compact and Unilever. The report was conceived and written by a group of experts from UNGC, Unilever, Dalberg, and other organizations, and included CSRI Director Jane Nelson.
On September 15, 2011, CSRI Faculty Chair John Ruggie gave the keynote address on the lessons learned and future prospects of the UN Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights at a plenary on Security and Human Rights in Ottawa, Canada.
On September 14, 2011, CSRI Senior Fellow Mark Kramer, along with Dean Julio Frenk of the Harvard School of Public Health and others, spoke at a conference on non-communicable diseases.
Catalyzing Development: A New Vision for Aid (Brookings Institution Press) was recently published and included a chapter by CSRI Director Jane Nelson entitled "The Private Sector and Aid Effectiveness: Toward New Models of Engagement."
The Difference Makers, Sandra Waddock's book profiling 23 of the key players in developing corporate social responsibility in the United States and internationally, was awarded the 2011 Social Issues in Management Division Best Book Award by the Academy of Management. Among those profiled in the book are CSRI Faculty Chair John Ruggie and CSRI Director Jane Nelson. Professor Waddock was a Visiting Scholar with the Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government from 2006-2007.
On June 16, 2011, the UN Human Rights Council endorsed the “Protect, Respect, and Remedy” framework led by HKS Professor and CSRI Faculty Director John Ruggie.
As part of the Ruggie mandate, the CSR Initiative worked to develop and then pilot a set of criteria for effective non-judicial grievance mechanisms. The final report, "Piloting Principles for Effective Company-Stakeholder Grievance Mechanisms: A Report of Lessons Learned," may be accessed here.
John Ruggie featured in LEXPERT, "CSR becomes entrenched".
CSRI Senior Fellow Mark Kramer's article in the Harvard Business Review, "The Big Idea: Creating Shared Value"