UNIVERSITY OF GENEVA CSR CERTIFICATE, 2008, MODULE 6 LABOR LAWS, VOLUNTARY STANDARDS AND VERIFICATION
ASSIGNMENTS BEFORE THE CLASS 1. Link to the chocolate, coffee and food and beverage industries in the industry links (#6) below right, and read the posts. 2. Spend a couple of hours on the internet developing expertise on CSR issues in one other industry, so that you will be able to talk about this industry when called on in the class (see #6 below right for links). 3. Read up on the campaign to get Nestle to "Buy Fair Trade". According to the Global Exchange, Nestle is the third-largest exporter of cocoa from regions affected by forced and abusive child labor. "As both a leading exporter of cocoa from the Ivory Coast and manufacturer of chocolate products for consumption around the world, Nestle owes a special responsibility to consumers to ensure that its cocoa is no longer produced using forced and abusive child labor." 4. Prepare for a role-playing session on Saturday based on paragraph 3 above and a mock Nestle Board meeting at Palais Nestle inVevey. The Board is deciding how to respond to a proxy resolution by a New York retirees pension fund about the Global Exchange labor issue. The non-CEO Chairman is conflicted and is played by the professor. Students will each be assigned astakeholder role.
CLASSES Click here for a map and direction instructions: http://www.unige.ch/visite/batiments/fr/mail.html. 4/24/08 (Thursday) University of Geneva. Uni Mail, Room M2130 (2nd floor, opposite the cafeteria, just behind the "loge/accueil" booth) 5-6:30 pm. John Tepper Marlin - Introduction to Module 6.- Road Map. CSR in the cocoa industry. 6:30-8 pm Brent Wilton, International Organization of Employers. 8-9 pm. Nicolas Lorne, Nestle CARE program (auditing and verification). 4/25/08 (Friday) Uni Mail, Room M3250 (3rd floor, same side of the building as the cafeteria). This is the Faculty Meeting Room, with a round table and high ceiling. 9-10:30 John Tepper Marlin, Return to Road Map. Discussion of ISEAL Alliance, an umbrella group for global MSIs. Main members - organic, fair trade, environment, social (labor). 10-30-12 noon. Christine Carey on an ISEAL report she is preparing on the crosswalk between government and MSIs. Class discussion. Lunch 2-3 pm John Tepper Marlin, CSR issues in financial industries - bill of rights for credit card holders? Mortgage abuses. Interest rates and fee issues. Financial aspects of CSR: Microfinance, SRI, proxies 3-4 pm Christian Leitz, UBS, CSR in finance and the likely impact (positive and negative) of credit issues on CSR 4-6 pm John Tepper Marlin, discussion of financial issues. CSR in the food and beverage industry. 4/26/08 (Saturday) Uni Mail, Room M3220 (3rd floor, same side of the building as the cafeteria). 9-9:30 Opening of role play 9:30-10 Break - small teams form. 10-10:30 Final Board meeting. 10:30-11 John Tepper Marlin History of CSR - economic and geopolitical analysis. 11-12 Ashoka video on Alice Tepper Marlin Lunch 1-2 Students will be called on to report on CSR in an industry other than food and beverage. 2-3 John Tepper Marlin, CSR in the apparel industry. 3-4 Ashoka video on SAI. 4-6 John Tepper Marlin, resume-building in the CSR field. Student plans for memo on a topic or industry.
CSR IMPLEMENTATION ROAD MAP FOR UNIVERSITY OF GENEVA CSR STUDENTS
1. Declarations of human rights and conventions. Examples of declarations and conventions: UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, ILO Conventions. Examples of human rights: Freedom of speech, freedom of association, right to clean air and water. At the company level, these declarations are in the form of company mission statements (example: Google's "Don't Be Evil"). Pope Benedict XVI has said in his speech to the UN General Assembly that "promotion of human rights remains the most effective strategy for eliminating inequalities between countries and social groups, and for increasing security." Human rights, he said, must be the basis for ending poverty and war, not politics or military power. As if they collaborated on their timing, John Ruggie issued his report calling for more emphasis on voluntary multi-stakeholder approaches to corporate support of human rights as global legal and political systems struggle to catch up to private progress in the human rights area. The Ruggie report will be taken up at a UN human rights forum in Geneva in June. 2. Local laws and voluntary standards. Examples of laws and standards: minimum wage laws, living wage standards. The traditional way to ensure that rights are respected is to incorporate them into laws that are enforced. However, developing countries do not have enough resources to enforce rights and in many countries a "culture of compliance" is lacking. Many consumers and labor representatives are concerned about buying goods made under conditions that do not respect human rights. Large retailers (especially in Europe) are speaking out for consumers vis-a-vis large producers like food an beverage companies, mining companies and toy and apparel manufacturers. Voluntary standards may be created by or for an individual company (e.g., Mattel), by an industry (ICTI-CARE for the toy industry) or by a multi-stakeholder initiative (MSI). An industry group such as retail stores (BSCI, a group of 120 European retailers that have agreed to audit the workplaces of two-thirds of their suppliers in at-risk countries) or jewelry (CRJP - mining to retail) may adopt one or more MSI standards. Voluntary standards are important in situations where local laws are inadequate or are not enforced. MSIs are implemented by accreditation agencies to ensure that certification bodies are enforcing the standards appropiately. Most MSI accreditation agencies are joined together under the ISEAL Alliance. The movement toward a law or standard as opposed to a declaration is toward something that is enforceable by governments, by courts (via contracts) or by private withdrawal of purchases from consumers or companies. A law that is not enforced is irrelevant unless it becomes a voluntary standard. A voluntary standard is useful insofar as it can serve as a management benchmark and can be verified by an auditor. Many company and industry codes of conduct fail the test of relevance because they have no implementation or enforcement system - they have not advanced beyond the stage of declarations. 3. Compliance and implementation systems. Examples of compliance or implementation or management systems:ISO systems (based on national standards) such as ISO 9001, 14001. Management systems for implementation of ISO standards or SA8000, FSC or other MSI standards.Without a management system, it is difficult for an auditor to have confidence that standards will be complied with between audits. 4. Verification systems. Examples: government audits, NGO audits, independent private certification bodies (CBs). CBs including NGOs that conduct third-party audits against standards should be accredited to audit against these standards and should be subject to oversight by accreditation bodies. Such oversight must include the right to suspend or remove accreditation from CBs or NGOs.
Nestle Role Play (Saturday) Stakeholder Representatives
- The Chairman, Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, former CEO, notes that Nestle's size makes it a natural target for activists, regardless what it does, and reassures the Board that activist interest is not a valid indicator of non-responsiveness or inaction. Nothing, he says, will ever take the company off activist radars. He notes that in the past the company has taken a hard line towards NGOs but says that today this is impossible given the position of the media and now the predonderance of retailers, who are catering to consumers, whether CSR is a passing fad or is here for good. He proposes a conciliatoryresponse to the Global Exchange but is uncertain - upon the opening of the role play - on what else the company should do. He wants the Board to provide guidance. - The new CEO, Paul Bulcke, is considering cooperating with the campaign via NGOs with which Nestle has relationships. He says that since he is new he will wait till others have talked before presenting his perspective, but that he wants the Board to be behind him in the stance he takes in coming months.. - An outside director, believes Nestle should do more about worker conditions as well as Fair Trade and questions whether FT should be the priority. - Another outside director believes Nestle should not allow itself to be pushed around by NGOs and retailers and argues that the company is cooperating too much with activities that will hurt the bottom line. - The CFO agrees that the initiatives will cost money but notes some shareholders are voting their proxies for such issues. He takes a negative position on the appropriateness of social proxies. - The VP Purchasing who is concerned with the supply chain and its problems. - VP Human Relations (personnel), who says employees are sympathetic tothe Global Exchange point of view. - VP Sales, who deals with Migros, Coop Switzerland and other large retailers that are lobbying for more sensitivity to consumer concerns about child labor. - VP PR who reports on the media perspective, for and against, and notes popular sentiment in the media favorable to NGO activists. - VP Community Relations is worried about possible demonstrations at HQ by activists and possible measures to be taken. - General Counsel is very cautious, arguing against not responding to activists (not good for the record) and responding (need to be concerned about the record). These people will be the role players. The professor will play the Chairman and will assign other roles when the class first meets. Students may work together in self-formed teams as in the real world. They can gather facts together. The goal is to work toward a policy guidance of some kind that the new CEO can rely upon.