companies complain about the costs of “Sarbox” (as it’s known in the accounting world)—and some auditors say unethical companies have found ways to get around the law—others have welcomed this institutionalization of ethical standards and practices. In the U.S., the egregious Enron and WorldCom accounting scandals made the public aware that misrepresenting a company’s numbers can have tragic effects for employees, shareholders, and entire communities.
5 WETFEET INSIDER GUIDE CHAPTER 2 THE JOB LANDSCAPE CHAPTER 3 A HOW-TO GUIDE CHAPTER 4 LANDING THE JOB CHAPTER 5 REAL PEOPLE PROFILES CHAPTER 6 FOR YOUR REFERENCE CHAPTER 1 THE CSR PROPOSITION PHILANTHROPY Corporate philanthropy can help communities solve real problems. Or it can serve as a Band-Aid on a bullet wound. The public tends to honor or vilify philanthropic ventures depending upon whether it views them as authentic attempts to help or as PR ploys. On the corporate side, arguments can be— and have been—made for the usefulness of strategic corporate philanthropy, which is integrated into the mission and operations of the company, as opposed to corporate philanthropy primarily designed as an add-on to improve corporate reputation. THE UN’S TEN PRINCIPLES In 2000, the United Nations attempted to codify CSR— essentially providing inter- ested organizations with ground rules for responsible practices—when Secretary- General Kofi Annan launched the United Nations Global Compact on corporate social responsibility. This volun- tary initiative is arguably the world’s largest CSR program, with more than 8,000 partici- pants and stakeholders from more than 130 countries. The compact asks participants to commit to ten principles that advance human rights, labor standards, the envi- ronment, and ethics. The United Nations provides the following list on its website, . org. If a company signs the compact, it is promising to adhere to these ten principles and to produce an annual Communication on Progress (COP) report, available to the public, that tracks its progress . Human Rights Principle 1: Businesses should support and respect the protection of inter- nationally proclaimed human rights; and Principle 2: Make sure that they are not complicit in human rights abuses. Labor Standards Principle 3: Businesses should uphold the freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining; Principle 4: The elimination of all forms of forced and compulsory labor; Principle 5: The effective abolition of child labor; and Principle 6: The elimination of discrimina- tion in respect of employment and occupation. Environment Principle 7: Businesses should support a precautionary approach to envi- ronmental challenges; Principle 8: Undertake initiatives to pro- mote greater environmental responsibility; Principle 9: Encourage the development and diffusion of environmentally friendly technologies.
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