OECD Watch
 OECD Watch
 World Confederation of Labour
 World Confederation of Labour
 Business Leaders Initiative for Human
 Business Leaders Initiative for Human
 Caux Round Table
 Caux Round Table
 UN Global Compact
 UN Global Compact
Relevant CSR practice...
 TLWNSI's CSR White Papers
 TLWNSI's CSR White Papers

Corporations tremendously influence policy making in many parts of the world, including outside their home country. One of their major strategies to influence policy in their favour is by financing the political campaigns of corrupt politicians who put aside their most basic democratic responsibility, to pursue the welfare of all ranks of society, and, instead, look for their own self-interest. In the United States alone, corporations gave over $1.2 billion in donations to political campaigns during the 2000 election. This activity has made of democracy a complete mockery, a top down exercise that is moving the so-called beacons of democracy ever more closer to becoming oligarchies.

One positive sign is that, due to public outcry, governments are being pushed, however reluctantly, to regulate campaign financing. The increasing legislation of political financing in many nations nonetheless, corporations have many other strategies to influence policymaking, and make governments work for their interests. Their vast resources, many times more than those of trade unions, environmentalists, consumer organizations and even countries, provide them with a far more powerful position to influence legislators, the judiciary and of course the executive branch. In a study of three U.S. advisory committees, 108 out of a total of 111 members were corporate representatives, whilst only two represented trade unions and none consumers or civil society. Yet, survey after survey show that people are increasingly annoyed by the behaviour of corporations and want them closely regulated, so that they become accountable to all the communities that they impact with their activity.

In this way, the case for making democracy true bottom up has a lot to do with forcing governments to pursue the public interest and make corporations behave socially responsible. Indeed, we can only achieve the welfare of all ranks of society by attaining real participatory democracy, and this can only be accomplished if global and national civil societies get directly involved in the public matter. We must bear in mind that the prevailing culture among most global corporations is amoral, for their only interest, in this ethos of Darwinian capitalism, is shareholder value. Thus, this is how the pursuit, by civil society, of corporate social responsibility (CSR), due to the many ominous precedents of corporate behaviour, is a fundamental task in the achievement of true democratic participation and social justice.

Currently, CSR is strictly voluntary and completely flexible. As could be expected, all the current CSR standards are anchored on the prevailing view that the market is above the people. There is a systematic reluctance from many sectors of organised civil society to put pressure to make CSR a legally-binding framework that places the welfare of every rank of society above the market, so that corporations are forced to change their business practices, to put them in line with a set of norms that stop the so-called "collateral damage" of business activity and protect the right of people to enjoy a dignified life worthy of human dignity, as in real democracy. They prefer to accommodate corporate interests and allow them to make CSR strictly a tactic to gain competitiveness by increasing their so-called perceived image, particularly before their niche markets. This constitutes a mockery of what corporate accountability should be. The most clear illustration of this mockery is the absence of a CSR standard demanding the payment of living wages to all workers, including those in their supply chains, and that provides a clear criterion and a practical mechanism to define a living wage for specific jobs in each specific local economic ethos, throughout the world. This is a taboo issue that companies and the current standards available refuse to address.

To be sure, governments are in sync with this position and are completely opposed to developing any kind of international and national laws to regulate corporate activity to make their interest subservient to the sustainability of people and planet. In this way, the future of corporate social responsibility will depend on the capacity of civil society to change the current ethos. If we succeed, a new paradigm ensuring the sustainability of people and planet will replace the current Darwinian paradigm. If we fail, CSR will continue to be a mockery of what true business social and environmental accountability should be.

Above is a selection of some of the best-known CSR criteria. For obvious reasons, this is strictly a CSR resource catalogue, and it does not constitute whatsoever its endorsement by TJSGA or TLWNSI.
 



 

 Ethical Trading Initiative
 Ethical Trading Initiative
 Corporation  20/20
 Corporation  20/20
 United Nations Business and Human
 United Nations Business and Human
 OECD Guidelines for MNCs
 OECD Guidelines for MNCs
 Social Accountability International
 Social Accountability International
 Socially Responsible Investment
 Socially Responsible Investment
 Comparison Chart Codes of Conduct (Global Compact,
 Comparison Chart Codes of Conduct (Global Compact,
 Ethos Institute
 Ethos Institute
  Accountability
  Accountability
  iBase
  iBase
  Global Reporting Initiative
  Global Reporting Initiative
 Principles for Global Corporate Responsibility (Bench
 Principles for Global Corporate Responsibility (Bench
 Envisioning Systemic Change
 Envisioning Systemic Change
 International Right to Know
 International Right to Know
 ILO's Tripartite Declaration for MNCs
 ILO's Tripartite Declaration for MNCs
 Global Sullivan Principles
 Global Sullivan Principles
 Green Book of European Union
 Green Book of European Union
   CSR Europe
   CSR Europe
 Economistas sin Fronteras (sólo en español)
 Economistas sin Fronteras (sólo en español)
 Business and Sustainable Development
 Business and Sustainable Development
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