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Corporate responsibility

Corporate Responsibility

Backgrounders

Corporate Social Responsibility : Background & Perspective

By John Samuel, Anil Saari

We live in an age in which companies equivalent in wealth to countries call the shots and control much of the earth's resources. Because corporates intervene in so many areas of social life, they must be responsible towards society and the environment. In India as in the rest of the world there is a growing realisation that capital markets and corporations are, after all, created by society and must therefore serve it, not merely profit from it. And that consumers and citizens' campaigns can make all the difference

Analysis

Profiting from the needy

By Samir Nazareth

drinking water

Samir Nazareth questions cause-related marketing which extends a corporation’s markets – for water purification sachets or sanitary napkins -- in the guise of providing essential services to the poor

In Bhopal, Unilever and Population Services International (PSI) are sensitising citizens to the importance of clean drinking water and providing them with purifier sachets. This joint initiative is being undertaken through their NGO Waterworks which, according to the company website, is “a not-for-profit programme that will provide safe clean drinking water to communities in need around the world”.

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»Chronicle of a disaster foretold? By Rahul Varman
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»What’s really at stake in the Vodafone tax case By Rahul Varman
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»Corporate personhood: Rights without responsibilities By Rahul Varman
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Features

Days of rage signal the onset of change

By Mari Marcel Thekaekara

corporate accountability

With thousands worldwide joining the Occupy Wall Street protests against corporate greed and irresponsibility, this is no longer a movement confined to leftists and ageing hippies. Is this the tipping point when the discourse will change, asks Mari Marcel Thekaekara

The Occupy Wall Street (OWS) protests which began on September 17 have spread beyond the wildest dreams of both the organisers, as well as the critics, those prophets of doom -- editors included -- who sought to dismiss and disparage the OWS as the usual loony left ravings and aging hippie nostalgia.

Read More

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»Indian tobacco giant turns carbon philanthropist By Keya Acharya
Read More

»Protecting vanilla farmers against global cartels By N P Chekkutty
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»Steel City tackles its water woes By Manipadma Jena
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Books & Reports

Win-win: Why companies should invest in development

Five years on, a company that shows no respect for the environment and social justice may have no access to international markets. A new report from SustainAbility cites evidence from developing countries, including India, to prove that sustainability IS profitable, even in emerging markets. The greatest benefits to a company are from cost-saving and productivity, revenue growth and market access

Developing Value: The Business Case for Sustainability in Emerging Markets overturns conventional wisdom by showing that it does pay for businesses in emerging markets to pursue a wider role on environmental and social issues.

Read More

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»My wheelchair flew like the wind
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Stories of Change

25% of Sharayu's workforce is disabled

By Huned Contractor

Subhash ChuttarAt Sharayu Precision, Subhash Chuttar employs over 36 mentally and physically challenged men and women who work at jobs ranging from riveting, drilling and greasing to polishing and packing. Chuttar has just won the Helen Keller Award instituted by the National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People

When Subhash Chuttar, managing partner at Sharayu Precision in Pune, looks for new workers to handle the assembly, chipping and cutting on the shop floor, the first place he visits is a school for the mentally challenged.

Read More

Stories of Change

Small interventions, big change in Sidmakudar

In Sidmakudar village, Jharkhand, every house has a biogas dome. The homes and streets are lit by solar energy. And village development committees make all the decisions

Sidmakudar is a typical barren village in Jharkhand, nestled in the Dalma hills. But it's also very different.

As you enter the village, you immediately notice the lampposts lining the main dusty thoroughfare. Also, the biogas domes that adorn nearly every home.

Read More

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»Tata Steel's 'Operation Muskaan' brings back smiles r
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»Protecting the environment, the corporate way
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»Basic change in rural India
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News

Indian businesses not yet responsive to AIDS threat: study

A study based on the responses of over 10,000 executives in 117 countries, including about 100 in India, says just 7% of Indian companies expect HIV/AIDS to have any serious impact on their operations.

Indian businesses have failed to assess and respond proactively to the threat of HIV/AIDS in the workforce, even as concern over the growing incidence of the disease is rising within the corporate sector, according to a new report.

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»Corporate India rejects caste-based job reservations
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Corporate Social Responsibility : Background & Perspective

By John Samuel, Anil Saari

We live in an age in which companies equivalent in wealth to countries call the shots and control much of the earth's resources. Because corporates intervene in so many areas of social life, they must be responsible towards society and the environment. In India as in the rest of the world there is a growing realisation that capital markets and corporations are, after all, created by society and must therefore serve it, not merely profit from it. And that consumers and citizens' campaigns can make all the difference

Read more...

Profiting from the needy

Samir Nazareth questions cause-related marketing which extends a corporation’s markets – for water purification sachets or sanitary napkins -- in the guise of providing essential services to the poor

drinking water

Read more...

Chronicle of a disaster foretold?

40% of the Maruti Manesar workforce are contract or casual workers with a take-home of around Rs 6,000, and no paid leave. All structures for dialogue between management and workers had been disrupted, writes Rahul Varman, resulting in the unforgivable violence of July 18

Maruti Manesar plant

Read more...

What’s really at stake in the Vodafone tax case

The Supreme Court judgment in the Vodafone case argues that the 'corporate veil' cannot be pierced as long as there was no intention to avoid taxes. Rahul Varman on how and why corporations in India manage to undermine the law and the public good for the sake of private profit

Vodafone tax case

Read more...

Corporate personhood: Rights without responsibilities

By Rahul Varman

Why is the Occupy Wall Street movement protesting corporate personhood? How and why did corporations come to enjoy – and exploit -- the legal rights and freedoms granted to individual citizens, even while they are exempt from the social responsibilities that go with those freedoms?

Read more...

Satyam and the truth about CSR

Can a company that has indulged in a massive corporate swindle get away by quoting its many social development projects as proof of its good intentions, asks Rahul Varman

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The merits of affirmative action

By Meher Gadekar

An important pillar of affirmative action in the US has been the preferential allotment of tenders and contracts in the corporate sector to blacks. What have opinion-makers and industry in India done to build a just society for dalits? Most recently,industry turned down the government's request for reservations in the private sector

Read more...

Days of rage signal the onset of change

With thousands worldwide joining the Occupy Wall Street protests against corporate greed and irresponsibility, this is no longer a movement confined to leftists and ageing hippies. Is this the tipping point when the discourse will change, asks Mari Marcel Thekaekara

Read more...

Indian tobacco giant turns carbon philanthropist

By Keya Acharya

Environmentalists and international justice groups are voicing their concerns over proliferating tree plantations, as developing countries try to profit from a growing carbon trade. The India Tobacco Company claims to have stepped into the carbon sinks business in order to benefit village communities. But who really profits?

Read more...

Protecting vanilla farmers against global cartels

By N P Chekkutty

Set up to protect the interests of vanilla-growers in India, Vanilco is a model for farmers who face volatile market conditions and monopolies within the market

Read more...

Steel City tackles its water woes

By Manipadma Jena

The Steel City of Jamshedpur suffers severe water stress. But over the last decade, steel giant Tata Steel has reduced pollutant discharge by 98% and cut water consumption by 67.3%. Today, India's largest iron and steel production facility boasts a zero groundwater extraction record. The conservation efforts of the industry that dominates this town are being replicated by citizens in the old city. InfoChangeIndia travelled to Jamshedpur to document this pathbreaking corporate-citizens initiative

Read more...

My wheelchair flew like the wind

Disabled activist Naseema Hurzuk's story is representative of the trials and victories of millions of disabled people in India. In these excerpts from her book Naseema, The Incredible Story, she writes about Mohammed who has no hands but can hit a four in a cricket match, about wheelchair basketball matches in England, and more

Read more...

Win-win: Why companies should invest in development

Five years on, a company that shows no respect for the environment and social justice may have no access to international markets. A new report from SustainAbility cites evidence from developing countries, including India, to prove that sustainability IS profitable, even in emerging markets. The greatest benefits to a company are from cost-saving and productivity, revenue growth and market access

Read more...

25% of Sharayu's workforce is disabled

By Huned Contractor

At Sharayu Precision, Subhash Chuttar employs over 36 mentally and physically challenged men and women who work at jobs ranging from riveting, drilling and greasing to polishing and packing. Chuttar has just won the Helen Keller Award instituted by the National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People

Read more...

Small interventions, big change in Sidmakudar

In Sidmakudar village, Jharkhand, every house has a biogas dome. The homes and streets are lit by solar energy. And village development committees make all the decisions

Read more...

Tata Steel's 'Operation Muskaan' brings back smiles

Hundreds of people born with cleft lips or cleft palates have been operated on, for free, through 'Operation Muskaan' a project initiated by steel giant Tata Steel. It's a small operation that has made a huge difference to people's lives

Read more...

Protecting the environment, the corporate way

Ion Exchange makes profits in a socially-relevant way: through water treatment, afforestation and organic farming

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Basic change in rural India

Basix (India Ltd) provides integrated technical and financial assistance to the rural poor

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Ethical business the Alacrity way

Chennai's leading construction company has proved that ethical business is profitable

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From diamonds to development

The Bhansalis have ploughed a substantial part of their profits from the diamond trade into health, women's education and disaster management since 1969

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Change in the desert

Lupin India Ltd has helped ensure sustainable development in 154 villages in Rajasthan

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Cipla prompts a worldwide slide in the price of anti-HIV drugs

The Indian pharmaceutical's move has made anti-HIV drugs more accessible to patients

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Social development in Tamil Nadu

Education in a rural community radically changes society in rural Tamil Nadu and makes communities self-dependent

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Business mentors help set up 450 units

A hospital in Chennai rehabilitates victims of alcoholism and drug abuse

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Infosys believes in putting public good before private good

The middle class founders of the mega-successful Infosys believe that wealth must be equitably distributed

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TTK's hospital of hope

A hospital in Chennai rehabilitates victims of alcoholism and drug abuse

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The Fabindia School: Harbinger of change in rural Rajasthan

Girls in rural Rajasthan are being given the opportunity to stand shoulder to shoulder with their brothers, at the path-breaking Fabindia School established by William Bissell to empower the youth of the state

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Indian businesses not yet responsive to AIDS threat: study

A study based on the responses of over 10,000 executives in 117 countries, including about 100 in India, says just 7% of Indian companies expect HIV/AIDS to have any serious impact on their operations

Read more...

Indian cement industry cleans up its act: CSE survey

A recent survey of the cement industry finds that the sector is more energy-efficient than even its counterparts in Europe and the US. However, the Centre for Science and Environment survey recommends a stringent regulatory regime for better mine management

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TERI gives environmental and CSR awards to 13 Indian businesses

The prestigious TERI (The Energy and Resource Institute) Corporate Awards offer a platform for Indian corporate houses to showcase how development concerns can be met with social commitment

Read more...

Corporate India rejects caste-based job reservations

Corporate India will support affirmative action for SC/STs by focusing on educating and upgrading the skills of society's weaker sections, not by introducing caste-based job reservations in the private sector, as the government had promised in its Common Minimum Programme

Read more...