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INTRODUCTION
Contents:
  1. what it means for the project manager
  2. Corporate Social Responsibility Initiatives Addressing Social Exclusion in Bangladesh
  3. Corporate Social Responsibility Initiatives Addressing Social Exclusion in Bangladesh

Companies as suppliers must look good against the best in the world just to survive in the neighborhood. The President questioned whether the supplier could make a fair profit at that price, and eventually called in the supplier to renegotiate a fairer higher price. Not surprisingly, the supplier became a very loyal and valuable partner to Hewlett Packard. An excellent example of what not to do is the case of a large car manufacturer some years ago. In an attempt to cut costs, they made unreasonable demands on suppliers to reduce prices to the point that many could no longer earn a profit on their business with that company.

As a result, suppliers let quality decline and put their best engineers on work for other customers. Employees of suppliers' companies quickly learned not to give that customer priority. As a result, the quality of its cars declined as did its share of the automobile market. This was an expensive lesson for one of the world's largest corporations on how not to handle suppliers. But it does not seek to maximize profits short term. TWIN pays "fair prices" and works closely with suppliers such as producers' cooperatives in Africa to develop their know-how and capacity to produce and process raw materials in a way that enhances stable employment and value added in developing countries.

It stands out as a model of "fair trading" with these countries. Another issue in developing partnerships with suppliers is human rights. Suppliers in some areas of the world violate fundamental human rights in such areas as child labor and working conditions. With increasing pressure from consumer groups, some companies are acting to insist upon respect for human rights on the part of their suppliers and are taking action to monitor performance in this area.

Levi Strauss has been a leader in this area by publishing rules of conduct expected of suppliers throughout the world and monitoring them to ensure compliance. A number of companies participated in a workshop organized by Business for Social Responsibility recently in Hong Kong on this subject of monitoring child labor practices in Asian suppliers. Paul Hawken has defined sustainability as "an economic state where the demands placed upon the environment by people and commerce can be met without reducing the capacity of the environment to provide for future generations.

Leave the world alittle better than you found it, take no more than you need, try not to harm life or the environment, make amends if you do. The Earth Summit held in Rio de Janeiro in was an unprecedented environmental milestone which alerted the world to the threats to the world's climate and non-renewable resources and to global biodiversity. What is business doing? The first level of action has been in promoting and practicing eco-efficiency, which means creating value by doing more with less over the full life-cycle of the product by:.

These business practices highlight the positive connections between economic and ecological efficiency. An example of the compatibility of eco-efficiency and corporate profits is reported in the October issue of The Green Business Letter. This massive process, referred to as "greening the supply chain," is being carried out in partnership with government, NGOs, and university resources as well as suppliers.

GM is one of some large corporations which belong to Climate Wise, a government initiative in the United States to implement energy-efficient and pollution-prevention projects that lower operating costs while reducing emissions linked to global climate change. WBSCD, which seeks to be the pre-eminent spokesperson for business on environmental matters, has sponsored workshops and publications describing the application of the concept of eco-efficiency drawing upon numerous examples from its member companies. In a very recent publication, Environmental Performance and Shareholder Value, WBCSD challenges the financial markets to recognize how environmental performance of companies enhances their short- and long-term financial performance.

Of particular significance are the benefits of eco-efficiency, better management of environmental risks, and new business opportunities. There is growing evidence, the publication states, that companies which rate highly on environmental criteria also provide better-than-average returns to shareholders. Furthermore, insurance companies and pension funds, which control immense resources and invest with a long-term focus, are beginning to study carefully the relationship between environmental performance and shareholder value.

Another organization helping companies improve their environmental performance is the International Network for Environmental Management INEM , a world federation of non-profit business organizations for environmental management and sustainable development.

what it means for the project manager

INEM, with 35 member associations from 30 countries, focuses on small and medium-sized companies and developing countries and Eastern Europe. There are also a number of environmental management tools and concepts being developed and introduced by business throughout the developed world. These tools include life cycle assessment and costing, environmental management standards, eco-labeling, and recycled-content standards. Multinational corporations are also encouraged to apply the same environmental criteria to investments abroad as to those in their home country.

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Corporate Social Responsibility Initiatives Addressing Social Exclusion in Bangladesh

An emerging concept to link economic and environmental interests and thus make the market system work for the benefit of the whole of society is the definition of pricing tools such as environmental taxes and permit systems to more accurately recognize and reflect the environmental costs of their production, use, recycling and disposal.

In some companies accounting methods are being revised to make this possible. Advocates of such environmental accounting insist that replacement costs of natural resources and the social costs of consumption ex: tobacco should be included in the cost of goods sold and in selling prices. An exemplary model of voluntary industry action is "Responsible Care," a programme of the Chemical Manufacturers' Association in the United States.


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This programme launched in was aimed at continuously improving performance in health, safety, and environmental protection. Results have been impressive.


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  8. An example: toxic chemical emissions were reduced by nearly 50 percent in six years. Another economic benefit from such measures is stakeholders' preference for environmentally progressive companies which make it easier to recruit top talent and to increase the loyalty on the part of employees and suppliers. These initiatives of business also make good economic sense. A recent study in the United States by Vanderbuilt University and the Investor Responsibility Research Center IRRC found that in more than 80 percent of comparisons, "low polluters" performed better financially than "high polluters".

    They also found that firms with a larger number of environment-related lawsuits compared with their industry peers earn a lower level of return on assets and return on equity. Surveys have repeatedly shown that customers will favor products whose manufacturer has a reputation for environmental stewardship.

    Corporate Social Responsibility Initiatives Addressing Social Exclusion in Bangladesh

    CEP has gone further in its Campaign for Cleaner Corporations by annually identifying some of the worste environmental offenders and working with them to change their poor policies and practices. Voluntary action particularly when it is undertaken in partnership, is nearly always more effective and favorable for business than arbitrary government regulation. Business operates in neighborhood, local, regional, national, and global communities. Companies can make no more important contribution to these communities, and especially to local communities, than to provide meaningful jobs, fair wages and benefits, and tax revenues.

    But, as 89 percent of participants in a survey of business leaders in the United States confirmed, this is not enough. The success of business is linked to the health, stability, and prosperity of the society and of the communities in which it operates. If education is neglected, or not relevant to the needs of business, as is too often the case, companies cannot have a competitive work force. Community-focused businesses like banks, retailers, and newspapers cannot prosper in declining localities. So the problems of education, health, crime, unemployment, and drugs dramatically affect business.

    While business has traditionally considered these to be the exclusive domain of government, today more and more busi ness leaders are accepting part of the responsibility to improve the communities in which they do business. Companies relate to communities in various ways, as shown in the diagram below. There is a considerable difference in approaches between cultures and companies. In France, a number of leading groups such as Lafarge, Saint Gobain, and Schneider have developed innovative approaches to job creation to avoid layoffs during necessary restructuring.

    To alleviate high unemployment, some of these same groups have entered into partnerships with national, regional, and local government authorities in apprenticeship and education programmes to facilitate insertion of youth into the workforce. Many economists, business leaders and investors say that the purpose of business is to maximize shareholder wealth. It is beyond the scope of this article to develop a conclusive case against this proposition.

    However, we would note that an increasing number of business leaders and investors recognize broader responsibilities than to those investors who seek the highest instant returns. A few examples:. Swiss pension funds - Two large Swiss pension funds have just recently created a foundation with million Swiss francs to invest in shares of companies with a record of environmental and social awareness.

    Skeptics may ask if community activities enhance business success or are at the expense of shareholders. They also tend to feel that it must be "either Truly world class companies are generally able to show well above average returns and be environmentally and socially responsible. Furthermore, they are more conscious of the need to invest for future growth and profits and for the sustainability of their enterprises.

    They are also aware that satisfying the other stakeholders can be a source of competitive advantage. This brings us to an emerging group of shareholders referred to as ethical investors, or as socially and environmentally conscious investors. Ethical investors are, first and foremost, investors.

    But at the same time, they factor ethical and moral considerations into their investment making process. They are thus contributing to a more just society while not necessarily compromising the returns on their investments. These investors include individuals, pension funds and trusts, endowments, religious and educational organizations, and financial institutions. Modern ethical investing began in the United States in , centering at that time around issues like the war in Vietnam and Ralph Nader's attacks on poor safety of automobiles.

    Of course, one of the questions frequently raised about activities and strategies in social responsibility is whether they detract from a company's financial performance. There is increasing evidence, though perhaps not conclusive for skeptics, that social responsibility correlates positively with financial performance.

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    One encouraging bit of evidence for this proposition is the performance of the shares of companies which have passed social and environmental screens.