Ethical Corporation

Essay: Ownership and sustainability – Are listed companies more responsible? Owners used to be stewards of their company’s future, but this idea has faded in modern publicly-listed companies. Mark Goyder asks how dispersed share-ownership might affect corporate efforts to be responsible … // … But does this historic view of ownership as stewardship still apply in the age of global capital flows, instant trading and complex derivatives? … (full text).

5 Upcoming Ethical Corporation conferences & events (October and November 2008): on Homepage; (with many other links on the Homepage, as: more Reports, log-in, Meet Our Columnists, … and many items and regions);
CSR jobs;
Ethical Report 2008 … ;
Editorials;
Blog;
Politics;
Debate.

One of the debates: project finance – The Equator Principles – Is it a happy fifth birthday for the Equator Principles?

Dear Leo, I know you as a critical mind, playing an important role in training banks on what it takes – and will cost – to be a sustainable institution, rather than appear to be one. Hence my surprise to hear you speak of a happy birthday for the Equator Principles. The question is who exactly is supposed to celebrate what? …
… As an international NGO network monitoring the EPs, we did not feel any urge to uncork the champagne bottles. Also, no reports reached us of festivities taking place in remote Pacific fishing villages, or indigenous peoples’ settlements in the Amazon or the Mekong delta. Could it be that the supposed benefits have not been noticed by those very communities that are supposed to be the prime beneficiaries of the principles? …
… There is an urgent need to transform the principles from a set of prescriptions to project sponsors into a set of rights that are granted to communities affected by a project, including the right to know, to be consulted, to provide or withhold consent to a project and to be meaningfully engaged in the design of a project if it moves ahead. At the very least, it should be made publicly clear to all involved that a particular project is “under EP”. The current refusal to do so casts doubt on the sincerity of the commitment of banks to make the EPs work. We want the EPs to work and deliver. But at five years old it is up to the EPFIs to prove that they are ready to do what it takes … (full text).

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