The United Nations’ 2005 appointment of Harvard Professor John Ruggie as Special Representative on Business and Human Rights shone a spotlight on the often adverse — and until then under-acknowledged — impact of corporations on human rights. The UN gave its imprimatur, but no budget, making Prof. Ruggie’s staggering compendium of accomplishments over the past four years all the more impressive. Invisible behind the research, stakeholder engagement, and public appearances is constant fundraising — and time stolen from his day job and family — to support his vital work.
Each January for the past several years, Bill has surveyed the top Corporate Social Responsibility news stories of the past year for CSRwire.com, where he is a contributing writer. Here’s this year’s edition:
A “green” recovery from economic and environmental meltdowns; the advent of Shareholder Activism 2.0 with binding resolutions at TARP banks; CSR adopts Web 2.0 strategies for sustainability reporting; is Wal-Mart really green?; and much more…
The economic meltdown of 2008 mirrors the simultaneous environmental meltdown fueled by the climate calamity – both share common roots, and many in the Corporate Sustainability and Responsibility (CSR) community believe they share a common salvation.Read the show transcript
On December 10, 1948, the United Nations adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, calling on member country governments to promote the UDHR. Now, on the Declaration’s 60th anniversary, responsibility for promoting human rights protections has expanded to include the business community. The UN codified this link in 2005 when it issued a mandate for a Special Representative on Business and Human Rights, and this year it extended the appointment of Harvard Professor John Ruggie to the post for another three years.
The year 2005 also saw the launch of the Business and Human Rights Resource Centre as a web platform covering both positive and negative news on corporate conduct around human rights. Today, we speak with Annabel Short, Head of Programme at the Resource Centre, about its innovative work promoting improvements in companies’ policies and practices on human rights.
In October, the Business and Human Rights Resource Centre launched the world’s first online portal profiling human rights lawsuits against companies. We caught up with the Resource Centre’s Head of Research Greg Regaignon from its California offices to describe the Corporate Legal Accountability Portal.
We’re excited about our new commentary partnership with Human Rights Watch. We inaugurate this collaboration today with the opinion of HRW’s director of the Business and Human Rights Program Arvind Ganesan.