About The Proposed Adani Carmichael Coal Mine

About The Proposed Adani Carmichael Coal Mine

The single biggest driver of global warming

Pollution from burning coal is the single biggest driver of global warming – threatening life, health and the environment worldwide.

The world’s biggest living ecosystem under threat

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Business and Human Rights the basics (2)

The Business and Human Rights field is evolving quickly.

If you are interested in the topic from an academic viewpoint, the debate about a business and human rights binding treaty will interest you. If you are more interested in the practical application of human rights in the business world, outcomes of litigation and new case studies, then the following will be more relevant to you:

The Institute for Business and Human Rights has released their list of 2015 Business and human rights priorities again, each of which offers a good entry point into the topic.

Alternatively, you can read the list of priorities here with some extra explanations. Now you obtained a quick overview of priorities in business and human rights, here is an introductory resource list for those of you who want to dig deeper into the topic:

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Business and Human Rights and Corruption – An Overview

Business and Human Rights and Corruption – An Overview

DSC01109This is an introduction to the core concepts of business and human rights and why we never get anywhere in the prevention of human rights abuses if corruption persists.

Human Rights and Business – the Issues

 

Globalisation

Human rights and globalisation are arguably two of the most influential features of international relations in the 21st century. Businesses are sources of well documented human rights abuses but also have the capacity, and particularly the resources, to promote human rights.

Business is at the heart of almost every effort to improve development and people’s living standards because it is the main source of economic activity. [Read more…]

Governments and Corporate Sustainability – a Rudderless Ship?

Governments and Corporate Sustainability – a Rudderless Ship?

Sustainability ‘Made in Germany’ – Way to Go!

1572-3Following the global financial crisis there was a widespread desire to emerge from it with economic reform that would meet the true needs of society. Gone were the days when sustainability thinking was the domain of marginalised environmentalists. It was a wake-up call which required affected governments to bail out companies to prevent financial ruin – setting new terms and conditions for the financial industry in the process.

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Corporate Sustainability Strategies – a feel-good gimmick or good for the planet’s bottom line?

Corporate Sustainability Strategies – a feel-good gimmick or good for the planet’s bottom line?

The failed attempt of voluntary corporate sustainability strategies to save the planet.

Corporate sustainability strategies developed in response to the resource constraints of the 21st century.  These constraints are the result of over population and over consumption and their damaging effect on the health of the earth.

Even the gentle Sir David Attenborough has joined the chorus of people arguing for fewer people in the interest of more biodiversity and a quality environment in his speech People and Planet in March 2011.

We have been trying to persuade companies to engage in voluntary corporate sustainability programmes of all kinds in order to address the obvious negative impacts of the way the ‘developed’ world does business.

Corporate sustainability strategies or planned abandonment?

However, do we ever stop to consider if it actually makes sense for a particular industry to engage in sustainability programmes or should it rather be a question of planned abandonment of this particular industry/product/ manufacturing process?

Water courtesy coca colaTake the issue of water. [Read more…]

Business and human rights (part 3): advantages of the human rights framework for CSR

The debate on business and human rights has become a central theme on the international and national corporate sustainability & responsibility agenda.  The world has changed significantly with the majority of large-scale projects – including those delivering basic human services – being privately rather than publicly funded. This has led to a new set of obligations and demands from business.

Part 1 of this series offered four key introductory texts into the subject, part 2 looked at The Role of National Human Rights Institutions with links to various players; today I will review the advantages of the human rights framework for corporate sustainability and responsibility, a link often overlooked by practitioners.

Human rights refer to the basic rights and freedoms all human beings are entitled to.  [Read more…]

Business and human rights: the basics (part 2): the role of national human rights institutions

Business and human rights: the basics (part 2): the role of national human rights institutions

Today, following business and human rights: the basics (part 1) which included 4 key introductory texts for anybody wishing to make sense of this rapidly evolving field and become familiar with the issues, this short overview focuses on the role of National Human Rights Institutions in business and human rights.

National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) play an important role in the business and human rights sphere and are well placed to help align business activities with international human rights standards in line with their general mandates to promote and protect human rights. Some NHRI”s already address many business related human rights issues through:

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Business & human rights: the basics (part 1)

For the past decade or so I have been keeping abreast of  developments in business and human rights in Australia and abroad and have just updated an introductory reading list for a forthcoming workshop.  I would like to share the key documents with those of you who need to get across the topic quickly without compromising quality.

Whether you are a law student, a sustainability or corporate responsibility professional or simply an interested individual – if you want to save time sifting through the vast amount of material and wish to get to the substance immediately – look no further. The list of articles below is organised in priority order:

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business and human rights & CSR

There are few if any internationally recognised rights that businesses cannot impact.

Why should business care about human rights?

There are few if any internationally recognised rights business cannot impact – or be perceived to impact – in some manner.  Therefore, companies should consider all such rights.” Professor John Ruggie, UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative on Business and Human Rights. Protect, Respect and Remedy: a Framework for Business and Human Rights, April 2008.

So now that’s clear, what are we doing about it? And how do much covetted corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives fit into the business and human rights agenda? [Read more…]

the girl effect

On the 8 March 2011 we are celebrating the centennary of International Women’s Day – a good occasion to remind us of the plight of girls around the world.

Did you realise that currently:

  • women work two-thirds of the world’s working hours, produce half the world’s food, and yet earn only 10 % of the world’s income and own less than 1% of the world’s property?
  • women make up 70% of the worlds 1.3 billion people who live in poverty?
  • women over the age of 15 in the least developed countries are twice as likely to be illiterate than men.

The solution? [Read more…]