No company wants to be known for employing children in sweatshops or coating their products in lead paint, but intricate supply chains filled with contractors and subcontractors have helped to insulate global corporations from the responsibility of ensuring that their products are safe and ethical.
February 8, 2008
Between 1970 and 1992, Texaco --- now a subsidiary of Chevron --- is alleged to have dumped 18.5 billion gallons of toxic waste into the Ecuadorian Amazon. Aside from the damage this dumping has exacted on the ecosystem of the Amazon, the indigenous population that lives in the area has been suffering from an extremely high incidence of cancer in recent decades, with little money and few resources to treat their ill. Justica Now!, a short film featuring Darryl Hannah, documents the fight that is going on to this day to hold ChevronTexaco accountable for these crimes.
February 4, 2008
When the first rumblings of Corporate Social Responsibility Movement emerged out in the 1970's, legendary economist Milton Friedman wrote that the only "social responsibility of business is to increase its profits.” Free-market fundamentalists have since been about as resistant to the concept of socially conscious capitalism as Friedman, arguing that any money spent in the pursuit of benevolence amounts to nothing short of a theft from shareholders.
February 1, 2008
Wal-Mart opened its annual meetings to reporters for the first time yesterday, announcing a variety of measures aimed at repairing its image among American consumers. At the center of the reforms are Wal-Mart's health care plan — which is now used by more than half of its retail employees— and a suddenly vigorous devotion to environmental responsibility. CEO H. Lee Scott promised that Wal-Mart will continue to expand its sales of environmentally responsible products and work with its suppliers to strengthen their environmental standards.
January 24, 2008
The first round of grants awarded by Google's "DotOrg" charitable organization has been announced. In total, $175 million will be doled out worldwide to charities and research projects in the next three years, across five major areas of philanthropy.
January 17, 2008