2012 - Issue 14
Canadian National Contact Point Promotes the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises at Info-Session - On October 27, 2011 the Canadian National Contact Point (NCP) held an information session in Ottawa as part of its mandate to promote the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises. The information session provided stakeholders with an opportunity to learn about the Canadian NCP and the recent updating of the OECD Guidelines. New provisions in the Guidelines were discussed (e.g. sections relating to stakeholder engagement, human rights, supply chains and SMEs, etc.). The NCP shared information about its mandate, structure, procedures and treatment of cases. The Canadian NCP's social partners, namely the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC), Confédération des syndicats nationaux (CSN) and the Canadian Chamber of Commerce (CCC) were present. For more information about the NCP and the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises please visit Canada's NCP website.
Canadian National Contact Point for the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises Participates in CSR Webinar Hosted by the Canadian Labour Congress - On November 1, 2011, representatives from the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, in partnership with Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC), participated in a webinar hosted by the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC). Approximately twenty CLC member representatives across the country participated in a presentation that highlighted recent updates to the OECD Guidelines and the work of Canada’s National Contact Point in terms of promotion and handling requests for review in specific instances. This presentation was followed by a representative from the OECD Trade Union Advisory Committee (TUAC), who elaborated on employment and industrial relations matters of particular interest to unions.
An Update from the Office of the Extractive Sector CSR Counsellor - The Annual Report to Parliament of the Extractive Sector Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Counsellor (PDF*, 1.24 MB) was tabled by the Minister of International Trade in December 2011. The report summarizes the second year of the existence of the Office, as part of the Government of Canada’s CSR Strategy for the International Extractive Sector.
The role of the Office of the CSR Counsellor for the Extractive Sector is to actively promote responsible practices for Canadian companies abroad and to resolve, through constructive dialogue, disputes connected with endorsed performance standards. Complete information on the Office, the review process and supporting documents for potential participants are available on the website of the Office of the Corporate Social Responsibility Counsellor website.
Announcement of the Canadian International Institute for Extractive Industries and Development - On October 27, 2011, Prime Minister Harper announced the creation of the Canadian International Institute for Extractive Industries and Development (the Institute). The Institute, which is to align with the Government's Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Strategy for the Extractive Sector, will undertake four types of activities: policy research, provision of technical assistance, training and capacity building, and knowledge dissemination. These activities will focus on increasing the social and economic benefits of mining in partner countries and on strengthening countries’ resource management capacity as well as local communities’ ability to benefit from extractive industries. It is expected that the Institute will be housed in a Canadian university to be selected through a competitive process. For more information see the News Release: PM announces initiative to help developing countries manage their natural resources.
Seventh Annual Meeting of the Intergovernmental Forum on Mining, Minerals, Metals and Sustainable Development, Geneva Switzerland - Members of the Intergovernmental Forum on Mining, Minerals, Metals and Sustainable Development (IGF) met in November 2011 during their seventh Annual Session, in Geneva, Switzerland. The purpose of the meeting was to share information and discuss a range of issues related to mining governance and CSR challenges facing both governments and the minerals and metals sector. Hosted by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the meeting brought together 62 participants from member and observer governments, organisations, industry and civil society to discuss the way forward to address the mining related issues identified during the 19th session of the United Nations Commission for Sustainable Development held in May, 2011 in New York (CSD 19).
The meeting was officially opened by UNCTAD's Secretary General, Dr. Supachai Panitchpakdi who welcomed the role the IGF is playing in enhancing the capacity for good governance in mining and identified ways in which the United Nations and its agencies might work more closely with the IGF and its members. IGF members agreed to a renewed programme of work to reflect progress made to date and to build on the outcomes of CSD19 and other processes, and to facilitate the implementation of the Mining Policy Framework that was developed by the members. Canada is officially represented at the IGF by Natural Resources Canada and the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) currently hosts the IGF Secretariat. More information about the Annual Meeting, the IGF and the Mining Policy Framework is available through the IGF website.
The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development - As part of Canada's national submission in preparation for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (commonly referred to as Rio+20), the idea of a green economy toolkit has been proposed. A number of policy tools and best practices have been identified for consideration in the development of such a toolkit, including corporate social responsibility (CSR), which can help companies contribute to the realization of a green economy.
Practical tools such as the CSR Implementation Guide, CSR Tool Kit for business, and the small and medium enterprise (SME) Sustainability Road Map reflect Canada's interest to achieve concrete results in the pursuit of sustainable development. By providing countries with a suite of practical tools to guide them on why and how to integrate sustainability-oriented practices into local operations, a green economy toolkit would also help bring actions in line with national priorities in a manner applicable to local circumstances. Canada’s National Submission is available online on the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development website.
Industry Association Sustainability Leadership Council - Industry Canada (IC) has commissioned the Network for Business Sustainability (NBS) at the Ivey School of Business, University of Western Ontario to establish an Industry Association Sustainability Leadership Council. IC and NBS are currently reaching out to industry associations across Canada to advise them of this unique undertaking and the first meeting of the Council in Toronto to be held at the end of February. The purpose of the Council is to bring together senior leaders of industry associations in order to identify sustainability challenges facing industry associations and their members, to share best practices, knowledge and education, and identify gaps for further research and knowledge dissemination. The Council will be able to leverage NBS’s knowledge of best practices (briefings and webinars), participate in custom projects and facilitated dialogues, and link with leading academics, all with a view to moving closer to a shared agenda and vision for sustainability in Canada. For more information, please email Georgina Wainwright Kemdirim at Industry Canada.
Corruption: Test Your Knowledge - Corruption is a serious crime that distorts international trade and inhibits social and economic development in all societies. How much do you know about your risks of breaking the law? Export Development Canada (EDC) has launched an online quiz containing six questions. At the end of the quiz you will find useful resources to help companies protect their operations from the risks of bribery and corruption. Test your knowledge, take the Anti-Corruption Quiz found on the Export and Development Canada website.
Peru - The Commercial Section of the Canadian Embassy in Peru launched its first Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) regional outreach initiative in Cajamarca, August 2010 and followed suit in Junín and Arequipa in early 2011, in an effort to disseminate tools that encourage sound business practices, foster CSR and strengthen regional ties with representatives of regional governments, NGOs, mining companies and academia in mining intensive regions. The seminars provided an opportunity to promote the Government of Canada’s CSR Strategy and the Embassy’s mandate; distribute the Mining Tool Kit (adaptation to the Peruvian context of the Natural Resources Canada’s Mining Information Kit for Aboriginal Communities); promote E3 Plus developed by the Prospectors and Development Association of Canada (PDAC); and present the Mining Association of Canada’s (MAC) Toward Sustainable Mining initiative. Later in 2011 another wave of rich exchanges on CSR took place starting with “La Mañana de Responsabilidad Social Empresarial Canadiense-Peruana de Minería y Petróleo” in Lima, a forum which permitted some 200 key players and practitioners in mining and oil and gas, both Canadian and Peruvian, to come together and have an honest exchange on Canada’s approach to CSR, challenges facing the extractive sector today, success stories and ways forward. Embassy representatives also hosted the “Canadá y la Responsabilidad Social Empresarial (RSE)” seminar in Cusco, October 2011 and plans additional outreach in La Libertad, February 2012.
Cameroon - The first international forum of “Pioneers of Corporate Social Responsibility in Africa” was held in November 2011 in Douala, Cameroon. As a joint initiative of the Groupement Inter-Patronal du Cameroun (GICAM), Cameroon’s main association of employers, and the Paris-based Institut RSE Afrique, the forum took place at GICAM headquarters with institutional support from the African Union Commission on International Law and the United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLGA). The theme of the event was the development, by Africa and for Africa, of a corporate social responsibility approach adapted to the African context.
Canada took an active part in the forum: Canadian High Commissioner, Benoît-Pierre Laramée, outlined Canada’s CSR Strategy for the International Extractive Sector and Rio Tinto Alcan gave a presentation on the company’s CSR policy and current initiatives in Cameroon. A highlight of the event was the “Pioneer of Corporate Social Responsibility in Africa” award, presented to High Commissioner Laramée in recognition of the CSR efforts of Canadian businesses in Africa.
The next international forum of Pioneers of Corporate Social Responsibility in Africa will take place in November 2012 in Casablanca.
Chile - Chile is the world’s largest producer and exporter of copper, and is also a significant producer and exporter of other metals, concentrates and ores. Canada’s presence in Chile’s mining operations is significant, valued at $8.8 billion and expected to double in the coming years. Following from the success of the Mining Tool Kit (an adaptation of Natural Resources Canada’s Mining Information Kit for Aboriginal Communities) in Peru, Mexico and Colombia and given the extent of Canadian mining investment in Chile, the Trade Programme of the Canadian Embassy in Santiago undertook a Chilean adaptation of the Mining Tool Kit.
On January 17, 2012, the Manual Informativo sobre Minería en Chile - una guía para las comunidades y la industria was officially launched. The Chilean version has been adapted as per the Chilean legal framework and mining industry context, and as Chile is signatory to the ILO 169 Convention on Indigenous and Tribal Peoples a chapter on Mining on Indigenous Land has been included. The Mining Tool Kit has been a collaborative effort, based on consensus, and the content was reviewed by the Chilean Government, mining industry representatives, lawyers, engineers, NGOs and four host communities. Canadian Embassy officials are confident that the Mining Tool Kit will serve as a helpful tool in creating a more informed dialogue on mining projects taking place in Chile.