2012 - Issue 15
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 Corporate Social Responsibility Counsellor website.
At the close of Canada’s tenure as Government Chair of the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights Initiative, over 120 participants, guests and official observers of the Voluntary Principles gathered in Ottawa for the Annual Plenary Meeting on March 28-29, 2012. Participants represented the stakeholder pillars of the Voluntary Principles Initiative – seven governments, twenty companies and ten civil society organisations. Aside from conducting the general business of the Voluntary Principles Initiative, the Plenary reaffirmed the participants shared commitment to the Voluntary Principles through collaboration on strategic outreach and on-the-ground implementation. The Netherlands was welcomed as the Government Chair for 2012-2013. An Open House was also held on the margins to give governments with Ottawa-based missions the opportunity to hear from the Voluntary Principles participants themselves about how they use and implement the Voluntary Principles, and the benefits they perceive from these efforts. This capped a very productive Canadian Chair year which also witnessed the formalization of a fully functional governance structure and the creation of a legal entity for the Initiative.
The Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights is one of the multilateral performance guidelines promoted in the second pillar of Canada’s National Corporate Social Responsibility Strategy, Building the Canadian Advantage. The Voluntary Principles are both a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) tool and a multi-stakeholder organisation focussed on the extractive sector that provides guidelines to help companies anticipate and mitigate most risks related to the use of private and public security so that their operations can be protected without causing human rights abuses. The VPs prescribe general courses of action intended to help companies develop their own policies and procedures, tailored to local circumstances.
In March, 2012, the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC), the Corporate Engagement Program – CDA Collaborative Learning Projects (CEP) and World Vision Canada (WVC) launched Preventing Conflict in Exploration: a Toolkit for Explorers and Developers (PCE). PCE is a simple and practical tool that enables mineral explorationcompanies to build constructive relationships with local communities from the outset of operations. The tool is designed to facilitate dialogue and relationship-building with local communities and promotes the development of management strategies that respond to both community and the company needs. PCE was field tested with exploration and mining companies in Mexico, Peru, Sierra Leone, and Madagascar to ensure that it is relevant, practical, and useful for companies in a wide range of operating environments. The Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade of the Government of Canada funded and supported the development of the tool. PDF versions of the tool and the toolkit are available for download in English, French, and Spanish. For more information about the tool, training and workshops, and regional events, contact the PDAC, WVC, or CEP.
Export Development Canada (EDC) held a webcast March 26, 2012 on anti-corruption with senior staff from EDC, the RCMP and Alcatel-Lucent; a company which faced a bribery conviction under the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. To view the webcast, please see EDC's Events web page. Click on the archive link and complete a simple registration process to access the recording.
The Responsible Minerals Sector Initiative (RMSI), housed at Simon Fraser University’s Beedie School of Business, is hosting a series of invitational dialogues and a growing portfolio of activities designed to advance responsibility and sustainability in the mineral sector.
GEMM 20/20: Global Exploration, Mining and Minerals in 2020 - Responsibility and Sustainability Challenges and Opportunities, RMSI’s most recent dialogue was held in Vancouver on April 17 – 19, 2012. The event brought together over 140 people from around the world with diverse perspectives and experiences representing communities, companies, non-governmental organizations, academic institutions and governments with the goal of sharing insights and concepts, developing strategies and tools, and building networks and relationships for effective leadership and responsible management in the mineral sector over the coming decade. A Summary Report of the event will be available in June 2012.
The RMSI Dialogues are informing the development of a focused program of activities related to Pathways for Improving Practice and Agendas for Responsive Research. GEMM 20/20 identified a number of specific activity areas for further collaboration, and these and others will be discussed at the next GEMM dialogue to be held in Vancouver on April 16 and 17, 2013.
“More voices with fewer words, rather than few voices with many words”- RMSI Spirit of the Dialogues
For more information or to provide an Expression of Interest in becoming involved, please visit SFU's Responsible Minerals Sector Initiative web page or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Calgary - The DFAIT Calgary Regional Office held a practical, interactive forum on the future direction of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) for the extractive sector on February 16, 2012 in Calgary. The full day forum showcased 28 corporate and public sector leaders who highlighted and advanced CSR-related concepts, tools and partnerships. Four expert panels outlined the Government's role, as well as best practices in, (i) CSR and Stakeholder Relations, (ii) Anti-Corruption and Corporate Governance, and (iii) NGO-Industry Partnerships. Keynote speakers included Kyle Peterson with Boston’s Foundation Strategy Group (FSG) – the home of Michael Porter’s Creating Shared Value (CSV) model, Jean-Michel Gires, CEO of Total E&P Canada, on examining operations in sensitive regions, and Dr. Miguel Ceballos from Sergio Arboleda University in Colombia on human rights training for the extractive industry. With strong attendance of 176, the forum was a timely venue to broaden awareness of CSR / corruption challenges, best practices, and the Government of Canada’s strategy, as well as network with key stakeholders. To be added to the DFAIT Calgary Regional Office CSR distribution list and / or receive a copy of the forum program, email: email@example.com.
Côte d’Ivoire - The Réseau RSE Côte d’Ivoire (Côte d’Ivoire CSR Network), supported by the Embassy of Canada to Côte d’Ivoire and chaired by the Minister of State, Minister of Industry of Côte d’Ivoire, was launched on March 30, 2012. Speakers at the network’s launch ceremony included: the President of the African Centre of Expertise on Organizational Governance (CAGO); the President of the General Confederation of Business, Côte d’Ivoire (CGECI); the Minister of State, Minister of Industry and Private Sector Promotion; and the Ambassador of Canada, who reiterated how important the concept of CSR is to Canada, and reaffirmed Canada’s support for this initiative and for the organization of the June 2012 CSR forum. The Canadian Embassy’s involvement helped to increase the visibility of this initiative and to reassert Canada’s position as a leader in the promotion of CSR principles in West Africa.
The creation of a CSR network in Côte d’Ivoire is a prelude to the Côte d’Ivoire CSR forum that will take place June 4 to 6, 2012.
Kazakhstan – April 4, 2012 the Embassy of Canada to Kazakhstan hosted a successful panel discussion on CSR in the extractive sector. Approximately 40 guests attended the Embassy's CSR session, including local media, NGOs, representatives of local and foreign extractive companies, representatives of local government, and other diplomats. Canada’s Ambassador Stephen Millar led the discussion with an overview of Canadian CSR Strategy and the expectations the Government of Canada has of Canadian companies operating abroad. The event provided a rare forum to bring together Kazakh government representatives, NGO's and Canadian extractive companies in a positive, collegial environment.
Jamaica – On March 22, 2012 the High Commission of Canada in Kingston, Jamaica, in association with the University of Waterloo presented its second CSR initiative entitled “Education, the Environment and Corporate Responsibility”. Promoted as a conversation on CSR, Canada’s High Commissioner Steve Hallihan reiterated the importance of CSR in international business and Canada’s commitment to CSR. Jamaica’s Minister of Education, Deacon, Hon. Ronald Thwaites spoke about the need for Jamaica to seriously consider the state of the environment and how through education and partnerships with countries like Canada, the development of a comprehensive strategy to conserve and protect the environment would be fast-tracked. The evening’s guest speaker, Mr. Steve Krysak of the University of Waterloo’s Faculty of the Environment, delivered an impressive and informative presentation, demonstrating the important role of CSR in education and the environment. Approximately fifty invitees from the local private and public sectors, civil society, academia, international development partners and media attended.
Costa Rica - On February 2, 2012, a CSR seminar was held in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, organized by the Commercial Section of the Embassy of Canada to Costa Rica. Over 60 participants, including representatives from regional government departments, local companies and business associations, NGOs, academia, international organizations and foreign consulates attended this seminar to engage in dialogues and networking in a collaborative setting. One of the key elements of the seminar was the participation of Ms. Bernarda Elizalde, CSR Strategic Advisor, who gave a presentation on Canadian CSR policies and practices. Four Canadian companies Aura Minerals, Gildan, Lotelhsa (CBN) and Instituto Politecnico Centroamericano (IPC), and a Honduran company, Grupo Terra shared their best practices on CSR in Honduras. Furthermore, a number of recommendations were generated from discussion groups over the course of the morning's program on five major CSR related themes. The event was highlighted by the participation and keynote speech by Honduran Vice President Samuel Reyes who praised the work of enterprises in the area of CSR and stressed the Government of Honduras' role in encouraging and supporting CSR. The seminar was considered a major success in developing CSR awareness in Central America.
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