Issue 11 – May, 2011
DEPARTMENT OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND INTERNATIONAL TRADE’S (DFAIT) CSR UNIT PROMOTES BEST PRACTICES: DFAIT has developed a poster and a brochure that explain Canada's commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). The promotional material, which communicates the Government of Canada’s CSR expectations for Canadian companies working abroad, includes an overview of Canada's CSR Strategy for the Extractive Sector and promotes other key instruments such as Canada's Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act.
RELEASE OF CSR COUNSELLOR’S FIRST ANNUAL REPORT: On March 2, 2011 the Minister of International Trade tabled the Extractive Sector CSR Counsellor’s first Annual Report to Parliament. The report covers the first year of the Office of the Extractive Sector CSR Counsellor, from the beginning of the current Counsellor’s mandate on October 19, 2009 to the launch of the Office’s review process on October 20, 2010. The report summarizes the main activities of the Office, including extensive and on-going multi-stakeholder consultations, research, and the benchmarking of other recourse and review processes.
OFFICE OF THE EXTRACTIVE SECTOR ISSUES PARTICPANT’S GUIDE TO THE REVIEW PROCESS: Since January, the Office of the Extractive Sector CSR Counsellor has participated in numerous outreach events in Canada and overseas, including Vancouver, Peru, Toronto, Ottawa, Senegal and Burkina Faso. As part of its commitment to promoting accessibility, the Office launched a "Participant Guide to the Review Process" in mid-April. The objective of the Review Process is to foster dialogue and solutions for overseas Canadian mining, oil and gas companies and the communities in which they work. The Participant Guide is a comprehensive tool for potential participants in the Review Process. This Guide explains how to bring an issue to the attention of the Office and answers key questions about how the process works. The Guide was written with the assistance of a multi-stakeholder working group including representatives from a variety of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and industry associations. The CSR Counsellor received its first request for review on April 7, 2011, stemming from a Canadian mining operation in Mexico.
INTERNATIONAL CONSULTATION FOR G4 GUIDELINES UNDER GLOBAL REPORTING INITIATIVE: The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) is currently renewing and updating its G3 guidelines. The resulting new set of guidelines, which will be known as G4, is expected to provide guidance on integrated reporting, better support for auditing and assurance purposes, enhanced guidance for governance reporting, and a user-friendly format for SMEs. Building on its long history of promoting sustainability reporting and disclosure to Canadian business, Industry Canada will promote GRI to Canadian business, and facilitate and coordinate Canadian input into the international consultations for the development of G4 over the next two years. The GRI are among the multilateral performance guidelines endorsed in Canada's CSR Strategy for the International Extractive Sector. Should you wish to provide any views on GRI-G4, please contact: Georgina.email@example.com. For more information visit the website.
INTERACTIVE SESSIONS ON CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY: On February 14, DFAIT hosted two information sessions on CSR. The first event provided DFAIT colleagues in Ottawa, Regional Offices, and Posts abroad with an opportunity to learn from the Extractive Sector CSR Counsellor about the Office's role and dispute resolution mechanism. In the second event the DFAIT Director General of Trade Commissioner Service Operations, the CIDA Director of Economic Growth and Environmental Sustainability, and the CSR Counsellor, Marketa Evans, welcomed approximately 50 Heads of Missions and Chargés d’Affaires from the diplomatic community in Ottawa to an interactive outreach session focused on the CSR Strategy for the Canadian International Extractive Sector.
CANADA HOSTS CSR DIALOGUE IN PERU: On February 9, 2011, the Canadian Embassy in Peru, together with the support of its co-organizer Viceversa Consulting (Peruvian CSR consultants), launched the first “Mañana de Responsabilidad Social Empresarial Canadiense-Peruana de Minería y Petróleo” (Canadian - Peruvian Corporate Social Responsibility Morning on Mining and Petroleum). The objective of this event was to share ideas on CSR, demonstrate Canada’s leadership concerning CSR and create a forum for key players and practitioners, 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 next steps. The forum attracted over 200 participants comprised of key representatives from various NGOs, government, academia, and domestic and foreign corporations.
The Embassy also arranged a site visit to Yanacocha, Cajamarca, for the CSR Counsellor and the CSR Coordinator for the Americas to engage in a dialogue on Canada’s CSR approach with the Muay indigenous communities. Also, there were meetings with representatives from Minas Conga and ALAC (Asociación Los Andes Cajamarca – Yanacocha Foundation). Feedback on the forum was overwhelmingly positive and the Embassy has been asked to host another similar event in the region. The quality of speakers and high level of the participants made for a rich exchange, and positive media coverage.
EMBASSY HOLDS SUCCESSFUL FIRST-EVER CSR SEMINAR IN MANAGUA, NICARAGUA: On March 3, 2011, the Canadian Embassy in Costa Rica, with the help of UNIRSE (the leading NGO on CSR in Nicaragua), organized an event to introduce CSR to Nicaragua and bring together various stakeholders to discuss these themes in a neutral setting. The seminar attracted over 70 individuals from all sectors including: government, local and Canadian companies, NGOs, academics, and various international organizations. Key elements of the seminar were: a presentation on Canadian CSR policies and practices; a panel session featuring Canadian companies who shared their CSR experiences with the local participants, and discussion groups and brainstorming.
CANADA HOSTS CSR SEMINAR IN MEXICO: On January 27, 2011, the Canadian Embassy in Mexico organized a one-day seminar on CSR to share information on best practices and to promote the Government of Canada’s CSR Strategy ''Building the Canadian Advantage''. Panelists and audience members included representatives of the private sector, NGOs, academics, Mexican federal and state governments, and communities. The Canadian Embassy in Mexico plans to repeat the workshop next fiscal year, and develop a similar event in Oaxaca.
THE ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS (ASEAN) INCORPORATES CSR NETWORK IN SINGAPORE: On January 11th 2011, the five founding members of the ASEAN Foundation (Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, and the Philippines), with the help of the Canadian Embassy in Jakarta, held the inaugural ceremony for the incorporation of the ASEAN CSR Network. The network is comprised of companies and industry associations which seek to engage the private sector in enhancing the ASEAN Community through the promotion of CSR and in helping ensure that CSR is incorporated into the corporate agenda. A key objective of this new ASEAN body will be to expand its membership to all ASEAN countries (Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Brunei, and Burma) over the course of the next two years. The Network also plans to work on an ASEAN model for public policy on CSR, as well as advocacy and capacity building.
CANADA PARTICIPATES IN UPDATE TO THE OECD GUIDELINES FOR MULTINATIONAL ENTERPRISE (MNEs): On June 30, 2010 the Corporate Responsibility Roundtable of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) launched an update to the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises. Since then, the Government of Canada has been an active participant in a series of negotiations which aim to update the Guidelines and ensure their continued relevancy as one of the leading global instruments of CSR. Through DFAIT’s leadership along with the integral support of several other government departments and key stakeholder organizations, Canada has been able to help guide the development of substantive updates throughout the text, including a new chapter on human rights, language on supply chains and due diligence, and updated language on disclosure, employment and industrial relations, anti-corruption, the environment, consumer interests, competition, and taxation. The OECD expects to conclude this exercise in advance of the OECD Ministerial Council Meeting, May 24-25, 2011. For more information on the Guidelines please visit the OECD website.
UPDATES ON THE VOLUNTARY PRINCIPLES (VPs): Canada succeeded the United States as Government Chair of the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights (VPs) on March 23, 2011 at the annual plenary meeting held in Washington D.C. The VPs constitute both a CSR tool and a multi-stakeholder organisation that provide guidelines to help extractive sector companies anticipate and mitigate human rights risks related to the deployment of public and private security for the protection of their operations. The VPs prescribe general courses of action to help companies develop their own policies and procedures, tailored to local circumstances. The VPs are among the multilateral performance guidelines endorsed in Canada's CSR Strategy for the International Extractive Sector. Canada joined the VPs in March 2009, and became a full member in 2010. Canada is committed to helping the VPs grow as an organisation and is looking forward to working with the VPs membership, Canadian stakeholders, and the international community to strengthen and broaden the reach of the VPs. For more information visit the VPs’ Secretariat website.
DFAIT AT THE 2011 PROSPECTORS AND DEVELOPERS ASSOCIATION OF CANADA (PDAC) INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION: DFAIT continued its promotion of CSR at PDAC's International Convention in Toronto on March 6-7, 2011. In collaboration with Natural Resources Canada, DFAIT led a one day capacity-building session for Trade Commissioners that included training on CSR. During the Convention, Trade Commissioners met with companies, incoming delegations and civil society representatives to promote the Government of Canada's CSR initiatives. DFAIT facilitated the visit of delegations from Guatemala and Ecuador, which included representatives from host country governments and indigenous communities affected by mining. PDAC also organized an open panel presentation to convention delegates on the Government’s CSR Strategy for the Canadian International Extractive Sector. Speakers addressed each of the four pillars and had an interactive exchange with the attendees.
EMBEDDING SUSTAINABILITY INTO CORPORATE CULTURE: In December 2010, the Network for Business Sustainability (NBS) of the Ivey School of Business at University of Western Ontario released the results of the research study Embedding Sustainability into Corporate Culture, which was supported in part by Industry Canada. The research was led by a team of researchers from Simon Fraser University and involved an extensive literature review of more than 13,000 academic articles, books and practitioner reports on existing practices. The 179 most relevant sources were assessed and 59 distinct best-practices were identified. The research has resulted in a user-friendly tool for business and other organizations to assist in effectively integrating sustainable practices and CSR into their corporate culture. The main features of the tool are a quadrant with axes labelled informal--formal and fulfillment--innovation. Next steps for the project include a series of workshops across Canada to promote the tool, test it with industry and assess the appropriate order to implement best-practices. NBS also plans to launch an ongoing discussion on its website to get feedback on these findings.
BUSINESS AND HUMAN RIGHTS: The United Nations Secretary General’s Special Representative on Transnational Corporations and Other Business Enterprises, Dr. John Ruggie, released the final version of the Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights on March 24, 2011. The Guiding Principles elaborate on Dr. Ruggie’s Protect, Respect and Remedy Framework, detailing the roles and responsibilities of states and businesses with regards to human rights. Through extensive consultations with the business community, civil society, and governments, Dr. Ruggie has recast the debate on business and human rights and forged significant common ground. Canada has strongly supported the Special Representative's mandate, including financial contributions totalling CAD $604,456 since 2005. Canada is reviewing the Guiding Principles to understand how they might assist in advancing Canada’s approach to CSR.
MANAGING SUSTAINABLE GLOBAL SUPPLY CHAINS (SGSC): On March 29, the Network for Business Sustainability of the Ivey School of Business at University of Western Ontario released a report at the annual Supply Chains Conference in Toronto. This event was hosted by the Conference Board of Canada, with support from Industry Canada. Over the past year, Industry Canada sat on the advisory committee and jointly funded the research along with Suncor, RIM and the Purchasing Management Association of Canada. Based on a systematic review of the body of research on SGSC over the past 25 years, 194 studies were examined to obtain comprehensive and credible evidence on developing SGSC. Designed for executives and senior supply chain purchasing and sustainability managers, the report presents a framework for developing competitive SGSC. Some information to emerge includes: Consumers (28%), closely followed by government (22%), have the greatest influence on the development of sustainable supply chains, whereas investors have the least (3%). Also, public policy and industry collaboration are key external levers which can facilitate or inhibit efforts to build SGSC. The evidence suggests that building better supply chains can lead to more competitive businesses, mitigate risks, create and protect jobs, respond to consumer pressures, and preserve and increase share value. Working to increase the awareness and influence of investors in motivating the CSR practices of companies and the development of SGSC will be a priority for Industry Canada. Industry Canada plans to promote the results of the study, through the Industry Canada CSR website and its network of contacts at industry associations.
EDC UPDATES ENVIRONMENTAL AND SOCIAL RISK MANAGEMENT POLICY: On November 1, 2011 EDC released its Environmental and Social Risk Management Framework which includes an update to its policies governing the review of environmental and social impacts and the release of information to the public on those impacts. The revisions were developed following input from a variety of stakeholders representing industry, civil society and government. Key changes include: greater disclosure on EDC’s review of large infrastructure projects, more explicit reference to social impacts, and the integration of climate change into policy commitments.
SUSTAINABLE CONSUMPTION AND PRODUCTION (SCP) ACTOR AND ACTIVITY MAP FOR NORTH AMERICA: Industry Canada commissioned One Earth Society to conduct research on a North American Actor and Activity Map for Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP). The report identifies some of the key groups, networks, industry associations and civil society organizations engaged in advancing SCP in North America; develops a set of categories or entry points for a broader inventory of tools, practices and approaches that help capture the diversity and complexity of SCP and the actors working within it; suggests areas for additional and promising activity for cross-sectoral and bilateral collaborations; and provides recommendations to government for consideration on the possible roles for government support to SCP. CSR as a means to realize SCP was featured in the Actor and Activity Map. This work was conducted in support of the Marrakesh Process and the Ten Year Framework of Programs on which Canada will report in May 2011 at the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD 19). The Actor and Activity Map was also an important foundation piece in support of the Second North American SCP Consultations Workshop on Green Buildings held in Ottawa in January 2011. For more info, visit One Earth Society.