Corporate Social Responsibility

DFATD Supports CSR Projects

In an effort to foster and promote corporate social responsibility (CSR) at home and abroad, the Trade Commissioner Service (TCS) encourages Canadian embassies, consulates, high commissions, regional offices and headquarters divisions to undertake CSR initiatives by providing them with a dedicated source of internal funding. While launched by various government offices at home and abroad, these CSR projects often include participation or partnership with other federal and provincial government departments, civil society organizations, academia, industry, chambers of commerce, foreign governments and Aboriginal groups, in order to maintain and uphold Canada’s multi-stakeholder approach.

In the past two years, DFATD has provided approximately $350,000 in funding to 50 corporate social responsibility projects and initiatives in over 30 countries around the world.

The table below provides examples of CSR initiatives organized by Canada’s missions during the 2009-2010 fiscal year, which have promoted and enhanced socially responsible business conduct among Canadian companies operating abroad. For more information on any of the projects described, please contact csr-rse.bts@international.gc.ca.  

Africa

Canadian Embassy:  Darkar, Senegal
Funding provided by DFATD:  $8,000 CAN
Status:  Ongoing 

Initiative:  Mining Toolkit for West African Communities

  • Description: An adaptation of Natural Resource Canada’s Mining Information Kit for Aboriginal Communities to the West African context. Phase 1 of the project (2009-2010) involves preliminary workshops to engage a broad range of CSR stakeholders from Senegal, Mali, Burkina Faso, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Niger in the development of the Toolkit.
  • Partner(s): Natural Resources Canada. 
  • Outcome: The Mining Toolkit will help communities, including indigenous communities, to better understand the mining cycle, to build relationships with mining companies based on communication and mutual respect, and to identify opportunities for meaningful participation, capacity-building and sustainable economic growth throughout the mining cycle.

Canadian Embassy:  Harare, Zimbabwe
Funding provided by DFATD:  $5,000 CAN
Status:  Completed June 2009 

  • Initiative: CSR Seminar
  • Description: A one-day seminar describing Canada’s approach to CSR and Canadian CSR best practices for representatives from civil society, industry, academia, government, and other stakeholder groups. The event complemented the Botswana Resources Conference that took place concurrently.
  • Partner(s): Capital Resources (the organisers of the Botswana Resources Conference) and Canadian missions in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, South Africa and Zambia.
  • Outcome: Canadian CSR priorities and best practices were shared with local stakeholders and Canadian companies operating the region.

Toronto, Canada, Africa Commercial Relations Division (DFATD)
Funding provided by DFATD:  $7,000 CAN
Status:  Completed October 2009

  • Initiative: CSR and Risk Mitigation Seminar
  • Description: A one-day CSR and Risk Mitigation Seminar that addressed socio-political turmoil in Africa, the impact of economic downturn on CSR programs, and the role of Canadian mining companies in the socio-economic development of the continent.
  • Partner(s): Canada-South Africa Chamber of Business; MineAfrica; and the Government of Ontario.
  • Outcome: Canadian companies, CSR practitioners and civil society representatives were informed of risk mitigation tools and CSR best practices to help them operate responsibly in the African region.

Latin America and the Caribbean

Canadian Embassy:  Santiago, Chile
Funding provided by DFATD:  $3,000 CAN
Status: Ongoing

  • Initiative: Mining Toolkit for Chilean Communities
  • Description: An adaptation of Canada’s Mining Information Kit for Aboriginal Communities originally produced by Natural Resources Canada and adapted by Canadian missions in Peru and Mexico to the Chilean context. Phase 1 of the project (2009-2010 fiscal year) consists of adapting the Peruvian version. This will be undertaken by contractors from the legal and civil society sectors, in consultation with the Chilean Ministry of Mines and local mining industry representatives.
  • Partner(s): Natural Resources Canada local mining associations, Ministry of Mines Chile, and local NGOs.  
  • Objective: The development of a tool that will help communities, including indigenous communities, to better understand the mining cycle, to build relationships with mining companies based on communication and mutual respect, and to identify opportunities for meaningful participation, capacity-building and sustainable economic growth throughout the mining cycle.

Canadian Embassy: Mexico City, Mexico 
Funding provided by DFATD:  $8,000 CAN
Status: To be completed February 13, 2010

  • Initiative: Mining Toolkit Workshop
  • Description: A half-day workshop for community representatives promoting Mexico’s 2009 Mining Toolkit, explaining the mining cycle, introducing key mining players, and advising them of conflict-resolution mechanisms available in Mexico. 
  • Partner(s): Federal Government of Mexico; the Mexican Mining Association; and several local civil society organizations.
  • Objective: Mexican community and indigenous representatives will be introduced to the Mining Toolkit as a resource that they and their communities can access. They will also be informed about Canadian mining practices in Mexico, Canada’s CSR expectations for these operations and conflict resolution mechanisms available to them through their government and legal system.

Canadian Embassy: Lima, Peru and Montevideo, Uruguay 
Funding provided by DFATD:  $10,500 CAN
Status: Completed December 2009

  • Initiative: Canada’s Participation in Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) CSR Conference
  • Description: For its seventh Conference on CSR, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has invited Canada to present its national approach to CSR in a panel discussion, and to offer a workshop describing the methodology used in the development of the Peruvian Mining Toolkit produced by the Canadian mission in Lima.
  • Partner(s): Social Capital Group.
  • Outcome: Canada was able to contribute to the IDB conference by promoting various methods of stakeholder engagement and CSR best practices to Latin American governments and other stakeholders, so that these best practices may be integrated into both public policy and private-sector activity.  This initiative also increased the visibility of Canada’s commitment to foster and promote CSR in the region.

Canadian Embassy: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Funding provided by DFATD:  $4,300 CAN
Status: Completed December 2009

  • Initiative: CSR Seminar
  • Description: A one-day workshop providing an introduction to CSR concepts and practices for the extractive sector. A Canadian speaker, with experience in the development of CSR programs for extractive-sector companies, will offer a presentation. Canadian companies subsequently had an opportunity to share their CSR success stories and lessons learned.
  • Partner(s): Argentine-Canadian Chamber of Commerce
  • Outcome: Canadian companies operating in Argentina gained greater awareness of the ‘business case’ for CSR and a greater understanding of Canada’s expectations and commitments as reflected in Canada’s CSR Strategy for the Canadian International Extractive Sector.

Asia

Canadian Embassy: Chongqing, China
Funding provided by DFATD:  $7,200 CAN
Status: Completed October 2009

  • Initiative: Sustainable Mining Seminar
  • Description: A one-day seminar informing local stakeholders (i.e. industry associations, government representatives and community representatives) as well as Canadian companies of the benefits of employing CSR practices in the mining industry, of CSR best practices, and of the Canadian mining industry’s contributions to sustainable mining technology and practices.
  • Partner(s): Natural Resources Canada; Government of Ontario; Research Office of the People’s Government of Yunnan Province; Department of Land and Resources of Yunnan Province; Canadian Embassy in Beijing; and CAMESE.
  • Outcome: The event showcased Canadian companies’ CSR practices, identified local Chinese partners for Canadian CSR initiatives in the region, and promoted CSR policies to local government.

Europe

Canadian Embassy: Budapest, Hungary
Funding provided by DFATD:  $1,500 CAN
Status: Completed May 2009

  • Initiative: Transparency and Corporate Accountability Conference
  • Description: The mission participated in the visit of Dr. Hugette Labelle, Executive Director of Transparency International, leading her to meetings with the MPs of the Economic Affairs and Finance Committees of Hungarian Parliament, as well as to meetings with the President, Minister of Justice and the Prime Minister of Hungary. The mission also arranged for a gathering between Dr. Labelle, Canadian industry representatives and government officials involved in the multilateral Transparency Working Group established in Hungary.
  • Partner(s): Transparency International.
  • Outcome: Canadian companies received practical advice on various policies and practices that can address the transparency challenges they face in the international marketplace, while the Canadian mission identified key officials and members of Hungarian civil society with whom they can collaborate to address the issue of transparency.

DFATD Regional Offices

Regional Offices of Vancouver and Toronto, Canada
Funding provided by DFATD:  $6,000 CAN
Status: Ongoing

  • Initiative: IFC Performance Standard Seminars
  • Description: Visits from the International Finance Corporation to Toronto and Vancouver to promote the IFC Performance Standards to Canadian extractive companies operating in the Americas.
  • Partner(s): The International Financial Corporation; the Association for Mineral Exploration, BC; the Mining Association of BC; and the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada.
  • Outcome: Canadian companies are provided with information and support to integrate aspects of the IFC Performance Standards into their CSR programs.