Social Responsibility Testing in ICRT

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Social Responsibility Testing in ICRT
CI World Congress Hong Kong, May 2011
Guido Adriaenssens, Chief Executive Officer
Content
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Why and what do we do in ICRT on SR?
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How do we test SR?
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Key references and new SR standards & guidelines
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International SR research examples
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General conclusions and most common problems
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Consumer interest
Why comparative testing on SR
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Our main mission is to inform the consumers
on all criteria that can influence their choice:
quality, price, durability and sustainability
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More and more products make “fair trade”
and ethical claims: can we assume they are
correct?
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What to think about the hundreds of labels
and logos?
What do we do in ICRT on SR?
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ICRT Working Group with consumer
organisations from Germany, The Netherlands, Belgium, Italy,
Spain, Portugal, France, Austria, Denmark, Sweden, Norway
and Switzerland since 2002
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Internal Guidelines for joint SR research
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Joint publications on jogging shoes, washing
machines, toys, mobile phones, pharmaceutical industry, hotel
chains, airlines, tuna, jeans …
How do we test SR in ICRT?
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A number of methods available:
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Information in the public domain
Questionnaires completed by companies
Anonymous calls and letters (mystery shopping)
Company meetings or visits
Factory visits and management review
Interviewing employees and stakeholders
Peer review
Key references
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ILO conventions
UN global compact
ISO 26000 Guidance Standard
– Sustainable development and social responsibility
– Core subjects of SR are
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Organisational governance
Human rights
Labour practises
Environment
Fair operating practices
Consumer issues
Community involvement and development
Unique and specific approach
Validation of questionnaires:
– Plant visits
– Different from audits
– Include subcontractors plants
– Expensive exercise that no one else
does
Digital cameras- January 2010 -1
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Partners in Germany, Belgium, Spain, Portugal,
Italy, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Norway,
Switzerland, Austria, Korea, Thailand, Hong Kong
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Covered 10 brands, 20 models, 11 production
sites in China, Indonesia, Japan and Korea
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Methodologies:
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Company survey (questionnaires)
Consultation with company headquarters
Visit production factories and worker interviews
SR information on companies’ internet sites
Data checking
Digital cameras- January 2010 - 2
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Key issues:
 SR management focuses on environment
not social issues
 Lack of tranparency
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Results:
 Nikon has strong SR engagement
 Sony and Canon did not allow production
site visits
 Fuijifilm, Kodak, Olympus and Pentax did
not cooperate
Published Article on CSR digital
cameras
in Test in January 2011
Published Article on CSR digital
cameras
in Test in January 2011
Hotel chains – March 2011 - 1
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Partners in Sweden, Finland, Denmark,
Austria, Belgium, Spain, Portugal, Italy
 Covered 10 hotel groups with 64 brands
 Methodologies:
– Company survey (questionnaires)
– Publicly available SR information
– Visits and interviews with hotel managers in 3
key tourist destinations
– Headquarter validation
– Data checking
Hotel chains – March 2011 - 1
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Key issues:
 Management of water and energy use, but there is a
culture of consumption and waste
 International key conventions adhered to, but
practical application difficult to see
 Wages below minimum living wage, lot of overtime
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Results:
 Overall good cooperation
 Accor best overall rating
 Hilton average, weak on labour and socioeconomic
issues and customer engagement
 Riu and Iberostar overall weak
Published Article on Hotel Chains in
Test-Achats March 2011
Published Article on Hotel Chains in
Test Achat March 2011
General conclusions of SR testing
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3 groups of companies
– Non responders:
Some say “there is no point in participating because
we can’t even answer 10% of your questions”
– Principle collaborators:
Have a global policy but it is not implemented in the field
– The positive group:
They collaborate, engage and allow plant inspections
The best react to our comments and put things right
Most common problems
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Suspicious origin of ingredients
Subcontracting and temporary workers
Unpaid mandatory overtime, no pay slips,
too long working periods
Discrimination
No safety training
Use of dangerous products and unhealthy
environments
Poor chemical (waste) management
Misuse of ethical trade labels
Consumer Interest
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Readership surveys show that SR articles have
average to good interest rates
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In recent reader surveys 35-55% of members
sought ethical information and 20-25% wish to see
more ethical topics
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Most interest on product related information
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About 3 international CSR projects per year
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Careful editing needed to avoid generalisation
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