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INTERNATIONAL ETHICAL STANDARDS FOR BUSINESS. In order to provide stability and sustainability to international business prominent international organizations have made certain proposals for universal principles and standards .

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INTERNATIONAL ETHICAL STANDARDS FOR BUSINESS


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    1. INTERNATIONAL ETHICAL STANDARDS FOR BUSINESS In order to provide stability and sustainability to international business prominent international organizations have made certain proposals for universal principles and standards .

    2. Some of these refer to Labour Rights, such as the Declaration of Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, adopted by the International LabourOrganisation (ILO) in 1998, or the Workplace Code of Conduct of the Fair Labor Association (FLA). The latter emerged in late 1990, in response to the invitation by former US president Bill Clinton, and to public indignation at labour abuses committed by multinational companies in developing countries, especially in the textile industry.

    3. The supporters of respect for the environment and sustainability, set principles, developed by the Coalition for Environmentally Responsible Economies (CERES) as well as the Business Charter for Sustainable Development, prepared by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and the Rio Declaration of Environment and Development, which emerged from the UN conference on environment and development held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992.

    4. There are, besides, several well known international standards covering a wide variety of concerns, including human and labour rights, the environment and sustainability, and the fight against corruption. Among them are the UN Global Compact, The CRT Principle for Responsible Business and the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises.

    5. UN Global Compact • This is probably the most widely recognized international code for business conduct. The UN Global Compact was launched in 1999 by the then Secretary General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan, at the World Economic Forum. The UN Global Compact proposes ten principles inspired by earlier UN documents, notably:

    6. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) • The International LabourOrganisation’s Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work (1998) • The Rio Declaration on Environment and Development (1992) • The United Nationals Convention against Corruption • These principles cover four areas : 1. Human rights, 2. Labour, 3. The environment, and 4. Anti-corruption

    7. ISCT • The Global Compact is not a regulatory instrument but, rather, a forum for discussion and the networking of companies, labour and civil society, along with UN agencies. Its aim is to encourage business worldwide to adopt sustainable and socially responsible policies, and to report on their implementation. It relies on public accountability, transparency and commitment to initiate and share substantive action in pursuing the principles upon which the Global Compact is based.

    8. The Global Compact has a responsive, functional structure, with two complementary goals: • To mainstream the 10 principles activities around the world • To catalyse actions in support of UN goals

    9. Principle 1 • Business should support and respect the protection of internationally proclaimed human rights; and • Principle 2 • Makes sure that they are not complicit in human rights violations Labour • Principle 3 • Business should uphold the freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining • Principle 4 • The elimination of all forms of forced and compulsory labour; • Principle 5 • The effective abolition of child labour: and

    10. Principle 6 • The elimination of discrimination with regard to employment and occupation. • Principle 7 • Business should support a precautionary approach to environmental challenges; • Principle 8 • Undertake initiatives to promoet greater environmental responsibility; a  Principle 9 • Encourage the development and diffusion of environmentally friendly technologies.  Principle 10 • Business should work against corruption in all its forms, including extortion and bribery.

    11. The Principles for Responsible Business • In 1986, a group of senior European, Japanese and US business leaders founded the Caux Round Table in order to join forces and reduce escalating trade tensions. They met annually in the Swiss city of Caux. In 1992, they concluded that they needed to agree on a set of ethical and moral principles specially applicable to the world of business and firms.

    12. The Principles for Business were first published in 1994, based on the Japanese concept of kyosei, which means ‘living and working together for the common good enabling cooperation and mutual prosperity to coexist with healthy and fair competition’, and on human dignity, which refers ‘to the sacredness or value of each personas an end, not simply as a means to the fulfillment of others’ purposes or even majority prescription’.

    13. In 2009, these Principles were updated and published with the name of ‘The CRT for Responsible Business’ . They are rooted in three ethical foundations, namely: • Responsible stewardship • Living and working for mutual advantage • The respect and protection of human dignity

    14. OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises • The main goal of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), founded in 1961, is to promote policies contributing to economic growth and development. It currently has 30 member countries in Europe and North America. The Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, last revised in 2000, are part of the Declaration on International Investment and Multinational Enterprises.

    15. The Guidelines include recommendations, voluntary principles and standards addressed by governments to multinational enterprises to achieve four overarching goals: • To ensure that the operations of these enterprises are in harmony with government policies • To strengthen the basis of mutual confidence between enterprises and the societies in which they operate • To help improve the foreign investment climate • To enhance the contribution to sustainable development made by multinational enterprises.

    16. The Caux Round Table Principles for Responsible Business • Principle 1 – Respect Stakeholders beyond Shareholders • A responsible business acknowledge its duty to contribute value to society through the wealth and employment it creates and the products and services it provides to consumers. • A responsible business maintains its economic health and viability not just for shareholders, but also for other stakeholders. • A responsible business respects the interests of, and acts with honesty and fairness towards, its customers, employees, suppliers, competitors, and the broader community.

    17. Principle 2. Contribute to Economic, Social and Environmental Development • A responsible business recognizes that business cannot sustainably proper in societies that are failing or lacking in economic development. • A responsible business therefore contributes to the economic, social and environmental development of the communities in which it operates, in order to sustain its essential ‘operating’ capital –financial, social, environmental, and all forms of good will. • A responsible business enhances society through effective and prudent use of resources, free and fair competition, and innovation in technology and business practices.

    18. Principle 3. Respect the Letter and the Spirit of Law • A responsible business recognizes that some business behaviors, although legal, can nevertheless have adverse consequences for stakeholders. • A responsible business therefore adheres to the spirit and intent behind the law, as well as the letter of the law, which requires conduct that goes beyond minimum legal obligations. • A responsible business always operates with candour, truthfulness, and transparency, and keeps its promises.

    19. Principle 4 Respect Rules and Conventions • A responsible business respects the local cultures and traditions in the communities in which it operates, consistent with fundamental principles of fairness and equality. • A responsible business, everywhere it operates, respects all applicable national and international laws, regulations and conventions, while trading fairly and competitively.

    20. Principle 5. Support Responsible Globalisation • A responsible business, as a participant in the global marketplace, supports open and fair multilateral trade. • A responsible business supports reform of domestic rules and regulations where they unreasonably hinder global commerce.

    21. Principle 5. Support Responsible Globalisation • A responsible business, as a participant in the global marketplace, supports open and fair multilateral trade. • A responsible business supports reform of domestic rules and regulations where they unreasonably hinder global commerce.

    22. Principle 6. Respect the Environment • A responsible business protects and, where possible, improves the environment, and avoids wasteful use of resources. • A responsible business ensures that its operations comply with best environmental management practices consistent with meeting the needs of today without compromising the needs of future generations.

    23. Principle 7. Avoid Illicit Activities • A responsible business does not participate in , or condone, corrupt practices, bribery, money laundering, or other illicit activities. • A responsible business does not participate in or facilitate transaction linked to or supporting terrorist activities, drug trafficking or any other illicit activity. • A responsible business actively supports the reduction and prevention of all such illegal and illicit activities.