So what are the possible repercussions of this growing
Skeptics contend that the enormously different interpretations of CSR will only add to the friction that has recently been witnessed between the United States on issues as far
After all, this new European and Japanese approach to SEAAR requires a fundamental rethinking of how a company
This dilemma can have two obvious results. First, it can be disruptive, creating a further divide between the Euro/Japanese approach and that of the United States. The European interpretation, by all logic, will soon by necessity be forced upon the American companies doing business in the European Union. Because it is government driven, EU directives will quickly move all EU companies toward this higher standard, and presumably investors and consumers will reward them
Probably it will be a trade issue, eventually, says John Brookes of Manaxis. Because just as with ISO 9000, and ISO 14000 before, European customers will put pressure on American suppliers, and American suppliers will be encouraged and eventually comply. [21 ]
This dividing effect may already be apparent. This Anglo/European drive toward CSR and triple-bottom-line reporting is beginning to bring pressure on U.S. companies, as well, points out Jim Kartalia, President of Entegra Corporation and a specialist on risk and reputation management. Any American corporation that wants to do business globally is going to be forced to address these issues. The EU is pushing this legislation, he concludes, and they are going to force American companies to comply or else they are not going to get business. [22 ]
In Europe, trends toward environmental supply chain management are already visible, says Joseph Carter, Professor of Supply Management at Arizona State University. Although, an average U.S.-based firm may not be thinking along environmental issues while developing corporate strategy, pressures from global firms, including those based in the United States, are likely to influence other firms to follow the European trend. [23 ]
Dr. Judy Henderson, Chair of the Global Reporting Initiative, thinks the two different approaches to SEAAR may have a more contentious result. What I would be more
Either way, it is not inconceivable that by mandating SEAAR, European and Japanese
On the other hand, a more optimistic view holds that the drive toward mandatory SEAAR, particularly if it is accompanied by competition, and a general acceptance by NGOs, consumers, and investors that this level is good and necessary, may simply become a part of how all business is
I think a lot of companies are doing very good and very interesting work [in the U.S.] behind the scenes, says John Queenan from PricewaterhouseCoopers Advisory Services. But they are just not being very transparent to the public about it . . . My opinion is that the gap is not
Boston-based Allen White, the GRI s cofounder and former acting CEO, agrees. My own view is that we are on a road to convergence, inexorably ” not
Of course, based on the issues raised in earlier chapters, there is a strong business case to be made for closer monitoring and reporting on ethical supply chain policies even without this European SEAAR initiative, based simply on the protection of a corporation s reputation in light of increased investors, NGO, consumer, and legal pressures.
I think the European Reporting movement will, to some extent, move the Americans along, concludes Alice Tepper Marlin. It also depends how global American companies are. Some companies that you would identify as American right away, really are very international companies. And they have to be influenced by what is happening in Europe, and they do take a global perspective. [27 ]
[21 ] Interview, August 15, 2003.
[22 ] Interview, January 23, 2002.
[23 ] Joseph Carter, and Ram Narasimhan, Environmental Supply Chain Management, Center for Advanced Purchasing Studies, 1998, Focus Study (Executive Summary).
[24 ] Interview, July 29, 2003.
[25 ] Interview, November 6, 2003.
[26 ] Interview, August 12, 2003.
[27 ] Interview, June 24, 2003.