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34662: Company Codes of Conduct and International Standards: An Analytical Comparison

During the past few years, corporate leaders have recognized that the success of their brands is tied to whether their business is conducted in a manner acceptable to those affected by it. In an effort to respond to the growing number of social and environmental concerns and to protect their brands, firms have adopted programs that reflect support for international norms and promote sustainability. This practice has come to be known as corporate social responsibility (CSR), and focuses on a wide range of issues, including worker's rights (particularly child labor, freedom of association, forced labor, and freedom from discrimination), health and safety issues, environmental concerns, compensation, migrant labor issues, human rights, security arrangements, community engagement, ethical conduct, good governance, and rule of law. There has been widespread adoption by many firms of CSR codes of conduct, as well as the compliance and monitoring schemes used to implement and enforce those codes once they have been established. Codes of conduct stipulate the human rights, environmental, social and ethical requirements for suppliers. This report is part of a series of research analyses commissioned by the World Bank Group to determine the content of CSR codes of conduct in targeted industry sectors, and the extent to which code content derives from internationally agreed standards. The industry sectors analyzed were: apparel, footwear and light manufacturing; agribusiness (and in particular, banana, coffee, sugar, and cut flower industries); tourism; mining; and oil and gas. For each of these five broad industry sectors, key corporate and non-corporate players were identified, researched, and their codes of conduct summarized. Brief statements about each of these codes were then input into a series of comparative matrices, which divided the CSR information into broad CSR categories, including human rights, labor rights, environmental standards, and social and community impacts. At the end of each set of matrices, international standards or benchmarks for each category were listed.

World Bank
Authors Keywords
World Bank; child labor; oil exchange; manufacturing sector; pollution; transparency; gasoline; wage rates; labor standards; comparative analysis;
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Published in 2004 and available in the World Bank website or can be downloaded as full text Downloaded 1,005 times since November 25, 2011