Advanced

Environmental Corporate Social Responsibility - An Overview of the Frameworks and an Analysis of Their Supply Chain Management

Wernstedt, Michael (2008)
Department of Law
Abstract
Climate change is a threat facing the planet which could bring disastrous consequences. In the globalised world, states are less capable of fighting this threat alone&semic it is also necessary that companies take on this challenge. Amongst other people, this idea is supported by Kofi Annan and Nicolas Stern. One of the ways in which this is done is through Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). This paper consists of two parts. The first gives an overview of the main horizontal frameworks that exist on the environmental sphere. These can be divided into three groups: codes of conduct, environmental standards and reporting frameworks. The codes of conduct generally do not put up binding rules that the companies are to adhere to. Thus they... (More)
Climate change is a threat facing the planet which could bring disastrous consequences. In the globalised world, states are less capable of fighting this threat alone&semic it is also necessary that companies take on this challenge. Amongst other people, this idea is supported by Kofi Annan and Nicolas Stern. One of the ways in which this is done is through Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). This paper consists of two parts. The first gives an overview of the main horizontal frameworks that exist on the environmental sphere. These can be divided into three groups: codes of conduct, environmental standards and reporting frameworks. The codes of conduct generally do not put up binding rules that the companies are to adhere to. Thus they can be seen as a first step for companies willing to take greater environmental responsibility. Three such codes are brought up in this paper: CSR Europe, Global Compact and CERES Principles. Environmental standards form a comprehensive group and include a range of different kinds of frameworks. The first distinction has to be made between performance standards and process standards. Performance standards effectively allow companies to monitor, assess and report their environmental performance effectively. They are usually focused either horizontally on broad areas such as environmental policy, or focused more vertically on certain industries. The performance standards focused upon in this paper are both horizontal, ISO 14001 and EMAS. Process standards do not tell an organisation what level of performance it needs to achieve. Instead they focus on helping companies judge if they have processes in place to monitor and report on their social and environmental performance. The process standard brought up in this paper is AA 1000. The reporting frameworks provide the principles and content guidelines that allow an organisation to measure and report their economic, social and environmental performance in a competent and consistent way. The reporting framework dealt with in the paper is Global Reporting Initiative (GRI). This overview will include looking at what environmental aspects the frameworks consider. GRI offers an unparalleled level of detail when dealing with the different environmental indicators and must be said, not only to cover most aspects but to deal with them in the greatest detail. However, there is no framework which does not lay down any measurable environmental requirement that the companies must reach in order to be certificated etc. The second part of the paper deals with environmental supply chain management. Here ISO 14001, EMAS and GRI are dealt with in further depth since they have clauses regulating this. One reason why there where no measurable environmental requirements found in the first part is that it would be hard to create measurable environmental requirements in regard to specific environmental aspects that are suitable for all kinds of companies. However, this explanation is not valid when it comes to environmental supply chain management since it is an area where it is possible to lay down measurable requirements regardless of what type of company it is. Thereby it gives a good idea of what ambition is set by the framework. In this section it is clear that the frameworks do not strive to be as demanding as they could be. One reason that they are so unclear might be that the standards must meet the companies' need of having targets that are easily achieved in order to be accepted by the business community. The risk is therefore that environmental CSR might not reach the high expectations as a major force to come to terms with the problems of climate change which many people require. Furthermore there is the risk that the development of soft law regulation which CSR is hinders the development of more demanding hard law on the environmental sphere. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Wernstedt, Michael
supervisor
organization
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
Förmögenhetsrätt, Miljörätt
language
English
id
1562960
date added to LUP
2010-03-08 15:55:30
date last changed
2010-03-08 15:55:30
@misc{1562960,
  abstract     = {Climate change is a threat facing the planet which could bring disastrous consequences. In the globalised world, states are less capable of fighting this threat alone&semic it is also necessary that companies take on this challenge. Amongst other people, this idea is supported by Kofi Annan and Nicolas Stern. One of the ways in which this is done is through Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). This paper consists of two parts. The first gives an overview of the main horizontal frameworks that exist on the environmental sphere. These can be divided into three groups: codes of conduct, environmental standards and reporting frameworks. The codes of conduct generally do not put up binding rules that the companies are to adhere to. Thus they can be seen as a first step for companies willing to take greater environmental responsibility. Three such codes are brought up in this paper: CSR Europe, Global Compact and CERES Principles. Environmental standards form a comprehensive group and include a range of different kinds of frameworks. The first distinction has to be made between performance standards and process standards. Performance standards effectively allow companies to monitor, assess and report their environmental performance effectively. They are usually focused either horizontally on broad areas such as environmental policy, or focused more vertically on certain industries. The performance standards focused upon in this paper are both horizontal, ISO 14001 and EMAS. Process standards do not tell an organisation what level of performance it needs to achieve. Instead they focus on helping companies judge if they have processes in place to monitor and report on their social and environmental performance. The process standard brought up in this paper is AA 1000. The reporting frameworks provide the principles and content guidelines that allow an organisation to measure and report their economic, social and environmental performance in a competent and consistent way. The reporting framework dealt with in the paper is Global Reporting Initiative (GRI). This overview will include looking at what environmental aspects the frameworks consider. GRI offers an unparalleled level of detail when dealing with the different environmental indicators and must be said, not only to cover most aspects but to deal with them in the greatest detail. However, there is no framework which does not lay down any measurable environmental requirement that the companies must reach in order to be certificated etc. The second part of the paper deals with environmental supply chain management. Here ISO 14001, EMAS and GRI are dealt with in further depth since they have clauses regulating this. One reason why there where no measurable environmental requirements found in the first part is that it would be hard to create measurable environmental requirements in regard to specific environmental aspects that are suitable for all kinds of companies. However, this explanation is not valid when it comes to environmental supply chain management since it is an area where it is possible to lay down measurable requirements regardless of what type of company it is. Thereby it gives a good idea of what ambition is set by the framework. In this section it is clear that the frameworks do not strive to be as demanding as they could be. One reason that they are so unclear might be that the standards must meet the companies' need of having targets that are easily achieved in order to be accepted by the business community. The risk is therefore that environmental CSR might not reach the high expectations as a major force to come to terms with the problems of climate change which many people require. Furthermore there is the risk that the development of soft law regulation which CSR is hinders the development of more demanding hard law on the environmental sphere.},
  author       = {Wernstedt, Michael},
  keyword      = {Förmögenhetsrätt,Miljörätt},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Environmental Corporate Social Responsibility - An Overview of the Frameworks and an Analysis of Their Supply Chain Management},
  year         = {2008},
}