The members of Gaemo Group have experience in many areas and we look forward to sharing that experience with you and helping you make use of it. In this section of the website
we will pose questions for you to consider as you carry out your CSR activities and fulfil your CSR obligations;
we will offer observations on issues of concern; and
we will make recommendations on best practices
From time to time we will add to this section. Our first entry is:
Corporate Social Responsibility; do you know the rules of the game?
A company’s non-observance of its corporate social responsibility and in particular violations of human rights can end up in the ‘courts of public opinion’ as well as in the courts of law. Have you considered the wide range of consequences thereof as well as considered actions by companies required to prevent it from happening? The examples below may be relevant both for companies and civil society parties:
- Do you know that a parent company risks being held accountable for violation of human rights by its subsidiaries, both those in its home country and abroad?
- Do you know that a company risks being complicit in another actor’s involvement in human rights abuses – even if the other actor is not being held legally responsible?
- Do you know how far up or down in the supply chain a company must go to assess the potential for complicity risk? At what point does a company’s complicity-based responsibility for the actions of third parties end?
- Do you know that a prudent human rights due diligence – which is not a one-time exercise but an ongoing process – should be aimed at identifying risks to others next to identifying the risks to the company itself?
- Do you know how to conduct due diligence on the human rights impacts of a company’s relationships with third parties, particularly those with whom it has no contractual relationship?
- Do you know that companies risk being held accountable for human rights abuses even if they were fully complying with local legal requirements?
- Do you know that litigation is not the preferred choice to solve conflicts relating to human rights and that the UN promotes mediation as a responsible way to resolve human rights disputes?
- Do you know that court cases, even if successfully defended, can still result in significant diversion of management time, loss of reputation, demoralization of employees, decreased sales and other financial and political costs?
- Do you know that successful corporations often have a culture emerging from a strategy, policy and decision making process, recognized as authentic and authoritative within the corporation that encourages ethical conduct within its organization?
- Do you know that voluntary transparency of a company’s CSR aspirations may result in legal exposure and do you know how to reduce that exposure?
- Do you know that the company could be excluded from government contracts when violating laws at home or in other jurisdictions and that government contracts include contracts with government owned enterprises?
- Do you know that companies that adhere to ’soft law’ initiatives, such as the OECD Guidelines, are well positioned to compete in public procurement or to be included in World Bank finance programs and that in a number of jurisdictions such adherence is a condition to benefit from these programs?
- Do you know that corporate grievance mechanisms help avoiding conflicts from escalating to civil court cases, or worse, to prosecution for alleged national or international crime?
We think that not only can we help you answer these questions but also think we can help you implement those answers. We look forward to speaking with you.