The Edmund Rice Business Ethics Initiative, launched in 1991, exists to promote a conversation between business and the community on values and ethics: promoting life humanly in our businesses, our communities, our planet. It aims to create a space where these issues can be discussed and researched in mutually supportive ways. It seems to promote better communication for the sake of better outcomes for us all.

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The anatomy of an ethical stance

Three years ago, UK retailer Marks & Spencer announced its goal to becoming the world’s most sustainable retailer by 2015. Under the imaginative title of "Plan A", the company set specific goals using clearly defined standards to set goals and identify key measurements and reporting mechanisms which were developed with the assistance of other companies and the British Standards Institution. 62 of those original 100 goals have been met.

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Organisational models: horses for courses

The National Council of The St Vincent de Paul Society recently placed the NSW State Council of the Society under temporary administration. Mr Syd Tutton the Society's National President took this decision pointing to what he called "over-corporatisation" in NSW, producing a culture poorly suited to ensure that the Society fulfil its primary mission to support the most marginalised members of the community.

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"Living wage": respecting workers

The US sports clothing maker Knights Apparel has committed to pay workers a ‘living wage’ at its factory in the Dominican Republic. The wage, three times more than local minimum, is calculated as the necessary to provide full-time workers with the means to adequately feed, house and educate their families.

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Profits are good but so are other things: a cautionary tale from BP

Operating a business is a balancing act and so is ethics: not all good things are achievable, not all harms are avoidable but oversimplifying what needs to be balanced does not serve the search for a better way. BP seems to have sacrificed good risk management as a cost-cutting measure, as did many financial institutions leading up to the Global Financial Crisis. Unfortunately, the consequences are acquiring truly apocalyptic proportions.
Daniel Hill and John Sweeney

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  Alan Asher
» Breakfast with Ron McCallum AO
··The anatomy of an ethical stance
··Organisational models: horses for courses
··"Living wage": respecting workers
··Profits are good but so are other things: a cautionary tale from BP
This newsletter is a publication of the Edmund Rice Centre and the Trustees of the Christian Brothers. While all reasonable attempts have been taken to ensure that the information in this newsletter is correct and that opinions and points of view are in accordance with the purpose of the Business Ethics Initiative, the Edmund Rice Centre and the Trustees of the Christian Brothers do not guarantee its accuracy nor should anything contained in the newsletter be treated as professional advice. The Edmund Rice Centre and the Trustees of the Christian Brothers do not necessarily endorse or recommend any opinions, individuals or organisations which are linked to, or mentioned in, this newsletter.