Invitation to Corporation 20/20 Spring Seminars

kristy SRI/ESG News

On Behalf of Tellus Institute


Spring 2011 Seminars

Please join us for the following seminars hosted by Corporation 20/20 in conjunction with the Great Transition Initiative.

Venue: Tellus Institute, 11 Arlington St., Boston

Metro: Arlington Station

Time: 12:00-1:30

Lunch served
RSVP: Kate Robinson, [email protected], 617 266 5400

Wednesday, April 27

The Sustainability Lexicon Project: Creating a Language of Change

Deborah Leipziger, Author and CSR Advisor
Marcy Murningham, Writer, Educator, Publisher, Murningham Post

To accelerate the sustainable development agenda, we need to refine the language of sustainability.A vocabulary is emergent, but without consistency or codification. Biocapacity, chain of custody, food security, water risk. What do they mean and how can we build a shared understanding of their meaning? The Sustainability Lexicon Project, initiated in March 2011, will assemble commonly used sustainability terminology and work toward comprehensive and consistent definitions. The project will feature a wiki to allow for crowd-sourcing of the definitions. A group of thought leaders and practitioners known as the Lexicon 100 will begin the process of defining terms on the wiki. Eventually, the group will become the Lexicon 1000. Lexicon 1.0 and 2.0 will be published as books and will also be available in other formats. The project will begin in March 2011, with a release of a publication in the Fall of 2011. The launch of Lexicon 1.0 will occur at Rio+20.

Deborah Leipziger advises companies, governments, and UN agencies on corporate responsibility (CR) issues. She has advised leading multinational companies on strategic and supply chain issues, as well as a wide range of CR initiatives, including the UN’s Global Compact, the Global Reporting Initiative, the UN Environment Programme, the Human Rights Impact Assessment, and Social Accountability International. She serves as a member of several boards including the Advisory Committee on Socially Responsible Investment for Aviva plc in the UK and the Center for Ethics at Manhattanville College, USA. She has served on the International Board of Advisors of Instituto Ethos in Brazil. She is the author of The Corporate Responsibility Code Book, now in its second edition (Greenleaf, 2010) and co-author of Living Corporate Citizenship (FT, 2002) and Corporate Citizenship: Successful Strategies of Responsible Companies, (FT, 1998). She is the author of Social Accountability 8000: The Definitive Guide to the New Social Standard (FT Prentice Hall, 2001). Her books have been translated into Portuguese, French, Korean, and Chinese. Born in Brazil, Ms. Leipziger has a Masters in Public Policy from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Arts from Manhattanville College in Economics and International Studies.

Marcy Murningham has worked as a scholar-practitioner, writer, educator, public speaker, and entrepreneur for more than 30 years, concentrating on the integration of civic moral values into corporate, investor, and philanthropic governance and accountability. Marcy is founding president of The Lighthouse Investment Group (1987), which consults on values-based fiduciary duty, stewardship, and social responsibility issues. She also is co-founder and editor of The Murninghan Post, on online platform for engaging and promoting sustainable prosperity and justice. In 2007 through 2008 she was an INSPIRE fellow at the Institute for Global Leadership at Tufts University, where she explored ways in which corporate social responsibility (CSR) could be linked to disaster resilience and recovery. In 2009-2010 she served as a Research Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School Corporate Social Responsibility Initiative.

Wednesday, May 4
Principles on Business and Human Rights: A Blueprint for the Future.

Caroline Rees, Director of the Governance and Accountability Program with the Corporate Social Responsibility Initiative at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.

The issue of business and human rights became permanently implanted on the global policy agenda in the 1990s, reflecting the dramatic worldwide expansion of the private sector at the time, coupled with a corresponding rise in transnational economic activity. These developments heightened social awareness of businesses’ impact on human rights and also attracted the attention of the United Nations. A new UN Framework rests on three pillars. The first is the State duty to protect against human rights abuses by third parties, including business enterprises, through appropriate policies, regulation, and adjudication. The second is the corporate responsibility to respect human rights, which means that business enterprises should act with due diligence to avoid infringing on the rights of others and to address adverse impacts with which they are involved. The third is the need for greater access by victims to effective remedy, both judicial and non-judicial. Each pillar is an essential component in an inter-related and dynamic system of preventative and remedial measures: the State duty to protect because it lies at the very core of the international human rights regime; the corporate responsibility to respect because it is the basic expectation society has of business in relation to human rights; and access to remedy because even the most concerted efforts cannot prevent all abuse.

Caroline Rees focuses on corporate accountability and human rights and in particular the development of grievance and dispute management mechanisms to address the conflicts arising between companies and groups they impact in society. She is currently on leave from the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office, which she joined in 1992. While with the Foreign Office in London she worked variously on Iran, UN Security Council business, and the East Timor crisis, and headed the London coordination team for the negotiations to enlarge the EU to central Europe. She was posted to Slovakia following the split of Czechoslovakia, where she ran the UK’s transition aid program from 1994-1997. From 2003 to 2006 she was posted at the UK’s Mission to the United Nations in Geneva, where she led the UK’s human rights negotiating team. During that time she chaired the UN negotiations that led to the creation of the mandate of the UN SRSG on business and human rights, to which Professor John Ruggie was subsequently appointed. Rees is currently the Vice Chair of the Advisory Panel to Newmont Mining’s Community Relations Review and a member of the Board of the Institute for Human Rights and Business.

Please see the following attached readings on the UN Business-Human Rights Framework:

Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights: Implementing the United Nations “Protect, Respect and Remedy” Framework
The Construction of the UN ‘Protect, Respect and Remedy’ Framework for Business and Human Rights: The True Confessions of a Principled Pragmatist