Warwick Business School pre-empts Blair’s green initiative

Prime Minister Tony Blair called for a "constructive partnership" between government, business and environmentalists in his recent 'green agenda' speech. Warwick Business School, through its Corporate Citizenship unit, is already geared to help organisations in the UK and world-wide to understand and adopt the processes that are being demanded by communities and stressed in the speech made by Mr Blair.

“Social accountability and good corporate citizenship may not be the first items on the agenda in board rooms and at business meetings around the world right now,” says Dr Malcolm McIntosh of Warwick Business School, “but the development of AA 1000, the new international accountability standard, by the Institute of Social and Ethical Accountability, has undoubtedly ensured that these topics will need to be taken seriously in the future.”

Informed planning

Social and ethical auditing is increasingly being adopted by organisations of all sizes because they recognise that stakeholder consultation and collaboration are key to their future success. By carrying out a social audit, an organisation can appraise its stakeholder relationships in order to inform strategic planning.

“The problem is”, adds Dr McIntosh, “these topics have traditionally been in the domain of the Public Relations department, or relegated to a couple of paragraphs in the company report – window dressing at best in all too many cases. Communities are increasingly demanding actions rather than words – and to meet these demands, managers will need a new set of skills.”

Warwick Business School has developed a new course, integrating on-line work with a residential week at Warwick, leading to a professional qualifiication based on Accountability 1000 (AA 1000). It incorporates elements of ILO conventions, SA 8000, universal Declaration of Human Rights, Global Reporting Initiative, Investors in People, ISO 14001, EMAS, CERES principles and the ICC Charter for Sustainable Development. Incorporating a web-based element, it is flexible and will be regularly updated to incorporate current best practice.

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