"Cops of the global village" - how local laws are helping improve multinationals' environmental & social conduct worldwide (Fortune Magazine)

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27 June 2005

Cops of the global village

Author: Marc Gunther, Fortune

What we're seeing here are local standards that have worldwide impact...It can be frustrating (not to mention costly) to comply with tough European Union regs, but it's bad business for multinationals to make things that won't sell across the global economy--so companies tend to cleave to the highest regulatory standards and consumer expectations no matter where they arise. [refers to Zara (part of Inditex), Carrefour, General Electric, Intel, Xerox, Motorola, Nike, Gap, Boeing, Airbus, General Motors, Volkswagen, BASF, Spectrum Sweater, DuPont, Patagonia, Dell, IBM, Hewlett-Packard]

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8 August 2005

Sweatshop Cops

Author: Mila Rosenthal, Director, Business and Human Rights Program, Amnesty International USA

Thanks to European regulation, U.S. companies have reduced their use of hazardous substances and designed more environmentally friendly products for global markets. By comparison, voluntary initiatives such as monitoring codes of conduct for overseas factories have only "gradually and unevenly" improved conditions...This is the clearest argument I've heard for enforceable global standards, based on a recognized framework like the UN Human Rights Norms for Business, to ensure that all companies respect human rights everywhere in their operations. [refers to Wal-Mart, Target]

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