NGOs and big business: Too close for comfort?
Author: Brendan May, Ethical Corporation , Published on: 3 November 2011
To be effective, transparent and credible, a possible blueprint a big NGO might consider to govern its corporate relationships could be as follows...Any engagement on a product or issue must be part of a bigger process of systemic change across the whole company...The NGO must be able to walk away at any point and have clear and published criteria for doing so...The NGO, as well as the company, must report regularly on progress...The NGO should identify no-go sectors...The NGO must be fully transparent about the decision-making process governing decisions on which companies it will engage...There must be full transparency on financial agreements between NGOs and companies...Partnerships must come with clear conditions...Collaboration between NGOs and business is critical in the effort to tackle the planetary crisis...But increasingly vocal questions about how engagement happens are risking a return to old debates about whether to engage at all. It’s up to the NGOs who choose to work with business to stop that happening.[refers to British Sky Broadcasting, Asia Pulp & Paper (part of Sinar Mas)]