Ethical practice is the key to globalisation

must embrace ethical practices if the globalisation movement is to succeed,
delegates heard at last week’s annual conference of the Institute of Directors
in London.

Cox, IoD director general, told delegates there needed to be a global spread of
higher standards of corporate governance. Globalisation was needed in
developing countries to bring investment and the transfer of skills, he added.

Greenhalgh, chairman of Unilever UK, argued that UK and European businesses
have a role in countering the assertion that globalisation is Americanisation
by another name. “Globalisation involves active manage- ment, involving, above
all, the business community,” he said.

conference attracted hundreds of anti-globalisation protesters, particularly in
response to the presence of former US Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger.

said Unilever took its corporate social responsibility seriously through
initiatives like the Global Compact, a group of 200 companies who pledged to
protect human rights, employment and the environment.

said that today’s business leaders were better educated than ever but the
length of their contracts led to short-terminism. “The challenge is can we find
forums in which we can address long-range problems,” Kissinger said.

Brinded, director of planning at Shell International admitted the company had
made mistakes in the past.

said Shell was investing heavily in sustainable development in countries
including Nigeria and the Philippines, using local staff and described the
approach as enlightened self interest.

“Shell has introduced dismissal for staff who accept bribes
even in countries where corruption is endemic,” he said.

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