Friday, January 9, 2009

Denmark does it ... Apple doesn't

There's always good news and bad news.... that's what happens when TWO headlines come up on your radar.

First .. the good news headline:
"European neighbours and multinationals will be watching closely as Danish government passes legislation requiring firms to produce CSR reports " The law doesn't require the 1,000 largest firms to actually DO anything to advance their CSR practices, but it does require them to report. Isn't that interesting ? It means that all those that have nothing to say, but have to report, will show up as less attractive. Which perhaps will prove the point that reporting is a catalyst for action. If you have to report, you first have to do something to report about. The Danish government says that this is likely to enhance Danist business as an an attractive investment proposition. This is based on the assumption that Danish businesses are very csr-worthy, but they just dont tell people about it. Which is absolutely a key part of social reponsibility - accountability is responsibility plus transparency. Well done Danes.

I took a quick trip to corporate register ( and found that there is quite a good level of reporting in that country. Denmark is ranked 17th with around 500 reports issued since 1992, after US, UK, Japan, Germany, Australia, Italy and others. Some of reports to come out of Denmark include the best integrated reporters Novo Nordisk , Lego and others, unpronouncable for non-Danes.

Now for the BAD news:
Apple's launch of new green products at this week's Macworld show has been overshadowed by the company's attempts to quash shareholder requests for more corporate social responsibility (CSR) reporting. The Apple company says that producing another report would produce little added value and require time and expense.

It's a good thing they are not based in Denmark, right ?

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Great post Elaine. The comparison between Denmark and Apple provides for some provocative reflection. Apple is an interesting company. There may be some merit to their claims of duplication in reporting methods and the need to cut unnecessary costs. But given our present climate of skepticism among savvy consumers - especially the demographic that purchases Apple products, I can't imagine this conversation between the corporation and shareholders is over.

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