The Federal Government has commissioned St James Ethics Centre to undertake a three-year project to expand responsible business practice nationally. The funding was announced at the 9th National Business Leaders Forum on Sustainable Development held at Parliament House,Canberra, on Monday evening (May 19).
The purpose of the funding is to:
* expand the number of Australian companies that are actively engaged in identifying and adopting more responsible business practices including SMEs; and
* consider options to improve, and where necessary refine, the tools that are available to promote responsible business practices across all levels of corporate management.
“A range of excellent initiatives is already underway in Australia and an important dimension of the project will be to work with key stakeholders and innovators to facilitate national networks and laboratories of best practice.” says Rosemary Sainty, head of the project.
The announcement was followed by the presentation of the 5th Corporate Responsibility Index awards. In total 40 companies participated in the 5th Index (including 16 new companies). Flexible entry options introduced last year include a private benchmark which has proved popular for new companies, with 10 taking up the option this year.
Dr Simon Longstaff, executive director of St James Ethics Centre said, “this year’s Index is evidence of a corporate sector that is beginning to lose its fear of candid and transparent reporting. This suggests a deeper commitment to learning than has been evident in the past."
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