The systematic process of identifying and assessing the consequences of a project.
According to a report by the DTI and the CBI, innovation can be described as “a culture, embraced at all levels, where creativity, the new idea or concept anywhere within the organisation, is brought to successful exploitation by the pr/cess mf innovation” (DTI/CBI, 1996). To find out more, read our CSR expert view on innovation.
Making choices and decisions that are consistent with each other and with the stated and operative values one espouses.
Internal auditing is an objective assurance and consulting activity designed to add value and improve an organisation's operations that is carried out by the organisation itself. It helps an organisation accomplish its objectives by bringing a systematic, disciplined approach to evaluate and improve the effectiveness of risk management, control and governance processes. (Institute of Internal Audit).
Outlined in the Turnbull report, internal control has as its aim the management of risks that are significant to the fulfilment of its objectives, with a view to safeguarding the organisation's assets and ensure that the organisation is effectively fulfilling its objectives (Institue of Internal Audit).
An emerging standard on social responsibility being developed on a multi-stakeholder basis by the International Standards Organisation. Due for launch in 2010.
JI allows two countries to join forces in achieving an environmental target, contributing to both their national targets in a cost-effective way, while fostering foreign investment and technology transfer.
Measurable indicators that will be used to report progress, which are chosen to reflect the critical success factors of the project.
The Kingsmill Report on human capital management in the UK followed a comprehensive review which consulted the top management of 100 of the UK’s leading private and public sector organisations. The Report contained a summary of the factors behind the UK gender pay gap, an extensive discussion about the ways in which employers are managing their human capital and statements of evidence from 50 of the companies, trade unions, voluntary organisations and public sector bodies who were consulted during the review. Its recommendations centred around increased information on human capital management, improved reporting, commissioned research on human capital issues, tax credits and disclosure of remuneration.
Knowledge is a fluid mix of contextual information, values, experiences and resources. For an organisation this resides within employees (human capital) and represents a source of creativity, innovation and adaptability to change. Knowledge management is an explicit system to use this capital.
A pact agreed by governments at a 1997 UN conference in Kyoto, Japan, to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases emitted by developed countries by 5.2% of 1990 levels during the five-year period 2008-2012. Coming into force on 16 February 2005, a total of 141 countries have ratified the pact. The Kyoto protocol is the follow-up to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which set a non-binding goal of stabilising emissions at 1990 levels by 2000, and is the first legally binding global agreement to cut greenhouse gases.
An ability to create a strong sense of direction for the organization and the people in it and the vision to create the values that need to go alongside this direction.
Leapfrogging describes the idea that developing economies could find new paths to higher standards of living, bypassing the intermediate steps that have shaped the developed world. Technology and innovation are the cornerstones of leapfrogging. To find out more, read our CSR expert view on leapfrogging.
The social acceptance of an organisation and its right to continue its activities. "It is the community, often with the active encouragement of advocacy groups, which has emerged as the force that grants a company's license to operate." (Edward Burke at The Boston College Center for Corporate Community Relations).
The overall process of assessing the total impacts of a product or service over its complete life cycle. Sometimes considered to include four stages: Initiation, Inventory, Impact Analysis and Improvement.
The mass balance concept is based on the fundamental physical principle that matter can neither be created nor destroyed. The material (mass) of inputs to a process, industry or region balances the mass of outputs as products, emissions and wastes, plus any change in stocks. When applied in a systematic manner this simple concept of balancing resource use with outputs can provide a robust methodology for analysing resource flows.
The mass balance methodology also allows the development of "what if" scenarios where the impact of changes on resource flow can be measured. For example, what would be the impact on resource use if recycling levels in households in South East England increased to 50%?
Measurement is the "process of quantifying past action. A performance measurement system enables informed decisions to be made and actions to be taken because it quantifies the efficiency and effectiveness of past actions." (Source: Andy Neely, Measuring Business Performance, 1998).
"Mentoring is to support and encourage people to manage their own learning in order that they maximise their potential, develop their skills, improve their performance and become the person they want to be." (Source: Eric Parsloe, The Oxford School of Coaching & Mentoring, 2000) Mentoring is typically applied on an individual basis.
The Millennium Development Goals are the eight goals to be achieved by 2015 that respond to the world's main development challenges. The MDGs are drawn from the actions and targets contained in the Millennium Declaration that was adopted by 189 nations and signed by 147 heads of states and governments during the UN Millennium Summit in September 2000 (Source: UNDP).
An organisations mission statement flows directly from the vision statement. It is the implementation of the vision and it outlines what must happen to realize the vision. It’s a “how-we-will-get-there” guide that contains action words and adjectives that modify them.
A good mission statement: will do/contain/is the following:
- Elicits an emotional, motivational response
- Is easily understood and can be transferred into individual action
- Has a measurable, attainable goal
- Is three to four sentences long
- Is simple, honest and frank
- Is fully believed
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Undertaking actions with the intention of decreasing levels of climate affecting emissions to the stage where climate change is optimally minimised. A systematic national mitigation strategy will require analysis of local, regional and global level issues of international trade, technology transfer, competitiveness and investments.
The technology of matter manipulated on a very small scale. It is technology development at the atomic, molecular, or macromolecular range of approximately 1-100 nanometres (1 billionth of a metre) to create and use structures, devices, and systems that have novel properties. To find out more, read our nanotechnology briefing paper.
The audit of non-financial systems or reports, including those concerning social and environmental performance. It is a method that can be used to identify business critical intangibles and non financial issues, by building an evidence base to manage uncertainty and identify key issues before they become business critical risks.
Nuclear power is the conversion of a controlled nuclear reaction using a plentiful radioactive material (i.e. uranium) into an energy supply. It already generates about 20% of the world's electricity and produces relatively little waste, thus minimising its effect on the environment and overall impact on global climate change. Even though nuclear power has the potential to generate mass energy, it has also received many criticisms for safety and economics.
The active involvement of a community or stakeholder in decisions and actions which affect them. Arnstein’s ladder, put together by Shelley Arnstein in the 1960s, describes the ways in which we can think about the different levels of participation in a society or organisation. She calls these different levels: Manipulation and Therapy, Informing, Consultation, Placation, Partnership, Delegated power, Citizen control.
Organisational leadership based on the principles and implementation of a participative approach, indicating two-way communication flows, and an element of sharing of responsibility and a multi-way decision-making power and the building of appropriate partnerships and networks.
PSR stems from the concept of doing unto others what you would have them do unto you. It entails an individual recognising the effect one's behaviour has on those around them, and taking responsibility for one's actions accordingly.
The Phillis review, published in January 2004, tackles the three-way breakdown in trust between government and politicians, the media and the general public. This breakdown, the review argues, has led to increasing disillusionment amongst parts of society, particularly amongst ethnic groups and young people. The Review suggests that there has been a corresponding disengagement and withdrawal from the political and democratic processes, evidenced by declining participation in local and general elections.
The Review advocates a sustained commitment to a long-term programme of radical change in the conduct, process and style of government communications, underpinned by the following principles:
– Openness, not secrecy.
– More direct, unmediated communications to the public.
– Genuine engagement with the public as part of policy formation and delivery, not communication as an afterthought.
– Positive presentation of government policies and achievements, not misleading spin.
– Use of all relevant channels of communication, not excessive emphasis on national press and broadcasters.
– Co-ordinated communication of issues that cut across departments, not conflicting or duplicated departmental messages.
– Reinforcement of the Civil Service’s political neutrality, rather than a blurring of government and party communications.
There is no generally agreed definition of poverty, partly because the definition of poverty is a moral question - it refers to hardship which is unacceptable. 'Poverty' may refer to:
- material conditions - needing goods and services, multiple deprivation, or a low standard of living;
- economic position - low income, limited resources, inequality or low social class; and
- social position of the poor, through lack of entitlement, dependency or social exclusion.
Absolute poverty is based on subsistence, a minimum standard needed to live. The Copenhagen Declaration defines absolute poverty as "a condition characterised by severe deprivation of basic human needs, including food, safe drinking water, sanitation facilities, health, shelter, education and information. It depends not only on income but also on access to social services.
Relative poverty is based on a comparison of poor people with others in society. To find out more, read our CSR expert view on poverty.
A precautionary approach to environmental challenges suggests that where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage, lack of full scientific certainty should not be used as a reason for postponing cost-effective measures to prevent environmental degradation.
PFIs, developed initially by the British Government, are a method of providing financial support for Public-Private Partnerships (see definition below). PFI projects aim to deliver all kinds of services for the public sector with the private sector typically receiving payment above that which the public sector would have received, linked to pre-agreed performance standards.
PDPs are usually public-private partnerships with product development as their core objective. They generally incorporate a combination of stakeholder interests, private profit and public health, which provides the relative tension and new cross-connections and insights to drive innovation. Examples include DNDi (Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative) and the TB Alliance (Global Alliance for TB Drug Development).
Public-private partnerships (PPPs)
A PPP is a system in which a private venture is funded or operated through a partnership of government and one or more private sector companies. Examples of PPPs include WHO collaborations with NGOs and the pharmaceutical industry, as well as with foundations such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation. The term PPP also refers to activities like the transfer of council homes to housing associations using private loans.
(Source: Article 13 sources and World Business Council on Sustainable Development).
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