19 March 2010

Again, Spain leads the way - posting the proposed XII bylaws and asking for comments

As mentioned in previous posts, the bylaws of XBRL International (XII) will be voted on in Rome when the International Steering Committee (ISC) meets prior to the 20th XBRL International Conference. The Spanish jurisdiction is seeking comment on the proposed bylaws, and has created a page specifically for soliciting comments and suggestions on the bylaws.


People should take a good look at the bylaws. It is difficult going, but worth it to understand (or not - some of it can be pretty difficult reading) the governance of XII.

Then send you comments to your jurisdiction representative. You can find your representative here: http://www.xbrl.org/jurisdictions.aspx

11 March 2010

8.1 people killed per 1 employee - not your usual CSR KPI

Imperial Tobacco has just released their latest Corporate Responsibility report. Congratulations. 

They have even gone to the trouble of creating a GRI Index and declaring a level of B+ for their report. Since the GRI has a policy that no matter how harmful the products of the reporting company, if the company complies with the standard, they can say it is a GRI compliant report. Maybe it is time for the GRI to draw the line - it takes more than ticking the boxes to be GRI compliant.

But back to the Imperial Tobacco report. There's lots of very interesting information in the report - business size, commitment to being a good employer, especially in relations to human rights, health and safety, etc. Indeed, Imperial Tobacco sets out to demonstrate that it is am exemplary employer, business, and indeed investment. My goodness, you can read all the information, or just look at the face of the employees on their website.
I expect most HR managers would love
to have employees looking so - enraptured
Imperial Tobacco employs some 38,000 people around the world. They also produced 322,000,000,000 (322 billion) cigarettes in 2009, according to their own figures. This accounts for something like 5.7% of all cigarettes produced in the world.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) something like 5,400,000 deaths per year (2004) are attributable to smoking. The WHO projects that deaths from smoking will rise to 10,000,000/year by 2020, so the number is certainly more than 5.4 million for 2009, but we'll use the 2004 numbers anyway.

So, 5.7% of the 5.4 million deaths would mean something like 307,000 deaths per year from the company's products.

An average of 8.1 people killed per 1 employee.

I looked, but couldn't find a GRI Indicator for people killed per employee. Strangely I could not find this information in their Corporate Responsibility report.

When it comes to benchmarking, I expect the tobacco industry probably has a better kill per employee ratio than almost any other major international industry.

As for the GRI Application Level of B+, personally I think the GRI should be embarrassed that their standard can be used to greenwash companies that deal in death. If they sold used syringes surely the GRI would say "Wait, you're speading AIDS. Don't justify your corporate responsibility by proving you create a report complying with our standard. You deal in death. Do not use us as cover."