Home > Uncategorized > Exposing the CSR Pretenders

Exposing the CSR Pretenders

Food for thought for all the public sector pension fund managers who think that CSR and tobacco are compatible.


By Wayne Visser

Can Big Tobacco ever be responsible? British American Tobacco BAT have engaged in extensive stakeholder consultation exercises and, since 2001, their businesses in more than 40 markets have produced Social Reports, many of which have won awards from organisations as diverse as the United Nations Environment Programme, PriceWaterhouseCoopers and the Association of Certified Chartered Accountants. BAT has also been ranked in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index, FTSE Ethical Bonus Index and Business in the Community BITC Corporate Responsibility Index, and they funded Nottingham University’s International Centre for CSR.

Yet this is the industry where, in 1994, the CEOs of seven of America’s largest tobacco companies Philip Morris U.S.A., RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company, U.S. Tobacco, American Tobacco Company, Lorillard Tobacco Company, Liggett Group, Brown and Williamson Tobacco Company testified before the House Subcommittee on Health and the Environment of Congress, all denying that cigarettes are addictive. They lied under oath. And this is the business that, according to the World Health Organization, ‘kills more than AIDS, legal drugs, illegal drugs, road accidents, murder and suicide combined’. Of everyone alive today, 500 million will eventually be killed by smoking, and while 0.1 billion people died from tobacco use in the 20th century, 10 times as many will die in the 21st century. Isn’t responsible tobacco an oxymoron?

via Exposing the CSR Pretenders.

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