I’ve just been pinged an eye-catching report from a fellow member of CSR Chicks: it’s The Covalence Retail Industry Report: a barometer of how multinational retailers are perceived in the ethical field. Wal Mart’s jump from last to 4th on this list has merited a news announcement from Covalence itself, illustrating how “laggards can become leaders” in the area of corporate ethics.
It immediately occured to me as an example of how good exposure or ‘enforced tranparency’ (i.e.: outside interests being vocal about a company’s practices) can help even a large organisation take bold moves to clean up its act and win back the trust of communities. It would be even more impressive and interesting if they were talk in an open way about the journey they took to get to that point and shared those best practices with various publics. Rather than positioning the organisation as a leader in retail CSR, it would show their ability to take a position on how important it is to ‘share the wealth’, and illustrate that no matter what your past was like, your future can be different. Like Seventh Generation did last year in their 2007 Corporate Consciousness Report, following the ‘cancer chemical’ scare.