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International Documents on Corporate Responsibility

Edited by Stephen Tully

International Documents on Corporate Responsibility includes the principal international, regional and national instruments drafted by intergovernmental organisations or states as well as codes of conduct formulated by industry associations, trade unions and non-governmental organisations. The coverage includes the fields of human rights, international criminal and environmental law, labour standards, international trade, armed conflict, sustainable development, corruption, consumer protection and corporate governance. Each document is accompanied by a brief explanatory commentary outlining the historical origins of the instrument, the principal actors involved, controversial negotiation issues, applicable implementation procedure, and identifies further reference material.
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Chapter 73: Ceres: The Ceres Principles, 1989


Commentary: Originally formulated following the Exxon Valdez oil disaster, the Ceres Principles currently promote responsible corporate environmental conduct irrespective of industry sector by encouraging continuous improvement, ongoing dialogue and annual reporting. Ceres was formerly known as the Coalition for Environmentally Responsible Economies. Approximately 70 companies to date (principally US based) have endorsed the Principles which inter alia commit them to addressing stakeholder concerns. See further, Introduction By endorsing the Ceres Principles, companies not only formalize their dedication to environmental awareness and accountability, but also actively commit to an ongoing process of continuous improvement, dialogue and comprehensive, systematic public reporting. Endorsing companies have access to the diverse array of experts in our network, from investors to policy analysts, energy experts, scientists, and others. Principles 1. Protection of the Biosphere We will reduce and make continual progress toward eliminating the release of any substance that may cause environmental damage to the air, water, or the earth or its inhabitants. We will safeguard all habitats affected by our operations and will protect open spaces and wilderness, while preserving biodiversity. 2. Sustainable Use of Natural Resources We will make sustainable use of renewable natural resources, such as water, soils and forests. We will conserve non-renewable natural resources through efficient use and careful planning. 3. Reduction and Disposal of Wastes We will reduce and where possible eliminate waste through source reduction and recycling. All waste will be handled and disposed of through safe and responsible methods. 4. Energy Conservation We will conserve energy and...

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