I wrote in my recent post: Should business defend environmental and human rights campaigners? that I would pen a follow up on this difficult question.
In that post I tried to make the case for deciding your business should defend campaigners where your values align with theirs.
In this one I want to talk about what that looks like in practice. So here’s a few ideas:
First: Make defending campaigners, either organisations, or individuals, part of your stated objectives in sustainability strategy/overall corporate policy.
Second: Financially support capacity building organisations who develop and support social and environmental campaigners.
Thirdly: Make your voice heard in cases: testifying, web statements, press conferences, across social media
Fourth: Lobby on their behalf behind the scenes, and report on that lobbying publicly and transparently.
Fifth: Educate suppliers on the value of these voices and how to use them as an opportunity to improve and manage risk, not a threat.
Sixth: Adapt your purchasing policies so that suppliers are hugely discouraged from suing campaigners, reward dialogue, and punish confrontation in the courts where it goes against your values.
I’m conscious that there are others to add to this list. I’d like to ask readers to tell me what those might be.
I can then update the post and send those ideas out again to the 10-15,000 readers I reach across various channels. Email me at: email@example.com and happy to anonymise your responses if you’d prefer.
Finally, you can join us at any of the below events coming up later this year to debate the above:
- How business can tackle deforestation: Asia under the lens – 27th-28th September – Singapore
- How business can tackle modern slavery and forced labor – 17th October – Washington DC
- How business can engage smallholder farmers – 19th-20th October – Washington DC
- How business can better manage human rights risks – 24th-25th October – London
- Sustainable seafood supply chains – 15th-16th November – London
- Innovation for Sustainable Agriculture – 17th-18th November – Washington DC
- How business can tackle deforestation – 21st -22nd November 2016 – London
- Sustainable Sugarcane – 1st-2nd December – London