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  DECEMBER 2013
 

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Yusen, We Have a Problem!

Making a Difference in Today's World
Mark Kopp, Yusen Logistics (Americas) Inc.


Does your company have standards in place that contribute to the betterment of societies throughout the world? Does your corporate mission include your social responsibility to society and a concern for the environment? Customers are increasingly asking potential suppliers about the supplier's policies on ethics, human rights and the environment. What can you tell a potential customer about your actions in these areas? There are three measures that any business organization can take to advance Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and to be a good steward for the environment.

Adhere to the Standards of ISO 26000 in Regards to Fair Business Practices
Corporations today do not operate in a vacuum. Corporate policies and actions have an impact on the environment and the greater global community. This is why business organizations should participate in ISO 26000, which sets standards for Corporate Social Responsibility.

There are seven basic areas covered by ISO 26000. The first of these is organizational governance. Companies should have a dedicated team of senior managers in all international locations who oversee compliance of these standards. Next, take seriously your global responsibility to protect human rights. The oversight team should established policies for non-discrimination and avoidance of complicity in human rights issues. The guidelines of ISO 26000 support right to work and free assembly. Be conscious of the civil, political, economic, and cultural rights of your employees and customers.

Take steps to ensure the safety of your workplaces and take great pride in your safety record. Evaluate your safety standards and implement safety training for your employees on a regular basis.

Do you have formal written policies regarding anti-corruption and anti-fraud practices? Do you hold regular training sessions to make sure all employees are aware of these policies? The standards of ISO26000 support fair competition as well as responsible political involvement. An organization should also take seriously its responsibility to help protect the health and safety of the consumer through education, awareness and access to essential services.

 
 

In conjunction with the ISO 26000 standards on the environment, companies should be working to prevent pollution and use sustainable resources wherever possible. How is your organization adapting to climate change mitigation? Are you working to preserve and protect natural habitats? Your compliance oversight team should be working to set company-wide standards and goals in these areas.

Follow the Standards of ISO 14001 in Your Approach to the Environment
ISO 14001 establishes standards on the environment. In order to comply with these standards, your organization should be able to give a positive response to these questions:

  • Do you strive to protect the environment through continued operational improvements?
  • Do you comply with all local and international laws and regulations and implement voluntary standards?
  • Do you ensure the safety of all of your facilities?
  • Do you work to prevent and suppress environmental pollution?
  • Do you adopt improved environmental technologies wherever possible?
  • Do you conduct regular employee awareness training?
  • Do you support local and international conservation activities?
  • Do you collect data on the environmental impact of your business activities such as energy use and CO2 emissions?
  • Do you disclose this information to various governmental, investor, consumer and environmental organizations?

Consumers are looking to do business with companies that are ethically managed and show concern for the environment and human rights. How does your organization stack up? More information on ISO 26000 and ISO 14001 can be found at www.iso.org.

Support the U.N. Global Compact
Another initiative your organization can take to show consumers and investors your commitment to corporate social responsibility is to support the United Nations Global Compact. This is a global platform which brings companies together with United Nations agencies to support fundamental principles in human rights. Your organization should also be able to answer these questions affirmatively:

  • Do you support and respect the protection of internationally proclaimed human rights and make sure you are not complicit in human rights violations?
  • Does your organization uphold the freedom of association and recognize the right to collective bargaining?
  • Do you support the elimination of all forms of forced, compulsory and child labor?
  • Do you support the elimination of discrimination in employment practices?
  • Do you support a precautionary approach to environmental challenges?
  • Do you undertake initiatives to promote environmental responsibility and encourage the development and use of environmental friendly technologies?
  • Do you have strict written internal policies to guard against all forms of corruption including extortion and bribery?
  • Do you hold formal training sessions with your employees to ensure they are aware of all corporate policies in the regard?

More information on the United Nations Global Compact can be found at www.unglobalcompact.org.

Adherence to these principles and guidelines can help assure consumers and investors that your organization is a responsible actor in today's world. By doing so, you're telling the world that your organization is ethically managed and is working for the betterment of the environment and of society as a whole.


Mark Kopp is currently the Senior Manager for Import Compliance for Yusen Logistics (Americas) Inc. Mark has over 30 years experience in all aspects of supply chain management and compliance - from product development and buying, cargo management and shipping, customs brokerage, to warehousing, distribution and retail sales. He has managed/directed imports for Kinney Shoe Corporation, Woolworth Corporation, Russ Berrie & Co. and DHL. He has also served on the Footwear Distributors & Retailers of America government customs council, been a member of the Board of Directors for the Toy Shippers Association, and been an instructor at The World Trade Institute in New York. Currently, he is a member of the NY/NJ Freight Forwarders & Brokers Association and serves on the American Apparel & Footwear Association Government Relations Committee. Mark graduated from Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, PA with a B.A. in Political Science.

 
 
 
 
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