Coronavirus update from GoodCorporation

Coronavirus update from GoodCorporation

December 2019

In Brief...

Summer 2019

In Brief...

Spring 2019

In Brief...

Winter 2018

Business ethics trends for 2019

Ethical conduct was firmly in the spotlight for much of 2018 and for a variety of reasons, from the #MeToo movement which pushed bullying and harassment onto board agendas, through to the implementation of GDPR which turned us all into data privacy experts.

Despite the many geopolitical challenges around the world and the many forecasts predicting a slowdown in global economic growth, the impetus for businesses to be run ethically will continue in 2019. As the Financial Reporting Council states, poor ethical conduct is a business risk in itself.

Our first blog post for 2019 looks forward to the business ethics areas that look set to dominate over the coming months including culture measurement, ESG, data protection, human rights and economic crime.

Much of this is being driven by regulation. Businesses cannot afford to turn a blind eye and hope that nothing goes wrong. Corporate leaders need to set the right tone and back it up with actions.

Read the blog in full

The changing face of anti-corruption prosecution

GoodCorporation was delighted that Lisa Osofsky, director of the Serious Fraud Office, was able to open our debate on the changing landscape of anti-corruption prosecution.

Emphasising that the SFO will continue its robust approach to prosecution, Osofsky stated that those in law enforcement are likely to be working ever more closely to build successful cases. Not only will this involve increased cooperation and information sharing, it will also require a change in investigative methods with digital forensic capability becoming a priority.

The SFO recognises that companies have made significant progress in their anti-corruption efforts and are increasingly ready to listen to those willing to talk. Deferred Prosecution Agreements are felt to be effective and the SFO is considering drafting guidance to help companies understand what cooperation with the SFO means.

Read debate summary

Are ESG investments changing corporate behaviour?

As the purpose versus profit debate continues to gather momentum, GoodCorporation’s final debate of 2018 asked whether investors and the focus on ESG funding are starting to drive change?

Georg Kell, chairman of Arabesque Partners and the founding director of the UN Global Compact opened the discussion by suggesting that there is now a real alignment between sustainable finance and responsible business practice.

Today, ESG investing is estimated at around $20 trillion in assets under management and this is likely to grow according to Kell. This presents a real opportunity for those corporates in a position to present strong ESG information that will enable them to access this capital.

As for changing behaviour, there is evidence that this is starting, but there is still a way to go.

Read debate summary

In Brief...

GoodCorporation speaking at Chatham House

GoodCorporation Director Jane Ellis will be exploring the role of corporate governance in setting the standards for responsible business practice at the third annual Chatham House Responsible Business conference. The event is taking place at Chatham House on Feb 28.

Book tickets here

The challenge of ESG

ESG is a challenge for many companies, but some are starting to realise that fund managers are not investing in building ESG teams to tick boxes or review paper.

Our work with Yara shows how some of the innovators are responding.

Read our blog

Ethics & compliance in French companies

Tough new French legislation has placed ethics and compliance issues at the forefront for French companies.

Some are already leading the way, others are investing time and resources. We summarise how our French company has been working with businesses on a range of ethics issues.

Read our blog

New supplier code of conduct at the FCO

The Foreign and Commonwealth office has raised the bar on checking modern slavery obligations in the supply chain with a tough new Supplier Code of Conduct.

Our article looks at the FCO’s expectations and what this means for businesses tendering for government work.

Read the article

Autumn 2018

Tackling bullying and harassment in the workplace

  GoodCorporation’s October debate at the House of Lords asked why bullying and harassment are still issues in the workplace and what business can do to tackle this. Rachel Crasnow QC led the discussion emphasising the importance of training for all staff, particularly managers. Managing people often requires difficult conversations to be had, yet those in managerial roles rarely receive training on this aspect of their job. A trusted speak-up system, effective communication and sanctions for any proven cases of bullying or harassment must all be implemented if a zero-tolerance approach is to be properly effective. A full summary of the debate is on our website. Bullying and harassment can have a significant and negative impact on a business, its employees and its work culture. Companies are expected to identify, prevent and address any such incidents. GoodCorporation has worked with leading organisations to help test and strengthen their anti-bullying and harassment procedures, using our Bullying and Harassment Framework.

Five steps to CFA compliance

Following the introduction of the Criminal Finances Act into UK legislation in 2017, organisations can now be held criminally liable for failing to prevent anyone acting for or on their behalf from facilitating the evasion of UK or foreign tax. Conviction comes with serious consequences, including a potentially unlimited fine. GoodCorporation has identified five critical factors that companies need to consider when implementing compliance with the new legislation. Click here to read the blog

New compliance toolkit

For smaller companies wishing to list, rapidly growing or suddenly under pressure from regulators, GoodCorporation has developed a compliance toolkit providing off-the-shelf compliance support to help build an effective programme or fill in any remaining gaps. Ten compliance tools are available, including code of conduct design and benchmarking; compliance policies and procedures; risk assessment as well as face-to-face and online training. Contact us for details.  

Forthcoming events

We are delighted that Lisa Osofsky, Director of the Serious Fraud Office, will open our debate with business leaders on the anti-corruption landscape. Held at the House of Lords on November 7, attendance is by invitation only. We are also holding a safeguarding discussion group on November 8, exploring the results of our recent survey and looking at safeguarding best practice for organisations.

In Brief...

Paris anti-corruption debate

Last month, GoodCorporation asked how French  companies are dealing with the country’s new anti-bribery law, looking at the challenges they face complying with this tough legislation. How are businesses and authorities responding?

Read the debate summary here

Assessing the drivers of ethical culture

Assessing the strength of key cultural drivers that underpin responsible decision making can help employers mitigate risks to both reputation and the bottom line.

Our article in Financial Management examines the issues.

 

Is GDPR over?

As GDPR came into force, it led to an avalanche of notifications and data protection requests. In October’s Ethical Corporation, we look at the steps taken to date, examine the compliance challenges and highlight emerging best practice.

Read the article here

Modern Slavery Act - Review

The Home Office has commissioned an independent review of the Modern Slavery Act. The aim of the review is to understand how the Act is operating in practice and whether the legal framework is fit for purpose. To contribute to the review, click here.

Summer 2018

Corporate culture key to UK Governance Code

Following the publication of the new UK Corporate Governance Code last month, corporate culture looks set to become a boardroom issue. Under the section on leadership and company purpose, the code states that a board ‘must establish the company’s purpose, values and strategy and satisfy itself that these and its culture are aligned’.

To do this, boards will be required to assess and monitor culture. Where they are not satisfied that these are aligned, the board is now expected to ‘seek assurances that the management has taken corrective action.’ Any activities and action taken by the board should be explained in the annual report.

In our white paper Measuring Ethical Culture, we argued that while culture may appear intangible and hard to measure, boards need to find a way to do just that. This will involve identifying the right culture indicators to enable them to assess whether good corporate behaviour is properly embedded.

This approach is supported by the Financial Reporting Council’s guidance on the new code which urges boards to identify and track typical features of a positive culture. Based on our experience of assessing and measuring corporate behaviour, we have identified the key drivers of an ethical company culture and devised a methodology to assist boards with the new monitoring and reporting demands.

Read the blog in full

GDPR is not over

May 25th was not the finishing line for GDPR. So while much of the panic may be over, there is still work to be done to ensure compliance with the new legislation.

Elizabeth Denham, the UK’s Information Commissioner, describes GDPR as an ongoing journey that requires continuous effort. Businesses will be expected to “continue to identify and address emerging privacy and security risks in the weeks, months and years beyond May 2018”.

Our latest blog summarises five key reasons why GDPR isn’t over and outlines what organisations need to do to ensure long-term compliance.

Read the blog in full

An ethical future for AI

Despite the widespread use of AI across a range of industries and services, no country has established, as yet, an ethical or legal framework to govern its development.

AI is still relatively embryonic, but the pace of change is rapid and the investment considerable. It has the potential to transform economies and benefit humanity, but to do this successfully it will need to be both reliable and trusted.

Businesses and those at the vanguard of AI development cannot afford to wait for regulators to set the bar and define the ethical or regulatory framework. Our blog explores some of the key ethical considerations.

Read the blog in full

In Brief...

Latest Debate

With poor corporate culture perceived to be a business risk in itself, what should companies be doing to mitigate that risk and ensure they have the right culture in place?

Our summer business ethics debate explored the value, strategic importance and practicalities of measuring corporate culture.

As with all our debates, the summary is on the website.

Ethics & compliance benchmarking

Does your organisation have a stand-alone ethics and compliance function? Who does it report to? How often are due diligence checks carried out on third parties?

These are just some of the questions we posed at the session on compliance programme benchmarking that we moderated at the C5 Anti-Corruption event this summer. The results are available on our blog.

Safeguarding survey

GoodCorporation has conducted its first safeguarding survey, inviting a range of organisations to respond.

The survey aimed to discover how organisations govern, resource, assess and monitor safeguarding.

The results will be published in a forthcoming paper. We will also be inviting respondents to a safeguarding event in September to review the findings. Contact us for details.

Sapin II debate in Paris

Following the success of our debate on the challenges of implementing GDPR, GoodCorporation will be hosting another discussion in Paris in September.

This time the debate will focus on the demands placed on French businesses by Sapin II.

The debate will take place at the Salons France Amériques on Thursday September 13. Contact us for more information.

Spring 2018

Managing AI along ethical lines

Artificial intelligence (AI) is already transforming our lives and our workplaces; robots carry out dangerous and repetitive tasks, machine-learning algorithms are being used to improve medical diagnoses and many of our cyber defences are AI powered. This week, one of the UK’s biggest hospitals, University College London, announced that it plans to use AI to radically improve its services.

As intelligent machines evolve, so too do the ethical questions that should govern these developments. If AI machines make mistakes that cause harm, who should be held responsible? AI systems learn through access to data, so what does that mean in terms of our right to privacy? And who, if anyone, should be responsible for the output of AI ‘thought’ processes?

Rightly, these questions are being posed at both national and international levels. Our latest blog takes a look at the steps being taken to develop the ethical and legal framework to govern the use of artificial intelligence.

How businesses utilise AI will have a significant impact on how they are trusted by society. GoodCorporation is exploring the ethical considerations that should govern the evolution of AI technologies and will be publishing updates in this newsletter and on our blog. A strong ethical code will require a multi-stakeholder approach. We would value any thoughts on our blog or direct to our inbox.

 

Managing human rights risks

While the majority of corporates make a firm commitment to protecting human rights in their code of conduct, the nature of modern businesses, with complex structures across diverse locations, means that this can be a challenging pledge to fulfill.

To be sure that human rights policies are properly respected across all sites, companies need a robust monitoring programme as well as strong policies and procedures.

This can be easier said than done. Our article on creating a worker welfare programme to set your business apart looks at some of the issues routinely faced when checking human rights across an international business.

Click here to read the article in full

 

ESG and value creation

A corporate scandal can decimate share value and not just in the immediate aftermath as the gory details hit the headlines. Shareholders in Volkswagen, Tesco, Toshiba and Rolls Royce are still suffering damage some four years after the scandals emerged.

Not surprisingly, investors are increasingly looking for indicators of long-term sustainability that will help mitigate risks and protect long-term investments.

Investment analysis that focuses solely on financial performance is no longer sufficient. Instead we now see more and more investors analysing ESG-related indicators alongside financial performance. Our latest blog explores this trend and what it may mean for businesses.

Click here to read the blog in full

 

 

In Brief...

Stay up-to-date

If you haven’t recently signed-up to continue receiving our quarterly newsletter and occasional product updates, please click the button below.

These emails contain the latest thinking in business ethics, compliance and best practice, together with summaries of our recent debates at the House of Lords.

We will only use your details for the purpose of sending you this information.

Click here to receive our newsletters

New team member

GoodCorporation is delighted to announce the appointment of  Jane Ellis as a company director.

Previously head of the International Bar Association’s Legal and Policy Research Unit, Jane is an Australian-qualified lawyer with expertise in competition law, anti-bribery law, corporate governance, whistleblower protection, diversity and business ethics.

Read Jane’s profile in full

See us at C5

GoodCorporation is a sponsor of C5’s Anti-Corruption conference, in London in June.

Readers of this newsletter can receive a 20% discount by quoting the code P20-999-GC18.

The conference will look at UKBA and FCPA  enforcement, how to evidence adequate procedures and managing risks in emerging markets, among other challenging topics.

Register here

New address

Since our last newsletter, GoodCorporation has expanded into larger offices, hopping over Putney Bridge to Fulham.

Our new London address is 2-3 Melbray Mews, London SW6 3NS. Phone numbers and emails stay the same.

If you’d like to visit us or find out more about what we do, get in touch.

Winter 2017/18

Criminal Finances Act increases pressure on businesses to demonstrate robust procedures

Effective since September 2017, The Criminal Finances Act places a new regulatory burden on corporates by introducing a criminal offence of failing to prevent the facilitation of tax evasion. As with the Bribery Act, this applies to the company or partnership and anyone acting for or on its behalf. Our business ethics debate in the Autumn explored the challenges that the Act brings, looking at the changes to culture, risk assessment, training and monitoring that the Act is likely to require in order to ensure a reasonable procedures defence. While much of the analysis has focused on the implications for lawyers, accountants and financial advisers, the offence will have a far wider reach than this in terms of who faces liability. Our blog takes a detailed look at the implications for business, covering the introduction of unexplained wealth orders, the extension of the suspicious activity report moratorium period and the enhanced ability of regulators to freeze and seize assets where there are grounds for suspicion. The Act also has far reaching consequences in terms of human rights, extending the definition of ‘unlawful conduct’ in the civil recovery regime to include gross human rights abuses. This means that UK prosecutors can freeze and seize assets alleged to be the product of a gross human rights abuse by an official or a person acting in an official capacity. This is a strict liability offence, so no defence is provided meaning that businesses have no choice but to ensure they have robust due diligence procedures that will uncover any risk of a connection to gross human rights abuses. Complying with a reasonable procedures defence can be challenging for companies. We have a framework for developing and implementing a robust system to ensure an organisation is properly protected. Contact us for more details.

David Green to lead our first business ethics debate of 2018

David Green will be opening the first GoodCorporation debate of 2018 which will examine the future of anti-corruption prosecution. As David nears the end of his term as director of the UK’s Serious Fraud Office, the debate will focus on where the SFO is heading and how Deferred Prosecution Agreements are likely to work, now that they have been established and tested. Hosted by Baroness Kingsmill, the debate will be held at the House of Lords on February 20. Attendance is by invitation only but please contact us if you are interested or would like to go on our invitation list for future events.  

New social contract or better business behaviour?

Having spent much of 2017 reporting on increasing concerns around excessive executive pay, tax avoidance, zero-hour contracts and automation, the Financial Times (paywall) began the year by stating that capitalism needs a new social contract. This isn’t the first time that new rules of engagement have been called for. While a renewed focus on the social contract would be no bad thing, what we really need to change are the soft and hard laws that dictate business behaviour. Better regulation can and should lead to better businesses that operate for the benefit of all stakeholders. The Financial Reporting Council has the opportunity to effect change as it considers revisions to the Corporate Governance Code. We will be responding in due course, calling for stronger requirements around evidencing that an organisation’s culture is properly underpinned by the ethical values that drive responsible business behaviour. This argument is also made by Christopher Hodges and Ruth Steinholz in their new book Ethical Business Practice and Regulation. In it, they propose that that ethical business regulation which requires businesses to evidence a commitment to ethical business practice, can maximise good outcomes for all stakeholders. We wait to see if and how this might be might be addressed in the new in Corporate Governance Code. Contact us for more information on measuring ethical culture.

In Brief...

GoodCorporation to hold first debate on data protection in Paris

Following the launch of our Paris office at the end of last year, GoodCorporation is holding its first French business ethics debate on the subject of data protection.

Jean-Baptiste Siproudhis, Head of Compliance at Atos, will be leading the discussion which is being held at the Salons France-Ameriques at lunchtime on March 15.

With French data protection regulator the CNIL celebrating its 40th anniversary in the year that the GDPR comes into effect, it is clear that data protection issues are more central than they have ever been. Our debate will explore the challenges business face to be compliant with GDPR by May 2018.

GoodCorporation has been working with UK companies to help them prepare for GDPR. Our work has involved risk mapping, auditing existing systems, training and system development.

GDPR Ready?

Many companies have undertaken significant projects to change processes and systems to comply with the new EU General Data Protection Regulation that comes into force in May.

Attention is now turning to board assurances and the best way to demonstrate that their organisation is GDPR ready.

GoodCorporation’s Data Protection Framework is providing a number of our clients with a measurement tool for assessing the effectiveness of the systems in place.

We have also been working with companies to carry out detailed data mapping exercises. Data can easily be misfiled or stored without the necessary protections, so getting this right is essential. We look beyond where data ought to be stored and talk to staff to get a clear idea of how data flows through the organisation. This is also helpful for highlighting to senior management what is working and where improvements are needed.

To find out more, please contact Gareth Thomas who is leading our GDPR work and also view our GDPR readiness check.

Contributing to the debate

Following the publication of our recommendations to promote responsible gambling, GoodCorporation has responded to the UK Government’s gambling consultation.

We support the Government’s proposals to reduce maximum stakes on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals. In addition to the social responsibility measures put forward, we have recommended that more needs to be done around monitoring controls, training and self-exclusion. Read our response in full here.

December 2019

In Brief...

Summer 2019

In Brief...

Spring 2019

In Brief...

Winter 2018

Business ethics trends for 2019

Ethical conduct was firmly in the spotlight for much of 2018 and for a variety of reasons, from the #MeToo movement which pushed bullying and harassment onto board agendas, through to the implementation of GDPR which turned us all into data privacy experts.

Despite the many geopolitical challenges around the world and the many forecasts predicting a slowdown in global economic growth, the impetus for businesses to be run ethically will continue in 2019. As the Financial Reporting Council states, poor ethical conduct is a business risk in itself.

Our first blog post for 2019 looks forward to the business ethics areas that look set to dominate over the coming months including culture measurement, ESG, data protection, human rights and economic crime.

Much of this is being driven by regulation. Businesses cannot afford to turn a blind eye and hope that nothing goes wrong. Corporate leaders need to set the right tone and back it up with actions.

Read the blog in full

The changing face of anti-corruption prosecution

GoodCorporation was delighted that Lisa Osofsky, director of the Serious Fraud Office, was able to open our debate on the changing landscape of anti-corruption prosecution.

Emphasising that the SFO will continue its robust approach to prosecution, Osofsky stated that those in law enforcement are likely to be working ever more closely to build successful cases. Not only will this involve increased cooperation and information sharing, it will also require a change in investigative methods with digital forensic capability becoming a priority.

The SFO recognises that companies have made significant progress in their anti-corruption efforts and are increasingly ready to listen to those willing to talk. Deferred Prosecution Agreements are felt to be effective and the SFO is considering drafting guidance to help companies understand what cooperation with the SFO means.

Read debate summary

Are ESG investments changing corporate behaviour?

As the purpose versus profit debate continues to gather momentum, GoodCorporation’s final debate of 2018 asked whether investors and the focus on ESG funding are starting to drive change?

Georg Kell, chairman of Arabesque Partners and the founding director of the UN Global Compact opened the discussion by suggesting that there is now a real alignment between sustainable finance and responsible business practice.

Today, ESG investing is estimated at around $20 trillion in assets under management and this is likely to grow according to Kell. This presents a real opportunity for those corporates in a position to present strong ESG information that will enable them to access this capital.

As for changing behaviour, there is evidence that this is starting, but there is still a way to go.

Read debate summary

In Brief...

GoodCorporation speaking at Chatham House

GoodCorporation Director Jane Ellis will be exploring the role of corporate governance in setting the standards for responsible business practice at the third annual Chatham House Responsible Business conference. The event is taking place at Chatham House on Feb 28.

Book tickets here

The challenge of ESG

ESG is a challenge for many companies, but some are starting to realise that fund managers are not investing in building ESG teams to tick boxes or review paper.

Our work with Yara shows how some of the innovators are responding.

Read our blog

Ethics & compliance in French companies

Tough new French legislation has placed ethics and compliance issues at the forefront for French companies.

Some are already leading the way, others are investing time and resources. We summarise how our French company has been working with businesses on a range of ethics issues.

Read our blog

New supplier code of conduct at the FCO

The Foreign and Commonwealth office has raised the bar on checking modern slavery obligations in the supply chain with a tough new Supplier Code of Conduct.

Our article looks at the FCO’s expectations and what this means for businesses tendering for government work.

Read the article

Autumn 2018

Tackling bullying and harassment in the workplace

  GoodCorporation’s October debate at the House of Lords asked why bullying and harassment are still issues in the workplace and what business can do to tackle this. Rachel Crasnow QC led the discussion emphasising the importance of training for all staff, particularly managers. Managing people often requires difficult conversations to be had, yet those in managerial roles rarely receive training on this aspect of their job. A trusted speak-up system, effective communication and sanctions for any proven cases of bullying or harassment must all be implemented if a zero-tolerance approach is to be properly effective. A full summary of the debate is on our website. Bullying and harassment can have a significant and negative impact on a business, its employees and its work culture. Companies are expected to identify, prevent and address any such incidents. GoodCorporation has worked with leading organisations to help test and strengthen their anti-bullying and harassment procedures, using our Bullying and Harassment Framework.

Five steps to CFA compliance

Following the introduction of the Criminal Finances Act into UK legislation in 2017, organisations can now be held criminally liable for failing to prevent anyone acting for or on their behalf from facilitating the evasion of UK or foreign tax. Conviction comes with serious consequences, including a potentially unlimited fine. GoodCorporation has identified five critical factors that companies need to consider when implementing compliance with the new legislation. Click here to read the blog

New compliance toolkit

For smaller companies wishing to list, rapidly growing or suddenly under pressure from regulators, GoodCorporation has developed a compliance toolkit providing off-the-shelf compliance support to help build an effective programme or fill in any remaining gaps. Ten compliance tools are available, including code of conduct design and benchmarking; compliance policies and procedures; risk assessment as well as face-to-face and online training. Contact us for details.  

Forthcoming events

We are delighted that Lisa Osofsky, Director of the Serious Fraud Office, will open our debate with business leaders on the anti-corruption landscape. Held at the House of Lords on November 7, attendance is by invitation only. We are also holding a safeguarding discussion group on November 8, exploring the results of our recent survey and looking at safeguarding best practice for organisations.

In Brief...

Paris anti-corruption debate

Last month, GoodCorporation asked how French  companies are dealing with the country’s new anti-bribery law, looking at the challenges they face complying with this tough legislation. How are businesses and authorities responding?

Read the debate summary here

Assessing the drivers of ethical culture

Assessing the strength of key cultural drivers that underpin responsible decision making can help employers mitigate risks to both reputation and the bottom line.

Our article in Financial Management examines the issues.

 

Is GDPR over?

As GDPR came into force, it led to an avalanche of notifications and data protection requests. In October’s Ethical Corporation, we look at the steps taken to date, examine the compliance challenges and highlight emerging best practice.

Read the article here

Modern Slavery Act - Review

The Home Office has commissioned an independent review of the Modern Slavery Act. The aim of the review is to understand how the Act is operating in practice and whether the legal framework is fit for purpose. To contribute to the review, click here.

Summer 2018

Corporate culture key to UK Governance Code

Following the publication of the new UK Corporate Governance Code last month, corporate culture looks set to become a boardroom issue. Under the section on leadership and company purpose, the code states that a board ‘must establish the company’s purpose, values and strategy and satisfy itself that these and its culture are aligned’.

To do this, boards will be required to assess and monitor culture. Where they are not satisfied that these are aligned, the board is now expected to ‘seek assurances that the management has taken corrective action.’ Any activities and action taken by the board should be explained in the annual report.

In our white paper Measuring Ethical Culture, we argued that while culture may appear intangible and hard to measure, boards need to find a way to do just that. This will involve identifying the right culture indicators to enable them to assess whether good corporate behaviour is properly embedded.

This approach is supported by the Financial Reporting Council’s guidance on the new code which urges boards to identify and track typical features of a positive culture. Based on our experience of assessing and measuring corporate behaviour, we have identified the key drivers of an ethical company culture and devised a methodology to assist boards with the new monitoring and reporting demands.

Read the blog in full

GDPR is not over

May 25th was not the finishing line for GDPR. So while much of the panic may be over, there is still work to be done to ensure compliance with the new legislation.

Elizabeth Denham, the UK’s Information Commissioner, describes GDPR as an ongoing journey that requires continuous effort. Businesses will be expected to “continue to identify and address emerging privacy and security risks in the weeks, months and years beyond May 2018”.

Our latest blog summarises five key reasons why GDPR isn’t over and outlines what organisations need to do to ensure long-term compliance.

Read the blog in full

An ethical future for AI

Despite the widespread use of AI across a range of industries and services, no country has established, as yet, an ethical or legal framework to govern its development.

AI is still relatively embryonic, but the pace of change is rapid and the investment considerable. It has the potential to transform economies and benefit humanity, but to do this successfully it will need to be both reliable and trusted.

Businesses and those at the vanguard of AI development cannot afford to wait for regulators to set the bar and define the ethical or regulatory framework. Our blog explores some of the key ethical considerations.

Read the blog in full

In Brief...

Latest Debate

With poor corporate culture perceived to be a business risk in itself, what should companies be doing to mitigate that risk and ensure they have the right culture in place?

Our summer business ethics debate explored the value, strategic importance and practicalities of measuring corporate culture.

As with all our debates, the summary is on the website.

Ethics & compliance benchmarking

Does your organisation have a stand-alone ethics and compliance function? Who does it report to? How often are due diligence checks carried out on third parties?

These are just some of the questions we posed at the session on compliance programme benchmarking that we moderated at the C5 Anti-Corruption event this summer. The results are available on our blog.

Safeguarding survey

GoodCorporation has conducted its first safeguarding survey, inviting a range of organisations to respond.

The survey aimed to discover how organisations govern, resource, assess and monitor safeguarding.

The results will be published in a forthcoming paper. We will also be inviting respondents to a safeguarding event in September to review the findings. Contact us for details.

Sapin II debate in Paris

Following the success of our debate on the challenges of implementing GDPR, GoodCorporation will be hosting another discussion in Paris in September.

This time the debate will focus on the demands placed on French businesses by Sapin II.

The debate will take place at the Salons France Amériques on Thursday September 13. Contact us for more information.

Spring 2018

Managing AI along ethical lines

Artificial intelligence (AI) is already transforming our lives and our workplaces; robots carry out dangerous and repetitive tasks, machine-learning algorithms are being used to improve medical diagnoses and many of our cyber defences are AI powered. This week, one of the UK’s biggest hospitals, University College London, announced that it plans to use AI to radically improve its services.

As intelligent machines evolve, so too do the ethical questions that should govern these developments. If AI machines make mistakes that cause harm, who should be held responsible? AI systems learn through access to data, so what does that mean in terms of our right to privacy? And who, if anyone, should be responsible for the output of AI ‘thought’ processes?

Rightly, these questions are being posed at both national and international levels. Our latest blog takes a look at the steps being taken to develop the ethical and legal framework to govern the use of artificial intelligence.

How businesses utilise AI will have a significant impact on how they are trusted by society. GoodCorporation is exploring the ethical considerations that should govern the evolution of AI technologies and will be publishing updates in this newsletter and on our blog. A strong ethical code will require a multi-stakeholder approach. We would value any thoughts on our blog or direct to our inbox.

 

Managing human rights risks

While the majority of corporates make a firm commitment to protecting human rights in their code of conduct, the nature of modern businesses, with complex structures across diverse locations, means that this can be a challenging pledge to fulfill.

To be sure that human rights policies are properly respected across all sites, companies need a robust monitoring programme as well as strong policies and procedures.

This can be easier said than done. Our article on creating a worker welfare programme to set your business apart looks at some of the issues routinely faced when checking human rights across an international business.

Click here to read the article in full

 

ESG and value creation

A corporate scandal can decimate share value and not just in the immediate aftermath as the gory details hit the headlines. Shareholders in Volkswagen, Tesco, Toshiba and Rolls Royce are still suffering damage some four years after the scandals emerged.

Not surprisingly, investors are increasingly looking for indicators of long-term sustainability that will help mitigate risks and protect long-term investments.

Investment analysis that focuses solely on financial performance is no longer sufficient. Instead we now see more and more investors analysing ESG-related indicators alongside financial performance. Our latest blog explores this trend and what it may mean for businesses.

Click here to read the blog in full

 

 

In Brief...

Stay up-to-date

If you haven’t recently signed-up to continue receiving our quarterly newsletter and occasional product updates, please click the button below.

These emails contain the latest thinking in business ethics, compliance and best practice, together with summaries of our recent debates at the House of Lords.

We will only use your details for the purpose of sending you this information.

Click here to receive our newsletters

New team member

GoodCorporation is delighted to announce the appointment of  Jane Ellis as a company director.

Previously head of the International Bar Association’s Legal and Policy Research Unit, Jane is an Australian-qualified lawyer with expertise in competition law, anti-bribery law, corporate governance, whistleblower protection, diversity and business ethics.

Read Jane’s profile in full

See us at C5

GoodCorporation is a sponsor of C5’s Anti-Corruption conference, in London in June.

Readers of this newsletter can receive a 20% discount by quoting the code P20-999-GC18.

The conference will look at UKBA and FCPA  enforcement, how to evidence adequate procedures and managing risks in emerging markets, among other challenging topics.

Register here

New address

Since our last newsletter, GoodCorporation has expanded into larger offices, hopping over Putney Bridge to Fulham.

Our new London address is 2-3 Melbray Mews, London SW6 3NS. Phone numbers and emails stay the same.

If you’d like to visit us or find out more about what we do, get in touch.

Winter 2017/18

Criminal Finances Act increases pressure on businesses to demonstrate robust procedures

Effective since September 2017, The Criminal Finances Act places a new regulatory burden on corporates by introducing a criminal offence of failing to prevent the facilitation of tax evasion. As with the Bribery Act, this applies to the company or partnership and anyone acting for or on its behalf. Our business ethics debate in the Autumn explored the challenges that the Act brings, looking at the changes to culture, risk assessment, training and monitoring that the Act is likely to require in order to ensure a reasonable procedures defence. While much of the analysis has focused on the implications for lawyers, accountants and financial advisers, the offence will have a far wider reach than this in terms of who faces liability. Our blog takes a detailed look at the implications for business, covering the introduction of unexplained wealth orders, the extension of the suspicious activity report moratorium period and the enhanced ability of regulators to freeze and seize assets where there are grounds for suspicion. The Act also has far reaching consequences in terms of human rights, extending the definition of ‘unlawful conduct’ in the civil recovery regime to include gross human rights abuses. This means that UK prosecutors can freeze and seize assets alleged to be the product of a gross human rights abuse by an official or a person acting in an official capacity. This is a strict liability offence, so no defence is provided meaning that businesses have no choice but to ensure they have robust due diligence procedures that will uncover any risk of a connection to gross human rights abuses. Complying with a reasonable procedures defence can be challenging for companies. We have a framework for developing and implementing a robust system to ensure an organisation is properly protected. Contact us for more details.

David Green to lead our first business ethics debate of 2018

David Green will be opening the first GoodCorporation debate of 2018 which will examine the future of anti-corruption prosecution. As David nears the end of his term as director of the UK’s Serious Fraud Office, the debate will focus on where the SFO is heading and how Deferred Prosecution Agreements are likely to work, now that they have been established and tested. Hosted by Baroness Kingsmill, the debate will be held at the House of Lords on February 20. Attendance is by invitation only but please contact us if you are interested or would like to go on our invitation list for future events.  

New social contract or better business behaviour?

Having spent much of 2017 reporting on increasing concerns around excessive executive pay, tax avoidance, zero-hour contracts and automation, the Financial Times (paywall) began the year by stating that capitalism needs a new social contract. This isn’t the first time that new rules of engagement have been called for. While a renewed focus on the social contract would be no bad thing, what we really need to change are the soft and hard laws that dictate business behaviour. Better regulation can and should lead to better businesses that operate for the benefit of all stakeholders. The Financial Reporting Council has the opportunity to effect change as it considers revisions to the Corporate Governance Code. We will be responding in due course, calling for stronger requirements around evidencing that an organisation’s culture is properly underpinned by the ethical values that drive responsible business behaviour. This argument is also made by Christopher Hodges and Ruth Steinholz in their new book Ethical Business Practice and Regulation. In it, they propose that that ethical business regulation which requires businesses to evidence a commitment to ethical business practice, can maximise good outcomes for all stakeholders. We wait to see if and how this might be might be addressed in the new in Corporate Governance Code. Contact us for more information on measuring ethical culture.

In Brief...

GoodCorporation to hold first debate on data protection in Paris

Following the launch of our Paris office at the end of last year, GoodCorporation is holding its first French business ethics debate on the subject of data protection.

Jean-Baptiste Siproudhis, Head of Compliance at Atos, will be leading the discussion which is being held at the Salons France-Ameriques at lunchtime on March 15.

With French data protection regulator the CNIL celebrating its 40th anniversary in the year that the GDPR comes into effect, it is clear that data protection issues are more central than they have ever been. Our debate will explore the challenges business face to be compliant with GDPR by May 2018.

GoodCorporation has been working with UK companies to help them prepare for GDPR. Our work has involved risk mapping, auditing existing systems, training and system development.

GDPR Ready?

Many companies have undertaken significant projects to change processes and systems to comply with the new EU General Data Protection Regulation that comes into force in May.

Attention is now turning to board assurances and the best way to demonstrate that their organisation is GDPR ready.

GoodCorporation’s Data Protection Framework is providing a number of our clients with a measurement tool for assessing the effectiveness of the systems in place.

We have also been working with companies to carry out detailed data mapping exercises. Data can easily be misfiled or stored without the necessary protections, so getting this right is essential. We look beyond where data ought to be stored and talk to staff to get a clear idea of how data flows through the organisation. This is also helpful for highlighting to senior management what is working and where improvements are needed.

To find out more, please contact Gareth Thomas who is leading our GDPR work and also view our GDPR readiness check.

Contributing to the debate

Following the publication of our recommendations to promote responsible gambling, GoodCorporation has responded to the UK Government’s gambling consultation.

We support the Government’s proposals to reduce maximum stakes on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals. In addition to the social responsibility measures put forward, we have recommended that more needs to be done around monitoring controls, training and self-exclusion. Read our response in full here.

December 2019

In Brief...

Summer 2019

In Brief...

Spring 2019

In Brief...

Winter 2018

Business ethics trends for 2019

Ethical conduct was firmly in the spotlight for much of 2018 and for a variety of reasons, from the #MeToo movement which pushed bullying and harassment onto board agendas, through to the implementation of GDPR which turned us all into data privacy experts.

Despite the many geopolitical challenges around the world and the many forecasts predicting a slowdown in global economic growth, the impetus for businesses to be run ethically will continue in 2019. As the Financial Reporting Council states, poor ethical conduct is a business risk in itself.

Our first blog post for 2019 looks forward to the business ethics areas that look set to dominate over the coming months including culture measurement, ESG, data protection, human rights and economic crime.

Much of this is being driven by regulation. Businesses cannot afford to turn a blind eye and hope that nothing goes wrong. Corporate leaders need to set the right tone and back it up with actions.

Read the blog in full

The changing face of anti-corruption prosecution

GoodCorporation was delighted that Lisa Osofsky, director of the Serious Fraud Office, was able to open our debate on the changing landscape of anti-corruption prosecution.

Emphasising that the SFO will continue its robust approach to prosecution, Osofsky stated that those in law enforcement are likely to be working ever more closely to build successful cases. Not only will this involve increased cooperation and information sharing, it will also require a change in investigative methods with digital forensic capability becoming a priority.

The SFO recognises that companies have made significant progress in their anti-corruption efforts and are increasingly ready to listen to those willing to talk. Deferred Prosecution Agreements are felt to be effective and the SFO is considering drafting guidance to help companies understand what cooperation with the SFO means.

Read debate summary

Are ESG investments changing corporate behaviour?

As the purpose versus profit debate continues to gather momentum, GoodCorporation’s final debate of 2018 asked whether investors and the focus on ESG funding are starting to drive change?

Georg Kell, chairman of Arabesque Partners and the founding director of the UN Global Compact opened the discussion by suggesting that there is now a real alignment between sustainable finance and responsible business practice.

Today, ESG investing is estimated at around $20 trillion in assets under management and this is likely to grow according to Kell. This presents a real opportunity for those corporates in a position to present strong ESG information that will enable them to access this capital.

As for changing behaviour, there is evidence that this is starting, but there is still a way to go.

Read debate summary

In Brief...

GoodCorporation speaking at Chatham House

GoodCorporation Director Jane Ellis will be exploring the role of corporate governance in setting the standards for responsible business practice at the third annual Chatham House Responsible Business conference. The event is taking place at Chatham House on Feb 28.

Book tickets here

The challenge of ESG

ESG is a challenge for many companies, but some are starting to realise that fund managers are not investing in building ESG teams to tick boxes or review paper.

Our work with Yara shows how some of the innovators are responding.

Read our blog

Ethics & compliance in French companies

Tough new French legislation has placed ethics and compliance issues at the forefront for French companies.

Some are already leading the way, others are investing time and resources. We summarise how our French company has been working with businesses on a range of ethics issues.

Read our blog

New supplier code of conduct at the FCO

The Foreign and Commonwealth office has raised the bar on checking modern slavery obligations in the supply chain with a tough new Supplier Code of Conduct.

Our article looks at the FCO’s expectations and what this means for businesses tendering for government work.

Read the article

Autumn 2018

Tackling bullying and harassment in the workplace

  GoodCorporation’s October debate at the House of Lords asked why bullying and harassment are still issues in the workplace and what business can do to tackle this. Rachel Crasnow QC led the discussion emphasising the importance of training for all staff, particularly managers. Managing people often requires difficult conversations to be had, yet those in managerial roles rarely receive training on this aspect of their job. A trusted speak-up system, effective communication and sanctions for any proven cases of bullying or harassment must all be implemented if a zero-tolerance approach is to be properly effective. A full summary of the debate is on our website. Bullying and harassment can have a significant and negative impact on a business, its employees and its work culture. Companies are expected to identify, prevent and address any such incidents. GoodCorporation has worked with leading organisations to help test and strengthen their anti-bullying and harassment procedures, using our Bullying and Harassment Framework.

Five steps to CFA compliance

Following the introduction of the Criminal Finances Act into UK legislation in 2017, organisations can now be held criminally liable for failing to prevent anyone acting for or on their behalf from facilitating the evasion of UK or foreign tax. Conviction comes with serious consequences, including a potentially unlimited fine. GoodCorporation has identified five critical factors that companies need to consider when implementing compliance with the new legislation. Click here to read the blog

New compliance toolkit

For smaller companies wishing to list, rapidly growing or suddenly under pressure from regulators, GoodCorporation has developed a compliance toolkit providing off-the-shelf compliance support to help build an effective programme or fill in any remaining gaps. Ten compliance tools are available, including code of conduct design and benchmarking; compliance policies and procedures; risk assessment as well as face-to-face and online training. Contact us for details.  

Forthcoming events

We are delighted that Lisa Osofsky, Director of the Serious Fraud Office, will open our debate with business leaders on the anti-corruption landscape. Held at the House of Lords on November 7, attendance is by invitation only. We are also holding a safeguarding discussion group on November 8, exploring the results of our recent survey and looking at safeguarding best practice for organisations.

In Brief...

Paris anti-corruption debate

Last month, GoodCorporation asked how French  companies are dealing with the country’s new anti-bribery law, looking at the challenges they face complying with this tough legislation. How are businesses and authorities responding?

Read the debate summary here

Assessing the drivers of ethical culture

Assessing the strength of key cultural drivers that underpin responsible decision making can help employers mitigate risks to both reputation and the bottom line.

Our article in Financial Management examines the issues.

 

Is GDPR over?

As GDPR came into force, it led to an avalanche of notifications and data protection requests. In October’s Ethical Corporation, we look at the steps taken to date, examine the compliance challenges and highlight emerging best practice.

Read the article here

Modern Slavery Act - Review

The Home Office has commissioned an independent review of the Modern Slavery Act. The aim of the review is to understand how the Act is operating in practice and whether the legal framework is fit for purpose. To contribute to the review, click here.

Summer 2018

Corporate culture key to UK Governance Code

Following the publication of the new UK Corporate Governance Code last month, corporate culture looks set to become a boardroom issue. Under the section on leadership and company purpose, the code states that a board ‘must establish the company’s purpose, values and strategy and satisfy itself that these and its culture are aligned’.

To do this, boards will be required to assess and monitor culture. Where they are not satisfied that these are aligned, the board is now expected to ‘seek assurances that the management has taken corrective action.’ Any activities and action taken by the board should be explained in the annual report.

In our white paper Measuring Ethical Culture, we argued that while culture may appear intangible and hard to measure, boards need to find a way to do just that. This will involve identifying the right culture indicators to enable them to assess whether good corporate behaviour is properly embedded.

This approach is supported by the Financial Reporting Council’s guidance on the new code which urges boards to identify and track typical features of a positive culture. Based on our experience of assessing and measuring corporate behaviour, we have identified the key drivers of an ethical company culture and devised a methodology to assist boards with the new monitoring and reporting demands.

Read the blog in full

GDPR is not over

May 25th was not the finishing line for GDPR. So while much of the panic may be over, there is still work to be done to ensure compliance with the new legislation.

Elizabeth Denham, the UK’s Information Commissioner, describes GDPR as an ongoing journey that requires continuous effort. Businesses will be expected to “continue to identify and address emerging privacy and security risks in the weeks, months and years beyond May 2018”.

Our latest blog summarises five key reasons why GDPR isn’t over and outlines what organisations need to do to ensure long-term compliance.

Read the blog in full

An ethical future for AI

Despite the widespread use of AI across a range of industries and services, no country has established, as yet, an ethical or legal framework to govern its development.

AI is still relatively embryonic, but the pace of change is rapid and the investment considerable. It has the potential to transform economies and benefit humanity, but to do this successfully it will need to be both reliable and trusted.

Businesses and those at the vanguard of AI development cannot afford to wait for regulators to set the bar and define the ethical or regulatory framework. Our blog explores some of the key ethical considerations.

Read the blog in full

In Brief...

Latest Debate

With poor corporate culture perceived to be a business risk in itself, what should companies be doing to mitigate that risk and ensure they have the right culture in place?

Our summer business ethics debate explored the value, strategic importance and practicalities of measuring corporate culture.

As with all our debates, the summary is on the website.

Ethics & compliance benchmarking

Does your organisation have a stand-alone ethics and compliance function? Who does it report to? How often are due diligence checks carried out on third parties?

These are just some of the questions we posed at the session on compliance programme benchmarking that we moderated at the C5 Anti-Corruption event this summer. The results are available on our blog.

Safeguarding survey

GoodCorporation has conducted its first safeguarding survey, inviting a range of organisations to respond.

The survey aimed to discover how organisations govern, resource, assess and monitor safeguarding.

The results will be published in a forthcoming paper. We will also be inviting respondents to a safeguarding event in September to review the findings. Contact us for details.

Sapin II debate in Paris

Following the success of our debate on the challenges of implementing GDPR, GoodCorporation will be hosting another discussion in Paris in September.

This time the debate will focus on the demands placed on French businesses by Sapin II.

The debate will take place at the Salons France Amériques on Thursday September 13. Contact us for more information.

Spring 2018

Managing AI along ethical lines

Artificial intelligence (AI) is already transforming our lives and our workplaces; robots carry out dangerous and repetitive tasks, machine-learning algorithms are being used to improve medical diagnoses and many of our cyber defences are AI powered. This week, one of the UK’s biggest hospitals, University College London, announced that it plans to use AI to radically improve its services.

As intelligent machines evolve, so too do the ethical questions that should govern these developments. If AI machines make mistakes that cause harm, who should be held responsible? AI systems learn through access to data, so what does that mean in terms of our right to privacy? And who, if anyone, should be responsible for the output of AI ‘thought’ processes?

Rightly, these questions are being posed at both national and international levels. Our latest blog takes a look at the steps being taken to develop the ethical and legal framework to govern the use of artificial intelligence.

How businesses utilise AI will have a significant impact on how they are trusted by society. GoodCorporation is exploring the ethical considerations that should govern the evolution of AI technologies and will be publishing updates in this newsletter and on our blog. A strong ethical code will require a multi-stakeholder approach. We would value any thoughts on our blog or direct to our inbox.

 

Managing human rights risks

While the majority of corporates make a firm commitment to protecting human rights in their code of conduct, the nature of modern businesses, with complex structures across diverse locations, means that this can be a challenging pledge to fulfill.

To be sure that human rights policies are properly respected across all sites, companies need a robust monitoring programme as well as strong policies and procedures.

This can be easier said than done. Our article on creating a worker welfare programme to set your business apart looks at some of the issues routinely faced when checking human rights across an international business.

Click here to read the article in full

 

ESG and value creation

A corporate scandal can decimate share value and not just in the immediate aftermath as the gory details hit the headlines. Shareholders in Volkswagen, Tesco, Toshiba and Rolls Royce are still suffering damage some four years after the scandals emerged.

Not surprisingly, investors are increasingly looking for indicators of long-term sustainability that will help mitigate risks and protect long-term investments.

Investment analysis that focuses solely on financial performance is no longer sufficient. Instead we now see more and more investors analysing ESG-related indicators alongside financial performance. Our latest blog explores this trend and what it may mean for businesses.

Click here to read the blog in full

 

 

In Brief...

Stay up-to-date

If you haven’t recently signed-up to continue receiving our quarterly newsletter and occasional product updates, please click the button below.

These emails contain the latest thinking in business ethics, compliance and best practice, together with summaries of our recent debates at the House of Lords.

We will only use your details for the purpose of sending you this information.

Click here to receive our newsletters

New team member

GoodCorporation is delighted to announce the appointment of  Jane Ellis as a company director.

Previously head of the International Bar Association’s Legal and Policy Research Unit, Jane is an Australian-qualified lawyer with expertise in competition law, anti-bribery law, corporate governance, whistleblower protection, diversity and business ethics.

Read Jane’s profile in full

See us at C5

GoodCorporation is a sponsor of C5’s Anti-Corruption conference, in London in June.

Readers of this newsletter can receive a 20% discount by quoting the code P20-999-GC18.

The conference will look at UKBA and FCPA  enforcement, how to evidence adequate procedures and managing risks in emerging markets, among other challenging topics.

Register here

New address

Since our last newsletter, GoodCorporation has expanded into larger offices, hopping over Putney Bridge to Fulham.

Our new London address is 2-3 Melbray Mews, London SW6 3NS. Phone numbers and emails stay the same.

If you’d like to visit us or find out more about what we do, get in touch.

Winter 2017/18

Criminal Finances Act increases pressure on businesses to demonstrate robust procedures

Effective since September 2017, The Criminal Finances Act places a new regulatory burden on corporates by introducing a criminal offence of failing to prevent the facilitation of tax evasion. As with the Bribery Act, this applies to the company or partnership and anyone acting for or on its behalf. Our business ethics debate in the Autumn explored the challenges that the Act brings, looking at the changes to culture, risk assessment, training and monitoring that the Act is likely to require in order to ensure a reasonable procedures defence. While much of the analysis has focused on the implications for lawyers, accountants and financial advisers, the offence will have a far wider reach than this in terms of who faces liability. Our blog takes a detailed look at the implications for business, covering the introduction of unexplained wealth orders, the extension of the suspicious activity report moratorium period and the enhanced ability of regulators to freeze and seize assets where there are grounds for suspicion. The Act also has far reaching consequences in terms of human rights, extending the definition of ‘unlawful conduct’ in the civil recovery regime to include gross human rights abuses. This means that UK prosecutors can freeze and seize assets alleged to be the product of a gross human rights abuse by an official or a person acting in an official capacity. This is a strict liability offence, so no defence is provided meaning that businesses have no choice but to ensure they have robust due diligence procedures that will uncover any risk of a connection to gross human rights abuses. Complying with a reasonable procedures defence can be challenging for companies. We have a framework for developing and implementing a robust system to ensure an organisation is properly protected. Contact us for more details.

David Green to lead our first business ethics debate of 2018

David Green will be opening the first GoodCorporation debate of 2018 which will examine the future of anti-corruption prosecution. As David nears the end of his term as director of the UK’s Serious Fraud Office, the debate will focus on where the SFO is heading and how Deferred Prosecution Agreements are likely to work, now that they have been established and tested. Hosted by Baroness Kingsmill, the debate will be held at the House of Lords on February 20. Attendance is by invitation only but please contact us if you are interested or would like to go on our invitation list for future events.  

New social contract or better business behaviour?

Having spent much of 2017 reporting on increasing concerns around excessive executive pay, tax avoidance, zero-hour contracts and automation, the Financial Times (paywall) began the year by stating that capitalism needs a new social contract. This isn’t the first time that new rules of engagement have been called for. While a renewed focus on the social contract would be no bad thing, what we really need to change are the soft and hard laws that dictate business behaviour. Better regulation can and should lead to better businesses that operate for the benefit of all stakeholders. The Financial Reporting Council has the opportunity to effect change as it considers revisions to the Corporate Governance Code. We will be responding in due course, calling for stronger requirements around evidencing that an organisation’s culture is properly underpinned by the ethical values that drive responsible business behaviour. This argument is also made by Christopher Hodges and Ruth Steinholz in their new book Ethical Business Practice and Regulation. In it, they propose that that ethical business regulation which requires businesses to evidence a commitment to ethical business practice, can maximise good outcomes for all stakeholders. We wait to see if and how this might be might be addressed in the new in Corporate Governance Code. Contact us for more information on measuring ethical culture.

In Brief...

GoodCorporation to hold first debate on data protection in Paris

Following the launch of our Paris office at the end of last year, GoodCorporation is holding its first French business ethics debate on the subject of data protection.

Jean-Baptiste Siproudhis, Head of Compliance at Atos, will be leading the discussion which is being held at the Salons France-Ameriques at lunchtime on March 15.

With French data protection regulator the CNIL celebrating its 40th anniversary in the year that the GDPR comes into effect, it is clear that data protection issues are more central than they have ever been. Our debate will explore the challenges business face to be compliant with GDPR by May 2018.

GoodCorporation has been working with UK companies to help them prepare for GDPR. Our work has involved risk mapping, auditing existing systems, training and system development.

GDPR Ready?

Many companies have undertaken significant projects to change processes and systems to comply with the new EU General Data Protection Regulation that comes into force in May.

Attention is now turning to board assurances and the best way to demonstrate that their organisation is GDPR ready.

GoodCorporation’s Data Protection Framework is providing a number of our clients with a measurement tool for assessing the effectiveness of the systems in place.

We have also been working with companies to carry out detailed data mapping exercises. Data can easily be misfiled or stored without the necessary protections, so getting this right is essential. We look beyond where data ought to be stored and talk to staff to get a clear idea of how data flows through the organisation. This is also helpful for highlighting to senior management what is working and where improvements are needed.

To find out more, please contact Gareth Thomas who is leading our GDPR work and also view our GDPR readiness check.

Contributing to the debate

Following the publication of our recommendations to promote responsible gambling, GoodCorporation has responded to the UK Government’s gambling consultation.

We support the Government’s proposals to reduce maximum stakes on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals. In addition to the social responsibility measures put forward, we have recommended that more needs to be done around monitoring controls, training and self-exclusion. Read our response in full here.

December 2019

In Brief...

Summer 2019

In Brief...

Spring 2019

In Brief...

Winter 2018

Business ethics trends for 2019

Ethical conduct was firmly in the spotlight for much of 2018 and for a variety of reasons, from the #MeToo movement which pushed bullying and harassment onto board agendas, through to the implementation of GDPR which turned us all into data privacy experts.

Despite the many geopolitical challenges around the world and the many forecasts predicting a slowdown in global economic growth, the impetus for businesses to be run ethically will continue in 2019. As the Financial Reporting Council states, poor ethical conduct is a business risk in itself.

Our first blog post for 2019 looks forward to the business ethics areas that look set to dominate over the coming months including culture measurement, ESG, data protection, human rights and economic crime.

Much of this is being driven by regulation. Businesses cannot afford to turn a blind eye and hope that nothing goes wrong. Corporate leaders need to set the right tone and back it up with actions.

Read the blog in full

The changing face of anti-corruption prosecution

GoodCorporation was delighted that Lisa Osofsky, director of the Serious Fraud Office, was able to open our debate on the changing landscape of anti-corruption prosecution.

Emphasising that the SFO will continue its robust approach to prosecution, Osofsky stated that those in law enforcement are likely to be working ever more closely to build successful cases. Not only will this involve increased cooperation and information sharing, it will also require a change in investigative methods with digital forensic capability becoming a priority.

The SFO recognises that companies have made significant progress in their anti-corruption efforts and are increasingly ready to listen to those willing to talk. Deferred Prosecution Agreements are felt to be effective and the SFO is considering drafting guidance to help companies understand what cooperation with the SFO means.

Read debate summary

Are ESG investments changing corporate behaviour?

As the purpose versus profit debate continues to gather momentum, GoodCorporation’s final debate of 2018 asked whether investors and the focus on ESG funding are starting to drive change?

Georg Kell, chairman of Arabesque Partners and the founding director of the UN Global Compact opened the discussion by suggesting that there is now a real alignment between sustainable finance and responsible business practice.

Today, ESG investing is estimated at around $20 trillion in assets under management and this is likely to grow according to Kell. This presents a real opportunity for those corporates in a position to present strong ESG information that will enable them to access this capital.

As for changing behaviour, there is evidence that this is starting, but there is still a way to go.

Read debate summary

In Brief...

GoodCorporation speaking at Chatham House

GoodCorporation Director Jane Ellis will be exploring the role of corporate governance in setting the standards for responsible business practice at the third annual Chatham House Responsible Business conference. The event is taking place at Chatham House on Feb 28.

Book tickets here

The challenge of ESG

ESG is a challenge for many companies, but some are starting to realise that fund managers are not investing in building ESG teams to tick boxes or review paper.

Our work with Yara shows how some of the innovators are responding.

Read our blog

Ethics & compliance in French companies

Tough new French legislation has placed ethics and compliance issues at the forefront for French companies.

Some are already leading the way, others are investing time and resources. We summarise how our French company has been working with businesses on a range of ethics issues.

Read our blog

New supplier code of conduct at the FCO

The Foreign and Commonwealth office has raised the bar on checking modern slavery obligations in the supply chain with a tough new Supplier Code of Conduct.

Our article looks at the FCO’s expectations and what this means for businesses tendering for government work.

Read the article

Autumn 2018

Tackling bullying and harassment in the workplace

  GoodCorporation’s October debate at the House of Lords asked why bullying and harassment are still issues in the workplace and what business can do to tackle this. Rachel Crasnow QC led the discussion emphasising the importance of training for all staff, particularly managers. Managing people often requires difficult conversations to be had, yet those in managerial roles rarely receive training on this aspect of their job. A trusted speak-up system, effective communication and sanctions for any proven cases of bullying or harassment must all be implemented if a zero-tolerance approach is to be properly effective. A full summary of the debate is on our website. Bullying and harassment can have a significant and negative impact on a business, its employees and its work culture. Companies are expected to identify, prevent and address any such incidents. GoodCorporation has worked with leading organisations to help test and strengthen their anti-bullying and harassment procedures, using our Bullying and Harassment Framework.

Five steps to CFA compliance

Following the introduction of the Criminal Finances Act into UK legislation in 2017, organisations can now be held criminally liable for failing to prevent anyone acting for or on their behalf from facilitating the evasion of UK or foreign tax. Conviction comes with serious consequences, including a potentially unlimited fine. GoodCorporation has identified five critical factors that companies need to consider when implementing compliance with the new legislation. Click here to read the blog

New compliance toolkit

For smaller companies wishing to list, rapidly growing or suddenly under pressure from regulators, GoodCorporation has developed a compliance toolkit providing off-the-shelf compliance support to help build an effective programme or fill in any remaining gaps. Ten compliance tools are available, including code of conduct design and benchmarking; compliance policies and procedures; risk assessment as well as face-to-face and online training. Contact us for details.  

Forthcoming events

We are delighted that Lisa Osofsky, Director of the Serious Fraud Office, will open our debate with business leaders on the anti-corruption landscape. Held at the House of Lords on November 7, attendance is by invitation only. We are also holding a safeguarding discussion group on November 8, exploring the results of our recent survey and looking at safeguarding best practice for organisations.

In Brief...

Paris anti-corruption debate

Last month, GoodCorporation asked how French  companies are dealing with the country’s new anti-bribery law, looking at the challenges they face complying with this tough legislation. How are businesses and authorities responding?

Read the debate summary here

Assessing the drivers of ethical culture

Assessing the strength of key cultural drivers that underpin responsible decision making can help employers mitigate risks to both reputation and the bottom line.

Our article in Financial Management examines the issues.

 

Is GDPR over?

As GDPR came into force, it led to an avalanche of notifications and data protection requests. In October’s Ethical Corporation, we look at the steps taken to date, examine the compliance challenges and highlight emerging best practice.

Read the article here

Modern Slavery Act - Review

The Home Office has commissioned an independent review of the Modern Slavery Act. The aim of the review is to understand how the Act is operating in practice and whether the legal framework is fit for purpose. To contribute to the review, click here.

Summer 2018

Corporate culture key to UK Governance Code

Following the publication of the new UK Corporate Governance Code last month, corporate culture looks set to become a boardroom issue. Under the section on leadership and company purpose, the code states that a board ‘must establish the company’s purpose, values and strategy and satisfy itself that these and its culture are aligned’.

To do this, boards will be required to assess and monitor culture. Where they are not satisfied that these are aligned, the board is now expected to ‘seek assurances that the management has taken corrective action.’ Any activities and action taken by the board should be explained in the annual report.

In our white paper Measuring Ethical Culture, we argued that while culture may appear intangible and hard to measure, boards need to find a way to do just that. This will involve identifying the right culture indicators to enable them to assess whether good corporate behaviour is properly embedded.

This approach is supported by the Financial Reporting Council’s guidance on the new code which urges boards to identify and track typical features of a positive culture. Based on our experience of assessing and measuring corporate behaviour, we have identified the key drivers of an ethical company culture and devised a methodology to assist boards with the new monitoring and reporting demands.

Read the blog in full

GDPR is not over

May 25th was not the finishing line for GDPR. So while much of the panic may be over, there is still work to be done to ensure compliance with the new legislation.

Elizabeth Denham, the UK’s Information Commissioner, describes GDPR as an ongoing journey that requires continuous effort. Businesses will be expected to “continue to identify and address emerging privacy and security risks in the weeks, months and years beyond May 2018”.

Our latest blog summarises five key reasons why GDPR isn’t over and outlines what organisations need to do to ensure long-term compliance.

Read the blog in full

An ethical future for AI

Despite the widespread use of AI across a range of industries and services, no country has established, as yet, an ethical or legal framework to govern its development.

AI is still relatively embryonic, but the pace of change is rapid and the investment considerable. It has the potential to transform economies and benefit humanity, but to do this successfully it will need to be both reliable and trusted.

Businesses and those at the vanguard of AI development cannot afford to wait for regulators to set the bar and define the ethical or regulatory framework. Our blog explores some of the key ethical considerations.

Read the blog in full

In Brief...

Latest Debate

With poor corporate culture perceived to be a business risk in itself, what should companies be doing to mitigate that risk and ensure they have the right culture in place?

Our summer business ethics debate explored the value, strategic importance and practicalities of measuring corporate culture.

As with all our debates, the summary is on the website.

Ethics & compliance benchmarking

Does your organisation have a stand-alone ethics and compliance function? Who does it report to? How often are due diligence checks carried out on third parties?

These are just some of the questions we posed at the session on compliance programme benchmarking that we moderated at the C5 Anti-Corruption event this summer. The results are available on our blog.

Safeguarding survey

GoodCorporation has conducted its first safeguarding survey, inviting a range of organisations to respond.

The survey aimed to discover how organisations govern, resource, assess and monitor safeguarding.

The results will be published in a forthcoming paper. We will also be inviting respondents to a safeguarding event in September to review the findings. Contact us for details.

Sapin II debate in Paris

Following the success of our debate on the challenges of implementing GDPR, GoodCorporation will be hosting another discussion in Paris in September.

This time the debate will focus on the demands placed on French businesses by Sapin II.

The debate will take place at the Salons France Amériques on Thursday September 13. Contact us for more information.

Spring 2018

Managing AI along ethical lines

Artificial intelligence (AI) is already transforming our lives and our workplaces; robots carry out dangerous and repetitive tasks, machine-learning algorithms are being used to improve medical diagnoses and many of our cyber defences are AI powered. This week, one of the UK’s biggest hospitals, University College London, announced that it plans to use AI to radically improve its services.

As intelligent machines evolve, so too do the ethical questions that should govern these developments. If AI machines make mistakes that cause harm, who should be held responsible? AI systems learn through access to data, so what does that mean in terms of our right to privacy? And who, if anyone, should be responsible for the output of AI ‘thought’ processes?

Rightly, these questions are being posed at both national and international levels. Our latest blog takes a look at the steps being taken to develop the ethical and legal framework to govern the use of artificial intelligence.

How businesses utilise AI will have a significant impact on how they are trusted by society. GoodCorporation is exploring the ethical considerations that should govern the evolution of AI technologies and will be publishing updates in this newsletter and on our blog. A strong ethical code will require a multi-stakeholder approach. We would value any thoughts on our blog or direct to our inbox.

 

Managing human rights risks

While the majority of corporates make a firm commitment to protecting human rights in their code of conduct, the nature of modern businesses, with complex structures across diverse locations, means that this can be a challenging pledge to fulfill.

To be sure that human rights policies are properly respected across all sites, companies need a robust monitoring programme as well as strong policies and procedures.

This can be easier said than done. Our article on creating a worker welfare programme to set your business apart looks at some of the issues routinely faced when checking human rights across an international business.

Click here to read the article in full

 

ESG and value creation

A corporate scandal can decimate share value and not just in the immediate aftermath as the gory details hit the headlines. Shareholders in Volkswagen, Tesco, Toshiba and Rolls Royce are still suffering damage some four years after the scandals emerged.

Not surprisingly, investors are increasingly looking for indicators of long-term sustainability that will help mitigate risks and protect long-term investments.

Investment analysis that focuses solely on financial performance is no longer sufficient. Instead we now see more and more investors analysing ESG-related indicators alongside financial performance. Our latest blog explores this trend and what it may mean for businesses.

Click here to read the blog in full

 

 

In Brief...

Stay up-to-date

If you haven’t recently signed-up to continue receiving our quarterly newsletter and occasional product updates, please click the button below.

These emails contain the latest thinking in business ethics, compliance and best practice, together with summaries of our recent debates at the House of Lords.

We will only use your details for the purpose of sending you this information.

Click here to receive our newsletters

New team member

GoodCorporation is delighted to announce the appointment of  Jane Ellis as a company director.

Previously head of the International Bar Association’s Legal and Policy Research Unit, Jane is an Australian-qualified lawyer with expertise in competition law, anti-bribery law, corporate governance, whistleblower protection, diversity and business ethics.

Read Jane’s profile in full

See us at C5

GoodCorporation is a sponsor of C5’s Anti-Corruption conference, in London in June.

Readers of this newsletter can receive a 20% discount by quoting the code P20-999-GC18.

The conference will look at UKBA and FCPA  enforcement, how to evidence adequate procedures and managing risks in emerging markets, among other challenging topics.

Register here

New address

Since our last newsletter, GoodCorporation has expanded into larger offices, hopping over Putney Bridge to Fulham.

Our new London address is 2-3 Melbray Mews, London SW6 3NS. Phone numbers and emails stay the same.

If you’d like to visit us or find out more about what we do, get in touch.

Winter 2017/18

Criminal Finances Act increases pressure on businesses to demonstrate robust procedures

Effective since September 2017, The Criminal Finances Act places a new regulatory burden on corporates by introducing a criminal offence of failing to prevent the facilitation of tax evasion. As with the Bribery Act, this applies to the company or partnership and anyone acting for or on its behalf. Our business ethics debate in the Autumn explored the challenges that the Act brings, looking at the changes to culture, risk assessment, training and monitoring that the Act is likely to require in order to ensure a reasonable procedures defence. While much of the analysis has focused on the implications for lawyers, accountants and financial advisers, the offence will have a far wider reach than this in terms of who faces liability. Our blog takes a detailed look at the implications for business, covering the introduction of unexplained wealth orders, the extension of the suspicious activity report moratorium period and the enhanced ability of regulators to freeze and seize assets where there are grounds for suspicion. The Act also has far reaching consequences in terms of human rights, extending the definition of ‘unlawful conduct’ in the civil recovery regime to include gross human rights abuses. This means that UK prosecutors can freeze and seize assets alleged to be the product of a gross human rights abuse by an official or a person acting in an official capacity. This is a strict liability offence, so no defence is provided meaning that businesses have no choice but to ensure they have robust due diligence procedures that will uncover any risk of a connection to gross human rights abuses. Complying with a reasonable procedures defence can be challenging for companies. We have a framework for developing and implementing a robust system to ensure an organisation is properly protected. Contact us for more details.

David Green to lead our first business ethics debate of 2018

David Green will be opening the first GoodCorporation debate of 2018 which will examine the future of anti-corruption prosecution. As David nears the end of his term as director of the UK’s Serious Fraud Office, the debate will focus on where the SFO is heading and how Deferred Prosecution Agreements are likely to work, now that they have been established and tested. Hosted by Baroness Kingsmill, the debate will be held at the House of Lords on February 20. Attendance is by invitation only but please contact us if you are interested or would like to go on our invitation list for future events.  

New social contract or better business behaviour?

Having spent much of 2017 reporting on increasing concerns around excessive executive pay, tax avoidance, zero-hour contracts and automation, the Financial Times (paywall) began the year by stating that capitalism needs a new social contract. This isn’t the first time that new rules of engagement have been called for. While a renewed focus on the social contract would be no bad thing, what we really need to change are the soft and hard laws that dictate business behaviour. Better regulation can and should lead to better businesses that operate for the benefit of all stakeholders. The Financial Reporting Council has the opportunity to effect change as it considers revisions to the Corporate Governance Code. We will be responding in due course, calling for stronger requirements around evidencing that an organisation’s culture is properly underpinned by the ethical values that drive responsible business behaviour. This argument is also made by Christopher Hodges and Ruth Steinholz in their new book Ethical Business Practice and Regulation. In it, they propose that that ethical business regulation which requires businesses to evidence a commitment to ethical business practice, can maximise good outcomes for all stakeholders. We wait to see if and how this might be might be addressed in the new in Corporate Governance Code. Contact us for more information on measuring ethical culture.

In Brief...

GoodCorporation to hold first debate on data protection in Paris

Following the launch of our Paris office at the end of last year, GoodCorporation is holding its first French business ethics debate on the subject of data protection.

Jean-Baptiste Siproudhis, Head of Compliance at Atos, will be leading the discussion which is being held at the Salons France-Ameriques at lunchtime on March 15.

With French data protection regulator the CNIL celebrating its 40th anniversary in the year that the GDPR comes into effect, it is clear that data protection issues are more central than they have ever been. Our debate will explore the challenges business face to be compliant with GDPR by May 2018.

GoodCorporation has been working with UK companies to help them prepare for GDPR. Our work has involved risk mapping, auditing existing systems, training and system development.

GDPR Ready?

Many companies have undertaken significant projects to change processes and systems to comply with the new EU General Data Protection Regulation that comes into force in May.

Attention is now turning to board assurances and the best way to demonstrate that their organisation is GDPR ready.

GoodCorporation’s Data Protection Framework is providing a number of our clients with a measurement tool for assessing the effectiveness of the systems in place.

We have also been working with companies to carry out detailed data mapping exercises. Data can easily be misfiled or stored without the necessary protections, so getting this right is essential. We look beyond where data ought to be stored and talk to staff to get a clear idea of how data flows through the organisation. This is also helpful for highlighting to senior management what is working and where improvements are needed.

To find out more, please contact Gareth Thomas who is leading our GDPR work and also view our GDPR readiness check.

Contributing to the debate

Following the publication of our recommendations to promote responsible gambling, GoodCorporation has responded to the UK Government’s gambling consultation.

We support the Government’s proposals to reduce maximum stakes on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals. In addition to the social responsibility measures put forward, we have recommended that more needs to be done around monitoring controls, training and self-exclusion. Read our response in full here.

December 2019

In Brief...

Summer 2019

In Brief...

Spring 2019

In Brief...

Winter 2018

Business ethics trends for 2019

Ethical conduct was firmly in the spotlight for much of 2018 and for a variety of reasons, from the #MeToo movement which pushed bullying and harassment onto board agendas, through to the implementation of GDPR which turned us all into data privacy experts.

Despite the many geopolitical challenges around the world and the many forecasts predicting a slowdown in global economic growth, the impetus for businesses to be run ethically will continue in 2019. As the Financial Reporting Council states, poor ethical conduct is a business risk in itself.

Our first blog post for 2019 looks forward to the business ethics areas that look set to dominate over the coming months including culture measurement, ESG, data protection, human rights and economic crime.

Much of this is being driven by regulation. Businesses cannot afford to turn a blind eye and hope that nothing goes wrong. Corporate leaders need to set the right tone and back it up with actions.

Read the blog in full

The changing face of anti-corruption prosecution

GoodCorporation was delighted that Lisa Osofsky, director of the Serious Fraud Office, was able to open our debate on the changing landscape of anti-corruption prosecution.

Emphasising that the SFO will continue its robust approach to prosecution, Osofsky stated that those in law enforcement are likely to be working ever more closely to build successful cases. Not only will this involve increased cooperation and information sharing, it will also require a change in investigative methods with digital forensic capability becoming a priority.

The SFO recognises that companies have made significant progress in their anti-corruption efforts and are increasingly ready to listen to those willing to talk. Deferred Prosecution Agreements are felt to be effective and the SFO is considering drafting guidance to help companies understand what cooperation with the SFO means.

Read debate summary

Are ESG investments changing corporate behaviour?

As the purpose versus profit debate continues to gather momentum, GoodCorporation’s final debate of 2018 asked whether investors and the focus on ESG funding are starting to drive change?

Georg Kell, chairman of Arabesque Partners and the founding director of the UN Global Compact opened the discussion by suggesting that there is now a real alignment between sustainable finance and responsible business practice.

Today, ESG investing is estimated at around $20 trillion in assets under management and this is likely to grow according to Kell. This presents a real opportunity for those corporates in a position to present strong ESG information that will enable them to access this capital.

As for changing behaviour, there is evidence that this is starting, but there is still a way to go.

Read debate summary

In Brief...

GoodCorporation speaking at Chatham House

GoodCorporation Director Jane Ellis will be exploring the role of corporate governance in setting the standards for responsible business practice at the third annual Chatham House Responsible Business conference. The event is taking place at Chatham House on Feb 28.

Book tickets here

The challenge of ESG

ESG is a challenge for many companies, but some are starting to realise that fund managers are not investing in building ESG teams to tick boxes or review paper.

Our work with Yara shows how some of the innovators are responding.

Read our blog

Ethics & compliance in French companies

Tough new French legislation has placed ethics and compliance issues at the forefront for French companies.

Some are already leading the way, others are investing time and resources. We summarise how our French company has been working with businesses on a range of ethics issues.

Read our blog

New supplier code of conduct at the FCO

The Foreign and Commonwealth office has raised the bar on checking modern slavery obligations in the supply chain with a tough new Supplier Code of Conduct.

Our article looks at the FCO’s expectations and what this means for businesses tendering for government work.

Read the article

Autumn 2018

Tackling bullying and harassment in the workplace

  GoodCorporation’s October debate at the House of Lords asked why bullying and harassment are still issues in the workplace and what business can do to tackle this. Rachel Crasnow QC led the discussion emphasising the importance of training for all staff, particularly managers. Managing people often requires difficult conversations to be had, yet those in managerial roles rarely receive training on this aspect of their job. A trusted speak-up system, effective communication and sanctions for any proven cases of bullying or harassment must all be implemented if a zero-tolerance approach is to be properly effective. A full summary of the debate is on our website. Bullying and harassment can have a significant and negative impact on a business, its employees and its work culture. Companies are expected to identify, prevent and address any such incidents. GoodCorporation has worked with leading organisations to help test and strengthen their anti-bullying and harassment procedures, using our Bullying and Harassment Framework.

Five steps to CFA compliance

Following the introduction of the Criminal Finances Act into UK legislation in 2017, organisations can now be held criminally liable for failing to prevent anyone acting for or on their behalf from facilitating the evasion of UK or foreign tax. Conviction comes with serious consequences, including a potentially unlimited fine. GoodCorporation has identified five critical factors that companies need to consider when implementing compliance with the new legislation. Click here to read the blog

New compliance toolkit

For smaller companies wishing to list, rapidly growing or suddenly under pressure from regulators, GoodCorporation has developed a compliance toolkit providing off-the-shelf compliance support to help build an effective programme or fill in any remaining gaps. Ten compliance tools are available, including code of conduct design and benchmarking; compliance policies and procedures; risk assessment as well as face-to-face and online training. Contact us for details.  

Forthcoming events

We are delighted that Lisa Osofsky, Director of the Serious Fraud Office, will open our debate with business leaders on the anti-corruption landscape. Held at the House of Lords on November 7, attendance is by invitation only. We are also holding a safeguarding discussion group on November 8, exploring the results of our recent survey and looking at safeguarding best practice for organisations.

In Brief...

Paris anti-corruption debate

Last month, GoodCorporation asked how French  companies are dealing with the country’s new anti-bribery law, looking at the challenges they face complying with this tough legislation. How are businesses and authorities responding?

Read the debate summary here

Assessing the drivers of ethical culture

Assessing the strength of key cultural drivers that underpin responsible decision making can help employers mitigate risks to both reputation and the bottom line.

Our article in Financial Management examines the issues.

 

Is GDPR over?

As GDPR came into force, it led to an avalanche of notifications and data protection requests. In October’s Ethical Corporation, we look at the steps taken to date, examine the compliance challenges and highlight emerging best practice.

Read the article here

Modern Slavery Act - Review

The Home Office has commissioned an independent review of the Modern Slavery Act. The aim of the review is to understand how the Act is operating in practice and whether the legal framework is fit for purpose. To contribute to the review, click here.

Summer 2018

Corporate culture key to UK Governance Code

Following the publication of the new UK Corporate Governance Code last month, corporate culture looks set to become a boardroom issue. Under the section on leadership and company purpose, the code states that a board ‘must establish the company’s purpose, values and strategy and satisfy itself that these and its culture are aligned’.

To do this, boards will be required to assess and monitor culture. Where they are not satisfied that these are aligned, the board is now expected to ‘seek assurances that the management has taken corrective action.’ Any activities and action taken by the board should be explained in the annual report.

In our white paper Measuring Ethical Culture, we argued that while culture may appear intangible and hard to measure, boards need to find a way to do just that. This will involve identifying the right culture indicators to enable them to assess whether good corporate behaviour is properly embedded.

This approach is supported by the Financial Reporting Council’s guidance on the new code which urges boards to identify and track typical features of a positive culture. Based on our experience of assessing and measuring corporate behaviour, we have identified the key drivers of an ethical company culture and devised a methodology to assist boards with the new monitoring and reporting demands.

Read the blog in full

GDPR is not over

May 25th was not the finishing line for GDPR. So while much of the panic may be over, there is still work to be done to ensure compliance with the new legislation.

Elizabeth Denham, the UK’s Information Commissioner, describes GDPR as an ongoing journey that requires continuous effort. Businesses will be expected to “continue to identify and address emerging privacy and security risks in the weeks, months and years beyond May 2018”.

Our latest blog summarises five key reasons why GDPR isn’t over and outlines what organisations need to do to ensure long-term compliance.

Read the blog in full

An ethical future for AI

Despite the widespread use of AI across a range of industries and services, no country has established, as yet, an ethical or legal framework to govern its development.

AI is still relatively embryonic, but the pace of change is rapid and the investment considerable. It has the potential to transform economies and benefit humanity, but to do this successfully it will need to be both reliable and trusted.

Businesses and those at the vanguard of AI development cannot afford to wait for regulators to set the bar and define the ethical or regulatory framework. Our blog explores some of the key ethical considerations.

Read the blog in full

In Brief...

Latest Debate

With poor corporate culture perceived to be a business risk in itself, what should companies be doing to mitigate that risk and ensure they have the right culture in place?

Our summer business ethics debate explored the value, strategic importance and practicalities of measuring corporate culture.

As with all our debates, the summary is on the website.

Ethics & compliance benchmarking

Does your organisation have a stand-alone ethics and compliance function? Who does it report to? How often are due diligence checks carried out on third parties?

These are just some of the questions we posed at the session on compliance programme benchmarking that we moderated at the C5 Anti-Corruption event this summer. The results are available on our blog.

Safeguarding survey

GoodCorporation has conducted its first safeguarding survey, inviting a range of organisations to respond.

The survey aimed to discover how organisations govern, resource, assess and monitor safeguarding.

The results will be published in a forthcoming paper. We will also be inviting respondents to a safeguarding event in September to review the findings. Contact us for details.

Sapin II debate in Paris

Following the success of our debate on the challenges of implementing GDPR, GoodCorporation will be hosting another discussion in Paris in September.

This time the debate will focus on the demands placed on French businesses by Sapin II.

The debate will take place at the Salons France Amériques on Thursday September 13. Contact us for more information.

Spring 2018

Managing AI along ethical lines

Artificial intelligence (AI) is already transforming our lives and our workplaces; robots carry out dangerous and repetitive tasks, machine-learning algorithms are being used to improve medical diagnoses and many of our cyber defences are AI powered. This week, one of the UK’s biggest hospitals, University College London, announced that it plans to use AI to radically improve its services.

As intelligent machines evolve, so too do the ethical questions that should govern these developments. If AI machines make mistakes that cause harm, who should be held responsible? AI systems learn through access to data, so what does that mean in terms of our right to privacy? And who, if anyone, should be responsible for the output of AI ‘thought’ processes?

Rightly, these questions are being posed at both national and international levels. Our latest blog takes a look at the steps being taken to develop the ethical and legal framework to govern the use of artificial intelligence.

How businesses utilise AI will have a significant impact on how they are trusted by society. GoodCorporation is exploring the ethical considerations that should govern the evolution of AI technologies and will be publishing updates in this newsletter and on our blog. A strong ethical code will require a multi-stakeholder approach. We would value any thoughts on our blog or direct to our inbox.

 

Managing human rights risks

While the majority of corporates make a firm commitment to protecting human rights in their code of conduct, the nature of modern businesses, with complex structures across diverse locations, means that this can be a challenging pledge to fulfill.

To be sure that human rights policies are properly respected across all sites, companies need a robust monitoring programme as well as strong policies and procedures.

This can be easier said than done. Our article on creating a worker welfare programme to set your business apart looks at some of the issues routinely faced when checking human rights across an international business.

Click here to read the article in full

 

ESG and value creation

A corporate scandal can decimate share value and not just in the immediate aftermath as the gory details hit the headlines. Shareholders in Volkswagen, Tesco, Toshiba and Rolls Royce are still suffering damage some four years after the scandals emerged.

Not surprisingly, investors are increasingly looking for indicators of long-term sustainability that will help mitigate risks and protect long-term investments.

Investment analysis that focuses solely on financial performance is no longer sufficient. Instead we now see more and more investors analysing ESG-related indicators alongside financial performance. Our latest blog explores this trend and what it may mean for businesses.

Click here to read the blog in full

 

 

In Brief...

Stay up-to-date

If you haven’t recently signed-up to continue receiving our quarterly newsletter and occasional product updates, please click the button below.

These emails contain the latest thinking in business ethics, compliance and best practice, together with summaries of our recent debates at the House of Lords.

We will only use your details for the purpose of sending you this information.

Click here to receive our newsletters

New team member

GoodCorporation is delighted to announce the appointment of  Jane Ellis as a company director.

Previously head of the International Bar Association’s Legal and Policy Research Unit, Jane is an Australian-qualified lawyer with expertise in competition law, anti-bribery law, corporate governance, whistleblower protection, diversity and business ethics.

Read Jane’s profile in full

See us at C5

GoodCorporation is a sponsor of C5’s Anti-Corruption conference, in London in June.

Readers of this newsletter can receive a 20% discount by quoting the code P20-999-GC18.

The conference will look at UKBA and FCPA  enforcement, how to evidence adequate procedures and managing risks in emerging markets, among other challenging topics.

Register here

New address

Since our last newsletter, GoodCorporation has expanded into larger offices, hopping over Putney Bridge to Fulham.

Our new London address is 2-3 Melbray Mews, London SW6 3NS. Phone numbers and emails stay the same.

If you’d like to visit us or find out more about what we do, get in touch.

Winter 2017/18

Criminal Finances Act increases pressure on businesses to demonstrate robust procedures

Effective since September 2017, The Criminal Finances Act places a new regulatory burden on corporates by introducing a criminal offence of failing to prevent the facilitation of tax evasion. As with the Bribery Act, this applies to the company or partnership and anyone acting for or on its behalf. Our business ethics debate in the Autumn explored the challenges that the Act brings, looking at the changes to culture, risk assessment, training and monitoring that the Act is likely to require in order to ensure a reasonable procedures defence. While much of the analysis has focused on the implications for lawyers, accountants and financial advisers, the offence will have a far wider reach than this in terms of who faces liability. Our blog takes a detailed look at the implications for business, covering the introduction of unexplained wealth orders, the extension of the suspicious activity report moratorium period and the enhanced ability of regulators to freeze and seize assets where there are grounds for suspicion. The Act also has far reaching consequences in terms of human rights, extending the definition of ‘unlawful conduct’ in the civil recovery regime to include gross human rights abuses. This means that UK prosecutors can freeze and seize assets alleged to be the product of a gross human rights abuse by an official or a person acting in an official capacity. This is a strict liability offence, so no defence is provided meaning that businesses have no choice but to ensure they have robust due diligence procedures that will uncover any risk of a connection to gross human rights abuses. Complying with a reasonable procedures defence can be challenging for companies. We have a framework for developing and implementing a robust system to ensure an organisation is properly protected. Contact us for more details.

David Green to lead our first business ethics debate of 2018

David Green will be opening the first GoodCorporation debate of 2018 which will examine the future of anti-corruption prosecution. As David nears the end of his term as director of the UK’s Serious Fraud Office, the debate will focus on where the SFO is heading and how Deferred Prosecution Agreements are likely to work, now that they have been established and tested. Hosted by Baroness Kingsmill, the debate will be held at the House of Lords on February 20. Attendance is by invitation only but please contact us if you are interested or would like to go on our invitation list for future events.  

New social contract or better business behaviour?

Having spent much of 2017 reporting on increasing concerns around excessive executive pay, tax avoidance, zero-hour contracts and automation, the Financial Times (paywall) began the year by stating that capitalism needs a new social contract. This isn’t the first time that new rules of engagement have been called for. While a renewed focus on the social contract would be no bad thing, what we really need to change are the soft and hard laws that dictate business behaviour. Better regulation can and should lead to better businesses that operate for the benefit of all stakeholders. The Financial Reporting Council has the opportunity to effect change as it considers revisions to the Corporate Governance Code. We will be responding in due course, calling for stronger requirements around evidencing that an organisation’s culture is properly underpinned by the ethical values that drive responsible business behaviour. This argument is also made by Christopher Hodges and Ruth Steinholz in their new book Ethical Business Practice and Regulation. In it, they propose that that ethical business regulation which requires businesses to evidence a commitment to ethical business practice, can maximise good outcomes for all stakeholders. We wait to see if and how this might be might be addressed in the new in Corporate Governance Code. Contact us for more information on measuring ethical culture.

In Brief...

GoodCorporation to hold first debate on data protection in Paris

Following the launch of our Paris office at the end of last year, GoodCorporation is holding its first French business ethics debate on the subject of data protection.

Jean-Baptiste Siproudhis, Head of Compliance at Atos, will be leading the discussion which is being held at the Salons France-Ameriques at lunchtime on March 15.

With French data protection regulator the CNIL celebrating its 40th anniversary in the year that the GDPR comes into effect, it is clear that data protection issues are more central than they have ever been. Our debate will explore the challenges business face to be compliant with GDPR by May 2018.

GoodCorporation has been working with UK companies to help them prepare for GDPR. Our work has involved risk mapping, auditing existing systems, training and system development.

GDPR Ready?

Many companies have undertaken significant projects to change processes and systems to comply with the new EU General Data Protection Regulation that comes into force in May.

Attention is now turning to board assurances and the best way to demonstrate that their organisation is GDPR ready.

GoodCorporation’s Data Protection Framework is providing a number of our clients with a measurement tool for assessing the effectiveness of the systems in place.

We have also been working with companies to carry out detailed data mapping exercises. Data can easily be misfiled or stored without the necessary protections, so getting this right is essential. We look beyond where data ought to be stored and talk to staff to get a clear idea of how data flows through the organisation. This is also helpful for highlighting to senior management what is working and where improvements are needed.

To find out more, please contact Gareth Thomas who is leading our GDPR work and also view our GDPR readiness check.

Contributing to the debate

Following the publication of our recommendations to promote responsible gambling, GoodCorporation has responded to the UK Government’s gambling consultation.

We support the Government’s proposals to reduce maximum stakes on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals. In addition to the social responsibility measures put forward, we have recommended that more needs to be done around monitoring controls, training and self-exclusion. Read our response in full here.

December 2019

In Brief...

Summer 2019

In Brief...

Spring 2019

In Brief...

Winter 2018

Business ethics trends for 2019

Ethical conduct was firmly in the spotlight for much of 2018 and for a variety of reasons, from the #MeToo movement which pushed bullying and harassment onto board agendas, through to the implementation of GDPR which turned us all into data privacy experts.

Despite the many geopolitical challenges around the world and the many forecasts predicting a slowdown in global economic growth, the impetus for businesses to be run ethically will continue in 2019. As the Financial Reporting Council states, poor ethical conduct is a business risk in itself.

Our first blog post for 2019 looks forward to the business ethics areas that look set to dominate over the coming months including culture measurement, ESG, data protection, human rights and economic crime.

Much of this is being driven by regulation. Businesses cannot afford to turn a blind eye and hope that nothing goes wrong. Corporate leaders need to set the right tone and back it up with actions.

Read the blog in full

The changing face of anti-corruption prosecution

GoodCorporation was delighted that Lisa Osofsky, director of the Serious Fraud Office, was able to open our debate on the changing landscape of anti-corruption prosecution.

Emphasising that the SFO will continue its robust approach to prosecution, Osofsky stated that those in law enforcement are likely to be working ever more closely to build successful cases. Not only will this involve increased cooperation and information sharing, it will also require a change in investigative methods with digital forensic capability becoming a priority.

The SFO recognises that companies have made significant progress in their anti-corruption efforts and are increasingly ready to listen to those willing to talk. Deferred Prosecution Agreements are felt to be effective and the SFO is considering drafting guidance to help companies understand what cooperation with the SFO means.

Read debate summary

Are ESG investments changing corporate behaviour?

As the purpose versus profit debate continues to gather momentum, GoodCorporation’s final debate of 2018 asked whether investors and the focus on ESG funding are starting to drive change?

Georg Kell, chairman of Arabesque Partners and the founding director of the UN Global Compact opened the discussion by suggesting that there is now a real alignment between sustainable finance and responsible business practice.

Today, ESG investing is estimated at around $20 trillion in assets under management and this is likely to grow according to Kell. This presents a real opportunity for those corporates in a position to present strong ESG information that will enable them to access this capital.

As for changing behaviour, there is evidence that this is starting, but there is still a way to go.

Read debate summary

In Brief...

GoodCorporation speaking at Chatham House

GoodCorporation Director Jane Ellis will be exploring the role of corporate governance in setting the standards for responsible business practice at the third annual Chatham House Responsible Business conference. The event is taking place at Chatham House on Feb 28.

Book tickets here

The challenge of ESG

ESG is a challenge for many companies, but some are starting to realise that fund managers are not investing in building ESG teams to tick boxes or review paper.

Our work with Yara shows how some of the innovators are responding.

Read our blog

Ethics & compliance in French companies

Tough new French legislation has placed ethics and compliance issues at the forefront for French companies.

Some are already leading the way, others are investing time and resources. We summarise how our French company has been working with businesses on a range of ethics issues.

Read our blog

New supplier code of conduct at the FCO

The Foreign and Commonwealth office has raised the bar on checking modern slavery obligations in the supply chain with a tough new Supplier Code of Conduct.

Our article looks at the FCO’s expectations and what this means for businesses tendering for government work.

Read the article

Autumn 2018

Tackling bullying and harassment in the workplace

  GoodCorporation’s October debate at the House of Lords asked why bullying and harassment are still issues in the workplace and what business can do to tackle this. Rachel Crasnow QC led the discussion emphasising the importance of training for all staff, particularly managers. Managing people often requires difficult conversations to be had, yet those in managerial roles rarely receive training on this aspect of their job. A trusted speak-up system, effective communication and sanctions for any proven cases of bullying or harassment must all be implemented if a zero-tolerance approach is to be properly effective. A full summary of the debate is on our website. Bullying and harassment can have a significant and negative impact on a business, its employees and its work culture. Companies are expected to identify, prevent and address any such incidents. GoodCorporation has worked with leading organisations to help test and strengthen their anti-bullying and harassment procedures, using our Bullying and Harassment Framework.

Five steps to CFA compliance

Following the introduction of the Criminal Finances Act into UK legislation in 2017, organisations can now be held criminally liable for failing to prevent anyone acting for or on their behalf from facilitating the evasion of UK or foreign tax. Conviction comes with serious consequences, including a potentially unlimited fine. GoodCorporation has identified five critical factors that companies need to consider when implementing compliance with the new legislation. Click here to read the blog

New compliance toolkit

For smaller companies wishing to list, rapidly growing or suddenly under pressure from regulators, GoodCorporation has developed a compliance toolkit providing off-the-shelf compliance support to help build an effective programme or fill in any remaining gaps. Ten compliance tools are available, including code of conduct design and benchmarking; compliance policies and procedures; risk assessment as well as face-to-face and online training. Contact us for details.  

Forthcoming events

We are delighted that Lisa Osofsky, Director of the Serious Fraud Office, will open our debate with business leaders on the anti-corruption landscape. Held at the House of Lords on November 7, attendance is by invitation only. We are also holding a safeguarding discussion group on November 8, exploring the results of our recent survey and looking at safeguarding best practice for organisations.

In Brief...

Paris anti-corruption debate

Last month, GoodCorporation asked how French  companies are dealing with the country’s new anti-bribery law, looking at the challenges they face complying with this tough legislation. How are businesses and authorities responding?

Read the debate summary here

Assessing the drivers of ethical culture

Assessing the strength of key cultural drivers that underpin responsible decision making can help employers mitigate risks to both reputation and the bottom line.

Our article in Financial Management examines the issues.

 

Is GDPR over?

As GDPR came into force, it led to an avalanche of notifications and data protection requests. In October’s Ethical Corporation, we look at the steps taken to date, examine the compliance challenges and highlight emerging best practice.

Read the article here

Modern Slavery Act - Review

The Home Office has commissioned an independent review of the Modern Slavery Act. The aim of the review is to understand how the Act is operating in practice and whether the legal framework is fit for purpose. To contribute to the review, click here.

Summer 2018

Corporate culture key to UK Governance Code

Following the publication of the new UK Corporate Governance Code last month, corporate culture looks set to become a boardroom issue. Under the section on leadership and company purpose, the code states that a board ‘must establish the company’s purpose, values and strategy and satisfy itself that these and its culture are aligned’.

To do this, boards will be required to assess and monitor culture. Where they are not satisfied that these are aligned, the board is now expected to ‘seek assurances that the management has taken corrective action.’ Any activities and action taken by the board should be explained in the annual report.

In our white paper Measuring Ethical Culture, we argued that while culture may appear intangible and hard to measure, boards need to find a way to do just that. This will involve identifying the right culture indicators to enable them to assess whether good corporate behaviour is properly embedded.

This approach is supported by the Financial Reporting Council’s guidance on the new code which urges boards to identify and track typical features of a positive culture. Based on our experience of assessing and measuring corporate behaviour, we have identified the key drivers of an ethical company culture and devised a methodology to assist boards with the new monitoring and reporting demands.

Read the blog in full

GDPR is not over

May 25th was not the finishing line for GDPR. So while much of the panic may be over, there is still work to be done to ensure compliance with the new legislation.

Elizabeth Denham, the UK’s Information Commissioner, describes GDPR as an ongoing journey that requires continuous effort. Businesses will be expected to “continue to identify and address emerging privacy and security risks in the weeks, months and years beyond May 2018”.

Our latest blog summarises five key reasons why GDPR isn’t over and outlines what organisations need to do to ensure long-term compliance.

Read the blog in full

An ethical future for AI

Despite the widespread use of AI across a range of industries and services, no country has established, as yet, an ethical or legal framework to govern its development.

AI is still relatively embryonic, but the pace of change is rapid and the investment considerable. It has the potential to transform economies and benefit humanity, but to do this successfully it will need to be both reliable and trusted.

Businesses and those at the vanguard of AI development cannot afford to wait for regulators to set the bar and define the ethical or regulatory framework. Our blog explores some of the key ethical considerations.

Read the blog in full

In Brief...

Latest Debate

With poor corporate culture perceived to be a business risk in itself, what should companies be doing to mitigate that risk and ensure they have the right culture in place?

Our summer business ethics debate explored the value, strategic importance and practicalities of measuring corporate culture.

As with all our debates, the summary is on the website.

Ethics & compliance benchmarking

Does your organisation have a stand-alone ethics and compliance function? Who does it report to? How often are due diligence checks carried out on third parties?

These are just some of the questions we posed at the session on compliance programme benchmarking that we moderated at the C5 Anti-Corruption event this summer. The results are available on our blog.

Safeguarding survey

GoodCorporation has conducted its first safeguarding survey, inviting a range of organisations to respond.

The survey aimed to discover how organisations govern, resource, assess and monitor safeguarding.

The results will be published in a forthcoming paper. We will also be inviting respondents to a safeguarding event in September to review the findings. Contact us for details.

Sapin II debate in Paris

Following the success of our debate on the challenges of implementing GDPR, GoodCorporation will be hosting another discussion in Paris in September.

This time the debate will focus on the demands placed on French businesses by Sapin II.

The debate will take place at the Salons France Amériques on Thursday September 13. Contact us for more information.

Spring 2018

Managing AI along ethical lines

Artificial intelligence (AI) is already transforming our lives and our workplaces; robots carry out dangerous and repetitive tasks, machine-learning algorithms are being used to improve medical diagnoses and many of our cyber defences are AI powered. This week, one of the UK’s biggest hospitals, University College London, announced that it plans to use AI to radically improve its services.

As intelligent machines evolve, so too do the ethical questions that should govern these developments. If AI machines make mistakes that cause harm, who should be held responsible? AI systems learn through access to data, so what does that mean in terms of our right to privacy? And who, if anyone, should be responsible for the output of AI ‘thought’ processes?

Rightly, these questions are being posed at both national and international levels. Our latest blog takes a look at the steps being taken to develop the ethical and legal framework to govern the use of artificial intelligence.

How businesses utilise AI will have a significant impact on how they are trusted by society. GoodCorporation is exploring the ethical considerations that should govern the evolution of AI technologies and will be publishing updates in this newsletter and on our blog. A strong ethical code will require a multi-stakeholder approach. We would value any thoughts on our blog or direct to our inbox.

 

Managing human rights risks

While the majority of corporates make a firm commitment to protecting human rights in their code of conduct, the nature of modern businesses, with complex structures across diverse locations, means that this can be a challenging pledge to fulfill.

To be sure that human rights policies are properly respected across all sites, companies need a robust monitoring programme as well as strong policies and procedures.

This can be easier said than done. Our article on creating a worker welfare programme to set your business apart looks at some of the issues routinely faced when checking human rights across an international business.

Click here to read the article in full

 

ESG and value creation

A corporate scandal can decimate share value and not just in the immediate aftermath as the gory details hit the headlines. Shareholders in Volkswagen, Tesco, Toshiba and Rolls Royce are still suffering damage some four years after the scandals emerged.

Not surprisingly, investors are increasingly looking for indicators of long-term sustainability that will help mitigate risks and protect long-term investments.

Investment analysis that focuses solely on financial performance is no longer sufficient. Instead we now see more and more investors analysing ESG-related indicators alongside financial performance. Our latest blog explores this trend and what it may mean for businesses.

Click here to read the blog in full

 

 

In Brief...

Stay up-to-date

If you haven’t recently signed-up to continue receiving our quarterly newsletter and occasional product updates, please click the button below.

These emails contain the latest thinking in business ethics, compliance and best practice, together with summaries of our recent debates at the House of Lords.

We will only use your details for the purpose of sending you this information.

Click here to receive our newsletters

New team member

GoodCorporation is delighted to announce the appointment of  Jane Ellis as a company director.

Previously head of the International Bar Association’s Legal and Policy Research Unit, Jane is an Australian-qualified lawyer with expertise in competition law, anti-bribery law, corporate governance, whistleblower protection, diversity and business ethics.

Read Jane’s profile in full

See us at C5

GoodCorporation is a sponsor of C5’s Anti-Corruption conference, in London in June.

Readers of this newsletter can receive a 20% discount by quoting the code P20-999-GC18.

The conference will look at UKBA and FCPA  enforcement, how to evidence adequate procedures and managing risks in emerging markets, among other challenging topics.

Register here

New address

Since our last newsletter, GoodCorporation has expanded into larger offices, hopping over Putney Bridge to Fulham.

Our new London address is 2-3 Melbray Mews, London SW6 3NS. Phone numbers and emails stay the same.

If you’d like to visit us or find out more about what we do, get in touch.

Winter 2017/18

Criminal Finances Act increases pressure on businesses to demonstrate robust procedures

Effective since September 2017, The Criminal Finances Act places a new regulatory burden on corporates by introducing a criminal offence of failing to prevent the facilitation of tax evasion. As with the Bribery Act, this applies to the company or partnership and anyone acting for or on its behalf. Our business ethics debate in the Autumn explored the challenges that the Act brings, looking at the changes to culture, risk assessment, training and monitoring that the Act is likely to require in order to ensure a reasonable procedures defence. While much of the analysis has focused on the implications for lawyers, accountants and financial advisers, the offence will have a far wider reach than this in terms of who faces liability. Our blog takes a detailed look at the implications for business, covering the introduction of unexplained wealth orders, the extension of the suspicious activity report moratorium period and the enhanced ability of regulators to freeze and seize assets where there are grounds for suspicion. The Act also has far reaching consequences in terms of human rights, extending the definition of ‘unlawful conduct’ in the civil recovery regime to include gross human rights abuses. This means that UK prosecutors can freeze and seize assets alleged to be the product of a gross human rights abuse by an official or a person acting in an official capacity. This is a strict liability offence, so no defence is provided meaning that businesses have no choice but to ensure they have robust due diligence procedures that will uncover any risk of a connection to gross human rights abuses. Complying with a reasonable procedures defence can be challenging for companies. We have a framework for developing and implementing a robust system to ensure an organisation is properly protected. Contact us for more details.

David Green to lead our first business ethics debate of 2018

David Green will be opening the first GoodCorporation debate of 2018 which will examine the future of anti-corruption prosecution. As David nears the end of his term as director of the UK’s Serious Fraud Office, the debate will focus on where the SFO is heading and how Deferred Prosecution Agreements are likely to work, now that they have been established and tested. Hosted by Baroness Kingsmill, the debate will be held at the House of Lords on February 20. Attendance is by invitation only but please contact us if you are interested or would like to go on our invitation list for future events.  

New social contract or better business behaviour?

Having spent much of 2017 reporting on increasing concerns around excessive executive pay, tax avoidance, zero-hour contracts and automation, the Financial Times (paywall) began the year by stating that capitalism needs a new social contract. This isn’t the first time that new rules of engagement have been called for. While a renewed focus on the social contract would be no bad thing, what we really need to change are the soft and hard laws that dictate business behaviour. Better regulation can and should lead to better businesses that operate for the benefit of all stakeholders. The Financial Reporting Council has the opportunity to effect change as it considers revisions to the Corporate Governance Code. We will be responding in due course, calling for stronger requirements around evidencing that an organisation’s culture is properly underpinned by the ethical values that drive responsible business behaviour. This argument is also made by Christopher Hodges and Ruth Steinholz in their new book Ethical Business Practice and Regulation. In it, they propose that that ethical business regulation which requires businesses to evidence a commitment to ethical business practice, can maximise good outcomes for all stakeholders. We wait to see if and how this might be might be addressed in the new in Corporate Governance Code. Contact us for more information on measuring ethical culture.

In Brief...

GoodCorporation to hold first debate on data protection in Paris

Following the launch of our Paris office at the end of last year, GoodCorporation is holding its first French business ethics debate on the subject of data protection.

Jean-Baptiste Siproudhis, Head of Compliance at Atos, will be leading the discussion which is being held at the Salons France-Ameriques at lunchtime on March 15.

With French data protection regulator the CNIL celebrating its 40th anniversary in the year that the GDPR comes into effect, it is clear that data protection issues are more central than they have ever been. Our debate will explore the challenges business face to be compliant with GDPR by May 2018.

GoodCorporation has been working with UK companies to help them prepare for GDPR. Our work has involved risk mapping, auditing existing systems, training and system development.

GDPR Ready?

Many companies have undertaken significant projects to change processes and systems to comply with the new EU General Data Protection Regulation that comes into force in May.

Attention is now turning to board assurances and the best way to demonstrate that their organisation is GDPR ready.

GoodCorporation’s Data Protection Framework is providing a number of our clients with a measurement tool for assessing the effectiveness of the systems in place.

We have also been working with companies to carry out detailed data mapping exercises. Data can easily be misfiled or stored without the necessary protections, so getting this right is essential. We look beyond where data ought to be stored and talk to staff to get a clear idea of how data flows through the organisation. This is also helpful for highlighting to senior management what is working and where improvements are needed.

To find out more, please contact Gareth Thomas who is leading our GDPR work and also view our GDPR readiness check.

Contributing to the debate

Following the publication of our recommendations to promote responsible gambling, GoodCorporation has responded to the UK Government’s gambling consultation.

We support the Government’s proposals to reduce maximum stakes on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals. In addition to the social responsibility measures put forward, we have recommended that more needs to be done around monitoring controls, training and self-exclusion. Read our response in full here.

December 2019

In Brief...

Summer 2019

In Brief...

Spring 2019

In Brief...

Winter 2018

Business ethics trends for 2019

Ethical conduct was firmly in the spotlight for much of 2018 and for a variety of reasons, from the #MeToo movement which pushed bullying and harassment onto board agendas, through to the implementation of GDPR which turned us all into data privacy experts.

Despite the many geopolitical challenges around the world and the many forecasts predicting a slowdown in global economic growth, the impetus for businesses to be run ethically will continue in 2019. As the Financial Reporting Council states, poor ethical conduct is a business risk in itself.

Our first blog post for 2019 looks forward to the business ethics areas that look set to dominate over the coming months including culture measurement, ESG, data protection, human rights and economic crime.

Much of this is being driven by regulation. Businesses cannot afford to turn a blind eye and hope that nothing goes wrong. Corporate leaders need to set the right tone and back it up with actions.

Read the blog in full

The changing face of anti-corruption prosecution

GoodCorporation was delighted that Lisa Osofsky, director of the Serious Fraud Office, was able to open our debate on the changing landscape of anti-corruption prosecution.

Emphasising that the SFO will continue its robust approach to prosecution, Osofsky stated that those in law enforcement are likely to be working ever more closely to build successful cases. Not only will this involve increased cooperation and information sharing, it will also require a change in investigative methods with digital forensic capability becoming a priority.

The SFO recognises that companies have made significant progress in their anti-corruption efforts and are increasingly ready to listen to those willing to talk. Deferred Prosecution Agreements are felt to be effective and the SFO is considering drafting guidance to help companies understand what cooperation with the SFO means.

Read debate summary

Are ESG investments changing corporate behaviour?

As the purpose versus profit debate continues to gather momentum, GoodCorporation’s final debate of 2018 asked whether investors and the focus on ESG funding are starting to drive change?

Georg Kell, chairman of Arabesque Partners and the founding director of the UN Global Compact opened the discussion by suggesting that there is now a real alignment between sustainable finance and responsible business practice.

Today, ESG investing is estimated at around $20 trillion in assets under management and this is likely to grow according to Kell. This presents a real opportunity for those corporates in a position to present strong ESG information that will enable them to access this capital.

As for changing behaviour, there is evidence that this is starting, but there is still a way to go.

Read debate summary

In Brief...

GoodCorporation speaking at Chatham House

GoodCorporation Director Jane Ellis will be exploring the role of corporate governance in setting the standards for responsible business practice at the third annual Chatham House Responsible Business conference. The event is taking place at Chatham House on Feb 28.

Book tickets here

The challenge of ESG

ESG is a challenge for many companies, but some are starting to realise that fund managers are not investing in building ESG teams to tick boxes or review paper.

Our work with Yara shows how some of the innovators are responding.

Read our blog

Ethics & compliance in French companies

Tough new French legislation has placed ethics and compliance issues at the forefront for French companies.

Some are already leading the way, others are investing time and resources. We summarise how our French company has been working with businesses on a range of ethics issues.

Read our blog

New supplier code of conduct at the FCO

The Foreign and Commonwealth office has raised the bar on checking modern slavery obligations in the supply chain with a tough new Supplier Code of Conduct.

Our article looks at the FCO’s expectations and what this means for businesses tendering for government work.

Read the article

Autumn 2018

Tackling bullying and harassment in the workplace

  GoodCorporation’s October debate at the House of Lords asked why bullying and harassment are still issues in the workplace and what business can do to tackle this. Rachel Crasnow QC led the discussion emphasising the importance of training for all staff, particularly managers. Managing people often requires difficult conversations to be had, yet those in managerial roles rarely receive training on this aspect of their job. A trusted speak-up system, effective communication and sanctions for any proven cases of bullying or harassment must all be implemented if a zero-tolerance approach is to be properly effective. A full summary of the debate is on our website. Bullying and harassment can have a significant and negative impact on a business, its employees and its work culture. Companies are expected to identify, prevent and address any such incidents. GoodCorporation has worked with leading organisations to help test and strengthen their anti-bullying and harassment procedures, using our Bullying and Harassment Framework.

Five steps to CFA compliance

Following the introduction of the Criminal Finances Act into UK legislation in 2017, organisations can now be held criminally liable for failing to prevent anyone acting for or on their behalf from facilitating the evasion of UK or foreign tax. Conviction comes with serious consequences, including a potentially unlimited fine. GoodCorporation has identified five critical factors that companies need to consider when implementing compliance with the new legislation. Click here to read the blog

New compliance toolkit

For smaller companies wishing to list, rapidly growing or suddenly under pressure from regulators, GoodCorporation has developed a compliance toolkit providing off-the-shelf compliance support to help build an effective programme or fill in any remaining gaps. Ten compliance tools are available, including code of conduct design and benchmarking; compliance policies and procedures; risk assessment as well as face-to-face and online training. Contact us for details.  

Forthcoming events

We are delighted that Lisa Osofsky, Director of the Serious Fraud Office, will open our debate with business leaders on the anti-corruption landscape. Held at the House of Lords on November 7, attendance is by invitation only. We are also holding a safeguarding discussion group on November 8, exploring the results of our recent survey and looking at safeguarding best practice for organisations.

In Brief...

Paris anti-corruption debate

Last month, GoodCorporation asked how French  companies are dealing with the country’s new anti-bribery law, looking at the challenges they face complying with this tough legislation. How are businesses and authorities responding?

Read the debate summary here

Assessing the drivers of ethical culture

Assessing the strength of key cultural drivers that underpin responsible decision making can help employers mitigate risks to both reputation and the bottom line.

Our article in Financial Management examines the issues.

 

Is GDPR over?

As GDPR came into force, it led to an avalanche of notifications and data protection requests. In October’s Ethical Corporation, we look at the steps taken to date, examine the compliance challenges and highlight emerging best practice.

Read the article here

Modern Slavery Act - Review

The Home Office has commissioned an independent review of the Modern Slavery Act. The aim of the review is to understand how the Act is operating in practice and whether the legal framework is fit for purpose. To contribute to the review, click here.

Summer 2018

Corporate culture key to UK Governance Code

Following the publication of the new UK Corporate Governance Code last month, corporate culture looks set to become a boardroom issue. Under the section on leadership and company purpose, the code states that a board ‘must establish the company’s purpose, values and strategy and satisfy itself that these and its culture are aligned’.

To do this, boards will be required to assess and monitor culture. Where they are not satisfied that these are aligned, the board is now expected to ‘seek assurances that the management has taken corrective action.’ Any activities and action taken by the board should be explained in the annual report.

In our white paper Measuring Ethical Culture, we argued that while culture may appear intangible and hard to measure, boards need to find a way to do just that. This will involve identifying the right culture indicators to enable them to assess whether good corporate behaviour is properly embedded.

This approach is supported by the Financial Reporting Council’s guidance on the new code which urges boards to identify and track typical features of a positive culture. Based on our experience of assessing and measuring corporate behaviour, we have identified the key drivers of an ethical company culture and devised a methodology to assist boards with the new monitoring and reporting demands.

Read the blog in full

GDPR is not over

May 25th was not the finishing line for GDPR. So while much of the panic may be over, there is still work to be done to ensure compliance with the new legislation.

Elizabeth Denham, the UK’s Information Commissioner, describes GDPR as an ongoing journey that requires continuous effort. Businesses will be expected to “continue to identify and address emerging privacy and security risks in the weeks, months and years beyond May 2018”.

Our latest blog summarises five key reasons why GDPR isn’t over and outlines what organisations need to do to ensure long-term compliance.

Read the blog in full

An ethical future for AI

Despite the widespread use of AI across a range of industries and services, no country has established, as yet, an ethical or legal framework to govern its development.

AI is still relatively embryonic, but the pace of change is rapid and the investment considerable. It has the potential to transform economies and benefit humanity, but to do this successfully it will need to be both reliable and trusted.

Businesses and those at the vanguard of AI development cannot afford to wait for regulators to set the bar and define the ethical or regulatory framework. Our blog explores some of the key ethical considerations.

Read the blog in full

In Brief...

Latest Debate

With poor corporate culture perceived to be a business risk in itself, what should companies be doing to mitigate that risk and ensure they have the right culture in place?

Our summer business ethics debate explored the value, strategic importance and practicalities of measuring corporate culture.

As with all our debates, the summary is on the website.

Ethics & compliance benchmarking

Does your organisation have a stand-alone ethics and compliance function? Who does it report to? How often are due diligence checks carried out on third parties?

These are just some of the questions we posed at the session on compliance programme benchmarking that we moderated at the C5 Anti-Corruption event this summer. The results are available on our blog.

Safeguarding survey

GoodCorporation has conducted its first safeguarding survey, inviting a range of organisations to respond.

The survey aimed to discover how organisations govern, resource, assess and monitor safeguarding.

The results will be published in a forthcoming paper. We will also be inviting respondents to a safeguarding event in September to review the findings. Contact us for details.

Sapin II debate in Paris

Following the success of our debate on the challenges of implementing GDPR, GoodCorporation will be hosting another discussion in Paris in September.

This time the debate will focus on the demands placed on French businesses by Sapin II.

The debate will take place at the Salons France Amériques on Thursday September 13. Contact us for more information.

Spring 2018

Managing AI along ethical lines

Artificial intelligence (AI) is already transforming our lives and our workplaces; robots carry out dangerous and repetitive tasks, machine-learning algorithms are being used to improve medical diagnoses and many of our cyber defences are AI powered. This week, one of the UK’s biggest hospitals, University College London, announced that it plans to use AI to radically improve its services.

As intelligent machines evolve, so too do the ethical questions that should govern these developments. If AI machines make mistakes that cause harm, who should be held responsible? AI systems learn through access to data, so what does that mean in terms of our right to privacy? And who, if anyone, should be responsible for the output of AI ‘thought’ processes?

Rightly, these questions are being posed at both national and international levels. Our latest blog takes a look at the steps being taken to develop the ethical and legal framework to govern the use of artificial intelligence.

How businesses utilise AI will have a significant impact on how they are trusted by society. GoodCorporation is exploring the ethical considerations that should govern the evolution of AI technologies and will be publishing updates in this newsletter and on our blog. A strong ethical code will require a multi-stakeholder approach. We would value any thoughts on our blog or direct to our inbox.

 

Managing human rights risks

While the majority of corporates make a firm commitment to protecting human rights in their code of conduct, the nature of modern businesses, with complex structures across diverse locations, means that this can be a challenging pledge to fulfill.

To be sure that human rights policies are properly respected across all sites, companies need a robust monitoring programme as well as strong policies and procedures.

This can be easier said than done. Our article on creating a worker welfare programme to set your business apart looks at some of the issues routinely faced when checking human rights across an international business.

Click here to read the article in full

 

ESG and value creation

A corporate scandal can decimate share value and not just in the immediate aftermath as the gory details hit the headlines. Shareholders in Volkswagen, Tesco, Toshiba and Rolls Royce are still suffering damage some four years after the scandals emerged.

Not surprisingly, investors are increasingly looking for indicators of long-term sustainability that will help mitigate risks and protect long-term investments.

Investment analysis that focuses solely on financial performance is no longer sufficient. Instead we now see more and more investors analysing ESG-related indicators alongside financial performance. Our latest blog explores this trend and what it may mean for businesses.

Click here to read the blog in full

 

 

In Brief...

Stay up-to-date

If you haven’t recently signed-up to continue receiving our quarterly newsletter and occasional product updates, please click the button below.

These emails contain the latest thinking in business ethics, compliance and best practice, together with summaries of our recent debates at the House of Lords.

We will only use your details for the purpose of sending you this information.

Click here to receive our newsletters

New team member

GoodCorporation is delighted to announce the appointment of  Jane Ellis as a company director.

Previously head of the International Bar Association’s Legal and Policy Research Unit, Jane is an Australian-qualified lawyer with expertise in competition law, anti-bribery law, corporate governance, whistleblower protection, diversity and business ethics.

Read Jane’s profile in full

See us at C5

GoodCorporation is a sponsor of C5’s Anti-Corruption conference, in London in June.

Readers of this newsletter can receive a 20% discount by quoting the code P20-999-GC18.

The conference will look at UKBA and FCPA  enforcement, how to evidence adequate procedures and managing risks in emerging markets, among other challenging topics.

Register here

New address

Since our last newsletter, GoodCorporation has expanded into larger offices, hopping over Putney Bridge to Fulham.

Our new London address is 2-3 Melbray Mews, London SW6 3NS. Phone numbers and emails stay the same.

If you’d like to visit us or find out more about what we do, get in touch.

Winter 2017/18

Criminal Finances Act increases pressure on businesses to demonstrate robust procedures

Effective since September 2017, The Criminal Finances Act places a new regulatory burden on corporates by introducing a criminal offence of failing to prevent the facilitation of tax evasion. As with the Bribery Act, this applies to the company or partnership and anyone acting for or on its behalf. Our business ethics debate in the Autumn explored the challenges that the Act brings, looking at the changes to culture, risk assessment, training and monitoring that the Act is likely to require in order to ensure a reasonable procedures defence. While much of the analysis has focused on the implications for lawyers, accountants and financial advisers, the offence will have a far wider reach than this in terms of who faces liability. Our blog takes a detailed look at the implications for business, covering the introduction of unexplained wealth orders, the extension of the suspicious activity report moratorium period and the enhanced ability of regulators to freeze and seize assets where there are grounds for suspicion. The Act also has far reaching consequences in terms of human rights, extending the definition of ‘unlawful conduct’ in the civil recovery regime to include gross human rights abuses. This means that UK prosecutors can freeze and seize assets alleged to be the product of a gross human rights abuse by an official or a person acting in an official capacity. This is a strict liability offence, so no defence is provided meaning that businesses have no choice but to ensure they have robust due diligence procedures that will uncover any risk of a connection to gross human rights abuses. Complying with a reasonable procedures defence can be challenging for companies. We have a framework for developing and implementing a robust system to ensure an organisation is properly protected. Contact us for more details.

David Green to lead our first business ethics debate of 2018

David Green will be opening the first GoodCorporation debate of 2018 which will examine the future of anti-corruption prosecution. As David nears the end of his term as director of the UK’s Serious Fraud Office, the debate will focus on where the SFO is heading and how Deferred Prosecution Agreements are likely to work, now that they have been established and tested. Hosted by Baroness Kingsmill, the debate will be held at the House of Lords on February 20. Attendance is by invitation only but please contact us if you are interested or would like to go on our invitation list for future events.  

New social contract or better business behaviour?

Having spent much of 2017 reporting on increasing concerns around excessive executive pay, tax avoidance, zero-hour contracts and automation, the Financial Times (paywall) began the year by stating that capitalism needs a new social contract. This isn’t the first time that new rules of engagement have been called for. While a renewed focus on the social contract would be no bad thing, what we really need to change are the soft and hard laws that dictate business behaviour. Better regulation can and should lead to better businesses that operate for the benefit of all stakeholders. The Financial Reporting Council has the opportunity to effect change as it considers revisions to the Corporate Governance Code. We will be responding in due course, calling for stronger requirements around evidencing that an organisation’s culture is properly underpinned by the ethical values that drive responsible business behaviour. This argument is also made by Christopher Hodges and Ruth Steinholz in their new book Ethical Business Practice and Regulation. In it, they propose that that ethical business regulation which requires businesses to evidence a commitment to ethical business practice, can maximise good outcomes for all stakeholders. We wait to see if and how this might be might be addressed in the new in Corporate Governance Code. Contact us for more information on measuring ethical culture.

In Brief...

GoodCorporation to hold first debate on data protection in Paris

Following the launch of our Paris office at the end of last year, GoodCorporation is holding its first French business ethics debate on the subject of data protection.

Jean-Baptiste Siproudhis, Head of Compliance at Atos, will be leading the discussion which is being held at the Salons France-Ameriques at lunchtime on March 15.

With French data protection regulator the CNIL celebrating its 40th anniversary in the year that the GDPR comes into effect, it is clear that data protection issues are more central than they have ever been. Our debate will explore the challenges business face to be compliant with GDPR by May 2018.

GoodCorporation has been working with UK companies to help them prepare for GDPR. Our work has involved risk mapping, auditing existing systems, training and system development.

GDPR Ready?

Many companies have undertaken significant projects to change processes and systems to comply with the new EU General Data Protection Regulation that comes into force in May.

Attention is now turning to board assurances and the best way to demonstrate that their organisation is GDPR ready.

GoodCorporation’s Data Protection Framework is providing a number of our clients with a measurement tool for assessing the effectiveness of the systems in place.

We have also been working with companies to carry out detailed data mapping exercises. Data can easily be misfiled or stored without the necessary protections, so getting this right is essential. We look beyond where data ought to be stored and talk to staff to get a clear idea of how data flows through the organisation. This is also helpful for highlighting to senior management what is working and where improvements are needed.

To find out more, please contact Gareth Thomas who is leading our GDPR work and also view our GDPR readiness check.

Contributing to the debate

Following the publication of our recommendations to promote responsible gambling, GoodCorporation has responded to the UK Government’s gambling consultation.

We support the Government’s proposals to reduce maximum stakes on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals. In addition to the social responsibility measures put forward, we have recommended that more needs to be done around monitoring controls, training and self-exclusion. Read our response in full here.

December 2019

In Brief...

Summer 2019

In Brief...

Spring 2019

In Brief...

Winter 2018

Business ethics trends for 2019

Ethical conduct was firmly in the spotlight for much of 2018 and for a variety of reasons, from the #MeToo movement which pushed bullying and harassment onto board agendas, through to the implementation of GDPR which turned us all into data privacy experts.

Despite the many geopolitical challenges around the world and the many forecasts predicting a slowdown in global economic growth, the impetus for businesses to be run ethically will continue in 2019. As the Financial Reporting Council states, poor ethical conduct is a business risk in itself.

Our first blog post for 2019 looks forward to the business ethics areas that look set to dominate over the coming months including culture measurement, ESG, data protection, human rights and economic crime.

Much of this is being driven by regulation. Businesses cannot afford to turn a blind eye and hope that nothing goes wrong. Corporate leaders need to set the right tone and back it up with actions.

Read the blog in full

The changing face of anti-corruption prosecution

GoodCorporation was delighted that Lisa Osofsky, director of the Serious Fraud Office, was able to open our debate on the changing landscape of anti-corruption prosecution.

Emphasising that the SFO will continue its robust approach to prosecution, Osofsky stated that those in law enforcement are likely to be working ever more closely to build successful cases. Not only will this involve increased cooperation and information sharing, it will also require a change in investigative methods with digital forensic capability becoming a priority.

The SFO recognises that companies have made significant progress in their anti-corruption efforts and are increasingly ready to listen to those willing to talk. Deferred Prosecution Agreements are felt to be effective and the SFO is considering drafting guidance to help companies understand what cooperation with the SFO means.

Read debate summary

Are ESG investments changing corporate behaviour?

As the purpose versus profit debate continues to gather momentum, GoodCorporation’s final debate of 2018 asked whether investors and the focus on ESG funding are starting to drive change?

Georg Kell, chairman of Arabesque Partners and the founding director of the UN Global Compact opened the discussion by suggesting that there is now a real alignment between sustainable finance and responsible business practice.

Today, ESG investing is estimated at around $20 trillion in assets under management and this is likely to grow according to Kell. This presents a real opportunity for those corporates in a position to present strong ESG information that will enable them to access this capital.

As for changing behaviour, there is evidence that this is starting, but there is still a way to go.

Read debate summary

In Brief...

GoodCorporation speaking at Chatham House

GoodCorporation Director Jane Ellis will be exploring the role of corporate governance in setting the standards for responsible business practice at the third annual Chatham House Responsible Business conference. The event is taking place at Chatham House on Feb 28.

Book tickets here

The challenge of ESG

ESG is a challenge for many companies, but some are starting to realise that fund managers are not investing in building ESG teams to tick boxes or review paper.

Our work with Yara shows how some of the innovators are responding.

Read our blog

Ethics & compliance in French companies

Tough new French legislation has placed ethics and compliance issues at the forefront for French companies.

Some are already leading the way, others are investing time and resources. We summarise how our French company has been working with businesses on a range of ethics issues.

Read our blog

New supplier code of conduct at the FCO

The Foreign and Commonwealth office has raised the bar on checking modern slavery obligations in the supply chain with a tough new Supplier Code of Conduct.

Our article looks at the FCO’s expectations and what this means for businesses tendering for government work.

Read the article

Autumn 2018

Tackling bullying and harassment in the workplace

  GoodCorporation’s October debate at the House of Lords asked why bullying and harassment are still issues in the workplace and what business can do to tackle this. Rachel Crasnow QC led the discussion emphasising the importance of training for all staff, particularly managers. Managing people often requires difficult conversations to be had, yet those in managerial roles rarely receive training on this aspect of their job. A trusted speak-up system, effective communication and sanctions for any proven cases of bullying or harassment must all be implemented if a zero-tolerance approach is to be properly effective. A full summary of the debate is on our website. Bullying and harassment can have a significant and negative impact on a business, its employees and its work culture. Companies are expected to identify, prevent and address any such incidents. GoodCorporation has worked with leading organisations to help test and strengthen their anti-bullying and harassment procedures, using our Bullying and Harassment Framework.

Five steps to CFA compliance

Following the introduction of the Criminal Finances Act into UK legislation in 2017, organisations can now be held criminally liable for failing to prevent anyone acting for or on their behalf from facilitating the evasion of UK or foreign tax. Conviction comes with serious consequences, including a potentially unlimited fine. GoodCorporation has identified five critical factors that companies need to consider when implementing compliance with the new legislation. Click here to read the blog

New compliance toolkit

For smaller companies wishing to list, rapidly growing or suddenly under pressure from regulators, GoodCorporation has developed a compliance toolkit providing off-the-shelf compliance support to help build an effective programme or fill in any remaining gaps. Ten compliance tools are available, including code of conduct design and benchmarking; compliance policies and procedures; risk assessment as well as face-to-face and online training. Contact us for details.  

Forthcoming events

We are delighted that Lisa Osofsky, Director of the Serious Fraud Office, will open our debate with business leaders on the anti-corruption landscape. Held at the House of Lords on November 7, attendance is by invitation only. We are also holding a safeguarding discussion group on November 8, exploring the results of our recent survey and looking at safeguarding best practice for organisations.

In Brief...

Paris anti-corruption debate

Last month, GoodCorporation asked how French  companies are dealing with the country’s new anti-bribery law, looking at the challenges they face complying with this tough legislation. How are businesses and authorities responding?

Read the debate summary here

Assessing the drivers of ethical culture

Assessing the strength of key cultural drivers that underpin responsible decision making can help employers mitigate risks to both reputation and the bottom line.

Our article in Financial Management examines the issues.

 

Is GDPR over?

As GDPR came into force, it led to an avalanche of notifications and data protection requests. In October’s Ethical Corporation, we look at the steps taken to date, examine the compliance challenges and highlight emerging best practice.

Read the article here

Modern Slavery Act - Review

The Home Office has commissioned an independent review of the Modern Slavery Act. The aim of the review is to understand how the Act is operating in practice and whether the legal framework is fit for purpose. To contribute to the review, click here.

Summer 2018

Corporate culture key to UK Governance Code

Following the publication of the new UK Corporate Governance Code last month, corporate culture looks set to become a boardroom issue. Under the section on leadership and company purpose, the code states that a board ‘must establish the company’s purpose, values and strategy and satisfy itself that these and its culture are aligned’.

To do this, boards will be required to assess and monitor culture. Where they are not satisfied that these are aligned, the board is now expected to ‘seek assurances that the management has taken corrective action.’ Any activities and action taken by the board should be explained in the annual report.

In our white paper Measuring Ethical Culture, we argued that while culture may appear intangible and hard to measure, boards need to find a way to do just that. This will involve identifying the right culture indicators to enable them to assess whether good corporate behaviour is properly embedded.

This approach is supported by the Financial Reporting Council’s guidance on the new code which urges boards to identify and track typical features of a positive culture. Based on our experience of assessing and measuring corporate behaviour, we have identified the key drivers of an ethical company culture and devised a methodology to assist boards with the new monitoring and reporting demands.

Read the blog in full

GDPR is not over

May 25th was not the finishing line for GDPR. So while much of the panic may be over, there is still work to be done to ensure compliance with the new legislation.

Elizabeth Denham, the UK’s Information Commissioner, describes GDPR as an ongoing journey that requires continuous effort. Businesses will be expected to “continue to identify and address emerging privacy and security risks in the weeks, months and years beyond May 2018”.

Our latest blog summarises five key reasons why GDPR isn’t over and outlines what organisations need to do to ensure long-term compliance.

Read the blog in full

An ethical future for AI

Despite the widespread use of AI across a range of industries and services, no country has established, as yet, an ethical or legal framework to govern its development.

AI is still relatively embryonic, but the pace of change is rapid and the investment considerable. It has the potential to transform economies and benefit humanity, but to do this successfully it will need to be both reliable and trusted.

Businesses and those at the vanguard of AI development cannot afford to wait for regulators to set the bar and define the ethical or regulatory framework. Our blog explores some of the key ethical considerations.

Read the blog in full

In Brief...

Latest Debate

With poor corporate culture perceived to be a business risk in itself, what should companies be doing to mitigate that risk and ensure they have the right culture in place?

Our summer business ethics debate explored the value, strategic importance and practicalities of measuring corporate culture.

As with all our debates, the summary is on the website.

Ethics & compliance benchmarking

Does your organisation have a stand-alone ethics and compliance function? Who does it report to? How often are due diligence checks carried out on third parties?

These are just some of the questions we posed at the session on compliance programme benchmarking that we moderated at the C5 Anti-Corruption event this summer. The results are available on our blog.

Safeguarding survey

GoodCorporation has conducted its first safeguarding survey, inviting a range of organisations to respond.

The survey aimed to discover how organisations govern, resource, assess and monitor safeguarding.

The results will be published in a forthcoming paper. We will also be inviting respondents to a safeguarding event in September to review the findings. Contact us for details.

Sapin II debate in Paris

Following the success of our debate on the challenges of implementing GDPR, GoodCorporation will be hosting another discussion in Paris in September.

This time the debate will focus on the demands placed on French businesses by Sapin II.

The debate will take place at the Salons France Amériques on Thursday September 13. Contact us for more information.

Spring 2018

Managing AI along ethical lines

Artificial intelligence (AI) is already transforming our lives and our workplaces; robots carry out dangerous and repetitive tasks, machine-learning algorithms are being used to improve medical diagnoses and many of our cyber defences are AI powered. This week, one of the UK’s biggest hospitals, University College London, announced that it plans to use AI to radically improve its services.

As intelligent machines evolve, so too do the ethical questions that should govern these developments. If AI machines make mistakes that cause harm, who should be held responsible? AI systems learn through access to data, so what does that mean in terms of our right to privacy? And who, if anyone, should be responsible for the output of AI ‘thought’ processes?

Rightly, these questions are being posed at both national and international levels. Our latest blog takes a look at the steps being taken to develop the ethical and legal framework to govern the use of artificial intelligence.

How businesses utilise AI will have a significant impact on how they are trusted by society. GoodCorporation is exploring the ethical considerations that should govern the evolution of AI technologies and will be publishing updates in this newsletter and on our blog. A strong ethical code will require a multi-stakeholder approach. We would value any thoughts on our blog or direct to our inbox.

 

Managing human rights risks

While the majority of corporates make a firm commitment to protecting human rights in their code of conduct, the nature of modern businesses, with complex structures across diverse locations, means that this can be a challenging pledge to fulfill.

To be sure that human rights policies are properly respected across all sites, companies need a robust monitoring programme as well as strong policies and procedures.

This can be easier said than done. Our article on creating a worker welfare programme to set your business apart looks at some of the issues routinely faced when checking human rights across an international business.

Click here to read the article in full

 

ESG and value creation

A corporate scandal can decimate share value and not just in the immediate aftermath as the gory details hit the headlines. Shareholders in Volkswagen, Tesco, Toshiba and Rolls Royce are still suffering damage some four years after the scandals emerged.

Not surprisingly, investors are increasingly looking for indicators of long-term sustainability that will help mitigate risks and protect long-term investments.

Investment analysis that focuses solely on financial performance is no longer sufficient. Instead we now see more and more investors analysing ESG-related indicators alongside financial performance. Our latest blog explores this trend and what it may mean for businesses.

Click here to read the blog in full

 

 

In Brief...

Stay up-to-date

If you haven’t recently signed-up to continue receiving our quarterly newsletter and occasional product updates, please click the button below.

These emails contain the latest thinking in business ethics, compliance and best practice, together with summaries of our recent debates at the House of Lords.

We will only use your details for the purpose of sending you this information.

Click here to receive our newsletters

New team member

GoodCorporation is delighted to announce the appointment of  Jane Ellis as a company director.

Previously head of the International Bar Association’s Legal and Policy Research Unit, Jane is an Australian-qualified lawyer with expertise in competition law, anti-bribery law, corporate governance, whistleblower protection, diversity and business ethics.

Read Jane’s profile in full

See us at C5

GoodCorporation is a sponsor of C5’s Anti-Corruption conference, in London in June.

Readers of this newsletter can receive a 20% discount by quoting the code P20-999-GC18.

The conference will look at UKBA and FCPA  enforcement, how to evidence adequate procedures and managing risks in emerging markets, among other challenging topics.

Register here

New address

Since our last newsletter, GoodCorporation has expanded into larger offices, hopping over Putney Bridge to Fulham.

Our new London address is 2-3 Melbray Mews, London SW6 3NS. Phone numbers and emails stay the same.

If you’d like to visit us or find out more about what we do, get in touch.

Winter 2017/18

Criminal Finances Act increases pressure on businesses to demonstrate robust procedures

Effective since September 2017, The Criminal Finances Act places a new regulatory burden on corporates by introducing a criminal offence of failing to prevent the facilitation of tax evasion. As with the Bribery Act, this applies to the company or partnership and anyone acting for or on its behalf. Our business ethics debate in the Autumn explored the challenges that the Act brings, looking at the changes to culture, risk assessment, training and monitoring that the Act is likely to require in order to ensure a reasonable procedures defence. While much of the analysis has focused on the implications for lawyers, accountants and financial advisers, the offence will have a far wider reach than this in terms of who faces liability. Our blog takes a detailed look at the implications for business, covering the introduction of unexplained wealth orders, the extension of the suspicious activity report moratorium period and the enhanced ability of regulators to freeze and seize assets where there are grounds for suspicion. The Act also has far reaching consequences in terms of human rights, extending the definition of ‘unlawful conduct’ in the civil recovery regime to include gross human rights abuses. This means that UK prosecutors can freeze and seize assets alleged to be the product of a gross human rights abuse by an official or a person acting in an official capacity. This is a strict liability offence, so no defence is provided meaning that businesses have no choice but to ensure they have robust due diligence procedures that will uncover any risk of a connection to gross human rights abuses. Complying with a reasonable procedures defence can be challenging for companies. We have a framework for developing and implementing a robust system to ensure an organisation is properly protected. Contact us for more details.

David Green to lead our first business ethics debate of 2018

David Green will be opening the first GoodCorporation debate of 2018 which will examine the future of anti-corruption prosecution. As David nears the end of his term as director of the UK’s Serious Fraud Office, the debate will focus on where the SFO is heading and how Deferred Prosecution Agreements are likely to work, now that they have been established and tested. Hosted by Baroness Kingsmill, the debate will be held at the House of Lords on February 20. Attendance is by invitation only but please contact us if you are interested or would like to go on our invitation list for future events.  

New social contract or better business behaviour?

Having spent much of 2017 reporting on increasing concerns around excessive executive pay, tax avoidance, zero-hour contracts and automation, the Financial Times (paywall) began the year by stating that capitalism needs a new social contract. This isn’t the first time that new rules of engagement have been called for. While a renewed focus on the social contract would be no bad thing, what we really need to change are the soft and hard laws that dictate business behaviour. Better regulation can and should lead to better businesses that operate for the benefit of all stakeholders. The Financial Reporting Council has the opportunity to effect change as it considers revisions to the Corporate Governance Code. We will be responding in due course, calling for stronger requirements around evidencing that an organisation’s culture is properly underpinned by the ethical values that drive responsible business behaviour. This argument is also made by Christopher Hodges and Ruth Steinholz in their new book Ethical Business Practice and Regulation. In it, they propose that that ethical business regulation which requires businesses to evidence a commitment to ethical business practice, can maximise good outcomes for all stakeholders. We wait to see if and how this might be might be addressed in the new in Corporate Governance Code. Contact us for more information on measuring ethical culture.

In Brief...

GoodCorporation to hold first debate on data protection in Paris

Following the launch of our Paris office at the end of last year, GoodCorporation is holding its first French business ethics debate on the subject of data protection.

Jean-Baptiste Siproudhis, Head of Compliance at Atos, will be leading the discussion which is being held at the Salons France-Ameriques at lunchtime on March 15.

With French data protection regulator the CNIL celebrating its 40th anniversary in the year that the GDPR comes into effect, it is clear that data protection issues are more central than they have ever been. Our debate will explore the challenges business face to be compliant with GDPR by May 2018.

GoodCorporation has been working with UK companies to help them prepare for GDPR. Our work has involved risk mapping, auditing existing systems, training and system development.

GDPR Ready?

Many companies have undertaken significant projects to change processes and systems to comply with the new EU General Data Protection Regulation that comes into force in May.

Attention is now turning to board assurances and the best way to demonstrate that their organisation is GDPR ready.

GoodCorporation’s Data Protection Framework is providing a number of our clients with a measurement tool for assessing the effectiveness of the systems in place.

We have also been working with companies to carry out detailed data mapping exercises. Data can easily be misfiled or stored without the necessary protections, so getting this right is essential. We look beyond where data ought to be stored and talk to staff to get a clear idea of how data flows through the organisation. This is also helpful for highlighting to senior management what is working and where improvements are needed.

To find out more, please contact Gareth Thomas who is leading our GDPR work and also view our GDPR readiness check.

Contributing to the debate

Following the publication of our recommendations to promote responsible gambling, GoodCorporation has responded to the UK Government’s gambling consultation.

We support the Government’s proposals to reduce maximum stakes on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals. In addition to the social responsibility measures put forward, we have recommended that more needs to be done around monitoring controls, training and self-exclusion. Read our response in full here.

December 2019

In Brief...

Summer 2019

In Brief...

Spring 2019

In Brief...

Winter 2018

Business ethics trends for 2019

Ethical conduct was firmly in the spotlight for much of 2018 and for a variety of reasons, from the #MeToo movement which pushed bullying and harassment onto board agendas, through to the implementation of GDPR which turned us all into data privacy experts.

Despite the many geopolitical challenges around the world and the many forecasts predicting a slowdown in global economic growth, the impetus for businesses to be run ethically will continue in 2019. As the Financial Reporting Council states, poor ethical conduct is a business risk in itself.

Our first blog post for 2019 looks forward to the business ethics areas that look set to dominate over the coming months including culture measurement, ESG, data protection, human rights and economic crime.

Much of this is being driven by regulation. Businesses cannot afford to turn a blind eye and hope that nothing goes wrong. Corporate leaders need to set the right tone and back it up with actions.

Read the blog in full

The changing face of anti-corruption prosecution

GoodCorporation was delighted that Lisa Osofsky, director of the Serious Fraud Office, was able to open our debate on the changing landscape of anti-corruption prosecution.

Emphasising that the SFO will continue its robust approach to prosecution, Osofsky stated that those in law enforcement are likely to be working ever more closely to build successful cases. Not only will this involve increased cooperation and information sharing, it will also require a change in investigative methods with digital forensic capability becoming a priority.

The SFO recognises that companies have made significant progress in their anti-corruption efforts and are increasingly ready to listen to those willing to talk. Deferred Prosecution Agreements are felt to be effective and the SFO is considering drafting guidance to help companies understand what cooperation with the SFO means.

Read debate summary

Are ESG investments changing corporate behaviour?

As the purpose versus profit debate continues to gather momentum, GoodCorporation’s final debate of 2018 asked whether investors and the focus on ESG funding are starting to drive change?

Georg Kell, chairman of Arabesque Partners and the founding director of the UN Global Compact opened the discussion by suggesting that there is now a real alignment between sustainable finance and responsible business practice.

Today, ESG investing is estimated at around $20 trillion in assets under management and this is likely to grow according to Kell. This presents a real opportunity for those corporates in a position to present strong ESG information that will enable them to access this capital.

As for changing behaviour, there is evidence that this is starting, but there is still a way to go.

Read debate summary

In Brief...

GoodCorporation speaking at Chatham House

GoodCorporation Director Jane Ellis will be exploring the role of corporate governance in setting the standards for responsible business practice at the third annual Chatham House Responsible Business conference. The event is taking place at Chatham House on Feb 28.

Book tickets here

The challenge of ESG

ESG is a challenge for many companies, but some are starting to realise that fund managers are not investing in building ESG teams to tick boxes or review paper.

Our work with Yara shows how some of the innovators are responding.

Read our blog

Ethics & compliance in French companies

Tough new French legislation has placed ethics and compliance issues at the forefront for French companies.

Some are already leading the way, others are investing time and resources. We summarise how our French company has been working with businesses on a range of ethics issues.

Read our blog

New supplier code of conduct at the FCO

The Foreign and Commonwealth office has raised the bar on checking modern slavery obligations in the supply chain with a tough new Supplier Code of Conduct.

Our article looks at the FCO’s expectations and what this means for businesses tendering for government work.

Read the article

Autumn 2018

Tackling bullying and harassment in the workplace

  GoodCorporation’s October debate at the House of Lords asked why bullying and harassment are still issues in the workplace and what business can do to tackle this. Rachel Crasnow QC led the discussion emphasising the importance of training for all staff, particularly managers. Managing people often requires difficult conversations to be had, yet those in managerial roles rarely receive training on this aspect of their job. A trusted speak-up system, effective communication and sanctions for any proven cases of bullying or harassment must all be implemented if a zero-tolerance approach is to be properly effective. A full summary of the debate is on our website. Bullying and harassment can have a significant and negative impact on a business, its employees and its work culture. Companies are expected to identify, prevent and address any such incidents. GoodCorporation has worked with leading organisations to help test and strengthen their anti-bullying and harassment procedures, using our Bullying and Harassment Framework.

Five steps to CFA compliance

Following the introduction of the Criminal Finances Act into UK legislation in 2017, organisations can now be held criminally liable for failing to prevent anyone acting for or on their behalf from facilitating the evasion of UK or foreign tax. Conviction comes with serious consequences, including a potentially unlimited fine. GoodCorporation has identified five critical factors that companies need to consider when implementing compliance with the new legislation. Click here to read the blog

New compliance toolkit

For smaller companies wishing to list, rapidly growing or suddenly under pressure from regulators, GoodCorporation has developed a compliance toolkit providing off-the-shelf compliance support to help build an effective programme or fill in any remaining gaps. Ten compliance tools are available, including code of conduct design and benchmarking; compliance policies and procedures; risk assessment as well as face-to-face and online training. Contact us for details.  

Forthcoming events

We are delighted that Lisa Osofsky, Director of the Serious Fraud Office, will open our debate with business leaders on the anti-corruption landscape. Held at the House of Lords on November 7, attendance is by invitation only. We are also holding a safeguarding discussion group on November 8, exploring the results of our recent survey and looking at safeguarding best practice for organisations.

In Brief...

Paris anti-corruption debate

Last month, GoodCorporation asked how French  companies are dealing with the country’s new anti-bribery law, looking at the challenges they face complying with this tough legislation. How are businesses and authorities responding?

Read the debate summary here

Assessing the drivers of ethical culture

Assessing the strength of key cultural drivers that underpin responsible decision making can help employers mitigate risks to both reputation and the bottom line.

Our article in Financial Management examines the issues.

 

Is GDPR over?

As GDPR came into force, it led to an avalanche of notifications and data protection requests. In October’s Ethical Corporation, we look at the steps taken to date, examine the compliance challenges and highlight emerging best practice.

Read the article here

Modern Slavery Act - Review

The Home Office has commissioned an independent review of the Modern Slavery Act. The aim of the review is to understand how the Act is operating in practice and whether the legal framework is fit for purpose. To contribute to the review, click here.

Summer 2018

Corporate culture key to UK Governance Code

Following the publication of the new UK Corporate Governance Code last month, corporate culture looks set to become a boardroom issue. Under the section on leadership and company purpose, the code states that a board ‘must establish the company’s purpose, values and strategy and satisfy itself that these and its culture are aligned’.

To do this, boards will be required to assess and monitor culture. Where they are not satisfied that these are aligned, the board is now expected to ‘seek assurances that the management has taken corrective action.’ Any activities and action taken by the board should be explained in the annual report.

In our white paper Measuring Ethical Culture, we argued that while culture may appear intangible and hard to measure, boards need to find a way to do just that. This will involve identifying the right culture indicators to enable them to assess whether good corporate behaviour is properly embedded.

This approach is supported by the Financial Reporting Council’s guidance on the new code which urges boards to identify and track typical features of a positive culture. Based on our experience of assessing and measuring corporate behaviour, we have identified the key drivers of an ethical company culture and devised a methodology to assist boards with the new monitoring and reporting demands.

Read the blog in full

GDPR is not over

May 25th was not the finishing line for GDPR. So while much of the panic may be over, there is still work to be done to ensure compliance with the new legislation.

Elizabeth Denham, the UK’s Information Commissioner, describes GDPR as an ongoing journey that requires continuous effort. Businesses will be expected to “continue to identify and address emerging privacy and security risks in the weeks, months and years beyond May 2018”.

Our latest blog summarises five key reasons why GDPR isn’t over and outlines what organisations need to do to ensure long-term compliance.

Read the blog in full

An ethical future for AI

Despite the widespread use of AI across a range of industries and services, no country has established, as yet, an ethical or legal framework to govern its development.

AI is still relatively embryonic, but the pace of change is rapid and the investment considerable. It has the potential to transform economies and benefit humanity, but to do this successfully it will need to be both reliable and trusted.

Businesses and those at the vanguard of AI development cannot afford to wait for regulators to set the bar and define the ethical or regulatory framework. Our blog explores some of the key ethical considerations.

Read the blog in full

In Brief...

Latest Debate

With poor corporate culture perceived to be a business risk in itself, what should companies be doing to mitigate that risk and ensure they have the right culture in place?

Our summer business ethics debate explored the value, strategic importance and practicalities of measuring corporate culture.

As with all our debates, the summary is on the website.

Ethics & compliance benchmarking

Does your organisation have a stand-alone ethics and compliance function? Who does it report to? How often are due diligence checks carried out on third parties?

These are just some of the questions we posed at the session on compliance programme benchmarking that we moderated at the C5 Anti-Corruption event this summer. The results are available on our blog.

Safeguarding survey

GoodCorporation has conducted its first safeguarding survey, inviting a range of organisations to respond.

The survey aimed to discover how organisations govern, resource, assess and monitor safeguarding.

The results will be published in a forthcoming paper. We will also be inviting respondents to a safeguarding event in September to review the findings. Contact us for details.

Sapin II debate in Paris

Following the success of our debate on the challenges of implementing GDPR, GoodCorporation will be hosting another discussion in Paris in September.

This time the debate will focus on the demands placed on French businesses by Sapin II.

The debate will take place at the Salons France Amériques on Thursday September 13. Contact us for more information.

Spring 2018

Managing AI along ethical lines

Artificial intelligence (AI) is already transforming our lives and our workplaces; robots carry out dangerous and repetitive tasks, machine-learning algorithms are being used to improve medical diagnoses and many of our cyber defences are AI powered. This week, one of the UK’s biggest hospitals, University College London, announced that it plans to use AI to radically improve its services.

As intelligent machines evolve, so too do the ethical questions that should govern these developments. If AI machines make mistakes that cause harm, who should be held responsible? AI systems learn through access to data, so what does that mean in terms of our right to privacy? And who, if anyone, should be responsible for the output of AI ‘thought’ processes?

Rightly, these questions are being posed at both national and international levels. Our latest blog takes a look at the steps being taken to develop the ethical and legal framework to govern the use of artificial intelligence.

How businesses utilise AI will have a significant impact on how they are trusted by society. GoodCorporation is exploring the ethical considerations that should govern the evolution of AI technologies and will be publishing updates in this newsletter and on our blog. A strong ethical code will require a multi-stakeholder approach. We would value any thoughts on our blog or direct to our inbox.

 

Managing human rights risks

While the majority of corporates make a firm commitment to protecting human rights in their code of conduct, the nature of modern businesses, with complex structures across diverse locations, means that this can be a challenging pledge to fulfill.

To be sure that human rights policies are properly respected across all sites, companies need a robust monitoring programme as well as strong policies and procedures.

This can be easier said than done. Our article on creating a worker welfare programme to set your business apart looks at some of the issues routinely faced when checking human rights across an international business.

Click here to read the article in full

 

ESG and value creation

A corporate scandal can decimate share value and not just in the immediate aftermath as the gory details hit the headlines. Shareholders in Volkswagen, Tesco, Toshiba and Rolls Royce are still suffering damage some four years after the scandals emerged.

Not surprisingly, investors are increasingly looking for indicators of long-term sustainability that will help mitigate risks and protect long-term investments.

Investment analysis that focuses solely on financial performance is no longer sufficient. Instead we now see more and more investors analysing ESG-related indicators alongside financial performance. Our latest blog explores this trend and what it may mean for businesses.

Click here to read the blog in full

 

 

In Brief...

Stay up-to-date

If you haven’t recently signed-up to continue receiving our quarterly newsletter and occasional product updates, please click the button below.

These emails contain the latest thinking in business ethics, compliance and best practice, together with summaries of our recent debates at the House of Lords.

We will only use your details for the purpose of sending you this information.

Click here to receive our newsletters

New team member

GoodCorporation is delighted to announce the appointment of  Jane Ellis as a company director.

Previously head of the International Bar Association’s Legal and Policy Research Unit, Jane is an Australian-qualified lawyer with expertise in competition law, anti-bribery law, corporate governance, whistleblower protection, diversity and business ethics.

Read Jane’s profile in full

See us at C5

GoodCorporation is a sponsor of C5’s Anti-Corruption conference, in London in June.

Readers of this newsletter can receive a 20% discount by quoting the code P20-999-GC18.

The conference will look at UKBA and FCPA  enforcement, how to evidence adequate procedures and managing risks in emerging markets, among other challenging topics.

Register here

New address

Since our last newsletter, GoodCorporation has expanded into larger offices, hopping over Putney Bridge to Fulham.

Our new London address is 2-3 Melbray Mews, London SW6 3NS. Phone numbers and emails stay the same.

If you’d like to visit us or find out more about what we do, get in touch.

Winter 2017/18

Criminal Finances Act increases pressure on businesses to demonstrate robust procedures

Effective since September 2017, The Criminal Finances Act places a new regulatory burden on corporates by introducing a criminal offence of failing to prevent the facilitation of tax evasion. As with the Bribery Act, this applies to the company or partnership and anyone acting for or on its behalf. Our business ethics debate in the Autumn explored the challenges that the Act brings, looking at the changes to culture, risk assessment, training and monitoring that the Act is likely to require in order to ensure a reasonable procedures defence. While much of the analysis has focused on the implications for lawyers, accountants and financial advisers, the offence will have a far wider reach than this in terms of who faces liability. Our blog takes a detailed look at the implications for business, covering the introduction of unexplained wealth orders, the extension of the suspicious activity report moratorium period and the enhanced ability of regulators to freeze and seize assets where there are grounds for suspicion. The Act also has far reaching consequences in terms of human rights, extending the definition of ‘unlawful conduct’ in the civil recovery regime to include gross human rights abuses. This means that UK prosecutors can freeze and seize assets alleged to be the product of a gross human rights abuse by an official or a person acting in an official capacity. This is a strict liability offence, so no defence is provided meaning that businesses have no choice but to ensure they have robust due diligence procedures that will uncover any risk of a connection to gross human rights abuses. Complying with a reasonable procedures defence can be challenging for companies. We have a framework for developing and implementing a robust system to ensure an organisation is properly protected. Contact us for more details.

David Green to lead our first business ethics debate of 2018

David Green will be opening the first GoodCorporation debate of 2018 which will examine the future of anti-corruption prosecution. As David nears the end of his term as director of the UK’s Serious Fraud Office, the debate will focus on where the SFO is heading and how Deferred Prosecution Agreements are likely to work, now that they have been established and tested. Hosted by Baroness Kingsmill, the debate will be held at the House of Lords on February 20. Attendance is by invitation only but please contact us if you are interested or would like to go on our invitation list for future events.  

New social contract or better business behaviour?

Having spent much of 2017 reporting on increasing concerns around excessive executive pay, tax avoidance, zero-hour contracts and automation, the Financial Times (paywall) began the year by stating that capitalism needs a new social contract. This isn’t the first time that new rules of engagement have been called for. While a renewed focus on the social contract would be no bad thing, what we really need to change are the soft and hard laws that dictate business behaviour. Better regulation can and should lead to better businesses that operate for the benefit of all stakeholders. The Financial Reporting Council has the opportunity to effect change as it considers revisions to the Corporate Governance Code. We will be responding in due course, calling for stronger requirements around evidencing that an organisation’s culture is properly underpinned by the ethical values that drive responsible business behaviour. This argument is also made by Christopher Hodges and Ruth Steinholz in their new book Ethical Business Practice and Regulation. In it, they propose that that ethical business regulation which requires businesses to evidence a commitment to ethical business practice, can maximise good outcomes for all stakeholders. We wait to see if and how this might be might be addressed in the new in Corporate Governance Code. Contact us for more information on measuring ethical culture.

In Brief...

GoodCorporation to hold first debate on data protection in Paris

Following the launch of our Paris office at the end of last year, GoodCorporation is holding its first French business ethics debate on the subject of data protection.

Jean-Baptiste Siproudhis, Head of Compliance at Atos, will be leading the discussion which is being held at the Salons France-Ameriques at lunchtime on March 15.

With French data protection regulator the CNIL celebrating its 40th anniversary in the year that the GDPR comes into effect, it is clear that data protection issues are more central than they have ever been. Our debate will explore the challenges business face to be compliant with GDPR by May 2018.

GoodCorporation has been working with UK companies to help them prepare for GDPR. Our work has involved risk mapping, auditing existing systems, training and system development.

GDPR Ready?

Many companies have undertaken significant projects to change processes and systems to comply with the new EU General Data Protection Regulation that comes into force in May.

Attention is now turning to board assurances and the best way to demonstrate that their organisation is GDPR ready.

GoodCorporation’s Data Protection Framework is providing a number of our clients with a measurement tool for assessing the effectiveness of the systems in place.

We have also been working with companies to carry out detailed data mapping exercises. Data can easily be misfiled or stored without the necessary protections, so getting this right is essential. We look beyond where data ought to be stored and talk to staff to get a clear idea of how data flows through the organisation. This is also helpful for highlighting to senior management what is working and where improvements are needed.

To find out more, please contact Gareth Thomas who is leading our GDPR work and also view our GDPR readiness check.

Contributing to the debate

Following the publication of our recommendations to promote responsible gambling, GoodCorporation has responded to the UK Government’s gambling consultation.

We support the Government’s proposals to reduce maximum stakes on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals. In addition to the social responsibility measures put forward, we have recommended that more needs to be done around monitoring controls, training and self-exclusion. Read our response in full here.

December 2019

In Brief...

Summer 2019

In Brief...

Spring 2019

In Brief...

Winter 2018

Business ethics trends for 2019

Ethical conduct was firmly in the spotlight for much of 2018 and for a variety of reasons, from the #MeToo movement which pushed bullying and harassment onto board agendas, through to the implementation of GDPR which turned us all into data privacy experts.

Despite the many geopolitical challenges around the world and the many forecasts predicting a slowdown in global economic growth, the impetus for businesses to be run ethically will continue in 2019. As the Financial Reporting Council states, poor ethical conduct is a business risk in itself.

Our first blog post for 2019 looks forward to the business ethics areas that look set to dominate over the coming months including culture measurement, ESG, data protection, human rights and economic crime.

Much of this is being driven by regulation. Businesses cannot afford to turn a blind eye and hope that nothing goes wrong. Corporate leaders need to set the right tone and back it up with actions.

Read the blog in full

The changing face of anti-corruption prosecution

GoodCorporation was delighted that Lisa Osofsky, director of the Serious Fraud Office, was able to open our debate on the changing landscape of anti-corruption prosecution.

Emphasising that the SFO will continue its robust approach to prosecution, Osofsky stated that those in law enforcement are likely to be working ever more closely to build successful cases. Not only will this involve increased cooperation and information sharing, it will also require a change in investigative methods with digital forensic capability becoming a priority.

The SFO recognises that companies have made significant progress in their anti-corruption efforts and are increasingly ready to listen to those willing to talk. Deferred Prosecution Agreements are felt to be effective and the SFO is considering drafting guidance to help companies understand what cooperation with the SFO means.

Read debate summary

Are ESG investments changing corporate behaviour?

As the purpose versus profit debate continues to gather momentum, GoodCorporation’s final debate of 2018 asked whether investors and the focus on ESG funding are starting to drive change?

Georg Kell, chairman of Arabesque Partners and the founding director of the UN Global Compact opened the discussion by suggesting that there is now a real alignment between sustainable finance and responsible business practice.

Today, ESG investing is estimated at around $20 trillion in assets under management and this is likely to grow according to Kell. This presents a real opportunity for those corporates in a position to present strong ESG information that will enable them to access this capital.

As for changing behaviour, there is evidence that this is starting, but there is still a way to go.

Read debate summary

In Brief...

GoodCorporation speaking at Chatham House

GoodCorporation Director Jane Ellis will be exploring the role of corporate governance in setting the standards for responsible business practice at the third annual Chatham House Responsible Business conference. The event is taking place at Chatham House on Feb 28.

Book tickets here

The challenge of ESG

ESG is a challenge for many companies, but some are starting to realise that fund managers are not investing in building ESG teams to tick boxes or review paper.

Our work with Yara shows how some of the innovators are responding.

Read our blog

Ethics & compliance in French companies

Tough new French legislation has placed ethics and compliance issues at the forefront for French companies.

Some are already leading the way, others are investing time and resources. We summarise how our French company has been working with businesses on a range of ethics issues.

Read our blog

New supplier code of conduct at the FCO

The Foreign and Commonwealth office has raised the bar on checking modern slavery obligations in the supply chain with a tough new Supplier Code of Conduct.

Our article looks at the FCO’s expectations and what this means for businesses tendering for government work.

Read the article

Autumn 2018

Tackling bullying and harassment in the workplace

  GoodCorporation’s October debate at the House of Lords asked why bullying and harassment are still issues in the workplace and what business can do to tackle this. Rachel Crasnow QC led the discussion emphasising the importance of training for all staff, particularly managers. Managing people often requires difficult conversations to be had, yet those in managerial roles rarely receive training on this aspect of their job. A trusted speak-up system, effective communication and sanctions for any proven cases of bullying or harassment must all be implemented if a zero-tolerance approach is to be properly effective. A full summary of the debate is on our website. Bullying and harassment can have a significant and negative impact on a business, its employees and its work culture. Companies are expected to identify, prevent and address any such incidents. GoodCorporation has worked with leading organisations to help test and strengthen their anti-bullying and harassment procedures, using our Bullying and Harassment Framework.

Five steps to CFA compliance

Following the introduction of the Criminal Finances Act into UK legislation in 2017, organisations can now be held criminally liable for failing to prevent anyone acting for or on their behalf from facilitating the evasion of UK or foreign tax. Conviction comes with serious consequences, including a potentially unlimited fine. GoodCorporation has identified five critical factors that companies need to consider when implementing compliance with the new legislation. Click here to read the blog

New compliance toolkit

For smaller companies wishing to list, rapidly growing or suddenly under pressure from regulators, GoodCorporation has developed a compliance toolkit providing off-the-shelf compliance support to help build an effective programme or fill in any remaining gaps. Ten compliance tools are available, including code of conduct design and benchmarking; compliance policies and procedures; risk assessment as well as face-to-face and online training. Contact us for details.  

Forthcoming events

We are delighted that Lisa Osofsky, Director of the Serious Fraud Office, will open our debate with business leaders on the anti-corruption landscape. Held at the House of Lords on November 7, attendance is by invitation only. We are also holding a safeguarding discussion group on November 8, exploring the results of our recent survey and looking at safeguarding best practice for organisations.

In Brief...

Paris anti-corruption debate

Last month, GoodCorporation asked how French  companies are dealing with the country’s new anti-bribery law, looking at the challenges they face complying with this tough legislation. How are businesses and authorities responding?

Read the debate summary here

Assessing the drivers of ethical culture

Assessing the strength of key cultural drivers that underpin responsible decision making can help employers mitigate risks to both reputation and the bottom line.

Our article in Financial Management examines the issues.

 

Is GDPR over?

As GDPR came into force, it led to an avalanche of notifications and data protection requests. In October’s Ethical Corporation, we look at the steps taken to date, examine the compliance challenges and highlight emerging best practice.

Read the article here

Modern Slavery Act - Review

The Home Office has commissioned an independent review of the Modern Slavery Act. The aim of the review is to understand how the Act is operating in practice and whether the legal framework is fit for purpose. To contribute to the review, click here.

Summer 2018

Corporate culture key to UK Governance Code

Following the publication of the new UK Corporate Governance Code last month, corporate culture looks set to become a boardroom issue. Under the section on leadership and company purpose, the code states that a board ‘must establish the company’s purpose, values and strategy and satisfy itself that these and its culture are aligned’.

To do this, boards will be required to assess and monitor culture. Where they are not satisfied that these are aligned, the board is now expected to ‘seek assurances that the management has taken corrective action.’ Any activities and action taken by the board should be explained in the annual report.

In our white paper Measuring Ethical Culture, we argued that while culture may appear intangible and hard to measure, boards need to find a way to do just that. This will involve identifying the right culture indicators to enable them to assess whether good corporate behaviour is properly embedded.

This approach is supported by the Financial Reporting Council’s guidance on the new code which urges boards to identify and track typical features of a positive culture. Based on our experience of assessing and measuring corporate behaviour, we have identified the key drivers of an ethical company culture and devised a methodology to assist boards with the new monitoring and reporting demands.

Read the blog in full

GDPR is not over

May 25th was not the finishing line for GDPR. So while much of the panic may be over, there is still work to be done to ensure compliance with the new legislation.

Elizabeth Denham, the UK’s Information Commissioner, describes GDPR as an ongoing journey that requires continuous effort. Businesses will be expected to “continue to identify and address emerging privacy and security risks in the weeks, months and years beyond May 2018”.

Our latest blog summarises five key reasons why GDPR isn’t over and outlines what organisations need to do to ensure long-term compliance.

Read the blog in full

An ethical future for AI

Despite the widespread use of AI across a range of industries and services, no country has established, as yet, an ethical or legal framework to govern its development.

AI is still relatively embryonic, but the pace of change is rapid and the investment considerable. It has the potential to transform economies and benefit humanity, but to do this successfully it will need to be both reliable and trusted.

Businesses and those at the vanguard of AI development cannot afford to wait for regulators to set the bar and define the ethical or regulatory framework. Our blog explores some of the key ethical considerations.

Read the blog in full

In Brief...

Latest Debate

With poor corporate culture perceived to be a business risk in itself, what should companies be doing to mitigate that risk and ensure they have the right culture in place?

Our summer business ethics debate explored the value, strategic importance and practicalities of measuring corporate culture.

As with all our debates, the summary is on the website.

Ethics & compliance benchmarking

Does your organisation have a stand-alone ethics and compliance function? Who does it report to? How often are due diligence checks carried out on third parties?

These are just some of the questions we posed at the session on compliance programme benchmarking that we moderated at the C5 Anti-Corruption event this summer. The results are available on our blog.

Safeguarding survey

GoodCorporation has conducted its first safeguarding survey, inviting a range of organisations to respond.

The survey aimed to discover how organisations govern, resource, assess and monitor safeguarding.

The results will be published in a forthcoming paper. We will also be inviting respondents to a safeguarding event in September to review the findings. Contact us for details.

Sapin II debate in Paris

Following the success of our debate on the challenges of implementing GDPR, GoodCorporation will be hosting another discussion in Paris in September.

This time the debate will focus on the demands placed on French businesses by Sapin II.

The debate will take place at the Salons France Amériques on Thursday September 13. Contact us for more information.

Spring 2018

Managing AI along ethical lines

Artificial intelligence (AI) is already transforming our lives and our workplaces; robots carry out dangerous and repetitive tasks, machine-learning algorithms are being used to improve medical diagnoses and many of our cyber defences are AI powered. This week, one of the UK’s biggest hospitals, University College London, announced that it plans to use AI to radically improve its services.

As intelligent machines evolve, so too do the ethical questions that should govern these developments. If AI machines make mistakes that cause harm, who should be held responsible? AI systems learn through access to data, so what does that mean in terms of our right to privacy? And who, if anyone, should be responsible for the output of AI ‘thought’ processes?

Rightly, these questions are being posed at both national and international levels. Our latest blog takes a look at the steps being taken to develop the ethical and legal framework to govern the use of artificial intelligence.

How businesses utilise AI will have a significant impact on how they are trusted by society. GoodCorporation is exploring the ethical considerations that should govern the evolution of AI technologies and will be publishing updates in this newsletter and on our blog. A strong ethical code will require a multi-stakeholder approach. We would value any thoughts on our blog or direct to our inbox.

 

Managing human rights risks

While the majority of corporates make a firm commitment to protecting human rights in their code of conduct, the nature of modern businesses, with complex structures across diverse locations, means that this can be a challenging pledge to fulfill.

To be sure that human rights policies are properly respected across all sites, companies need a robust monitoring programme as well as strong policies and procedures.

This can be easier said than done. Our article on creating a worker welfare programme to set your business apart looks at some of the issues routinely faced when checking human rights across an international business.

Click here to read the article in full

 

ESG and value creation

A corporate scandal can decimate share value and not just in the immediate aftermath as the gory details hit the headlines. Shareholders in Volkswagen, Tesco, Toshiba and Rolls Royce are still suffering damage some four years after the scandals emerged.

Not surprisingly, investors are increasingly looking for indicators of long-term sustainability that will help mitigate risks and protect long-term investments.

Investment analysis that focuses solely on financial performance is no longer sufficient. Instead we now see more and more investors analysing ESG-related indicators alongside financial performance. Our latest blog explores this trend and what it may mean for businesses.

Click here to read the blog in full

 

 

In Brief...

Stay up-to-date

If you haven’t recently signed-up to continue receiving our quarterly newsletter and occasional product updates, please click the button below.

These emails contain the latest thinking in business ethics, compliance and best practice, together with summaries of our recent debates at the House of Lords.

We will only use your details for the purpose of sending you this information.

Click here to receive our newsletters

New team member

GoodCorporation is delighted to announce the appointment of  Jane Ellis as a company director.

Previously head of the International Bar Association’s Legal and Policy Research Unit, Jane is an Australian-qualified lawyer with expertise in competition law, anti-bribery law, corporate governance, whistleblower protection, diversity and business ethics.

Read Jane’s profile in full

See us at C5

GoodCorporation is a sponsor of C5’s Anti-Corruption conference, in London in June.

Readers of this newsletter can receive a 20% discount by quoting the code P20-999-GC18.

The conference will look at UKBA and FCPA  enforcement, how to evidence adequate procedures and managing risks in emerging markets, among other challenging topics.

Register here

New address

Since our last newsletter, GoodCorporation has expanded into larger offices, hopping over Putney Bridge to Fulham.

Our new London address is 2-3 Melbray Mews, London SW6 3NS. Phone numbers and emails stay the same.

If you’d like to visit us or find out more about what we do, get in touch.

Winter 2017/18

Criminal Finances Act increases pressure on businesses to demonstrate robust procedures

Effective since September 2017, The Criminal Finances Act places a new regulatory burden on corporates by introducing a criminal offence of failing to prevent the facilitation of tax evasion. As with the Bribery Act, this applies to the company or partnership and anyone acting for or on its behalf. Our business ethics debate in the Autumn explored the challenges that the Act brings, looking at the changes to culture, risk assessment, training and monitoring that the Act is likely to require in order to ensure a reasonable procedures defence. While much of the analysis has focused on the implications for lawyers, accountants and financial advisers, the offence will have a far wider reach than this in terms of who faces liability. Our blog takes a detailed look at the implications for business, covering the introduction of unexplained wealth orders, the extension of the suspicious activity report moratorium period and the enhanced ability of regulators to freeze and seize assets where there are grounds for suspicion. The Act also has far reaching consequences in terms of human rights, extending the definition of ‘unlawful conduct’ in the civil recovery regime to include gross human rights abuses. This means that UK prosecutors can freeze and seize assets alleged to be the product of a gross human rights abuse by an official or a person acting in an official capacity. This is a strict liability offence, so no defence is provided meaning that businesses have no choice but to ensure they have robust due diligence procedures that will uncover any risk of a connection to gross human rights abuses. Complying with a reasonable procedures defence can be challenging for companies. We have a framework for developing and implementing a robust system to ensure an organisation is properly protected. Contact us for more details.

David Green to lead our first business ethics debate of 2018

David Green will be opening the first GoodCorporation debate of 2018 which will examine the future of anti-corruption prosecution. As David nears the end of his term as director of the UK’s Serious Fraud Office, the debate will focus on where the SFO is heading and how Deferred Prosecution Agreements are likely to work, now that they have been established and tested. Hosted by Baroness Kingsmill, the debate will be held at the House of Lords on February 20. Attendance is by invitation only but please contact us if you are interested or would like to go on our invitation list for future events.  

New social contract or better business behaviour?

Having spent much of 2017 reporting on increasing concerns around excessive executive pay, tax avoidance, zero-hour contracts and automation, the Financial Times (paywall) began the year by stating that capitalism needs a new social contract. This isn’t the first time that new rules of engagement have been called for. While a renewed focus on the social contract would be no bad thing, what we really need to change are the soft and hard laws that dictate business behaviour. Better regulation can and should lead to better businesses that operate for the benefit of all stakeholders. The Financial Reporting Council has the opportunity to effect change as it considers revisions to the Corporate Governance Code. We will be responding in due course, calling for stronger requirements around evidencing that an organisation’s culture is properly underpinned by the ethical values that drive responsible business behaviour. This argument is also made by Christopher Hodges and Ruth Steinholz in their new book Ethical Business Practice and Regulation. In it, they propose that that ethical business regulation which requires businesses to evidence a commitment to ethical business practice, can maximise good outcomes for all stakeholders. We wait to see if and how this might be might be addressed in the new in Corporate Governance Code. Contact us for more information on measuring ethical culture.

In Brief...

GoodCorporation to hold first debate on data protection in Paris

Following the launch of our Paris office at the end of last year, GoodCorporation is holding its first French business ethics debate on the subject of data protection.

Jean-Baptiste Siproudhis, Head of Compliance at Atos, will be leading the discussion which is being held at the Salons France-Ameriques at lunchtime on March 15.

With French data protection regulator the CNIL celebrating its 40th anniversary in the year that the GDPR comes into effect, it is clear that data protection issues are more central than they have ever been. Our debate will explore the challenges business face to be compliant with GDPR by May 2018.

GoodCorporation has been working with UK companies to help them prepare for GDPR. Our work has involved risk mapping, auditing existing systems, training and system development.

GDPR Ready?

Many companies have undertaken significant projects to change processes and systems to comply with the new EU General Data Protection Regulation that comes into force in May.

Attention is now turning to board assurances and the best way to demonstrate that their organisation is GDPR ready.

GoodCorporation’s Data Protection Framework is providing a number of our clients with a measurement tool for assessing the effectiveness of the systems in place.

We have also been working with companies to carry out detailed data mapping exercises. Data can easily be misfiled or stored without the necessary protections, so getting this right is essential. We look beyond where data ought to be stored and talk to staff to get a clear idea of how data flows through the organisation. This is also helpful for highlighting to senior management what is working and where improvements are needed.

To find out more, please contact Gareth Thomas who is leading our GDPR work and also view our GDPR readiness check.

Contributing to the debate

Following the publication of our recommendations to promote responsible gambling, GoodCorporation has responded to the UK Government’s gambling consultation.

We support the Government’s proposals to reduce maximum stakes on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals. In addition to the social responsibility measures put forward, we have recommended that more needs to be done around monitoring controls, training and self-exclusion. Read our response in full here.

December 2019

In Brief...

Summer 2019

In Brief...

Spring 2019

In Brief...

Winter 2018

Business ethics trends for 2019

Ethical conduct was firmly in the spotlight for much of 2018 and for a variety of reasons, from the #MeToo movement which pushed bullying and harassment onto board agendas, through to the implementation of GDPR which turned us all into data privacy experts.

Despite the many geopolitical challenges around the world and the many forecasts predicting a slowdown in global economic growth, the impetus for businesses to be run ethically will continue in 2019. As the Financial Reporting Council states, poor ethical conduct is a business risk in itself.

Our first blog post for 2019 looks forward to the business ethics areas that look set to dominate over the coming months including culture measurement, ESG, data protection, human rights and economic crime.

Much of this is being driven by regulation. Businesses cannot afford to turn a blind eye and hope that nothing goes wrong. Corporate leaders need to set the right tone and back it up with actions.

Read the blog in full

The changing face of anti-corruption prosecution

GoodCorporation was delighted that Lisa Osofsky, director of the Serious Fraud Office, was able to open our debate on the changing landscape of anti-corruption prosecution.

Emphasising that the SFO will continue its robust approach to prosecution, Osofsky stated that those in law enforcement are likely to be working ever more closely to build successful cases. Not only will this involve increased cooperation and information sharing, it will also require a change in investigative methods with digital forensic capability becoming a priority.

The SFO recognises that companies have made significant progress in their anti-corruption efforts and are increasingly ready to listen to those willing to talk. Deferred Prosecution Agreements are felt to be effective and the SFO is considering drafting guidance to help companies understand what cooperation with the SFO means.

Read debate summary

Are ESG investments changing corporate behaviour?

As the purpose versus profit debate continues to gather momentum, GoodCorporation’s final debate of 2018 asked whether investors and the focus on ESG funding are starting to drive change?

Georg Kell, chairman of Arabesque Partners and the founding director of the UN Global Compact opened the discussion by suggesting that there is now a real alignment between sustainable finance and responsible business practice.

Today, ESG investing is estimated at around $20 trillion in assets under management and this is likely to grow according to Kell. This presents a real opportunity for those corporates in a position to present strong ESG information that will enable them to access this capital.

As for changing behaviour, there is evidence that this is starting, but there is still a way to go.

Read debate summary

In Brief...

GoodCorporation speaking at Chatham House

GoodCorporation Director Jane Ellis will be exploring the role of corporate governance in setting the standards for responsible business practice at the third annual Chatham House Responsible Business conference. The event is taking place at Chatham House on Feb 28.

Book tickets here

The challenge of ESG

ESG is a challenge for many companies, but some are starting to realise that fund managers are not investing in building ESG teams to tick boxes or review paper.

Our work with Yara shows how some of the innovators are responding.

Read our blog

Ethics & compliance in French companies

Tough new French legislation has placed ethics and compliance issues at the forefront for French companies.

Some are already leading the way, others are investing time and resources. We summarise how our French company has been working with businesses on a range of ethics issues.

Read our blog

New supplier code of conduct at the FCO

The Foreign and Commonwealth office has raised the bar on checking modern slavery obligations in the supply chain with a tough new Supplier Code of Conduct.

Our article looks at the FCO’s expectations and what this means for businesses tendering for government work.

Read the article

Autumn 2018

Tackling bullying and harassment in the workplace

  GoodCorporation’s October debate at the House of Lords asked why bullying and harassment are still issues in the workplace and what business can do to tackle this. Rachel Crasnow QC led the discussion emphasising the importance of training for all staff, particularly managers. Managing people often requires difficult conversations to be had, yet those in managerial roles rarely receive training on this aspect of their job. A trusted speak-up system, effective communication and sanctions for any proven cases of bullying or harassment must all be implemented if a zero-tolerance approach is to be properly effective. A full summary of the debate is on our website. Bullying and harassment can have a significant and negative impact on a business, its employees and its work culture. Companies are expected to identify, prevent and address any such incidents. GoodCorporation has worked with leading organisations to help test and strengthen their anti-bullying and harassment procedures, using our Bullying and Harassment Framework.

Five steps to CFA compliance

Following the introduction of the Criminal Finances Act into UK legislation in 2017, organisations can now be held criminally liable for failing to prevent anyone acting for or on their behalf from facilitating the evasion of UK or foreign tax. Conviction comes with serious consequences, including a potentially unlimited fine. GoodCorporation has identified five critical factors that companies need to consider when implementing compliance with the new legislation. Click here to read the blog

New compliance toolkit

For smaller companies wishing to list, rapidly growing or suddenly under pressure from regulators, GoodCorporation has developed a compliance toolkit providing off-the-shelf compliance support to help build an effective programme or fill in any remaining gaps. Ten compliance tools are available, including code of conduct design and benchmarking; compliance policies and procedures; risk assessment as well as face-to-face and online training. Contact us for details.  

Forthcoming events

We are delighted that Lisa Osofsky, Director of the Serious Fraud Office, will open our debate with business leaders on the anti-corruption landscape. Held at the House of Lords on November 7, attendance is by invitation only. We are also holding a safeguarding discussion group on November 8, exploring the results of our recent survey and looking at safeguarding best practice for organisations.

In Brief...

Paris anti-corruption debate

Last month, GoodCorporation asked how French  companies are dealing with the country’s new anti-bribery law, looking at the challenges they face complying with this tough legislation. How are businesses and authorities responding?

Read the debate summary here

Assessing the drivers of ethical culture

Assessing the strength of key cultural drivers that underpin responsible decision making can help employers mitigate risks to both reputation and the bottom line.

Our article in Financial Management examines the issues.

 

Is GDPR over?

As GDPR came into force, it led to an avalanche of notifications and data protection requests. In October’s Ethical Corporation, we look at the steps taken to date, examine the compliance challenges and highlight emerging best practice.

Read the article here

Modern Slavery Act - Review

The Home Office has commissioned an independent review of the Modern Slavery Act. The aim of the review is to understand how the Act is operating in practice and whether the legal framework is fit for purpose. To contribute to the review, click here.

Summer 2018

Corporate culture key to UK Governance Code

Following the publication of the new UK Corporate Governance Code last month, corporate culture looks set to become a boardroom issue. Under the section on leadership and company purpose, the code states that a board ‘must establish the company’s purpose, values and strategy and satisfy itself that these and its culture are aligned’.

To do this, boards will be required to assess and monitor culture. Where they are not satisfied that these are aligned, the board is now expected to ‘seek assurances that the management has taken corrective action.’ Any activities and action taken by the board should be explained in the annual report.

In our white paper Measuring Ethical Culture, we argued that while culture may appear intangible and hard to measure, boards need to find a way to do just that. This will involve identifying the right culture indicators to enable them to assess whether good corporate behaviour is properly embedded.

This approach is supported by the Financial Reporting Council’s guidance on the new code which urges boards to identify and track typical features of a positive culture. Based on our experience of assessing and measuring corporate behaviour, we have identified the key drivers of an ethical company culture and devised a methodology to assist boards with the new monitoring and reporting demands.

Read the blog in full

GDPR is not over

May 25th was not the finishing line for GDPR. So while much of the panic may be over, there is still work to be done to ensure compliance with the new legislation.

Elizabeth Denham, the UK’s Information Commissioner, describes GDPR as an ongoing journey that requires continuous effort. Businesses will be expected to “continue to identify and address emerging privacy and security risks in the weeks, months and years beyond May 2018”.

Our latest blog summarises five key reasons why GDPR isn’t over and outlines what organisations need to do to ensure long-term compliance.

Read the blog in full

An ethical future for AI

Despite the widespread use of AI across a range of industries and services, no country has established, as yet, an ethical or legal framework to govern its development.

AI is still relatively embryonic, but the pace of change is rapid and the investment considerable. It has the potential to transform economies and benefit humanity, but to do this successfully it will need to be both reliable and trusted.

Businesses and those at the vanguard of AI development cannot afford to wait for regulators to set the bar and define the ethical or regulatory framework. Our blog explores some of the key ethical considerations.

Read the blog in full

In Brief...

Latest Debate

With poor corporate culture perceived to be a business risk in itself, what should companies be doing to mitigate that risk and ensure they have the right culture in place?

Our summer business ethics debate explored the value, strategic importance and practicalities of measuring corporate culture.

As with all our debates, the summary is on the website.

Ethics & compliance benchmarking

Does your organisation have a stand-alone ethics and compliance function? Who does it report to? How often are due diligence checks carried out on third parties?

These are just some of the questions we posed at the session on compliance programme benchmarking that we moderated at the C5 Anti-Corruption event this summer. The results are available on our blog.

Safeguarding survey

GoodCorporation has conducted its first safeguarding survey, inviting a range of organisations to respond.

The survey aimed to discover how organisations govern, resource, assess and monitor safeguarding.

The results will be published in a forthcoming paper. We will also be inviting respondents to a safeguarding event in September to review the findings. Contact us for details.

Sapin II debate in Paris

Following the success of our debate on the challenges of implementing GDPR, GoodCorporation will be hosting another discussion in Paris in September.

This time the debate will focus on the demands placed on French businesses by Sapin II.

The debate will take place at the Salons France Amériques on Thursday September 13. Contact us for more information.

Spring 2018

Managing AI along ethical lines

Artificial intelligence (AI) is already transforming our lives and our workplaces; robots carry out dangerous and repetitive tasks, machine-learning algorithms are being used to improve medical diagnoses and many of our cyber defences are AI powered. This week, one of the UK’s biggest hospitals, University College London, announced that it plans to use AI to radically improve its services.

As intelligent machines evolve, so too do the ethical questions that should govern these developments. If AI machines make mistakes that cause harm, who should be held responsible? AI systems learn through access to data, so what does that mean in terms of our right to privacy? And who, if anyone, should be responsible for the output of AI ‘thought’ processes?

Rightly, these questions are being posed at both national and international levels. Our latest blog takes a look at the steps being taken to develop the ethical and legal framework to govern the use of artificial intelligence.

How businesses utilise AI will have a significant impact on how they are trusted by society. GoodCorporation is exploring the ethical considerations that should govern the evolution of AI technologies and will be publishing updates in this newsletter and on our blog. A strong ethical code will require a multi-stakeholder approach. We would value any thoughts on our blog or direct to our inbox.

 

Managing human rights risks

While the majority of corporates make a firm commitment to protecting human rights in their code of conduct, the nature of modern businesses, with complex structures across diverse locations, means that this can be a challenging pledge to fulfill.

To be sure that human rights policies are properly respected across all sites, companies need a robust monitoring programme as well as strong policies and procedures.

This can be easier said than done. Our article on creating a worker welfare programme to set your business apart looks at some of the issues routinely faced when checking human rights across an international business.

Click here to read the article in full

 

ESG and value creation

A corporate scandal can decimate share value and not just in the immediate aftermath as the gory details hit the headlines. Shareholders in Volkswagen, Tesco, Toshiba and Rolls Royce are still suffering damage some four years after the scandals emerged.

Not surprisingly, investors are increasingly looking for indicators of long-term sustainability that will help mitigate risks and protect long-term investments.

Investment analysis that focuses solely on financial performance is no longer sufficient. Instead we now see more and more investors analysing ESG-related indicators alongside financial performance. Our latest blog explores this trend and what it may mean for businesses.

Click here to read the blog in full

 

 

In Brief...

Stay up-to-date

If you haven’t recently signed-up to continue receiving our quarterly newsletter and occasional product updates, please click the button below.

These emails contain the latest thinking in business ethics, compliance and best practice, together with summaries of our recent debates at the House of Lords.

We will only use your details for the purpose of sending you this information.

Click here to receive our newsletters

New team member

GoodCorporation is delighted to announce the appointment of  Jane Ellis as a company director.

Previously head of the International Bar Association’s Legal and Policy Research Unit, Jane is an Australian-qualified lawyer with expertise in competition law, anti-bribery law, corporate governance, whistleblower protection, diversity and business ethics.

Read Jane’s profile in full

See us at C5

GoodCorporation is a sponsor of C5’s Anti-Corruption conference, in London in June.

Readers of this newsletter can receive a 20% discount by quoting the code P20-999-GC18.

The conference will look at UKBA and FCPA  enforcement, how to evidence adequate procedures and managing risks in emerging markets, among other challenging topics.

Register here

New address

Since our last newsletter, GoodCorporation has expanded into larger offices, hopping over Putney Bridge to Fulham.

Our new London address is 2-3 Melbray Mews, London SW6 3NS. Phone numbers and emails stay the same.

If you’d like to visit us or find out more about what we do, get in touch.

Winter 2017/18

Criminal Finances Act increases pressure on businesses to demonstrate robust procedures

Effective since September 2017, The Criminal Finances Act places a new regulatory burden on corporates by introducing a criminal offence of failing to prevent the facilitation of tax evasion. As with the Bribery Act, this applies to the company or partnership and anyone acting for or on its behalf. Our business ethics debate in the Autumn explored the challenges that the Act brings, looking at the changes to culture, risk assessment, training and monitoring that the Act is likely to require in order to ensure a reasonable procedures defence. While much of the analysis has focused on the implications for lawyers, accountants and financial advisers, the offence will have a far wider reach than this in terms of who faces liability. Our blog takes a detailed look at the implications for business, covering the introduction of unexplained wealth orders, the extension of the suspicious activity report moratorium period and the enhanced ability of regulators to freeze and seize assets where there are grounds for suspicion. The Act also has far reaching consequences in terms of human rights, extending the definition of ‘unlawful conduct’ in the civil recovery regime to include gross human rights abuses. This means that UK prosecutors can freeze and seize assets alleged to be the product of a gross human rights abuse by an official or a person acting in an official capacity. This is a strict liability offence, so no defence is provided meaning that businesses have no choice but to ensure they have robust due diligence procedures that will uncover any risk of a connection to gross human rights abuses. Complying with a reasonable procedures defence can be challenging for companies. We have a framework for developing and implementing a robust system to ensure an organisation is properly protected. Contact us for more details.

David Green to lead our first business ethics debate of 2018

David Green will be opening the first GoodCorporation debate of 2018 which will examine the future of anti-corruption prosecution. As David nears the end of his term as director of the UK’s Serious Fraud Office, the debate will focus on where the SFO is heading and how Deferred Prosecution Agreements are likely to work, now that they have been established and tested. Hosted by Baroness Kingsmill, the debate will be held at the House of Lords on February 20. Attendance is by invitation only but please contact us if you are interested or would like to go on our invitation list for future events.  

New social contract or better business behaviour?

Having spent much of 2017 reporting on increasing concerns around excessive executive pay, tax avoidance, zero-hour contracts and automation, the Financial Times (paywall) began the year by stating that capitalism needs a new social contract. This isn’t the first time that new rules of engagement have been called for. While a renewed focus on the social contract would be no bad thing, what we really need to change are the soft and hard laws that dictate business behaviour. Better regulation can and should lead to better businesses that operate for the benefit of all stakeholders. The Financial Reporting Council has the opportunity to effect change as it considers revisions to the Corporate Governance Code. We will be responding in due course, calling for stronger requirements around evidencing that an organisation’s culture is properly underpinned by the ethical values that drive responsible business behaviour. This argument is also made by Christopher Hodges and Ruth Steinholz in their new book Ethical Business Practice and Regulation. In it, they propose that that ethical business regulation which requires businesses to evidence a commitment to ethical business practice, can maximise good outcomes for all stakeholders. We wait to see if and how this might be might be addressed in the new in Corporate Governance Code. Contact us for more information on measuring ethical culture.

In Brief...

GoodCorporation to hold first debate on data protection in Paris

Following the launch of our Paris office at the end of last year, GoodCorporation is holding its first French business ethics debate on the subject of data protection.

Jean-Baptiste Siproudhis, Head of Compliance at Atos, will be leading the discussion which is being held at the Salons France-Ameriques at lunchtime on March 15.

With French data protection regulator the CNIL celebrating its 40th anniversary in the year that the GDPR comes into effect, it is clear that data protection issues are more central than they have ever been. Our debate will explore the challenges business face to be compliant with GDPR by May 2018.

GoodCorporation has been working with UK companies to help them prepare for GDPR. Our work has involved risk mapping, auditing existing systems, training and system development.

GDPR Ready?

Many companies have undertaken significant projects to change processes and systems to comply with the new EU General Data Protection Regulation that comes into force in May.

Attention is now turning to board assurances and the best way to demonstrate that their organisation is GDPR ready.

GoodCorporation’s Data Protection Framework is providing a number of our clients with a measurement tool for assessing the effectiveness of the systems in place.

We have also been working with companies to carry out detailed data mapping exercises. Data can easily be misfiled or stored without the necessary protections, so getting this right is essential. We look beyond where data ought to be stored and talk to staff to get a clear idea of how data flows through the organisation. This is also helpful for highlighting to senior management what is working and where improvements are needed.

To find out more, please contact Gareth Thomas who is leading our GDPR work and also view our GDPR readiness check.

Contributing to the debate

Following the publication of our recommendations to promote responsible gambling, GoodCorporation has responded to the UK Government’s gambling consultation.

We support the Government’s proposals to reduce maximum stakes on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals. In addition to the social responsibility measures put forward, we have recommended that more needs to be done around monitoring controls, training and self-exclusion. Read our response in full here.

December 2019

In Brief...

Summer 2019

In Brief...

Spring 2019

In Brief...

Winter 2018

Business ethics trends for 2019

Ethical conduct was firmly in the spotlight for much of 2018 and for a variety of reasons, from the #MeToo movement which pushed bullying and harassment onto board agendas, through to the implementation of GDPR which turned us all into data privacy experts.

Despite the many geopolitical challenges around the world and the many forecasts predicting a slowdown in global economic growth, the impetus for businesses to be run ethically will continue in 2019. As the Financial Reporting Council states, poor ethical conduct is a business risk in itself.

Our first blog post for 2019 looks forward to the business ethics areas that look set to dominate over the coming months including culture measurement, ESG, data protection, human rights and economic crime.

Much of this is being driven by regulation. Businesses cannot afford to turn a blind eye and hope that nothing goes wrong. Corporate leaders need to set the right tone and back it up with actions.

Read the blog in full

The changing face of anti-corruption prosecution

GoodCorporation was delighted that Lisa Osofsky, director of the Serious Fraud Office, was able to open our debate on the changing landscape of anti-corruption prosecution.

Emphasising that the SFO will continue its robust approach to prosecution, Osofsky stated that those in law enforcement are likely to be working ever more closely to build successful cases. Not only will this involve increased cooperation and information sharing, it will also require a change in investigative methods with digital forensic capability becoming a priority.

The SFO recognises that companies have made significant progress in their anti-corruption efforts and are increasingly ready to listen to those willing to talk. Deferred Prosecution Agreements are felt to be effective and the SFO is considering drafting guidance to help companies understand what cooperation with the SFO means.

Read debate summary

Are ESG investments changing corporate behaviour?

As the purpose versus profit debate continues to gather momentum, GoodCorporation’s final debate of 2018 asked whether investors and the focus on ESG funding are starting to drive change?

Georg Kell, chairman of Arabesque Partners and the founding director of the UN Global Compact opened the discussion by suggesting that there is now a real alignment between sustainable finance and responsible business practice.

Today, ESG investing is estimated at around $20 trillion in assets under management and this is likely to grow according to Kell. This presents a real opportunity for those corporates in a position to present strong ESG information that will enable them to access this capital.

As for changing behaviour, there is evidence that this is starting, but there is still a way to go.

Read debate summary

In Brief...

GoodCorporation speaking at Chatham House

GoodCorporation Director Jane Ellis will be exploring the role of corporate governance in setting the standards for responsible business practice at the third annual Chatham House Responsible Business conference. The event is taking place at Chatham House on Feb 28.

Book tickets here

The challenge of ESG

ESG is a challenge for many companies, but some are starting to realise that fund managers are not investing in building ESG teams to tick boxes or review paper.

Our work with Yara shows how some of the innovators are responding.

Read our blog

Ethics & compliance in French companies

Tough new French legislation has placed ethics and compliance issues at the forefront for French companies.

Some are already leading the way, others are investing time and resources. We summarise how our French company has been working with businesses on a range of ethics issues.

Read our blog

New supplier code of conduct at the FCO

The Foreign and Commonwealth office has raised the bar on checking modern slavery obligations in the supply chain with a tough new Supplier Code of Conduct.

Our article looks at the FCO’s expectations and what this means for businesses tendering for government work.

Read the article

Autumn 2018

Tackling bullying and harassment in the workplace

  GoodCorporation’s October debate at the House of Lords asked why bullying and harassment are still issues in the workplace and what business can do to tackle this. Rachel Crasnow QC led the discussion emphasising the importance of training for all staff, particularly managers. Managing people often requires difficult conversations to be had, yet those in managerial roles rarely receive training on this aspect of their job. A trusted speak-up system, effective communication and sanctions for any proven cases of bullying or harassment must all be implemented if a zero-tolerance approach is to be properly effective. A full summary of the debate is on our website. Bullying and harassment can have a significant and negative impact on a business, its employees and its work culture. Companies are expected to identify, prevent and address any such incidents. GoodCorporation has worked with leading organisations to help test and strengthen their anti-bullying and harassment procedures, using our Bullying and Harassment Framework.

Five steps to CFA compliance

Following the introduction of the Criminal Finances Act into UK legislation in 2017, organisations can now be held criminally liable for failing to prevent anyone acting for or on their behalf from facilitating the evasion of UK or foreign tax. Conviction comes with serious consequences, including a potentially unlimited fine. GoodCorporation has identified five critical factors that companies need to consider when implementing compliance with the new legislation. Click here to read the blog

New compliance toolkit

For smaller companies wishing to list, rapidly growing or suddenly under pressure from regulators, GoodCorporation has developed a compliance toolkit providing off-the-shelf compliance support to help build an effective programme or fill in any remaining gaps. Ten compliance tools are available, including code of conduct design and benchmarking; compliance policies and procedures; risk assessment as well as face-to-face and online training. Contact us for details.  

Forthcoming events

We are delighted that Lisa Osofsky, Director of the Serious Fraud Office, will open our debate with business leaders on the anti-corruption landscape. Held at the House of Lords on November 7, attendance is by invitation only. We are also holding a safeguarding discussion group on November 8, exploring the results of our recent survey and looking at safeguarding best practice for organisations.

In Brief...

Paris anti-corruption debate

Last month, GoodCorporation asked how French  companies are dealing with the country’s new anti-bribery law, looking at the challenges they face complying with this tough legislation. How are businesses and authorities responding?

Read the debate summary here

Assessing the drivers of ethical culture

Assessing the strength of key cultural drivers that underpin responsible decision making can help employers mitigate risks to both reputation and the bottom line.

Our article in Financial Management examines the issues.

 

Is GDPR over?

As GDPR came into force, it led to an avalanche of notifications and data protection requests. In October’s Ethical Corporation, we look at the steps taken to date, examine the compliance challenges and highlight emerging best practice.

Read the article here

Modern Slavery Act - Review

The Home Office has commissioned an independent review of the Modern Slavery Act. The aim of the review is to understand how the Act is operating in practice and whether the legal framework is fit for purpose. To contribute to the review, click here.

Summer 2018

Corporate culture key to UK Governance Code

Following the publication of the new UK Corporate Governance Code last month, corporate culture looks set to become a boardroom issue. Under the section on leadership and company purpose, the code states that a board ‘must establish the company’s purpose, values and strategy and satisfy itself that these and its culture are aligned’.

To do this, boards will be required to assess and monitor culture. Where they are not satisfied that these are aligned, the board is now expected to ‘seek assurances that the management has taken corrective action.’ Any activities and action taken by the board should be explained in the annual report.

In our white paper Measuring Ethical Culture, we argued that while culture may appear intangible and hard to measure, boards need to find a way to do just that. This will involve identifying the right culture indicators to enable them to assess whether good corporate behaviour is properly embedded.

This approach is supported by the Financial Reporting Council’s guidance on the new code which urges boards to identify and track typical features of a positive culture. Based on our experience of assessing and measuring corporate behaviour, we have identified the key drivers of an ethical company culture and devised a methodology to assist boards with the new monitoring and reporting demands.

Read the blog in full

GDPR is not over

May 25th was not the finishing line for GDPR. So while much of the panic may be over, there is still work to be done to ensure compliance with the new legislation.

Elizabeth Denham, the UK’s Information Commissioner, describes GDPR as an ongoing journey that requires continuous effort. Businesses will be expected to “continue to identify and address emerging privacy and security risks in the weeks, months and years beyond May 2018”.

Our latest blog summarises five key reasons why GDPR isn’t over and outlines what organisations need to do to ensure long-term compliance.

Read the blog in full

An ethical future for AI

Despite the widespread use of AI across a range of industries and services, no country has established, as yet, an ethical or legal framework to govern its development.

AI is still relatively embryonic, but the pace of change is rapid and the investment considerable. It has the potential to transform economies and benefit humanity, but to do this successfully it will need to be both reliable and trusted.

Businesses and those at the vanguard of AI development cannot afford to wait for regulators to set the bar and define the ethical or regulatory framework. Our blog explores some of the key ethical considerations.

Read the blog in full

In Brief...

Latest Debate

With poor corporate culture perceived to be a business risk in itself, what should companies be doing to mitigate that risk and ensure they have the right culture in place?

Our summer business ethics debate explored the value, strategic importance and practicalities of measuring corporate culture.

As with all our debates, the summary is on the website.

Ethics & compliance benchmarking

Does your organisation have a stand-alone ethics and compliance function? Who does it report to? How often are due diligence checks carried out on third parties?

These are just some of the questions we posed at the session on compliance programme benchmarking that we moderated at the C5 Anti-Corruption event this summer. The results are available on our blog.

Safeguarding survey

GoodCorporation has conducted its first safeguarding survey, inviting a range of organisations to respond.

The survey aimed to discover how organisations govern, resource, assess and monitor safeguarding.

The results will be published in a forthcoming paper. We will also be inviting respondents to a safeguarding event in September to review the findings. Contact us for details.

Sapin II debate in Paris

Following the success of our debate on the challenges of implementing GDPR, GoodCorporation will be hosting another discussion in Paris in September.

This time the debate will focus on the demands placed on French businesses by Sapin II.

The debate will take place at the Salons France Amériques on Thursday September 13. Contact us for more information.

Spring 2018

Managing AI along ethical lines

Artificial intelligence (AI) is already transforming our lives and our workplaces; robots carry out dangerous and repetitive tasks, machine-learning algorithms are being used to improve medical diagnoses and many of our cyber defences are AI powered. This week, one of the UK’s biggest hospitals, University College London, announced that it plans to use AI to radically improve its services.

As intelligent machines evolve, so too do the ethical questions that should govern these developments. If AI machines make mistakes that cause harm, who should be held responsible? AI systems learn through access to data, so what does that mean in terms of our right to privacy? And who, if anyone, should be responsible for the output of AI ‘thought’ processes?

Rightly, these questions are being posed at both national and international levels. Our latest blog takes a look at the steps being taken to develop the ethical and legal framework to govern the use of artificial intelligence.

How businesses utilise AI will have a significant impact on how they are trusted by society. GoodCorporation is exploring the ethical considerations that should govern the evolution of AI technologies and will be publishing updates in this newsletter and on our blog. A strong ethical code will require a multi-stakeholder approach. We would value any thoughts on our blog or direct to our inbox.

 

Managing human rights risks

While the majority of corporates make a firm commitment to protecting human rights in their code of conduct, the nature of modern businesses, with complex structures across diverse locations, means that this can be a challenging pledge to fulfill.

To be sure that human rights policies are properly respected across all sites, companies need a robust monitoring programme as well as strong policies and procedures.

This can be easier said than done. Our article on creating a worker welfare programme to set your business apart looks at some of the issues routinely faced when checking human rights across an international business.

Click here to read the article in full

 

ESG and value creation

A corporate scandal can decimate share value and not just in the immediate aftermath as the gory details hit the headlines. Shareholders in Volkswagen, Tesco, Toshiba and Rolls Royce are still suffering damage some four years after the scandals emerged.

Not surprisingly, investors are increasingly looking for indicators of long-term sustainability that will help mitigate risks and protect long-term investments.

Investment analysis that focuses solely on financial performance is no longer sufficient. Instead we now see more and more investors analysing ESG-related indicators alongside financial performance. Our latest blog explores this trend and what it may mean for businesses.

Click here to read the blog in full

 

 

In Brief...

Stay up-to-date

If you haven’t recently signed-up to continue receiving our quarterly newsletter and occasional product updates, please click the button below.

These emails contain the latest thinking in business ethics, compliance and best practice, together with summaries of our recent debates at the House of Lords.

We will only use your details for the purpose of sending you this information.

Click here to receive our newsletters

New team member

GoodCorporation is delighted to announce the appointment of  Jane Ellis as a company director.

Previously head of the International Bar Association’s Legal and Policy Research Unit, Jane is an Australian-qualified lawyer with expertise in competition law, anti-bribery law, corporate governance, whistleblower protection, diversity and business ethics.

Read Jane’s profile in full

See us at C5

GoodCorporation is a sponsor of C5’s Anti-Corruption conference, in London in June.

Readers of this newsletter can receive a 20% discount by quoting the code P20-999-GC18.

The conference will look at UKBA and FCPA  enforcement, how to evidence adequate procedures and managing risks in emerging markets, among other challenging topics.

Register here

New address

Since our last newsletter, GoodCorporation has expanded into larger offices, hopping over Putney Bridge to Fulham.

Our new London address is 2-3 Melbray Mews, London SW6 3NS. Phone numbers and emails stay the same.

If you’d like to visit us or find out more about what we do, get in touch.

Winter 2017/18

Criminal Finances Act increases pressure on businesses to demonstrate robust procedures

Effective since September 2017, The Criminal Finances Act places a new regulatory burden on corporates by introducing a criminal offence of failing to prevent the facilitation of tax evasion. As with the Bribery Act, this applies to the company or partnership and anyone acting for or on its behalf. Our business ethics debate in the Autumn explored the challenges that the Act brings, looking at the changes to culture, risk assessment, training and monitoring that the Act is likely to require in order to ensure a reasonable procedures defence. While much of the analysis has focused on the implications for lawyers, accountants and financial advisers, the offence will have a far wider reach than this in terms of who faces liability. Our blog takes a detailed look at the implications for business, covering the introduction of unexplained wealth orders, the extension of the suspicious activity report moratorium period and the enhanced ability of regulators to freeze and seize assets where there are grounds for suspicion. The Act also has far reaching consequences in terms of human rights, extending the definition of ‘unlawful conduct’ in the civil recovery regime to include gross human rights abuses. This means that UK prosecutors can freeze and seize assets alleged to be the product of a gross human rights abuse by an official or a person acting in an official capacity. This is a strict liability offence, so no defence is provided meaning that businesses have no choice but to ensure they have robust due diligence procedures that will uncover any risk of a connection to gross human rights abuses. Complying with a reasonable procedures defence can be challenging for companies. We have a framework for developing and implementing a robust system to ensure an organisation is properly protected. Contact us for more details.

David Green to lead our first business ethics debate of 2018

David Green will be opening the first GoodCorporation debate of 2018 which will examine the future of anti-corruption prosecution. As David nears the end of his term as director of the UK’s Serious Fraud Office, the debate will focus on where the SFO is heading and how Deferred Prosecution Agreements are likely to work, now that they have been established and tested. Hosted by Baroness Kingsmill, the debate will be held at the House of Lords on February 20. Attendance is by invitation only but please contact us if you are interested or would like to go on our invitation list for future events.  

New social contract or better business behaviour?

Having spent much of 2017 reporting on increasing concerns around excessive executive pay, tax avoidance, zero-hour contracts and automation, the Financial Times (paywall) began the year by stating that capitalism needs a new social contract. This isn’t the first time that new rules of engagement have been called for. While a renewed focus on the social contract would be no bad thing, what we really need to change are the soft and hard laws that dictate business behaviour. Better regulation can and should lead to better businesses that operate for the benefit of all stakeholders. The Financial Reporting Council has the opportunity to effect change as it considers revisions to the Corporate Governance Code. We will be responding in due course, calling for stronger requirements around evidencing that an organisation’s culture is properly underpinned by the ethical values that drive responsible business behaviour. This argument is also made by Christopher Hodges and Ruth Steinholz in their new book Ethical Business Practice and Regulation. In it, they propose that that ethical business regulation which requires businesses to evidence a commitment to ethical business practice, can maximise good outcomes for all stakeholders. We wait to see if and how this might be might be addressed in the new in Corporate Governance Code. Contact us for more information on measuring ethical culture.

In Brief...

GoodCorporation to hold first debate on data protection in Paris

Following the launch of our Paris office at the end of last year, GoodCorporation is holding its first French business ethics debate on the subject of data protection.

Jean-Baptiste Siproudhis, Head of Compliance at Atos, will be leading the discussion which is being held at the Salons France-Ameriques at lunchtime on March 15.

With French data protection regulator the CNIL celebrating its 40th anniversary in the year that the GDPR comes into effect, it is clear that data protection issues are more central than they have ever been. Our debate will explore the challenges business face to be compliant with GDPR by May 2018.

GoodCorporation has been working with UK companies to help them prepare for GDPR. Our work has involved risk mapping, auditing existing systems, training and system development.

GDPR Ready?

Many companies have undertaken significant projects to change processes and systems to comply with the new EU General Data Protection Regulation that comes into force in May.

Attention is now turning to board assurances and the best way to demonstrate that their organisation is GDPR ready.

GoodCorporation’s Data Protection Framework is providing a number of our clients with a measurement tool for assessing the effectiveness of the systems in place.

We have also been working with companies to carry out detailed data mapping exercises. Data can easily be misfiled or stored without the necessary protections, so getting this right is essential. We look beyond where data ought to be stored and talk to staff to get a clear idea of how data flows through the organisation. This is also helpful for highlighting to senior management what is working and where improvements are needed.

To find out more, please contact Gareth Thomas who is leading our GDPR work and also view our GDPR readiness check.

Contributing to the debate

Following the publication of our recommendations to promote responsible gambling, GoodCorporation has responded to the UK Government’s gambling consultation.

We support the Government’s proposals to reduce maximum stakes on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals. In addition to the social responsibility measures put forward, we have recommended that more needs to be done around monitoring controls, training and self-exclusion. Read our response in full here.

December 2019

In Brief...

Summer 2019

In Brief...

Spring 2019

In Brief...

Winter 2018

Business ethics trends for 2019

Ethical conduct was firmly in the spotlight for much of 2018 and for a variety of reasons, from the #MeToo movement which pushed bullying and harassment onto board agendas, through to the implementation of GDPR which turned us all into data privacy experts.

Despite the many geopolitical challenges around the world and the many forecasts predicting a slowdown in global economic growth, the impetus for businesses to be run ethically will continue in 2019. As the Financial Reporting Council states, poor ethical conduct is a business risk in itself.

Our first blog post for 2019 looks forward to the business ethics areas that look set to dominate over the coming months including culture measurement, ESG, data protection, human rights and economic crime.

Much of this is being driven by regulation. Businesses cannot afford to turn a blind eye and hope that nothing goes wrong. Corporate leaders need to set the right tone and back it up with actions.

Read the blog in full

The changing face of anti-corruption prosecution

GoodCorporation was delighted that Lisa Osofsky, director of the Serious Fraud Office, was able to open our debate on the changing landscape of anti-corruption prosecution.

Emphasising that the SFO will continue its robust approach to prosecution, Osofsky stated that those in law enforcement are likely to be working ever more closely to build successful cases. Not only will this involve increased cooperation and information sharing, it will also require a change in investigative methods with digital forensic capability becoming a priority.

The SFO recognises that companies have made significant progress in their anti-corruption efforts and are increasingly ready to listen to those willing to talk. Deferred Prosecution Agreements are felt to be effective and the SFO is considering drafting guidance to help companies understand what cooperation with the SFO means.

Read debate summary

Are ESG investments changing corporate behaviour?

As the purpose versus profit debate continues to gather momentum, GoodCorporation’s final debate of 2018 asked whether investors and the focus on ESG funding are starting to drive change?

Georg Kell, chairman of Arabesque Partners and the founding director of the UN Global Compact opened the discussion by suggesting that there is now a real alignment between sustainable finance and responsible business practice.

Today, ESG investing is estimated at around $20 trillion in assets under management and this is likely to grow according to Kell. This presents a real opportunity for those corporates in a position to present strong ESG information that will enable them to access this capital.

As for changing behaviour, there is evidence that this is starting, but there is still a way to go.

Read debate summary

In Brief...

GoodCorporation speaking at Chatham House

GoodCorporation Director Jane Ellis will be exploring the role of corporate governance in setting the standards for responsible business practice at the third annual Chatham House Responsible Business conference. The event is taking place at Chatham House on Feb 28.

Book tickets here

The challenge of ESG

ESG is a challenge for many companies, but some are starting to realise that fund managers are not investing in building ESG teams to tick boxes or review paper.

Our work with Yara shows how some of the innovators are responding.

Read our blog

Ethics & compliance in French companies

Tough new French legislation has placed ethics and compliance issues at the forefront for French companies.

Some are already leading the way, others are investing time and resources. We summarise how our French company has been working with businesses on a range of ethics issues.

Read our blog

New supplier code of conduct at the FCO

The Foreign and Commonwealth office has raised the bar on checking modern slavery obligations in the supply chain with a tough new Supplier Code of Conduct.

Our article looks at the FCO’s expectations and what this means for businesses tendering for government work.

Read the article

Autumn 2018

Tackling bullying and harassment in the workplace

  GoodCorporation’s October debate at the House of Lords asked why bullying and harassment are still issues in the workplace and what business can do to tackle this. Rachel Crasnow QC led the discussion emphasising the importance of training for all staff, particularly managers. Managing people often requires difficult conversations to be had, yet those in managerial roles rarely receive training on this aspect of their job. A trusted speak-up system, effective communication and sanctions for any proven cases of bullying or harassment must all be implemented if a zero-tolerance approach is to be properly effective. A full summary of the debate is on our website. Bullying and harassment can have a significant and negative impact on a business, its employees and its work culture. Companies are expected to identify, prevent and address any such incidents. GoodCorporation has worked with leading organisations to help test and strengthen their anti-bullying and harassment procedures, using our Bullying and Harassment Framework.

Five steps to CFA compliance

Following the introduction of the Criminal Finances Act into UK legislation in 2017, organisations can now be held criminally liable for failing to prevent anyone acting for or on their behalf from facilitating the evasion of UK or foreign tax. Conviction comes with serious consequences, including a potentially unlimited fine. GoodCorporation has identified five critical factors that companies need to consider when implementing compliance with the new legislation. Click here to read the blog

New compliance toolkit

For smaller companies wishing to list, rapidly growing or suddenly under pressure from regulators, GoodCorporation has developed a compliance toolkit providing off-the-shelf compliance support to help build an effective programme or fill in any remaining gaps. Ten compliance tools are available, including code of conduct design and benchmarking; compliance policies and procedures; risk assessment as well as face-to-face and online training. Contact us for details.  

Forthcoming events

We are delighted that Lisa Osofsky, Director of the Serious Fraud Office, will open our debate with business leaders on the anti-corruption landscape. Held at the House of Lords on November 7, attendance is by invitation only. We are also holding a safeguarding discussion group on November 8, exploring the results of our recent survey and looking at safeguarding best practice for organisations.

In Brief...

Paris anti-corruption debate

Last month, GoodCorporation asked how French  companies are dealing with the country’s new anti-bribery law, looking at the challenges they face complying with this tough legislation. How are businesses and authorities responding?

Read the debate summary here

Assessing the drivers of ethical culture

Assessing the strength of key cultural drivers that underpin responsible decision making can help employers mitigate risks to both reputation and the bottom line.

Our article in Financial Management examines the issues.

 

Is GDPR over?

As GDPR came into force, it led to an avalanche of notifications and data protection requests. In October’s Ethical Corporation, we look at the steps taken to date, examine the compliance challenges and highlight emerging best practice.

Read the article here

Modern Slavery Act - Review

The Home Office has commissioned an independent review of the Modern Slavery Act. The aim of the review is to understand how the Act is operating in practice and whether the legal framework is fit for purpose. To contribute to the review, click here.

Summer 2018

Corporate culture key to UK Governance Code

Following the publication of the new UK Corporate Governance Code last month, corporate culture looks set to become a boardroom issue. Under the section on leadership and company purpose, the code states that a board ‘must establish the company’s purpose, values and strategy and satisfy itself that these and its culture are aligned’.

To do this, boards will be required to assess and monitor culture. Where they are not satisfied that these are aligned, the board is now expected to ‘seek assurances that the management has taken corrective action.’ Any activities and action taken by the board should be explained in the annual report.

In our white paper Measuring Ethical Culture, we argued that while culture may appear intangible and hard to measure, boards need to find a way to do just that. This will involve identifying the right culture indicators to enable them to assess whether good corporate behaviour is properly embedded.

This approach is supported by the Financial Reporting Council’s guidance on the new code which urges boards to identify and track typical features of a positive culture. Based on our experience of assessing and measuring corporate behaviour, we have identified the key drivers of an ethical company culture and devised a methodology to assist boards with the new monitoring and reporting demands.

Read the blog in full

GDPR is not over

May 25th was not the finishing line for GDPR. So while much of the panic may be over, there is still work to be done to ensure compliance with the new legislation.

Elizabeth Denham, the UK’s Information Commissioner, describes GDPR as an ongoing journey that requires continuous effort. Businesses will be expected to “continue to identify and address emerging privacy and security risks in the weeks, months and years beyond May 2018”.

Our latest blog summarises five key reasons why GDPR isn’t over and outlines what organisations need to do to ensure long-term compliance.

Read the blog in full

An ethical future for AI

Despite the widespread use of AI across a range of industries and services, no country has established, as yet, an ethical or legal framework to govern its development.

AI is still relatively embryonic, but the pace of change is rapid and the investment considerable. It has the potential to transform economies and benefit humanity, but to do this successfully it will need to be both reliable and trusted.

Businesses and those at the vanguard of AI development cannot afford to wait for regulators to set the bar and define the ethical or regulatory framework. Our blog explores some of the key ethical considerations.

Read the blog in full

In Brief...

Latest Debate

With poor corporate culture perceived to be a business risk in itself, what should companies be doing to mitigate that risk and ensure they have the right culture in place?

Our summer business ethics debate explored the value, strategic importance and practicalities of measuring corporate culture.

As with all our debates, the summary is on the website.

Ethics & compliance benchmarking

Does your organisation have a stand-alone ethics and compliance function? Who does it report to? How often are due diligence checks carried out on third parties?

These are just some of the questions we posed at the session on compliance programme benchmarking that we moderated at the C5 Anti-Corruption event this summer. The results are available on our blog.

Safeguarding survey

GoodCorporation has conducted its first safeguarding survey, inviting a range of organisations to respond.

The survey aimed to discover how organisations govern, resource, assess and monitor safeguarding.

The results will be published in a forthcoming paper. We will also be inviting respondents to a safeguarding event in September to review the findings. Contact us for details.

Sapin II debate in Paris

Following the success of our debate on the challenges of implementing GDPR, GoodCorporation will be hosting another discussion in Paris in September.

This time the debate will focus on the demands placed on French businesses by Sapin II.

The debate will take place at the Salons France Amériques on Thursday September 13. Contact us for more information.

Spring 2018

Managing AI along ethical lines

Artificial intelligence (AI) is already transforming our lives and our workplaces; robots carry out dangerous and repetitive tasks, machine-learning algorithms are being used to improve medical diagnoses and many of our cyber defences are AI powered. This week, one of the UK’s biggest hospitals, University College London, announced that it plans to use AI to radically improve its services.

As intelligent machines evolve, so too do the ethical questions that should govern these developments. If AI machines make mistakes that cause harm, who should be held responsible? AI systems learn through access to data, so what does that mean in terms of our right to privacy? And who, if anyone, should be responsible for the output of AI ‘thought’ processes?

Rightly, these questions are being posed at both national and international levels. Our latest blog takes a look at the steps being taken to develop the ethical and legal framework to govern the use of artificial intelligence.

How businesses utilise AI will have a significant impact on how they are trusted by society. GoodCorporation is exploring the ethical considerations that should govern the evolution of AI technologies and will be publishing updates in this newsletter and on our blog. A strong ethical code will require a multi-stakeholder approach. We would value any thoughts on our blog or direct to our inbox.

 

Managing human rights risks

While the majority of corporates make a firm commitment to protecting human rights in their code of conduct, the nature of modern businesses, with complex structures across diverse locations, means that this can be a challenging pledge to fulfill.

To be sure that human rights policies are properly respected across all sites, companies need a robust monitoring programme as well as strong policies and procedures.

This can be easier said than done. Our article on creating a worker welfare programme to set your business apart looks at some of the issues routinely faced when checking human rights across an international business.

Click here to read the article in full

 

ESG and value creation

A corporate scandal can decimate share value and not just in the immediate aftermath as the gory details hit the headlines. Shareholders in Volkswagen, Tesco, Toshiba and Rolls Royce are still suffering damage some four years after the scandals emerged.

Not surprisingly, investors are increasingly looking for indicators of long-term sustainability that will help mitigate risks and protect long-term investments.

Investment analysis that focuses solely on financial performance is no longer sufficient. Instead we now see more and more investors analysing ESG-related indicators alongside financial performance. Our latest blog explores this trend and what it may mean for businesses.

Click here to read the blog in full

 

 

In Brief...

Stay up-to-date

If you haven’t recently signed-up to continue receiving our quarterly newsletter and occasional product updates, please click the button below.

These emails contain the latest thinking in business ethics, compliance and best practice, together with summaries of our recent debates at the House of Lords.

We will only use your details for the purpose of sending you this information.

Click here to receive our newsletters

New team member

GoodCorporation is delighted to announce the appointment of  Jane Ellis as a company director.

Previously head of the International Bar Association’s Legal and Policy Research Unit, Jane is an Australian-qualified lawyer with expertise in competition law, anti-bribery law, corporate governance, whistleblower protection, diversity and business ethics.

Read Jane’s profile in full

See us at C5

GoodCorporation is a sponsor of C5’s Anti-Corruption conference, in London in June.

Readers of this newsletter can receive a 20% discount by quoting the code P20-999-GC18.

The conference will look at UKBA and FCPA  enforcement, how to evidence adequate procedures and managing risks in emerging markets, among other challenging topics.

Register here

New address

Since our last newsletter, GoodCorporation has expanded into larger offices, hopping over Putney Bridge to Fulham.

Our new London address is 2-3 Melbray Mews, London SW6 3NS. Phone numbers and emails stay the same.

If you’d like to visit us or find out more about what we do, get in touch.

Winter 2017/18

Criminal Finances Act increases pressure on businesses to demonstrate robust procedures

Effective since September 2017, The Criminal Finances Act places a new regulatory burden on corporates by introducing a criminal offence of failing to prevent the facilitation of tax evasion. As with the Bribery Act, this applies to the company or partnership and anyone acting for or on its behalf. Our business ethics debate in the Autumn explored the challenges that the Act brings, looking at the changes to culture, risk assessment, training and monitoring that the Act is likely to require in order to ensure a reasonable procedures defence. While much of the analysis has focused on the implications for lawyers, accountants and financial advisers, the offence will have a far wider reach than this in terms of who faces liability. Our blog takes a detailed look at the implications for business, covering the introduction of unexplained wealth orders, the extension of the suspicious activity report moratorium period and the enhanced ability of regulators to freeze and seize assets where there are grounds for suspicion. The Act also has far reaching consequences in terms of human rights, extending the definition of ‘unlawful conduct’ in the civil recovery regime to include gross human rights abuses. This means that UK prosecutors can freeze and seize assets alleged to be the product of a gross human rights abuse by an official or a person acting in an official capacity. This is a strict liability offence, so no defence is provided meaning that businesses have no choice but to ensure they have robust due diligence procedures that will uncover any risk of a connection to gross human rights abuses. Complying with a reasonable procedures defence can be challenging for companies. We have a framework for developing and implementing a robust system to ensure an organisation is properly protected. Contact us for more details.

David Green to lead our first business ethics debate of 2018

David Green will be opening the first GoodCorporation debate of 2018 which will examine the future of anti-corruption prosecution. As David nears the end of his term as director of the UK’s Serious Fraud Office, the debate will focus on where the SFO is heading and how Deferred Prosecution Agreements are likely to work, now that they have been established and tested. Hosted by Baroness Kingsmill, the debate will be held at the House of Lords on February 20. Attendance is by invitation only but please contact us if you are interested or would like to go on our invitation list for future events.  

New social contract or better business behaviour?

Having spent much of 2017 reporting on increasing concerns around excessive executive pay, tax avoidance, zero-hour contracts and automation, the Financial Times (paywall) began the year by stating that capitalism needs a new social contract. This isn’t the first time that new rules of engagement have been called for. While a renewed focus on the social contract would be no bad thing, what we really need to change are the soft and hard laws that dictate business behaviour. Better regulation can and should lead to better businesses that operate for the benefit of all stakeholders. The Financial Reporting Council has the opportunity to effect change as it considers revisions to the Corporate Governance Code. We will be responding in due course, calling for stronger requirements around evidencing that an organisation’s culture is properly underpinned by the ethical values that drive responsible business behaviour. This argument is also made by Christopher Hodges and Ruth Steinholz in their new book Ethical Business Practice and Regulation. In it, they propose that that ethical business regulation which requires businesses to evidence a commitment to ethical business practice, can maximise good outcomes for all stakeholders. We wait to see if and how this might be might be addressed in the new in Corporate Governance Code. Contact us for more information on measuring ethical culture.

In Brief...

GoodCorporation to hold first debate on data protection in Paris

Following the launch of our Paris office at the end of last year, GoodCorporation is holding its first French business ethics debate on the subject of data protection.

Jean-Baptiste Siproudhis, Head of Compliance at Atos, will be leading the discussion which is being held at the Salons France-Ameriques at lunchtime on March 15.

With French data protection regulator the CNIL celebrating its 40th anniversary in the year that the GDPR comes into effect, it is clear that data protection issues are more central than they have ever been. Our debate will explore the challenges business face to be compliant with GDPR by May 2018.

GoodCorporation has been working with UK companies to help them prepare for GDPR. Our work has involved risk mapping, auditing existing systems, training and system development.

GDPR Ready?

Many companies have undertaken significant projects to change processes and systems to comply with the new EU General Data Protection Regulation that comes into force in May.

Attention is now turning to board assurances and the best way to demonstrate that their organisation is GDPR ready.

GoodCorporation’s Data Protection Framework is providing a number of our clients with a measurement tool for assessing the effectiveness of the systems in place.

We have also been working with companies to carry out detailed data mapping exercises. Data can easily be misfiled or stored without the necessary protections, so getting this right is essential. We look beyond where data ought to be stored and talk to staff to get a clear idea of how data flows through the organisation. This is also helpful for highlighting to senior management what is working and where improvements are needed.

To find out more, please contact Gareth Thomas who is leading our GDPR work and also view our GDPR readiness check.

Contributing to the debate

Following the publication of our recommendations to promote responsible gambling, GoodCorporation has responded to the UK Government’s gambling consultation.

We support the Government’s proposals to reduce maximum stakes on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals. In addition to the social responsibility measures put forward, we have recommended that more needs to be done around monitoring controls, training and self-exclusion. Read our response in full here.

December 2019

In Brief...

Summer 2019

In Brief...

Spring 2019

In Brief...

Winter 2018

Business ethics trends for 2019

Ethical conduct was firmly in the spotlight for much of 2018 and for a variety of reasons, from the #MeToo movement which pushed bullying and harassment onto board agendas, through to the implementation of GDPR which turned us all into data privacy experts.

Despite the many geopolitical challenges around the world and the many forecasts predicting a slowdown in global economic growth, the impetus for businesses to be run ethically will continue in 2019. As the Financial Reporting Council states, poor ethical conduct is a business risk in itself.

Our first blog post for 2019 looks forward to the business ethics areas that look set to dominate over the coming months including culture measurement, ESG, data protection, human rights and economic crime.

Much of this is being driven by regulation. Businesses cannot afford to turn a blind eye and hope that nothing goes wrong. Corporate leaders need to set the right tone and back it up with actions.

Read the blog in full

The changing face of anti-corruption prosecution

GoodCorporation was delighted that Lisa Osofsky, director of the Serious Fraud Office, was able to open our debate on the changing landscape of anti-corruption prosecution.

Emphasising that the SFO will continue its robust approach to prosecution, Osofsky stated that those in law enforcement are likely to be working ever more closely to build successful cases. Not only will this involve increased cooperation and information sharing, it will also require a change in investigative methods with digital forensic capability becoming a priority.

The SFO recognises that companies have made significant progress in their anti-corruption efforts and are increasingly ready to listen to those willing to talk. Deferred Prosecution Agreements are felt to be effective and the SFO is considering drafting guidance to help companies understand what cooperation with the SFO means.

Read debate summary

Are ESG investments changing corporate behaviour?

As the purpose versus profit debate continues to gather momentum, GoodCorporation’s final debate of 2018 asked whether investors and the focus on ESG funding are starting to drive change?

Georg Kell, chairman of Arabesque Partners and the founding director of the UN Global Compact opened the discussion by suggesting that there is now a real alignment between sustainable finance and responsible business practice.

Today, ESG investing is estimated at around $20 trillion in assets under management and this is likely to grow according to Kell. This presents a real opportunity for those corporates in a position to present strong ESG information that will enable them to access this capital.

As for changing behaviour, there is evidence that this is starting, but there is still a way to go.

Read debate summary

In Brief...

GoodCorporation speaking at Chatham House

GoodCorporation Director Jane Ellis will be exploring the role of corporate governance in setting the standards for responsible business practice at the third annual Chatham House Responsible Business conference. The event is taking place at Chatham House on Feb 28.

Book tickets here

The challenge of ESG

ESG is a challenge for many companies, but some are starting to realise that fund managers are not investing in building ESG teams to tick boxes or review paper.

Our work with Yara shows how some of the innovators are responding.

Read our blog

Ethics & compliance in French companies

Tough new French legislation has placed ethics and compliance issues at the forefront for French companies.

Some are already leading the way, others are investing time and resources. We summarise how our French company has been working with businesses on a range of ethics issues.

Read our blog

New supplier code of conduct at the FCO

The Foreign and Commonwealth office has raised the bar on checking modern slavery obligations in the supply chain with a tough new Supplier Code of Conduct.

Our article looks at the FCO’s expectations and what this means for businesses tendering for government work.

Read the article

Autumn 2018

Tackling bullying and harassment in the workplace

  GoodCorporation’s October debate at the House of Lords asked why bullying and harassment are still issues in the workplace and what business can do to tackle this. Rachel Crasnow QC led the discussion emphasising the importance of training for all staff, particularly managers. Managing people often requires difficult conversations to be had, yet those in managerial roles rarely receive training on this aspect of their job. A trusted speak-up system, effective communication and sanctions for any proven cases of bullying or harassment must all be implemented if a zero-tolerance approach is to be properly effective. A full summary of the debate is on our website. Bullying and harassment can have a significant and negative impact on a business, its employees and its work culture. Companies are expected to identify, prevent and address any such incidents. GoodCorporation has worked with leading organisations to help test and strengthen their anti-bullying and harassment procedures, using our Bullying and Harassment Framework.

Five steps to CFA compliance

Following the introduction of the Criminal Finances Act into UK legislation in 2017, organisations can now be held criminally liable for failing to prevent anyone acting for or on their behalf from facilitating the evasion of UK or foreign tax. Conviction comes with serious consequences, including a potentially unlimited fine. GoodCorporation has identified five critical factors that companies need to consider when implementing compliance with the new legislation. Click here to read the blog

New compliance toolkit

For smaller companies wishing to list, rapidly growing or suddenly under pressure from regulators, GoodCorporation has developed a compliance toolkit providing off-the-shelf compliance support to help build an effective programme or fill in any remaining gaps. Ten compliance tools are available, including code of conduct design and benchmarking; compliance policies and procedures; risk assessment as well as face-to-face and online training. Contact us for details.  

Forthcoming events

We are delighted that Lisa Osofsky, Director of the Serious Fraud Office, will open our debate with business leaders on the anti-corruption landscape. Held at the House of Lords on November 7, attendance is by invitation only. We are also holding a safeguarding discussion group on November 8, exploring the results of our recent survey and looking at safeguarding best practice for organisations.

In Brief...

Paris anti-corruption debate

Last month, GoodCorporation asked how French  companies are dealing with the country’s new anti-bribery law, looking at the challenges they face complying with this tough legislation. How are businesses and authorities responding?

Read the debate summary here

Assessing the drivers of ethical culture

Assessing the strength of key cultural drivers that underpin responsible decision making can help employers mitigate risks to both reputation and the bottom line.

Our article in Financial Management examines the issues.

 

Is GDPR over?

As GDPR came into force, it led to an avalanche of notifications and data protection requests. In October’s Ethical Corporation, we look at the steps taken to date, examine the compliance challenges and highlight emerging best practice.

Read the article here

Modern Slavery Act - Review

The Home Office has commissioned an independent review of the Modern Slavery Act. The aim of the review is to understand how the Act is operating in practice and whether the legal framework is fit for purpose. To contribute to the review, click here.

Summer 2018

Corporate culture key to UK Governance Code

Following the publication of the new UK Corporate Governance Code last month, corporate culture looks set to become a boardroom issue. Under the section on leadership and company purpose, the code states that a board ‘must establish the company’s purpose, values and strategy and satisfy itself that these and its culture are aligned’.

To do this, boards will be required to assess and monitor culture. Where they are not satisfied that these are aligned, the board is now expected to ‘seek assurances that the management has taken corrective action.’ Any activities and action taken by the board should be explained in the annual report.

In our white paper Measuring Ethical Culture, we argued that while culture may appear intangible and hard to measure, boards need to find a way to do just that. This will involve identifying the right culture indicators to enable them to assess whether good corporate behaviour is properly embedded.

This approach is supported by the Financial Reporting Council’s guidance on the new code which urges boards to identify and track typical features of a positive culture. Based on our experience of assessing and measuring corporate behaviour, we have identified the key drivers of an ethical company culture and devised a methodology to assist boards with the new monitoring and reporting demands.

Read the blog in full

GDPR is not over

May 25th was not the finishing line for GDPR. So while much of the panic may be over, there is still work to be done to ensure compliance with the new legislation.

Elizabeth Denham, the UK’s Information Commissioner, describes GDPR as an ongoing journey that requires continuous effort. Businesses will be expected to “continue to identify and address emerging privacy and security risks in the weeks, months and years beyond May 2018”.

Our latest blog summarises five key reasons why GDPR isn’t over and outlines what organisations need to do to ensure long-term compliance.

Read the blog in full

An ethical future for AI

Despite the widespread use of AI across a range of industries and services, no country has established, as yet, an ethical or legal framework to govern its development.

AI is still relatively embryonic, but the pace of change is rapid and the investment considerable. It has the potential to transform economies and benefit humanity, but to do this successfully it will need to be both reliable and trusted.

Businesses and those at the vanguard of AI development cannot afford to wait for regulators to set the bar and define the ethical or regulatory framework. Our blog explores some of the key ethical considerations.

Read the blog in full

In Brief...

Latest Debate

With poor corporate culture perceived to be a business risk in itself, what should companies be doing to mitigate that risk and ensure they have the right culture in place?

Our summer business ethics debate explored the value, strategic importance and practicalities of measuring corporate culture.

As with all our debates, the summary is on the website.

Ethics & compliance benchmarking

Does your organisation have a stand-alone ethics and compliance function? Who does it report to? How often are due diligence checks carried out on third parties?

These are just some of the questions we posed at the session on compliance programme benchmarking that we moderated at the C5 Anti-Corruption event this summer. The results are available on our blog.

Safeguarding survey

GoodCorporation has conducted its first safeguarding survey, inviting a range of organisations to respond.

The survey aimed to discover how organisations govern, resource, assess and monitor safeguarding.

The results will be published in a forthcoming paper. We will also be inviting respondents to a safeguarding event in September to review the findings. Contact us for details.

Sapin II debate in Paris

Following the success of our debate on the challenges of implementing GDPR, GoodCorporation will be hosting another discussion in Paris in September.

This time the debate will focus on the demands placed on French businesses by Sapin II.

The debate will take place at the Salons France Amériques on Thursday September 13. Contact us for more information.

Spring 2018

Managing AI along ethical lines

Artificial intelligence (AI) is already transforming our lives and our workplaces; robots carry out dangerous and repetitive tasks, machine-learning algorithms are being used to improve medical diagnoses and many of our cyber defences are AI powered. This week, one of the UK’s biggest hospitals, University College London, announced that it plans to use AI to radically improve its services.

As intelligent machines evolve, so too do the ethical questions that should govern these developments. If AI machines make mistakes that cause harm, who should be held responsible? AI systems learn through access to data, so what does that mean in terms of our right to privacy? And who, if anyone, should be responsible for the output of AI ‘thought’ processes?

Rightly, these questions are being posed at both national and international levels. Our latest blog takes a look at the steps being taken to develop the ethical and legal framework to govern the use of artificial intelligence.

How businesses utilise AI will have a significant impact on how they are trusted by society. GoodCorporation is exploring the ethical considerations that should govern the evolution of AI technologies and will be publishing updates in this newsletter and on our blog. A strong ethical code will require a multi-stakeholder approach. We would value any thoughts on our blog or direct to our inbox.

 

Managing human rights risks

While the majority of corporates make a firm commitment to protecting human rights in their code of conduct, the nature of modern businesses, with complex structures across diverse locations, means that this can be a challenging pledge to fulfill.

To be sure that human rights policies are properly respected across all sites, companies need a robust monitoring programme as well as strong policies and procedures.

This can be easier said than done. Our article on creating a worker welfare programme to set your business apart looks at some of the issues routinely faced when checking human rights across an international business.

Click here to read the article in full

 

ESG and value creation

A corporate scandal can decimate share value and not just in the immediate aftermath as the gory details hit the headlines. Shareholders in Volkswagen, Tesco, Toshiba and Rolls Royce are still suffering damage some four years after the scandals emerged.

Not surprisingly, investors are increasingly looking for indicators of long-term sustainability that will help mitigate risks and protect long-term investments.

Investment analysis that focuses solely on financial performance is no longer sufficient. Instead we now see more and more investors analysing ESG-related indicators alongside financial performance. Our latest blog explores this trend and what it may mean for businesses.

Click here to read the blog in full

 

 

In Brief...

Stay up-to-date

If you haven’t recently signed-up to continue receiving our quarterly newsletter and occasional product updates, please click the button below.

These emails contain the latest thinking in business ethics, compliance and best practice, together with summaries of our recent debates at the House of Lords.

We will only use your details for the purpose of sending you this information.

Click here to receive our newsletters

New team member

GoodCorporation is delighted to announce the appointment of  Jane Ellis as a company director.

Previously head of the International Bar Association’s Legal and Policy Research Unit, Jane is an Australian-qualified lawyer with expertise in competition law, anti-bribery law, corporate governance, whistleblower protection, diversity and business ethics.

Read Jane’s profile in full

See us at C5

GoodCorporation is a sponsor of C5’s Anti-Corruption conference, in London in June.

Readers of this newsletter can receive a 20% discount by quoting the code P20-999-GC18.

The conference will look at UKBA and FCPA  enforcement, how to evidence adequate procedures and managing risks in emerging markets, among other challenging topics.

Register here

New address

Since our last newsletter, GoodCorporation has expanded into larger offices, hopping over Putney Bridge to Fulham.

Our new London address is 2-3 Melbray Mews, London SW6 3NS. Phone numbers and emails stay the same.

If you’d like to visit us or find out more about what we do, get in touch.

Winter 2017/18

Criminal Finances Act increases pressure on businesses to demonstrate robust procedures

Effective since September 2017, The Criminal Finances Act places a new regulatory burden on corporates by introducing a criminal offence of failing to prevent the facilitation of tax evasion. As with the Bribery Act, this applies to the company or partnership and anyone acting for or on its behalf. Our business ethics debate in the Autumn explored the challenges that the Act brings, looking at the changes to culture, risk assessment, training and monitoring that the Act is likely to require in order to ensure a reasonable procedures defence. While much of the analysis has focused on the implications for lawyers, accountants and financial advisers, the offence will have a far wider reach than this in terms of who faces liability. Our blog takes a detailed look at the implications for business, covering the introduction of unexplained wealth orders, the extension of the suspicious activity report moratorium period and the enhanced ability of regulators to freeze and seize assets where there are grounds for suspicion. The Act also has far reaching consequences in terms of human rights, extending the definition of ‘unlawful conduct’ in the civil recovery regime to include gross human rights abuses. This means that UK prosecutors can freeze and seize assets alleged to be the product of a gross human rights abuse by an official or a person acting in an official capacity. This is a strict liability offence, so no defence is provided meaning that businesses have no choice but to ensure they have robust due diligence procedures that will uncover any risk of a connection to gross human rights abuses. Complying with a reasonable procedures defence can be challenging for companies. We have a framework for developing and implementing a robust system to ensure an organisation is properly protected. Contact us for more details.

David Green to lead our first business ethics debate of 2018

David Green will be opening the first GoodCorporation debate of 2018 which will examine the future of anti-corruption prosecution. As David nears the end of his term as director of the UK’s Serious Fraud Office, the debate will focus on where the SFO is heading and how Deferred Prosecution Agreements are likely to work, now that they have been established and tested. Hosted by Baroness Kingsmill, the debate will be held at the House of Lords on February 20. Attendance is by invitation only but please contact us if you are interested or would like to go on our invitation list for future events.  

New social contract or better business behaviour?

Having spent much of 2017 reporting on increasing concerns around excessive executive pay, tax avoidance, zero-hour contracts and automation, the Financial Times (paywall) began the year by stating that capitalism needs a new social contract. This isn’t the first time that new rules of engagement have been called for. While a renewed focus on the social contract would be no bad thing, what we really need to change are the soft and hard laws that dictate business behaviour. Better regulation can and should lead to better businesses that operate for the benefit of all stakeholders. The Financial Reporting Council has the opportunity to effect change as it considers revisions to the Corporate Governance Code. We will be responding in due course, calling for stronger requirements around evidencing that an organisation’s culture is properly underpinned by the ethical values that drive responsible business behaviour. This argument is also made by Christopher Hodges and Ruth Steinholz in their new book Ethical Business Practice and Regulation. In it, they propose that that ethical business regulation which requires businesses to evidence a commitment to ethical business practice, can maximise good outcomes for all stakeholders. We wait to see if and how this might be might be addressed in the new in Corporate Governance Code. Contact us for more information on measuring ethical culture.

In Brief...

GoodCorporation to hold first debate on data protection in Paris

Following the launch of our Paris office at the end of last year, GoodCorporation is holding its first French business ethics debate on the subject of data protection.

Jean-Baptiste Siproudhis, Head of Compliance at Atos, will be leading the discussion which is being held at the Salons France-Ameriques at lunchtime on March 15.

With French data protection regulator the CNIL celebrating its 40th anniversary in the year that the GDPR comes into effect, it is clear that data protection issues are more central than they have ever been. Our debate will explore the challenges business face to be compliant with GDPR by May 2018.

GoodCorporation has been working with UK companies to help them prepare for GDPR. Our work has involved risk mapping, auditing existing systems, training and system development.

GDPR Ready?

Many companies have undertaken significant projects to change processes and systems to comply with the new EU General Data Protection Regulation that comes into force in May.

Attention is now turning to board assurances and the best way to demonstrate that their organisation is GDPR ready.

GoodCorporation’s Data Protection Framework is providing a number of our clients with a measurement tool for assessing the effectiveness of the systems in place.

We have also been working with companies to carry out detailed data mapping exercises. Data can easily be misfiled or stored without the necessary protections, so getting this right is essential. We look beyond where data ought to be stored and talk to staff to get a clear idea of how data flows through the organisation. This is also helpful for highlighting to senior management what is working and where improvements are needed.

To find out more, please contact Gareth Thomas who is leading our GDPR work and also view our GDPR readiness check.

Contributing to the debate

Following the publication of our recommendations to promote responsible gambling, GoodCorporation has responded to the UK Government’s gambling consultation.

We support the Government’s proposals to reduce maximum stakes on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals. In addition to the social responsibility measures put forward, we have recommended that more needs to be done around monitoring controls, training and self-exclusion. Read our response in full here.

December 2019

In Brief...

Summer 2019

In Brief...

Spring 2019

In Brief...

Winter 2018

Business ethics trends for 2019

Ethical conduct was firmly in the spotlight for much of 2018 and for a variety of reasons, from the #MeToo movement which pushed bullying and harassment onto board agendas, through to the implementation of GDPR which turned us all into data privacy experts.

Despite the many geopolitical challenges around the world and the many forecasts predicting a slowdown in global economic growth, the impetus for businesses to be run ethically will continue in 2019. As the Financial Reporting Council states, poor ethical conduct is a business risk in itself.

Our first blog post for 2019 looks forward to the business ethics areas that look set to dominate over the coming months including culture measurement, ESG, data protection, human rights and economic crime.

Much of this is being driven by regulation. Businesses cannot afford to turn a blind eye and hope that nothing goes wrong. Corporate leaders need to set the right tone and back it up with actions.

Read the blog in full

The changing face of anti-corruption prosecution

GoodCorporation was delighted that Lisa Osofsky, director of the Serious Fraud Office, was able to open our debate on the changing landscape of anti-corruption prosecution.

Emphasising that the SFO will continue its robust approach to prosecution, Osofsky stated that those in law enforcement are likely to be working ever more closely to build successful cases. Not only will this involve increased cooperation and information sharing, it will also require a change in investigative methods with digital forensic capability becoming a priority.

The SFO recognises that companies have made significant progress in their anti-corruption efforts and are increasingly ready to listen to those willing to talk. Deferred Prosecution Agreements are felt to be effective and the SFO is considering drafting guidance to help companies understand what cooperation with the SFO means.

Read debate summary

Are ESG investments changing corporate behaviour?

As the purpose versus profit debate continues to gather momentum, GoodCorporation’s final debate of 2018 asked whether investors and the focus on ESG funding are starting to drive change?

Georg Kell, chairman of Arabesque Partners and the founding director of the UN Global Compact opened the discussion by suggesting that there is now a real alignment between sustainable finance and responsible business practice.

Today, ESG investing is estimated at around $20 trillion in assets under management and this is likely to grow according to Kell. This presents a real opportunity for those corporates in a position to present strong ESG information that will enable them to access this capital.

As for changing behaviour, there is evidence that this is starting, but there is still a way to go.

Read debate summary

In Brief...

GoodCorporation speaking at Chatham House

GoodCorporation Director Jane Ellis will be exploring the role of corporate governance in setting the standards for responsible business practice at the third annual Chatham House Responsible Business conference. The event is taking place at Chatham House on Feb 28.

Book tickets here

The challenge of ESG

ESG is a challenge for many companies, but some are starting to realise that fund managers are not investing in building ESG teams to tick boxes or review paper.

Our work with Yara shows how some of the innovators are responding.

Read our blog

Ethics & compliance in French companies

Tough new French legislation has placed ethics and compliance issues at the forefront for French companies.

Some are already leading the way, others are investing time and resources. We summarise how our French company has been working with businesses on a range of ethics issues.

Read our blog

New supplier code of conduct at the FCO

The Foreign and Commonwealth office has raised the bar on checking modern slavery obligations in the supply chain with a tough new Supplier Code of Conduct.

Our article looks at the FCO’s expectations and what this means for businesses tendering for government work.

Read the article

Autumn 2018

Tackling bullying and harassment in the workplace

  GoodCorporation’s October debate at the House of Lords asked why bullying and harassment are still issues in the workplace and what business can do to tackle this. Rachel Crasnow QC led the discussion emphasising the importance of training for all staff, particularly managers. Managing people often requires difficult conversations to be had, yet those in managerial roles rarely receive training on this aspect of their job. A trusted speak-up system, effective communication and sanctions for any proven cases of bullying or harassment must all be implemented if a zero-tolerance approach is to be properly effective. A full summary of the debate is on our website. Bullying and harassment can have a significant and negative impact on a business, its employees and its work culture. Companies are expected to identify, prevent and address any such incidents. GoodCorporation has worked with leading organisations to help test and strengthen their anti-bullying and harassment procedures, using our Bullying and Harassment Framework.

Five steps to CFA compliance

Following the introduction of the Criminal Finances Act into UK legislation in 2017, organisations can now be held criminally liable for failing to prevent anyone acting for or on their behalf from facilitating the evasion of UK or foreign tax. Conviction comes with serious consequences, including a potentially unlimited fine. GoodCorporation has identified five critical factors that companies need to consider when implementing compliance with the new legislation. Click here to read the blog

New compliance toolkit

For smaller companies wishing to list, rapidly growing or suddenly under pressure from regulators, GoodCorporation has developed a compliance toolkit providing off-the-shelf compliance support to help build an effective programme or fill in any remaining gaps. Ten compliance tools are available, including code of conduct design and benchmarking; compliance policies and procedures; risk assessment as well as face-to-face and online training. Contact us for details.  

Forthcoming events

We are delighted that Lisa Osofsky, Director of the Serious Fraud Office, will open our debate with business leaders on the anti-corruption landscape. Held at the House of Lords on November 7, attendance is by invitation only. We are also holding a safeguarding discussion group on November 8, exploring the results of our recent survey and looking at safeguarding best practice for organisations.

In Brief...

Paris anti-corruption debate

Last month, GoodCorporation asked how French  companies are dealing with the country’s new anti-bribery law, looking at the challenges they face complying with this tough legislation. How are businesses and authorities responding?

Read the debate summary here

Assessing the drivers of ethical culture

Assessing the strength of key cultural drivers that underpin responsible decision making can help employers mitigate risks to both reputation and the bottom line.

Our article in Financial Management examines the issues.

 

Is GDPR over?

As GDPR came into force, it led to an avalanche of notifications and data protection requests. In October’s Ethical Corporation, we look at the steps taken to date, examine the compliance challenges and highlight emerging best practice.

Read the article here

Modern Slavery Act - Review

The Home Office has commissioned an independent review of the Modern Slavery Act. The aim of the review is to understand how the Act is operating in practice and whether the legal framework is fit for purpose. To contribute to the review, click here.

Summer 2018

Corporate culture key to UK Governance Code

Following the publication of the new UK Corporate Governance Code last month, corporate culture looks set to become a boardroom issue. Under the section on leadership and company purpose, the code states that a board ‘must establish the company’s purpose, values and strategy and satisfy itself that these and its culture are aligned’.

To do this, boards will be required to assess and monitor culture. Where they are not satisfied that these are aligned, the board is now expected to ‘seek assurances that the management has taken corrective action.’ Any activities and action taken by the board should be explained in the annual report.

In our white paper Measuring Ethical Culture, we argued that while culture may appear intangible and hard to measure, boards need to find a way to do just that. This will involve identifying the right culture indicators to enable them to assess whether good corporate behaviour is properly embedded.

This approach is supported by the Financial Reporting Council’s guidance on the new code which urges boards to identify and track typical features of a positive culture. Based on our experience of assessing and measuring corporate behaviour, we have identified the key drivers of an ethical company culture and devised a methodology to assist boards with the new monitoring and reporting demands.

Read the blog in full

GDPR is not over

May 25th was not the finishing line for GDPR. So while much of the panic may be over, there is still work to be done to ensure compliance with the new legislation.

Elizabeth Denham, the UK’s Information Commissioner, describes GDPR as an ongoing journey that requires continuous effort. Businesses will be expected to “continue to identify and address emerging privacy and security risks in the weeks, months and years beyond May 2018”.

Our latest blog summarises five key reasons why GDPR isn’t over and outlines what organisations need to do to ensure long-term compliance.

Read the blog in full

An ethical future for AI

Despite the widespread use of AI across a range of industries and services, no country has established, as yet, an ethical or legal framework to govern its development.

AI is still relatively embryonic, but the pace of change is rapid and the investment considerable. It has the potential to transform economies and benefit humanity, but to do this successfully it will need to be both reliable and trusted.

Businesses and those at the vanguard of AI development cannot afford to wait for regulators to set the bar and define the ethical or regulatory framework. Our blog explores some of the key ethical considerations.

Read the blog in full

In Brief...

Latest Debate

With poor corporate culture perceived to be a business risk in itself, what should companies be doing to mitigate that risk and ensure they have the right culture in place?

Our summer business ethics debate explored the value, strategic importance and practicalities of measuring corporate culture.

As with all our debates, the summary is on the website.

Ethics & compliance benchmarking

Does your organisation have a stand-alone ethics and compliance function? Who does it report to? How often are due diligence checks carried out on third parties?

These are just some of the questions we posed at the session on compliance programme benchmarking that we moderated at the C5 Anti-Corruption event this summer. The results are available on our blog.

Safeguarding survey

GoodCorporation has conducted its first safeguarding survey, inviting a range of organisations to respond.

The survey aimed to discover how organisations govern, resource, assess and monitor safeguarding.

The results will be published in a forthcoming paper. We will also be inviting respondents to a safeguarding event in September to review the findings. Contact us for details.

Sapin II debate in Paris

Following the success of our debate on the challenges of implementing GDPR, GoodCorporation will be hosting another discussion in Paris in September.

This time the debate will focus on the demands placed on French businesses by Sapin II.

The debate will take place at the Salons France Amériques on Thursday September 13. Contact us for more information.

Spring 2018

Managing AI along ethical lines

Artificial intelligence (AI) is already transforming our lives and our workplaces; robots carry out dangerous and repetitive tasks, machine-learning algorithms are being used to improve medical diagnoses and many of our cyber defences are AI powered. This week, one of the UK’s biggest hospitals, University College London, announced that it plans to use AI to radically improve its services.

As intelligent machines evolve, so too do the ethical questions that should govern these developments. If AI machines make mistakes that cause harm, who should be held responsible? AI systems learn through access to data, so what does that mean in terms of our right to privacy? And who, if anyone, should be responsible for the output of AI ‘thought’ processes?

Rightly, these questions are being posed at both national and international levels. Our latest blog takes a look at the steps being taken to develop the ethical and legal framework to govern the use of artificial intelligence.

How businesses utilise AI will have a significant impact on how they are trusted by society. GoodCorporation is exploring the ethical considerations that should govern the evolution of AI technologies and will be publishing updates in this newsletter and on our blog. A strong ethical code will require a multi-stakeholder approach. We would value any thoughts on our blog or direct to our inbox.

 

Managing human rights risks

While the majority of corporates make a firm commitment to protecting human rights in their code of conduct, the nature of modern businesses, with complex structures across diverse locations, means that this can be a challenging pledge to fulfill.

To be sure that human rights policies are properly respected across all sites, companies need a robust monitoring programme as well as strong policies and procedures.

This can be easier said than done. Our article on creating a worker welfare programme to set your business apart looks at some of the issues routinely faced when checking human rights across an international business.

Click here to read the article in full

 

ESG and value creation

A corporate scandal can decimate share value and not just in the immediate aftermath as the gory details hit the headlines. Shareholders in Volkswagen, Tesco, Toshiba and Rolls Royce are still suffering damage some four years after the scandals emerged.

Not surprisingly, investors are increasingly looking for indicators of long-term sustainability that will help mitigate risks and protect long-term investments.

Investment analysis that focuses solely on financial performance is no longer sufficient. Instead we now see more and more investors analysing ESG-related indicators alongside financial performance. Our latest blog explores this trend and what it may mean for businesses.

Click here to read the blog in full

 

 

In Brief...

Stay up-to-date

If you haven’t recently signed-up to continue receiving our quarterly newsletter and occasional product updates, please click the button below.

These emails contain the latest thinking in business ethics, compliance and best practice, together with summaries of our recent debates at the House of Lords.

We will only use your details for the purpose of sending you this information.

Click here to receive our newsletters

New team member

GoodCorporation is delighted to announce the appointment of  Jane Ellis as a company director.

Previously head of the International Bar Association’s Legal and Policy Research Unit, Jane is an Australian-qualified lawyer with expertise in competition law, anti-bribery law, corporate governance, whistleblower protection, diversity and business ethics.

Read Jane’s profile in full

See us at C5

GoodCorporation is a sponsor of C5’s Anti-Corruption conference, in London in June.

Readers of this newsletter can receive a 20% discount by quoting the code P20-999-GC18.

The conference will look at UKBA and FCPA  enforcement, how to evidence adequate procedures and managing risks in emerging markets, among other challenging topics.

Register here

New address

Since our last newsletter, GoodCorporation has expanded into larger offices, hopping over Putney Bridge to Fulham.

Our new London address is 2-3 Melbray Mews, London SW6 3NS. Phone numbers and emails stay the same.

If you’d like to visit us or find out more about what we do, get in touch.

Winter 2017/18

Criminal Finances Act increases pressure on businesses to demonstrate robust procedures

Effective since September 2017, The Criminal Finances Act places a new regulatory burden on corporates by introducing a criminal offence of failing to prevent the facilitation of tax evasion. As with the Bribery Act, this applies to the company or partnership and anyone acting for or on its behalf. Our business ethics debate in the Autumn explored the challenges that the Act brings, looking at the changes to culture, risk assessment, training and monitoring that the Act is likely to require in order to ensure a reasonable procedures defence. While much of the analysis has focused on the implications for lawyers, accountants and financial advisers, the offence will have a far wider reach than this in terms of who faces liability. Our blog takes a detailed look at the implications for business, covering the introduction of unexplained wealth orders, the extension of the suspicious activity report moratorium period and the enhanced ability of regulators to freeze and seize assets where there are grounds for suspicion. The Act also has far reaching consequences in terms of human rights, extending the definition of ‘unlawful conduct’ in the civil recovery regime to include gross human rights abuses. This means that UK prosecutors can freeze and seize assets alleged to be the product of a gross human rights abuse by an official or a person acting in an official capacity. This is a strict liability offence, so no defence is provided meaning that businesses have no choice but to ensure they have robust due diligence procedures that will uncover any risk of a connection to gross human rights abuses. Complying with a reasonable procedures defence can be challenging for companies. We have a framework for developing and implementing a robust system to ensure an organisation is properly protected. Contact us for more details.

David Green to lead our first business ethics debate of 2018

David Green will be opening the first GoodCorporation debate of 2018 which will examine the future of anti-corruption prosecution. As David nears the end of his term as director of the UK’s Serious Fraud Office, the debate will focus on where the SFO is heading and how Deferred Prosecution Agreements are likely to work, now that they have been established and tested. Hosted by Baroness Kingsmill, the debate will be held at the House of Lords on February 20. Attendance is by invitation only but please contact us if you are interested or would like to go on our invitation list for future events.  

New social contract or better business behaviour?

Having spent much of 2017 reporting on increasing concerns around excessive executive pay, tax avoidance, zero-hour contracts and automation, the Financial Times (paywall) began the year by stating that capitalism needs a new social contract. This isn’t the first time that new rules of engagement have been called for. While a renewed focus on the social contract would be no bad thing, what we really need to change are the soft and hard laws that dictate business behaviour. Better regulation can and should lead to better businesses that operate for the benefit of all stakeholders. The Financial Reporting Council has the opportunity to effect change as it considers revisions to the Corporate Governance Code. We will be responding in due course, calling for stronger requirements around evidencing that an organisation’s culture is properly underpinned by the ethical values that drive responsible business behaviour. This argument is also made by Christopher Hodges and Ruth Steinholz in their new book Ethical Business Practice and Regulation. In it, they propose that that ethical business regulation which requires businesses to evidence a commitment to ethical business practice, can maximise good outcomes for all stakeholders. We wait to see if and how this might be might be addressed in the new in Corporate Governance Code. Contact us for more information on measuring ethical culture.

In Brief...

GoodCorporation to hold first debate on data protection in Paris

Following the launch of our Paris office at the end of last year, GoodCorporation is holding its first French business ethics debate on the subject of data protection.

Jean-Baptiste Siproudhis, Head of Compliance at Atos, will be leading the discussion which is being held at the Salons France-Ameriques at lunchtime on March 15.

With French data protection regulator the CNIL celebrating its 40th anniversary in the year that the GDPR comes into effect, it is clear that data protection issues are more central than they have ever been. Our debate will explore the challenges business face to be compliant with GDPR by May 2018.

GoodCorporation has been working with UK companies to help them prepare for GDPR. Our work has involved risk mapping, auditing existing systems, training and system development.

GDPR Ready?

Many companies have undertaken significant projects to change processes and systems to comply with the new EU General Data Protection Regulation that comes into force in May.

Attention is now turning to board assurances and the best way to demonstrate that their organisation is GDPR ready.

GoodCorporation’s Data Protection Framework is providing a number of our clients with a measurement tool for assessing the effectiveness of the systems in place.

We have also been working with companies to carry out detailed data mapping exercises. Data can easily be misfiled or stored without the necessary protections, so getting this right is essential. We look beyond where data ought to be stored and talk to staff to get a clear idea of how data flows through the organisation. This is also helpful for highlighting to senior management what is working and where improvements are needed.

To find out more, please contact Gareth Thomas who is leading our GDPR work and also view our GDPR readiness check.

Contributing to the debate

Following the publication of our recommendations to promote responsible gambling, GoodCorporation has responded to the UK Government’s gambling consultation.

We support the Government’s proposals to reduce maximum stakes on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals. In addition to the social responsibility measures put forward, we have recommended that more needs to be done around monitoring controls, training and self-exclusion. Read our response in full here.

December 2019

In Brief...

Summer 2019

In Brief...

Spring 2019

In Brief...

Winter 2018

Business ethics trends for 2019

Ethical conduct was firmly in the spotlight for much of 2018 and for a variety of reasons, from the #MeToo movement which pushed bullying and harassment onto board agendas, through to the implementation of GDPR which turned us all into data privacy experts.

Despite the many geopolitical challenges around the world and the many forecasts predicting a slowdown in global economic growth, the impetus for businesses to be run ethically will continue in 2019. As the Financial Reporting Council states, poor ethical conduct is a business risk in itself.

Our first blog post for 2019 looks forward to the business ethics areas that look set to dominate over the coming months including culture measurement, ESG, data protection, human rights and economic crime.

Much of this is being driven by regulation. Businesses cannot afford to turn a blind eye and hope that nothing goes wrong. Corporate leaders need to set the right tone and back it up with actions.

Read the blog in full

The changing face of anti-corruption prosecution

GoodCorporation was delighted that Lisa Osofsky, director of the Serious Fraud Office, was able to open our debate on the changing landscape of anti-corruption prosecution.

Emphasising that the SFO will continue its robust approach to prosecution, Osofsky stated that those in law enforcement are likely to be working ever more closely to build successful cases. Not only will this involve increased cooperation and information sharing, it will also require a change in investigative methods with digital forensic capability becoming a priority.

The SFO recognises that companies have made significant progress in their anti-corruption efforts and are increasingly ready to listen to those willing to talk. Deferred Prosecution Agreements are felt to be effective and the SFO is considering drafting guidance to help companies understand what cooperation with the SFO means.

Read debate summary

Are ESG investments changing corporate behaviour?

As the purpose versus profit debate continues to gather momentum, GoodCorporation’s final debate of 2018 asked whether investors and the focus on ESG funding are starting to drive change?

Georg Kell, chairman of Arabesque Partners and the founding director of the UN Global Compact opened the discussion by suggesting that there is now a real alignment between sustainable finance and responsible business practice.

Today, ESG investing is estimated at around $20 trillion in assets under management and this is likely to grow according to Kell. This presents a real opportunity for those corporates in a position to present strong ESG information that will enable them to access this capital.

As for changing behaviour, there is evidence that this is starting, but there is still a way to go.

Read debate summary

In Brief...

GoodCorporation speaking at Chatham House

GoodCorporation Director Jane Ellis will be exploring the role of corporate governance in setting the standards for responsible business practice at the third annual Chatham House Responsible Business conference. The event is taking place at Chatham House on Feb 28.

Book tickets here

The challenge of ESG

ESG is a challenge for many companies, but some are starting to realise that fund managers are not investing in building ESG teams to tick boxes or review paper.

Our work with Yara shows how some of the innovators are responding.

Read our blog

Ethics & compliance in French companies

Tough new French legislation has placed ethics and compliance issues at the forefront for French companies.

Some are already leading the way, others are investing time and resources. We summarise how our French company has been working with businesses on a range of ethics issues.

Read our blog

New supplier code of conduct at the FCO

The Foreign and Commonwealth office has raised the bar on checking modern slavery obligations in the supply chain with a tough new Supplier Code of Conduct.

Our article looks at the FCO’s expectations and what this means for businesses tendering for government work.

Read the article

Autumn 2018

Tackling bullying and harassment in the workplace

  GoodCorporation’s October debate at the House of Lords asked why bullying and harassment are still issues in the workplace and what business can do to tackle this. Rachel Crasnow QC led the discussion emphasising the importance of training for all staff, particularly managers. Managing people often requires difficult conversations to be had, yet those in managerial roles rarely receive training on this aspect of their job. A trusted speak-up system, effective communication and sanctions for any proven cases of bullying or harassment must all be implemented if a zero-tolerance approach is to be properly effective. A full summary of the debate is on our website. Bullying and harassment can have a significant and negative impact on a business, its employees and its work culture. Companies are expected to identify, prevent and address any such incidents. GoodCorporation has worked with leading organisations to help test and strengthen their anti-bullying and harassment procedures, using our Bullying and Harassment Framework.

Five steps to CFA compliance

Following the introduction of the Criminal Finances Act into UK legislation in 2017, organisations can now be held criminally liable for failing to prevent anyone acting for or on their behalf from facilitating the evasion of UK or foreign tax. Conviction comes with serious consequences, including a potentially unlimited fine. GoodCorporation has identified five critical factors that companies need to consider when implementing compliance with the new legislation. Click here to read the blog

New compliance toolkit

For smaller companies wishing to list, rapidly growing or suddenly under pressure from regulators, GoodCorporation has developed a compliance toolkit providing off-the-shelf compliance support to help build an effective programme or fill in any remaining gaps. Ten compliance tools are available, including code of conduct design and benchmarking; compliance policies and procedures; risk assessment as well as face-to-face and online training. Contact us for details.  

Forthcoming events

We are delighted that Lisa Osofsky, Director of the Serious Fraud Office, will open our debate with business leaders on the anti-corruption landscape. Held at the House of Lords on November 7, attendance is by invitation only. We are also holding a safeguarding discussion group on November 8, exploring the results of our recent survey and looking at safeguarding best practice for organisations.

In Brief...

Paris anti-corruption debate

Last month, GoodCorporation asked how French  companies are dealing with the country’s new anti-bribery law, looking at the challenges they face complying with this tough legislation. How are businesses and authorities responding?

Read the debate summary here

Assessing the drivers of ethical culture

Assessing the strength of key cultural drivers that underpin responsible decision making can help employers mitigate risks to both reputation and the bottom line.

Our article in Financial Management examines the issues.

 

Is GDPR over?

As GDPR came into force, it led to an avalanche of notifications and data protection requests. In October’s Ethical Corporation, we look at the steps taken to date, examine the compliance challenges and highlight emerging best practice.

Read the article here

Modern Slavery Act - Review

The Home Office has commissioned an independent review of the Modern Slavery Act. The aim of the review is to understand how the Act is operating in practice and whether the legal framework is fit for purpose. To contribute to the review, click here.

Summer 2018

Corporate culture key to UK Governance Code

Following the publication of the new UK Corporate Governance Code last month, corporate culture looks set to become a boardroom issue. Under the section on leadership and company purpose, the code states that a board ‘must establish the company’s purpose, values and strategy and satisfy itself that these and its culture are aligned’.

To do this, boards will be required to assess and monitor culture. Where they are not satisfied that these are aligned, the board is now expected to ‘seek assurances that the management has taken corrective action.’ Any activities and action taken by the board should be explained in the annual report.

In our white paper Measuring Ethical Culture, we argued that while culture may appear intangible and hard to measure, boards need to find a way to do just that. This will involve identifying the right culture indicators to enable them to assess whether good corporate behaviour is properly embedded.

This approach is supported by the Financial Reporting Council’s guidance on the new code which urges boards to identify and track typical features of a positive culture. Based on our experience of assessing and measuring corporate behaviour, we have identified the key drivers of an ethical company culture and devised a methodology to assist boards with the new monitoring and reporting demands.

Read the blog in full

GDPR is not over

May 25th was not the finishing line for GDPR. So while much of the panic may be over, there is still work to be done to ensure compliance with the new legislation.

Elizabeth Denham, the UK’s Information Commissioner, describes GDPR as an ongoing journey that requires continuous effort. Businesses will be expected to “continue to identify and address emerging privacy and security risks in the weeks, months and years beyond May 2018”.

Our latest blog summarises five key reasons why GDPR isn’t over and outlines what organisations need to do to ensure long-term compliance.

Read the blog in full

An ethical future for AI

Despite the widespread use of AI across a range of industries and services, no country has established, as yet, an ethical or legal framework to govern its development.

AI is still relatively embryonic, but the pace of change is rapid and the investment considerable. It has the potential to transform economies and benefit humanity, but to do this successfully it will need to be both reliable and trusted.

Businesses and those at the vanguard of AI development cannot afford to wait for regulators to set the bar and define the ethical or regulatory framework. Our blog explores some of the key ethical considerations.

Read the blog in full

In Brief...

Latest Debate

With poor corporate culture perceived to be a business risk in itself, what should companies be doing to mitigate that risk and ensure they have the right culture in place?

Our summer business ethics debate explored the value, strategic importance and practicalities of measuring corporate culture.

As with all our debates, the summary is on the website.

Ethics & compliance benchmarking

Does your organisation have a stand-alone ethics and compliance function? Who does it report to? How often are due diligence checks carried out on third parties?

These are just some of the questions we posed at the session on compliance programme benchmarking that we moderated at the C5 Anti-Corruption event this summer. The results are available on our blog.

Safeguarding survey

GoodCorporation has conducted its first safeguarding survey, inviting a range of organisations to respond.

The survey aimed to discover how organisations govern, resource, assess and monitor safeguarding.

The results will be published in a forthcoming paper. We will also be inviting respondents to a safeguarding event in September to review the findings. Contact us for details.

Sapin II debate in Paris

Following the success of our debate on the challenges of implementing GDPR, GoodCorporation will be hosting another discussion in Paris in September.

This time the debate will focus on the demands placed on French businesses by Sapin II.

The debate will take place at the Salons France Amériques on Thursday September 13. Contact us for more information.

Spring 2018

Managing AI along ethical lines

Artificial intelligence (AI) is already transforming our lives and our workplaces; robots carry out dangerous and repetitive tasks, machine-learning algorithms are being used to improve medical diagnoses and many of our cyber defences are AI powered. This week, one of the UK’s biggest hospitals, University College London, announced that it plans to use AI to radically improve its services.

As intelligent machines evolve, so too do the ethical questions that should govern these developments. If AI machines make mistakes that cause harm, who should be held responsible? AI systems learn through access to data, so what does that mean in terms of our right to privacy? And who, if anyone, should be responsible for the output of AI ‘thought’ processes?

Rightly, these questions are being posed at both national and international levels. Our latest blog takes a look at the steps being taken to develop the ethical and legal framework to govern the use of artificial intelligence.

How businesses utilise AI will have a significant impact on how they are trusted by society. GoodCorporation is exploring the ethical considerations that should govern the evolution of AI technologies and will be publishing updates in this newsletter and on our blog. A strong ethical code will require a multi-stakeholder approach. We would value any thoughts on our blog or direct to our inbox.

 

Managing human rights risks

While the majority of corporates make a firm commitment to protecting human rights in their code of conduct, the nature of modern businesses, with complex structures across diverse locations, means that this can be a challenging pledge to fulfill.

To be sure that human rights policies are properly respected across all sites, companies need a robust monitoring programme as well as strong policies and procedures.

This can be easier said than done. Our article on creating a worker welfare programme to set your business apart looks at some of the issues routinely faced when checking human rights across an international business.

Click here to read the article in full

 

ESG and value creation

A corporate scandal can decimate share value and not just in the immediate aftermath as the gory details hit the headlines. Shareholders in Volkswagen, Tesco, Toshiba and Rolls Royce are still suffering damage some four years after the scandals emerged.

Not surprisingly, investors are increasingly looking for indicators of long-term sustainability that will help mitigate risks and protect long-term investments.

Investment analysis that focuses solely on financial performance is no longer sufficient. Instead we now see more and more investors analysing ESG-related indicators alongside financial performance. Our latest blog explores this trend and what it may mean for businesses.

Click here to read the blog in full

 

 

In Brief...

Stay up-to-date

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These emails contain the latest thinking in business ethics, compliance and best practice, together with summaries of our recent debates at the House of Lords.

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New team member

GoodCorporation is delighted to announce the appointment of  Jane Ellis as a company director.

Previously head of the International Bar Association’s Legal and Policy Research Unit, Jane is an Australian-qualified lawyer with expertise in competition law, anti-bribery law, corporate governance, whistleblower protection, diversity and business ethics.

Read Jane’s profile in full

See us at C5

GoodCorporation is a sponsor of C5’s Anti-Corruption conference, in London in June.

Readers of this newsletter can receive a 20% discount by quoting the code P20-999-GC18.

The conference will look at UKBA and FCPA  enforcement, how to evidence adequate procedures and managing risks in emerging markets, among other challenging topics.

Register here

New address

Since our last newsletter, GoodCorporation has expanded into larger offices, hopping over Putney Bridge to Fulham.

Our new London address is 2-3 Melbray Mews, London SW6 3NS. Phone numbers and emails stay the same.

If you’d like to visit us or find out more about what we do, get in touch.

Winter 2017/18

Criminal Finances Act increases pressure on businesses to demonstrate robust procedures

Effective since September 2017, The Criminal Finances Act places a new regulatory burden on corporates by introducing a criminal offence of failing to prevent the facilitation of tax evasion. As with the Bribery Act, this applies to the company or partnership and anyone acting for or on its behalf. Our business ethics debate in the Autumn explored the challenges that the Act brings, looking at the changes to culture, risk assessment, training and monitoring that the Act is likely to require in order to ensure a reasonable procedures defence. While much of the analysis has focused on the implications for lawyers, accountants and financial advisers, the offence will have a far wider reach than this in terms of who faces liability. Our blog takes a detailed look at the implications for business, covering the introduction of unexplained wealth orders, the extension of the suspicious activity report moratorium period and the enhanced ability of regulators to freeze and seize assets where there are grounds for suspicion. The Act also has far reaching consequences in terms of human rights, extending the definition of ‘unlawful conduct’ in the civil recovery regime to include gross human rights abuses. This means that UK prosecutors can freeze and seize assets alleged to be the product of a gross human rights abuse by an official or a person acting in an official capacity. This is a strict liability offence, so no defence is provided meaning that businesses have no choice but to ensure they have robust due diligence procedures that will uncover any risk of a connection to gross human rights abuses. Complying with a reasonable procedures defence can be challenging for companies. We have a framework for developing and implementing a robust system to ensure an organisation is properly protected. Contact us for more details.

David Green to lead our first business ethics debate of 2018

David Green will be opening the first GoodCorporation debate of 2018 which will examine the future of anti-corruption prosecution. As David nears the end of his term as director of the UK’s Serious Fraud Office, the debate will focus on where the SFO is heading and how Deferred Prosecution Agreements are likely to work, now that they have been established and tested. Hosted by Baroness Kingsmill, the debate will be held at the House of Lords on February 20. Attendance is by invitation only but please contact us if you are interested or would like to go on our invitation list for future events.  

New social contract or better business behaviour?

Having spent much of 2017 reporting on increasing concerns around excessive executive pay, tax avoidance, zero-hour contracts and automation, the Financial Times (paywall) began the year by stating that capitalism needs a new social contract. This isn’t the first time that new rules of engagement have been called for. While a renewed focus on the social contract would be no bad thing, what we really need to change are the soft and hard laws that dictate business behaviour. Better regulation can and should lead to better businesses that operate for the benefit of all stakeholders. The Financial Reporting Council has the opportunity to effect change as it considers revisions to the Corporate Governance Code. We will be responding in due course, calling for stronger requirements around evidencing that an organisation’s culture is properly underpinned by the ethical values that drive responsible business behaviour. This argument is also made by Christopher Hodges and Ruth Steinholz in their new book Ethical Business Practice and Regulation. In it, they propose that that ethical business regulation which requires businesses to evidence a commitment to ethical business practice, can maximise good outcomes for all stakeholders. We wait to see if and how this might be might be addressed in the new in Corporate Governance Code. Contact us for more information on measuring ethical culture.

In Brief...

GoodCorporation to hold first debate on data protection in Paris

Following the launch of our Paris office at the end of last year, GoodCorporation is holding its first French business ethics debate on the subject of data protection.

Jean-Baptiste Siproudhis, Head of Compliance at Atos, will be leading the discussion which is being held at the Salons France-Ameriques at lunchtime on March 15.

With French data protection regulator the CNIL celebrating its 40th anniversary in the year that the GDPR comes into effect, it is clear that data protection issues are more central than they have ever been. Our debate will explore the challenges business face to be compliant with GDPR by May 2018.

GoodCorporation has been working with UK companies to help them prepare for GDPR. Our work has involved risk mapping, auditing existing systems, training and system development.

GDPR Ready?

Many companies have undertaken significant projects to change processes and systems to comply with the new EU General Data Protection Regulation that comes into force in May.

Attention is now turning to board assurances and the best way to demonstrate that their organisation is GDPR ready.

GoodCorporation’s Data Protection Framework is providing a number of our clients with a measurement tool for assessing the effectiveness of the systems in place.

We have also been working with companies to carry out detailed data mapping exercises. Data can easily be misfiled or stored without the necessary protections, so getting this right is essential. We look beyond where data ought to be stored and talk to staff to get a clear idea of how data flows through the organisation. This is also helpful for highlighting to senior management what is working and where improvements are needed.

To find out more, please contact Gareth Thomas who is leading our GDPR work and also view our GDPR readiness check.

Contributing to the debate

Following the publication of our recommendations to promote responsible gambling, GoodCorporation has responded to the UK Government’s gambling consultation.

We support the Government’s proposals to reduce maximum stakes on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals. In addition to the social responsibility measures put forward, we have recommended that more needs to be done around monitoring controls, training and self-exclusion. Read our response in full here.

December 2019

In Brief...

Summer 2019

In Brief...

Spring 2019

In Brief...

Winter 2018

Business ethics trends for 2019

Ethical conduct was firmly in the spotlight for much of 2018 and for a variety of reasons, from the #MeToo movement which pushed bullying and harassment onto board agendas, through to the implementation of GDPR which turned us all into data privacy experts.

Despite the many geopolitical challenges around the world and the many forecasts predicting a slowdown in global economic growth, the impetus for businesses to be run ethically will continue in 2019. As the Financial Reporting Council states, poor ethical conduct is a business risk in itself.

Our first blog post for 2019 looks forward to the business ethics areas that look set to dominate over the coming months including culture measurement, ESG, data protection, human rights and economic crime.

Much of this is being driven by regulation. Businesses cannot afford to turn a blind eye and hope that nothing goes wrong. Corporate leaders need to set the right tone and back it up with actions.

Read the blog in full

The changing face of anti-corruption prosecution

GoodCorporation was delighted that Lisa Osofsky, director of the Serious Fraud Office, was able to open our debate on the changing landscape of anti-corruption prosecution.

Emphasising that the SFO will continue its robust approach to prosecution, Osofsky stated that those in law enforcement are likely to be working ever more closely to build successful cases. Not only will this involve increased cooperation and information sharing, it will also require a change in investigative methods with digital forensic capability becoming a priority.

The SFO recognises that companies have made significant progress in their anti-corruption efforts and are increasingly ready to listen to those willing to talk. Deferred Prosecution Agreements are felt to be effective and the SFO is considering drafting guidance to help companies understand what cooperation with the SFO means.

Read debate summary

Are ESG investments changing corporate behaviour?

As the purpose versus profit debate continues to gather momentum, GoodCorporation’s final debate of 2018 asked whether investors and the focus on ESG funding are starting to drive change?

Georg Kell, chairman of Arabesque Partners and the founding director of the UN Global Compact opened the discussion by suggesting that there is now a real alignment between sustainable finance and responsible business practice.

Today, ESG investing is estimated at around $20 trillion in assets under management and this is likely to grow according to Kell. This presents a real opportunity for those corporates in a position to present strong ESG information that will enable them to access this capital.

As for changing behaviour, there is evidence that this is starting, but there is still a way to go.

Read debate summary

In Brief...

GoodCorporation speaking at Chatham House

GoodCorporation Director Jane Ellis will be exploring the role of corporate governance in setting the standards for responsible business practice at the third annual Chatham House Responsible Business conference. The event is taking place at Chatham House on Feb 28.

Book tickets here

The challenge of ESG

ESG is a challenge for many companies, but some are starting to realise that fund managers are not investing in building ESG teams to tick boxes or review paper.

Our work with Yara shows how some of the innovators are responding.

Read our blog

Ethics & compliance in French companies

Tough new French legislation has placed ethics and compliance issues at the forefront for French companies.

Some are already leading the way, others are investing time and resources. We summarise how our French company has been working with businesses on a range of ethics issues.

Read our blog

New supplier code of conduct at the FCO

The Foreign and Commonwealth office has raised the bar on checking modern slavery obligations in the supply chain with a tough new Supplier Code of Conduct.

Our article looks at the FCO’s expectations and what this means for businesses tendering for government work.

Read the article

Autumn 2018

Tackling bullying and harassment in the workplace

  GoodCorporation’s October debate at the House of Lords asked why bullying and harassment are still issues in the workplace and what business can do to tackle this. Rachel Crasnow QC led the discussion emphasising the importance of training for all staff, particularly managers. Managing people often requires difficult conversations to be had, yet those in managerial roles rarely receive training on this aspect of their job. A trusted speak-up system, effective communication and sanctions for any proven cases of bullying or harassment must all be implemented if a zero-tolerance approach is to be properly effective. A full summary of the debate is on our website. Bullying and harassment can have a significant and negative impact on a business, its employees and its work culture. Companies are expected to identify, prevent and address any such incidents. GoodCorporation has worked with leading organisations to help test and strengthen their anti-bullying and harassment procedures, using our Bullying and Harassment Framework.

Five steps to CFA compliance

Following the introduction of the Criminal Finances Act into UK legislation in 2017, organisations can now be held criminally liable for failing to prevent anyone acting for or on their behalf from facilitating the evasion of UK or foreign tax. Conviction comes with serious consequences, including a potentially unlimited fine. GoodCorporation has identified five critical factors that companies need to consider when implementing compliance with the new legislation. Click here to read the blog

New compliance toolkit

For smaller companies wishing to list, rapidly growing or suddenly under pressure from regulators, GoodCorporation has developed a compliance toolkit providing off-the-shelf compliance support to help build an effective programme or fill in any remaining gaps. Ten compliance tools are available, including code of conduct design and benchmarking; compliance policies and procedures; risk assessment as well as face-to-face and online training. Contact us for details.  

Forthcoming events

We are delighted that Lisa Osofsky, Director of the Serious Fraud Office, will open our debate with business leaders on the anti-corruption landscape. Held at the House of Lords on November 7, attendance is by invitation only. We are also holding a safeguarding discussion group on November 8, exploring the results of our recent survey and looking at safeguarding best practice for organisations.

In Brief...

Paris anti-corruption debate

Last month, GoodCorporation asked how French  companies are dealing with the country’s new anti-bribery law, looking at the challenges they face complying with this tough legislation. How are businesses and authorities responding?

Read the debate summary here

Assessing the drivers of ethical culture

Assessing the strength of key cultural drivers that underpin responsible decision making can help employers mitigate risks to both reputation and the bottom line.

Our article in Financial Management examines the issues.

 

Is GDPR over?

As GDPR came into force, it led to an avalanche of notifications and data protection requests. In October’s Ethical Corporation, we look at the steps taken to date, examine the compliance challenges and highlight emerging best practice.

Read the article here

Modern Slavery Act - Review

The Home Office has commissioned an independent review of the Modern Slavery Act. The aim of the review is to understand how the Act is operating in practice and whether the legal framework is fit for purpose. To contribute to the review, click here.

Summer 2018

Corporate culture key to UK Governance Code

Following the publication of the new UK Corporate Governance Code last month, corporate culture looks set to become a boardroom issue. Under the section on leadership and company purpose, the code states that a board ‘must establish the company’s purpose, values and strategy and satisfy itself that these and its culture are aligned’.

To do this, boards will be required to assess and monitor culture. Where they are not satisfied that these are aligned, the board is now expected to ‘seek assurances that the management has taken corrective action.’ Any activities and action taken by the board should be explained in the annual report.

In our white paper Measuring Ethical Culture, we argued that while culture may appear intangible and hard to measure, boards need to find a way to do just that. This will involve identifying the right culture indicators to enable them to assess whether good corporate behaviour is properly embedded.

This approach is supported by the Financial Reporting Council’s guidance on the new code which urges boards to identify and track typical features of a positive culture. Based on our experience of assessing and measuring corporate behaviour, we have identified the key drivers of an ethical company culture and devised a methodology to assist boards with the new monitoring and reporting demands.

Read the blog in full

GDPR is not over

May 25th was not the finishing line for GDPR. So while much of the panic may be over, there is still work to be done to ensure compliance with the new legislation.

Elizabeth Denham, the UK’s Information Commissioner, describes GDPR as an ongoing journey that requires continuous effort. Businesses will be expected to “continue to identify and address emerging privacy and security risks in the weeks, months and years beyond May 2018”.

Our latest blog summarises five key reasons why GDPR isn’t over and outlines what organisations need to do to ensure long-term compliance.

Read the blog in full

An ethical future for AI

Despite the widespread use of AI across a range of industries and services, no country has established, as yet, an ethical or legal framework to govern its development.

AI is still relatively embryonic, but the pace of change is rapid and the investment considerable. It has the potential to transform economies and benefit humanity, but to do this successfully it will need to be both reliable and trusted.

Businesses and those at the vanguard of AI development cannot afford to wait for regulators to set the bar and define the ethical or regulatory framework. Our blog explores some of the key ethical considerations.

Read the blog in full

In Brief...

Latest Debate

With poor corporate culture perceived to be a business risk in itself, what should companies be doing to mitigate that risk and ensure they have the right culture in place?

Our summer business ethics debate explored the value, strategic importance and practicalities of measuring corporate culture.

As with all our debates, the summary is on the website.

Ethics & compliance benchmarking

Does your organisation have a stand-alone ethics and compliance function? Who does it report to? How often are due diligence checks carried out on third parties?

These are just some of the questions we posed at the session on compliance programme benchmarking that we moderated at the C5 Anti-Corruption event this summer. The results are available on our blog.

Safeguarding survey

GoodCorporation has conducted its first safeguarding survey, inviting a range of organisations to respond.

The survey aimed to discover how organisations govern, resource, assess and monitor safeguarding.

The results will be published in a forthcoming paper. We will also be inviting respondents to a safeguarding event in September to review the findings. Contact us for details.

Sapin II debate in Paris