Each week, the Erb Institute shares a collection of news and updates regarding business sustainability. This month, the Erb Institute blog and social media is focusing on human rights, labor rights and corporate social responsibility issues and news.

Sustainable Business News – 12/16/2017 – 12/22/2017

Human Rights

What business can do to celebrate human rights


“The sobering background is that, two years into the 2030 Agenda, inequalities are rising. Today, the richest 1 percent have accumulated more wealth than the rest of the world put together, and half the world’s population lives below the poverty line of $2 a day. Indeed, only a third of the extremely or moderately poor have jobs, 150 million children are engaged in child labor and 30 percent of the world’s 1.8 billion young people ages 10 to 25 are not in any form of employment, training or education.”

Could Facebook be tried for human-rights abuses?

The Atlantic

“Today, Facebook has to reckon with its role in passively enabling human-rights abuses. While concerns about propaganda and misinformation on the platform reached a fever pitch in places like the United States in the past year, its presence in Myanmar has become the subject of global attention. During the past few months, the company was accused of censoring activists and journalists documenting incidents of and posting about what the State Department has called ethnic cleansing of the country’s Rohingya minority. Because misinformation and propaganda against the Rohingya apparently avoided the community-standards scrutiny afforded activist speech, and because of the News Feed’s tendency to promote already-popular content, posts with misinformation aiming to incite violence have easily gone viral. Experts describe Facebook’s role in the country as the de facto internet, which gives all of their actions and inactions on content even greater influence on politics and public knowledge.”

Sustainable sourcing is more cost-effective than you think

Supply Chain Dive

“Socially responsible procurement includes diversity and inclusion through support for historically underutilized businesses (HUB) and small business, environmental protection, ethical considerations, health and safety for employees and the respect for human rights throughout the supply chain.

Socially responsible procurement is not just focused on the behaviors of an organization, but those of its suppliers — and theirs — throughout the supply chain.”

Thai Union, Nestlé partner to promote human rights in Thai fishing industry

Sustainable Brands

“A year after announcing its strategy to ensure 100 percent of its branded tuna is sustainably sourcedThai Union, the company behind brands such as Chicken of the SeaBumble BeeJohn West and Petit Navire, has embarked on a new partnership with Nestlé to help rebuild its damaged reputation. Together, the two companies, in collaboration with nonprofit Verité, have launched a demonstration boat to promote the human rights of workers in the Thai fishing industry.”

Labor board burns through Obama-era rules

The Hill

“Marc Freedman, executive director of labor law policy at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, said the NLRB’s Republican majority has restored common sense and balance to a board that unfairly favored labor unions over the past eight years.

‘In making rulings, the board is reverting to longstanding holdings and longstanding precedent,’ he said. ‘It’s not as much as a flip-flop as it is restoring the previous understanding.’

Worker rights advocates say the board is making the rulings in an unprecedented way.”

Hotels are key in the fight to end human trafficking

Fast Company

“Modern-day slavery is far more pervasive than you’d think. Some estimates project that 24.9 million people worldwide are victims of labor and sex trafficking, according to the International Labour Organization. Hunter told the story of a family who rented a condo, and the resort’s staff discovered that they had enslaved a foreign couple to do their cleaning and other chores. “They wore the same clothes day in and out and looked malnourished.”

Hotels like Marriott International, which owns the Ritz-Carlton brand, have good reason to address the problem. Human trafficking is a hot-button issue that can cost money and destroy corporate reputations.”Do you want to contribute to the conversation? Tweet us @erbinstitute!