Frontpage news on the 25 June 2010 edition of Ingeni??ren, the Danish Engineering weekly magazine, has a story on “issues” in some foreign mining companies: Newmont, Rio Tinto, Freeport McMoRan, GoldCorp, Vedanta og Anglo Platinum. Accusations put forward are environmental pollution, workers protection, forced removal of the local population, corruption and even murder. The story goes on:Watchdog DanWatch has examined contracts and found Danish companies Grundfos and FLSmidth have the mining companies as customers, e.g., selling pumps. Nothing is perhaps illegal about that. However, the two companies have stated corporate social responsibility (CSR) policies. For the investors FLSmidth writes on their website about suppliers:
In its general conditions of purchase, FLSmidth requires that subsuppliers comply with all local regulations concerning employee rights and safety and health.
And the two companies have also committed to the United Nations Global Compact, ??? a voluntary CSR commitment they can use for bragging. In interviews neither Kim N??hr Skibssted from Grundfos nor J??rgen Huno Rasmussen from FLSmidth believe that the companies have any responsibility for their customers actions. To me that would seem as a fundamental misunderstanding of what CSR commitment entails, though the issue of CSR is not so clear for a customer relation as it is for a supplier relation.In our project Responsible Business in the Blogosphere we seek to examine how CSR issues appear in social media, so how does the present story diffuse into the blogosphere? A search on FLSmidth and on Grundfos on Twitter returns nothing in relation to the story.
Searching the Facebook graph for Grundfos and FLSmidth gets you two items (one from DanWatch) and both linking to Ingeni??ren. Searching with Danish blog and news search engine Overskrift.dk I see only Ingeni??ren as well as one web page from Copenhagen Business School stating that one from the faculty has been cited in Ingeni??ren. Google blog search has nothing. And so far Ingeni??ren’s web page for the main story, Grundfos interview and the FLSmidth interview all have zero comments. It appears that very little is written about such a Danish CSR story in the blogosphere, ??? which is in line with my general impression of other Danish CSR cases. The lack of CSR talk in the blogosphere will challenge our project.