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SOEs to report on corporate social responsibility

8 November 2007 Media Statement

SOEs to report on corporate social responsibility

The government today announced a formalised framework for Corporate Social Responsibility which will apply to all State Owned Enterprises (SOEs) and will be monitored and measured against targets, just like financial performance.

State Owned Enterprises Minister Trevor Mallard said the framework formalises programmes of work that are already undertaken by SOEs.

"The State Owned Enterprises Act requires SOEs to show a sense of social responsibility and to have regard to their communities as part of their objective to be a successful business. In this respect, their obligations go beyond privately owned companies.

"This new framework will see corporate social responsibility targets set in each SOE's annual Statement of Corporate Intent, which will then be independently monitored and reported against – as with the financial targets.

"Under the new framework, each SOE will be required to assess its impact on the society and environment in which it operates, and adopt specific corporate social responsibility programmes that are appropriate.

"In addition, any breaches of corporate social responsibility standards will have to be reported in company annual reports to ensure transparency of the process."

Trevor Mallard also announced that the upcoming 2008/09 Statement of Corporate Intent (effective from the start of each SOEs 2008/09 financial year) for each company will be produced in line with this framework, and shareholding ministers and officials would work with SOEs to achieve this.

He also noted there was a wealth of evidence that showed good corporate social responsibility programmes and practice could add value to a business operation.

"There is a lot of good work currently being undertaken in this area by SOEs, such as the Genesis Oncology Trust and the distribution of 1 million freepost envelopes last year to community groups by NZ Post. The formalised framework allows programmes such as these to be monitored and reported against."

Ministers are expected to review how the corporate social responsibility framework is reflected in the new Statements of Corporate Intent in August 2008.

The cabinet paper is available on


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