International news round up

September 01, 2003

The pharmaceutical industry leads the way in sustainable business and management, according to the latest high profile ranking table. Morley Fund Management’s FTSE100 Sustainability Matrix puts AstraZeneca and GlaxoSmithKline ahead of their large UK company peers, scoring top grades for the sustainability of their core business (A), and among the best for the quality of their management vision and strategy (2).

High scorers in the business sustainability category typically come from the financial and high-tech sectors, although United Utilities and BG Group present notable exceptions. Companies that score poorly because of the high impacts of their business, such as the energy and transport sectors, but which perform well in terms of their management of sustainability issues, include Shell, BP, South African Breweries and Diageo (all score 2 for management).

Despite the introduction of more stringent criteria, the majority of companies have maintained or improved their grading, which now includes corporate governance issues and an increased focus on risk management. Marks & Spencer (C3), Standard Chartered (D3) and MMO2 (B4) figure among the highest climbers over the last year. The index, which was published on June 24, invites further progress, however, with none of the FTSE 100 gaining the highest rating (1) for management vision and strategy. Contact Fiona Baker, Morley Fund Management, on 020 7809 8617 (

The UN is launching a new partnership with the private sector aimed at achieving the targets set at the 2000 millennium summit, it was announced on July 25. The new Commission on the private sector and development will aim to engage small and medium size business, in particular in halving extreme poverty, halting the spread of HIV/AIDS, and providing universal primary education by 2005.

Kofi Annan is calling for the commission to build on the success of the Global Compact. The number of companies participating in the Compact has doubled from approximately 500 to over 1,000 during the past year, according to the organisation’s annual Report on progress and activities, released on July 2. Other developments include the addition of the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation as the Compact’s fifth core agency, and the launch of the Compact in 14 more countries. Contact Victor Arango, UNDP, on 00 1 212 906 6127 (; Gavin Power, Global Compact Office, on 00 1 212 963 4681 (