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Made in china- a film about csr

April 13, 2006

It’s all very well having aspirations of being a more socially responsible company, but try making it happen. This is the subject of Thomas Balmes thought provoking documentary, Made in China, that is currently being screened on the Discovery/Times cable network, as part of its China Rises series.

Balmes’ film deals with Nokia and a CSR audit on a Chinese manufacturer of power supplies.

The film shows how the evaluation becomes something of a cat and mouse game between the ethical consultants and the Chinese factory managers, revealing that the work of an ethical consultant is more akin to that of a police detective.

The main point of the film is to show how hard it is to be socially responsible, unless you have very clear standards and goals.

Defining exactly what’s acceptable to whom generates a series of challenging questions.

Are you evaluating the plant by standards in your own country?

What do you do with lapses in ethical standards?

Are you prepared to increase costs for better worker rights and standards?

What is your motivation-ethicswashing/PR spin or for genuine improvement?

You can read an interview with the director here

The consultants featured in the film and the director answer viewer emails here.

Nokia’s CSR info is here

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