Putting people and the planet at the core of business

What we do

CORE’s mission is to advance the protection of human rights and the environment with regard to the global operations of UK companies, by promoting a stronger regulatory framework, higher standards of conduct, compliance with the law, and improved access to remedy for those harmed by the activities of UK companies. See what people say about us here.

We work with a diverse range of coalition partners from the fields of development, environmental sustainability and human rights to maintain and strengthen civil society advocacy on corporate accountability, to change government policies and the law, and to develop and promote shared policy solutions. We aim to amplify the impact of collective advocacy and enhance partners’ efforts to ensure UK companies are held to account for their impacts on society at home and abroad. CORE is part of the steering group member of the European Coalition for Corporate Justice.

CORE provides a rapid response unit to bring organisations together on specific issues and enable coalitions to work together quickly and effectively, as well as investing in strategic, longer-term change. Our work includes researching and analysing government policy, sharing information, facilitating dialogue amongst coalition partners, establishing common policy positions, developing shared strategies and plans, and coordinating joint action to bring about change. You can see a summary of our achievements here.

Why it matters

Large businesses provide a wide range of goods and services internationally and domestically. Many have thousands of employees within their own operations, and contribute to creating work for thousands of others through their relationships with subcontractors and suppliers. They are expected to pay taxes which go towards funding government spending on essential services such as health and education. Through investment in research and development, they can come up with technological innovations which have the potential to improve millions of lives.

Yet the last decade has seen a crisis of trust in major corporations that shows no signs of abating. It’s common knowledge that some UK-linked businesses are prospering at the expense of the broader community and causing major economic, social, environmental and human rights problems. Tax avoidance and corruption scandals at home and abroad, environmental catastrophes in the Gulf of Mexico and the Niger Delta, the exploitation of workers on World Cup stadium construction sites, in garment factories in Bangladesh and on fishing boats in Thailand – the list goes on.

In the UK, companies are required to operate to high social and environmental standards. We want UK companies to maintain those standards throughout their international operations. Extensive evidence shows that voluntary corporate social responsibility initiatives and non-binding codes of conduct simply result in business as usual and are not appropriate for addressing serious human rights and environmental abuses, so government action is needed to bring about change.

We also believe that there’s an urgent need for fresh thinking on how to create a better and more responsible economy in which risks and rewards are shared more equally. Optimising short-term financial returns at all costs is no longer an acceptable or effective solution to emerging challenges.

You can find out more about what we’re calling for here.