"Sustainable development begins and ends with corporate social responsibility - this is something that a business should do in the interest of both society and the Company"
|Andrew White, Philip Morris Asia Limited, Hong Kong|
|You may already know that Philip Morris International makes some of the world's most popular cigarettes, including the best-selling brand Marlboro. You may be less familiar with Philip Morris's views and actions on corporate social responsibility (CSR). |
Cigarettes cause disease and are addictive. Millions of informed adults still choose to smoke, and societies around the world agree that adults should be able to do so. But societies expect cigarette makers to act responsibly - to listen and respond to societal concerns about our product. We strive to meet - and exceed - those expectations by:
(a) Communicating clearly about the health effects of smoking: We support and convey a single, consistent public health message about the health effects smoking. We support meaningful and effective regulation of our products and our practices. Regulation provides stability, predictability and a level playing field for our company, and addresses societal concerns.
(b) Discouraging young people from smoking: Kids should not smoke. Stopping children from smoking is the right thing to do and it makes sound commercial sense. We support passage and enforcement of minimum age laws, and we work with retailers to discourage youth access to cigarettes.
(c) Developing better products: There is no such thing as a safe cigarette, but developing a cigarette might reduce the health effects of smoking is one of PMI's top priorities. While we continue our research, we want to work with governments to develop a regulatory framework governing the development and marketing of such products.
At the end of the day, the issue isn't the product itself - millions of people smoke, and millions will continue to do so, according to the WHO - it is how one deals with the product. Societies have justifiably high expectations of cigarette companies - and we work hard to meet and exceed those expectations.
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CSR Asia Workshop: Part II
3:30 PM-5:00 PM, Monday, 8 November 2004, W