Political lobbying is arguably the most controversial and secretive of all business practices.

In this new era of corporate responsibility, it is one of the few activities still to have escaped close scrutiny. Yet, the world's 100,000+ professional lobbyists seem to exert ever-increasing influence over public policy in virtually all areas: from global trade to local planning, climate change to HIV/AIDS, marketing laws to labour laws.

Towards Responsible Lobbying  takes a realistic and constructive look at the hard questions: Does lobbying have a legitimate role in our 21st century world? Is "responsible lobbying" a contradiction in terms? If lobbying can be made responsible, how will this happen?

This report examines the current issues around political lobbying and sets out to reinvigorate the debate. It also proposes a comprehensive framework which companies and NGOs can use to assess the responsibility of their own lobbying activities and to identify areas for improvement.

The report has been written in close collaboration with the UN Global Compact, and has been produced with the support of Co-operative Financial Services, Gap Inc, Novo Nordisk and Telefonica.