ASEAN CSR Network: April 2018 Newsletter

Promoting and enabling
responsible business conduct in ASEAN

​Responsible Business at the center
of ACN's first webinar series

ACN's first webinar series was successfully launched in the month of April 2018, as it opened with an introductory webinar on Responsible Business 101. Over a hundred people from across the globe participated in the session.

The second part of the series was also opened with two consecutive webinars on Business & Human Rights, and Environmental Sustainability.

Read more here.

ACN plans for SCOPE with NUS CGIO

ACN Secretariat met with the National University of Singapore’s (NUS) Centre for Governance, Institutions and Organisations (CGIO) to discuss strategies and to map out a work plan for the Sustainability Consortium of Professionals and Educators (SCOPE).

Read more here.


ACN supports research on water stewardship
by LKYSSP student group

On 25 April, students from the National University of Singapore, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy presented their research entitled "Business Models for Natural Water Conservation: Food & Beverage Water Stewardship in Indonesia and Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)" before an academic panel during their Policy Analysis Exercise (PAE) conference. As a client of the group, ACN supported the research by providing valuable inputs to improve the study.


Read more here.


The ASEAN CSR Network participated in an inception meeting on Fair Finance as one of its coalition partners. Conducted by Oxfam Novib, Fair Finance Asia was held on 23-27 April, 2018 in Siem Reap, Cambodia. The aim is to provide an overview of the range and depth on the role of each coalition partners in strengthening CSR policies and practices of banks towards society. Ms Lynda Lim, Programme Director represented ACN at the meeting.

Read more here.


On 28 April 2018, ACN's CEO, Mr Thomas Thomas was a panelist at the 15th ASEAN Leadership Forum for a discussion on the ASEAN Community and the Sustainable Development Goals - Aligning Sustainability at the Core of Integration.


Read more here.


ACN is down to the last two (2) webinars for the 

Details on the third and fourth webinars are as follows.
Click on the titles below to register.

Corruption, bribery, theft and tax evasion cost some US $1.26 trillion for developing countries per year; this amount of money could be used to lift those who are living on less than $1.25 a day above $1.25 for at least six years. Corruption in ASEAN has become so systemic that many people even say that it has become ingrained in the cultural norms and expectations of doing business in ASEAN. This session aims to create a shared understanding about corruption, the challenges and opportunities of fighting corruption in ASEAN, with a focus on the role of the private sector. 

At present, there is a lack of initiative undertaken to analyse gender issues within the framework of responsible business. Furthermore, there is an inadequate attention given to the gender-differentiated impact on business on women's rights and the barriers they face in accessing effective remedies. It is within this context, that this webinar, aims to provide an overview of the importance to mainstream gender lens into responsible business policies and practices, to promote gender equity and women's empowerment.


As the RB101 Webinar Series comes to a close,
we are also unveiling a new topical webinar this coming month:

May 24: 


Carbon pricing is an increasingly popular instrument used by governments and companies to tackle climate change. Regions and countries that have implemented carbon pricing mechanisms include the EU and China. In 2017, Singapore announced that it would also be implementing a carbon tax system from 2019 - the first in the Southeast Asia region. While many have cheered this move, industries have voiced concerns about how it might affect the competitiveness of firms here. This webinar will explain the mechanisms of carbon pricing and how it is being used to tackle climate change, as well as go further in-depth by using Singapore as a case study for discussion. It will also discuss the move in light of international market mechanisms currently being developed under the Paris Agreement, which is expected to play a significant role in facilitating countries in meeting their climate goals in the coming years. This webinar will be conducted by Ms Melissa Low, Research Fellow, Energy Studies Institute.

For queries, contact:

Green growth is a sustainable business solution amidst climate change at present, experts commented during a workshop organised by the Ho Chi Minh City chapter of Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) on April 19.

Read more here.

Indonesia Business Links (IBL), in collaboration with Partnership-ID, organized a Partnership Training on 24 April. This training aimed to introduce the concept of building an effective partnership for development. The participants were taught the principles of partnership and other skills to enhance their capacity and confidence to become a partnership brokers.
See more from IBL's Instragram here.

5-6 May 2018
Sustainability Internship Programme

4-7 June 2018

AVPN Conference

4-6 June 2018
AICHR Interregional Dialogue:
Sharing Good Practices on Business and Human Rights




26 cities are set to initiate the ASEAN Smart Cities Network, based on a concept note released by the regional bloc on 27 April during a meeting of the region's leaders in Singapore for the 32nd ASEAN Summit. The cities, which are located in the various ASEAN countries, will need to develop action plans specific to their cities as part of the countries’ bid to cooperate and share best practices on smart cities development. At the Summit, Singapore Prime Minister Lee also stressed the need for ASEAN to strengthen resilience against growing transboundary threats.

Read more from Channel News Asia here and here.​

In the Philippines, 'carbon majors' are being accused of violating human rights, in a landmark case that seeks to make big firms accountable. The petitioners accuse global oil, mining and cement companies of human rights violations by playing a role in driving climate change, and infringing on Filipinos' rights to life, food, water, sanitation and adequate housing. Among these carbon majors are oil giants Chevron, Shell, BP, and ExxonMobil, and miners Rio Tinto and Glencore. The Philippines is highly vulnerable to climate change impacts, such as extreme storms, drought and rising sea levels, which affects the country's farming and fishing communities.

Read more from Eco-Business here.

At least a dozen people were killed and many more injured by a fire caused by an explosion at an illegal oil well in the village of Peureulak in Indonesia on 25 April. Several houses were also ravaged by the fire. Police said that the victims were collecting oil from around the entrance of a well bore when the blaze erupted. East Aceh is has many small-scale oil drilling operations, most of which are operated illegally by the locals. Due to weak enforcement of safety regulations in the workplace and in construction, deadly fires such as these are not uncommon in the country.

Read more from Channel News Asia here.

Through financial support from 8 global banks, including Singapore's DBS and OCBC, Vietnam is set to build one of the largest coal-fired power stations. The funding amounts to US$1.7 billion for the 1,200 megawatt coal plant. However, London-based Standard Chartered pulled out due to a major conflict with its own energy and climate policy, which limits providing loans for coal plants of a certain emissions intensity. The deal is also in conflict with the Equator Principles, a framework for banks to assess the environmental and social risk on infrastructure projects, which the bank signed in 2003.

Read more from Eco-Business here.


A new joint action by the European Union, the ILO and the OECD on responsible supply chains will promote responsible business conduct with regard to decent work, environmental sustainability and respect for human rights. The new EUR 9 million project, funded by the European Union (EU) under the Partnership Instrument, and jointly implemented by the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), will cover six countries in Asia (China, Japan, Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand and Viet Nam). The partnership aims at advancing sustainable and inclusive growth by encouraging businesses to adopt policies and practices in the areas of human and labour rights and environmental protection standards in line with international instruments.

Read more from the ILO here.

Britain plans to ban the sale of plastic straws and other single use products, including drink stirrers and cottonbuds, according to the office of the office of Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May. They are also apressing Commonwealth allies to also take action to tackle marine waste. May has pledged to eradicate avoidable plastic waste by 2042, and will commit 61.4 million pounds ($87.21 million) to develop new ways of tackling plastic waste and to help Commonwealth countries limit quantity of plastics that end up in the ocean.

​Read more from Reuters here.

Global coffee chain Starbucks will shut down all of its stores across the United States on 29 May to hold a training on racial bias for its employees. The session will be conducted for 175,000 staff members across 8,000 locations, and will seek to promote inclusion and prevent discrimination. This comes after a controversy involving the arrest of two black males in a Starbucks brand in Philadelphia who had entered the store as customers and had asked to use the toilet. "We will learn from our mistakes and reaffirm our commitment to creating a safe and welcoming environment for every customer," Howard Schultz, executive chairman for the brand, said in a statement.

Read more from Reuters here.


Facebook, Cambridge Analytica, and two other companies are facing a class action lawsuit for the misuse of personal data of over 71 million people across the globe. The lawsuit claims the firms obtained users’ private information from the social media network to develop "political propaganda campaigns" in the UK and the US. The data included names, phone numbers, mail and email addresses, political and religious affiliations, and other interests, which were used "to accomplish Cambridge Analytica's driving principle: to build psychological profiles of voters to affect election results in the UK and the US". The lawsuit asserts that Facebook did not act responsibly to protect the data of its users, and that the defendants abused the human right to privacy.

Read more from The Guardian here.

By Norton Rose Fulbright

From Mongabay:
Ghosts in the Machine: The land deals behind the downfall of Indonesia’s top judge
By The Gecko Project and Mongabay

From Eco-Business:

Time to dismantle legal barriers to climate finance in Asia-Pacific
​By Takako Morita, Senior Counsel, Office of the General Counsel at the Asian Development Bank

From Eco-Business:

Five years on from Rana Plaza, has the fashion industry changed its ways?
By Hannah Koh and Vaidehi Shah

From Eco-Business:

Five ways the shipping industry can reduce its carbon emissions
By Paul Gilbert, Senior Lecturer in Climate Change Mitigation, University of Manchester

From UN Global Compact:

Women's Empowerment Principles Global Trends Report 2018
By UN Global Compact
Participating Organisations
Indonesia - Indonesia Business Links
Myanmar - Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry

If your country does not have a Participating Organisation formalised as a convenor yet, you may contact the Secretariat of the ASEAN CSR Network directly.

ASEAN CSR Network is a company limited by guarantee in Singapore, with charity status as an International Charitable Organisation (ICO) and is an ASEAN accredited Entity.

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