CSR News from around ASEAN

Lao Responsible Business Forum: CSR has a significant role in realizing equitable, inclusive and sustainable development in Lao PDR and in ASEAN

19 June 2015, Vientiane – The ASEAN CSR Network, in cooperation with the Lao National Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and the ASEAN Foundation, organized the first Responsible Business Forum at Mercure Hotel, Vientiane, Lao PDR on 19 June 2015. The Forum tackled the role of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in building a more equitable, inclusive and sustainable ASEAN Community.


Guest of Honour H.E. Saleumxay Kommasith, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lao PDR shared his thoughts on the importance of multi-stakeholder collaboration and highlighted the need to promote responsible practices amongst businesses as ASEAN aims to achieve its sustainable development goals.

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Responsible Business Forum 2015 underway in Hanoi

(Hanoi, 23 June 2015, Vietnam Economic Times) - Rarely do representatives from the agriculture sector in ASEAN countries take part in ASEAN meetings, Mr. Tan Sri Dr. Mohd Munir Abdul Majid, Chairman of the ASEAN Business Advisory Council, said at the Responsible Business Forum (RBF) on Food and Agriculture held on June 23 in Hanoi. “There are few large ASEAN enterprises in the sector,” he added.

Mr. Majid said that the importance of agriculture should be better promoted among enterprises and policymakers within ASEAN. The bloc is now preparing its agenda post-2015, he added, with stable development featuring prominently, while he couldn’t say how much of it focused on agriculture.

At the conference Mr. Simon Tay, Chairman of the Singapore Institute of International Affairs, called for innovation in encouraging more enterprises to be involved in agriculture in ASEAN. In Vietnam only 1 per cent of all enterprises invested in agriculture, said Mr. Vu Tien Loc, Chairman of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI). “Even fewer enterprises invest in high technology in the sector,” he added.

The conference also heard from Professor Peter Timmer, Thomas D.Cabot Professor of Development Studies, Emeritus, at Harvard University, who spoke about three levels for cooperation among ASEAN countries in agriculture. Firstly, countries have to have their own policies but these policies have to be suitable for cooperation among all countries. Secondly, countries must identify the role of the State and private sectors. Thirdly, structures to encourage public-private partnership must be introduced.

To read the original press release, click here

UN Global Compact Unveils New Official Website Aiming to Spur Corporate Sustainability Action

(New York, 22 June 2015, UNGC) – Kicking off a week-long series of events celebrating its 15th anniversary, the UN Global Compact today launched its new official website at www.unglobalcompact.org.

The website is designed to support business at all stages along the corporate sustainability journey – from those companies that are just learning how to integrate sustainability into their business, to the most advanced companies operating on the leading edge. The website helps make the business case for corporate sustainability and shows how companies can engage on specific issues, such as gender equality and climate. It also provides ideas for leadership practices, such as engaging boards of directors and setting long-term sustainability goals.

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Palm oil companies exploit Indonesia's people - and its corrupt political machine

(11 June 2015, The Guardian) - Throughout Indonesia, a vast archipelago draped across the equator, a human rights crisis simmers.

Over the past two decades, indigenous communities have seen the governmenthand their land over to private companies. These companies are largely producing one of two commodities: fast-growing timber species to supply the pulp and paper industry or palm oil, a remarkably versatile edible oil.

Despite President Joko Widodo’s promise to crack down on deforestation from palm oil expansion last year, the launch of the mandatory Indonesian Sustainable Palm Oil certification scheme and a raft of voluntary commitments by palm oil companies, destruction and exploitation remain the norm.

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