We are well into the “summer of corporate social responsibility (CSR)” in China, but this news makes it official… CSR China reported here that a Corporate Social Responsibility Research Center in conjunction with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences was opened last week in Beijing:
“Being a non-profit academic research institution, it is the first national research center and top theoretical research platform covering the CSR sector in China, aiming at exploring a set of CSR theoretical system with Chinese characteristics, establishing and improving effective CSR external mechanism, and assisting Chinese enterprises to find a practical path for CSR.”
Asia is a hotbed for CSR, ethics, and compliance issues (in theory at least, if not in practical application, yet). In the past couple of months, Shanghaiist has attended a whirlwind of events including Beacon’s Corporate Ethics and Compliance Asia conference in Hong Kong, the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China’s (EUCC) CSR National conference in Shanghai, and CEIBS’ 3rd annual Being Globally Responsible Conference (BGRC). And there are many more in the coming months in the region (see calendar below).
Here are a few highlights from the meetings we attended ….
Corporate Ethics and Compliance Asia 2008’s theme was “Transforming Corporate Ethics & Compliance into a Competitive Advantage”. Filled primarily with lawyers who function as compliance directors and officers, attendees were big on networking and Shanghaiist almost ran out of business cards. Presenters included Dr. Madhav Mehra from the World Council for Corporate Governance, Martin Tolar from the Australasian Compliance Institute, and Annettee Donselar from AIG. One of the most practical and popular speeches given was by Douglas Allen from Corpedia and it outlined the essential components for a company’s code of conduct.
EUCC’s National CSR conference emphasized “Responsible Competitiveness in China through CSR”. This forum had more of an educational focus and, of course, a very large European contingent. They brought in international CSR experts like Richard Howitt- European Parliament Rapporteur on CSR, Dirk Matten- Author of The A to Z of Corporate Social Responsibility, and his co-author, Wayne Visser- CEO of CSR International, who juxtaposed European and Chinese definitions and development benchmarks of CSR. Fantastic China based speakers included Ma Jun (aka Water Pollution Hero)- Institute of Public & Environmental Affairs, Dr. Yin Yin Nwe- UNICEF’s China Representative, and Dr. Stephen Frost from CSR Asia.
CEIBS BGRC began in 2006 and was the first and largest student-led CSR initiative. 2008’s forum drew MBA students from all over Asia and several were also lecturers. Its motto was “New Horizon, Better World” and, true to its instructive roots, included interactive workshops and allowed extra time for Q&A sessions for inquisitive students. International giants Fred Dubee from the UN Global Compact and Nancy Barry- Former President of Women’s World Banking spoke. China’s very own CSR gurus William Valentino- CSR Vice President of Bayer, Professor Henri-Claude de Bettignies of CEIBS and Sam Lee from China CSR were also featured.
Green Scene Calendar:
NextStep Green Business Forum, July 12 (tomorrow), Shanghai Hope to see you there!
China Summit on Anti-Corruption, July 15, Shanghai
Crossroads Luncheon : Act Local – Appease Global, July 25, Beijing and Shanghai
Anticorruption South Asia Summit, September 9-11, Singapore
British Chamber of Commerce in China CSR Conference, September 10, Shanghai
14th Annual International Sustainable Development Research Conference, September 21-23, New Delhi, India