Compliance was the first key driver in Asia when multinational retailers introduced social responsibility code of conduct for their suppliers. And compliance still remains a major driver.
Much of CSR in Asia is still limited to philanthropy. Last month, India’s leading industry federation Assocham published a report on CSR by Indian companies. The report said the companies’ primary focus is on community welfare.
PR is becoming an important driver. So you can expect to see more and more companies releasing glossy annual CSR reports, largely assembled by their spin doctors, low on substance and high on rhetoric and tall claims.
Reputational risk is becoming a driver in some of the sectors such as the palm oil industry.
More recently, governments have started driving sustainability. Sustainability reporting guidelines by the Singapore Stock exchange, CSR guidelines by the ministry of corporate affairs in India, and CSR reporting guidelines by Bursa Malaysia are some of the examples.
In Singapore, the Green Mark Scheme is another example where it is mandatory for property developers to achieve at least the Green Mark for all new developments.
Singapore has recently approved a national competency framework for sustainable fashion value chain which I help developed. The initiative is aimed at developing sustainable fashion and retail industry in Singapore. And Singapore will be organizing the first international sustainable fashion conference on the 24th of November this year. The sustainable fashion framework will be launched in that conference.
If you have other thoughts, will be happy to know. Please comment.
Tomorrow I will share the three broad types of of CSR initiatives in Asia, and the key challenges ahead. So, please return to this blog tomorrow!