Promoting Sustainable and Responsible Business in Asia and the Pacific

The Role of Government

image of Promoting Sustainable and Responsible Business in Asia and the Pacific
This policy-oriented paper identifies initiatives that policy-makers in the Asia Pacific region should duly consider for promoting CSR practices, at both the regional and national levels, and spanning domestic SMEs to large MNEs. The initiatives are diverse in focus and scope, although there is one common denominator: virtually none can be enacted by government alone. Any initiative to promote sustainable and responsible business needs to be sustainable in itself, and that in turn necessitates the active engagement and tangible inputs of the business community.



Beyond philanthropy: What exactly is CSR?

While the term ‘corporate social responsibility’ (CSR) might be relatively new in various parts of Asia and the Pacific, at least some elements of its practice date back a very long way. Philanthropic activity, for example, whether pursued by businesses or individuals, goes back many millennia. And that may explain in large part why a lot of companies and their executives wrongly perceive of CSR as comprising simply that – philanthropic ‘giving’. But, while philanthropy can be seen as one (fairly basic) component of CSR, it is certainly not the case that CSR is limited to philanthropy alone. CSR is something far greater than one-off acts of charitable giving by firms as part of a bid to be (or seen to be) a good corporate citizen, and perhaps with some additional marketing or public relations benefits. It can be an effective form of risk management, ensuring compliance with the social and environmental laws and regulations of the host country, and even a means of (shared) value creation for those companies willing to innovate.


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