Good corporate citizenship on the rise in AsiaPacific UN finds

3 November 2009More businesses in the Asia-Pacific region are becoming better corporate citizens but they should ensure that these efforts form an integral part of their everyday operations, a United Nations-organized regional gathering on trade and investment heard today. More than 200 participants at a meeting in Bangkok on corporate responsibility discussed how environmental and social concerns such as fair labour standards, anti-corruption measures and green business practices in the private sector can actually lead to long-term economic growth, social progress and environmental sustainability.The participants – which included senior government officials from 16 countries in the region – agreed that it was time to develop a common agenda on responsible business conduct, according to a press release issued by the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP).In her address to the meeting, Noeleen Heyzer, the Executive Secretary of ESCAP, said that companies will often engage in activities that generated good public relations but did not have much lasting effect.“[We need] to make sure that we move from that kind of a ‘showcase’ and ensure that corporate social responsibility is integral to business practices, something that will run through the whole production process,” she said.Today’s meeting, jointly organized by ESCAP and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), was held as part of a series of events in the first ever Asia-Pacific Trade and Investment Week. read more