Draft Programme

Conference Day 1: Tuesday 16 September
14:00 – 15:30 Breakout sessions

1a.    Sustainability Ranking

Full details of this innovative new initiative coming soon...

2a.     Climate change: The need for business to lead on climate change mitigation

Greater scientific evidence and political commitment on climate change leave little excuse for corporations not to act. This session will make the business case for climate change mitigation and explore ways in which companies can do their bit beyond calculating their own carbon emissions.

3a.    The crisis in supply chains

Over the last decade, companies have increasingly been held accountable for the social and environmental performance in the supply chain, often much beyond their first tier. Today, traceability and transparency are expected of responsible businesses. This session explores some of major campaigns and ‘scandals’ of recent years and the transformation and change it has brought about.

4a.    Inclusive business

This session will explore the new standard for corporate practice – to be a Responsible and Inclusive Business (RIB). A RIB business goes beyond compliance to meet internationally accepted standards as they evolve, looks beyond financial indicators to understand the impact of its environmental and social impacts, limiting the negative, actively stewards natural resources and promotes the inclusion of the poor into the business value chain. Crucially a RIB provides the leadership to to engage its entire value chain in this approach. This session examines approaches that work and why others have failed.

5a.    Investing in workplace wellness – A Winning Strategy for top talent, customers & investors?

For decades, health promotion was seen as a public health issue for which governments were responsible. Conversations are now shifting to a place where many people spend most of their waking hours: workplace. As employers, organisations have a great responsibility to nurture their employees’ well-being. Notwithstanding, employee wellness has a positive co-relation with workforce productivity and effectiveness. According to a Harvard Business Review in 2010, the cost-benefit ratio for companies adopting a comprehensive approach to workplace wellness can be as high as US$6.15 for every dollar invested.

In this session we will discuss how companies can work towards the goal of improving health and well-being of their employees. Experts and companies committed to advancing wellness in the workplace will share on how and why maintaining the physical and psychosocial health of the workforce translates to a more sustainable, competitive and productive business.

16:00 – 17:30 Breakout sessions

1b.    Stakeholder engagement and materiality (workshop)

The latest GRI G4 Guidelines have had a mixed reception among Asian reporting companies. For many, the guidelines now seem more complex than ever, and the emphasis on materiality and stakeholder engagement appears to be the greatest barrier. But is it really so complicated? This interactive workshop will explore the materiality and stakeholder engagement principles, and ways to apply this in practice, using real examples from Asian companies.

2b.    Corporate Water Responsibility

By 2025, 1800 million people will be living in countries or regions with absolute water scarcity, and two-thirds of the world population could be under stress conditions. At the same time 68% of the Global 500 respondents (companies) report exposure to water-related risks, CDP Water Disclosure (2012). This session will look at the issue of water usage by business. Whilst many businesses are comfortable reporting on carbon footprints, few are presenting water footprints and taking action toward sustainable, efficient and equitable water use. This panel will examine the numerous water-related risks to business: physical, reputational, regulatory and financial and present actions and tools that businesses can utilise.

3b.    Where next for factory improvement?

Social auditing is failing to protect both workers and brands. Supplier development and worker empowerment are increasingly part of brands’ supply chain responsibility programmes, yet progress is often hindered by factors such as inefficiencies at the factory level, a lack of visibility beyond the first tier and asymmetrical commercial relationships. This session will explore how recent developments and innovations are helping to address the challenges, as we move towards a new model to guarantee meaningful and lasting improvements in the pay and conditions of Asian workers.

4b.    Strategic community investment - Are communities better off?

Over the last decade in Asia, we have seen companies move away from one-off cheque-giving to more strategic community investment - aligning business objectives and expertise with community needs, and working with NGOs on advocacy and partnering in other ways beyond just providing cash. With increased prominence of strategic community investment, are communities in Asia better off? How do we know? What approaches have companies taken to ensure that their community investment are meeting priority community needs and not merely a branding and employee engagement exercise, or a pet topic chosen by senior management? What lessons can we draw on? How can we do things better? What will strategic community investment look like in the next decade?
This session will include a cross sector panel including companies with extensive experience in strategic community investment in Asia and a NGO perspective to answer some of these questions. The panel will focus on the different approaches to assess and determine community needs, ensuring that community investment initiatives are creating positive change both for the community and the business.

5b.    Partnerships for development

Sustainable development is a strategic priority for leading companies; many however do not have in-house development expertise or local grassroots networks to develop and implement strategies that contribute to equitable economic development. At the same time, development partners are increasingly looking to the private sector as a key player in driving effective solutions to address poverty and inequality; but many are struggling to build capacity and networks for effective business engagement.
Partnerships will continue to be a key element in advancing the issues and devising approaches that make a difference towards more equitable economic development. This session will showcase examples of successful partnerships and discuss the challenges that many organizations face when seeking partnerships on common goals and addressing differences in approach, language, etc.

Conference Day 2: Wednesday 17 September
09:00 – 10:30 Breakout sessions

1c.    Different approaches to measuring impact

There is growing emphasis for companies to measure what matters and to report on the community and business impact beyond how much cash companies are giving to communities. Has the last decade seen an increase in impact measurement in Asia? CSR Asia’s research conducted in 2013 revealed many companies in Asia still largely focus on reporting the causes they support as opposed to what changes or benefits occur as a result. Why? What are the perceived obstacles to impact measurement and how can this change for the next decade?

This session will first introduce different tools and approaches to impact measurement including Social Return on Investment (SROI) - which assigns a monetary figure for social, environmental and economic benefits minus costs and a different way of looking at a business’ socio-economic impact in the countries where they operate. Following which the panel of speakers, including organisations who have undertaken impact measurement and impact practitioners, will share their different experiences in impact measurement, helping break the myth that impact measurement is too hard.

2c.     Business solutions to poverty

As we approach the 2015 target for the Millennium Development Goals, poverty remains a persistent global challenge. Whilst rapid economic growth in Asian countries has helped to significantly reduce poverty, approximately 1.7 billion people in the region still live on less than $2 a day. This session explores how companies can help to alleviate poverty and at the same time create value for the business. We will present real cases that leverage a company’s expertise, resources, networks and services to create more inclusive approaches that value the poor as potential employees, suppliers and customers.

3c.    Human rights and business relationships across the value chain (workshop)

This session will explore how human rights are increasingly being integrated in business relationships in the value chain beyond supply chain, using the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights as the focal point. The spectrum of business relationships will be explored, with a particular focus on joint ventures as well as and mergers and acquisitions. Participants will discuss in small groups how companies are: setting and communicating expectations; building capacity with business partners on understanding and managing human rights impacts; and how companies seek to use and build leverage to improve human rights outcomes.

4c.    Shared value I

As adoption and implementation of shared value strategy continues to accelerate around the world, more and more companies and their stakeholders view shared value as a framework for addressing social and environmental problems at scale. This interactive session on shared value will explore opportunities to enhance development outcomes while simultaneously strengthening corporate competitiveness. We will also explore critical success factors in designing and delivering shared value programmes and ways in which value can be created for a range of stakeholders. Corporate perspectives from Asia and Europe, as well as a public-private partnership perspective from USAID, will focus on Asian examples. Participants will be invited to share their own experiences with shared value and explore how corporate philanthropic and social responsibility practices can be aligned to create a “portfolio approach” to shared value.

5c.    Commitments for the future: what’s your strategy?

Sustainability as a concept is all about the future. For a company, sustainability involves anticipating future opportunities and limitations, and integrating them into creating a future-proof business. This session will look at how companies develop sustainability roadmaps that integrate sustainability goals into their business strategy. The discussion will focus on how companies can move from sustainability initiatives to a coherent sustainability strategy. What is the catalyst for going even further in having the business strategy be one with a sustainability strategy? What are the structures and systems that need to be put in place to enable integration of sustainability issues into business planning and processes? Participants will hear from leading businesses who have successfully developed sustainability strategies, and learn about the key success factors and pitfalls to avoid.

11:00 – 12:30 Breakout sessions

1d.    Reporting and disclosure

In this session we will look at how sustainability reporting has progressed over the past decade and explore what we should expect for the decade to come. Disclosure continues to evolve with international standards constantly being enhanced as we have seen with the launch of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) G4 Sustainability Reporting Guidelines in 2013. At local level in Asia, we see stock exchanges playing an important role in enhancing disclosure for listed companies by issuing ESG reporting guidelines. The panel of speakers will discuss how these developments impact Asian companies and how reporting on material sustainability issues can drive performance and create value.

2d.    WORKSHOP: Children and the private sector

This session will explore the Children's Rights and Business Principles developed by UNICEF, the Global Compact and Save the Children and share how businesses in Asia are implementing those principles. As the rights of children and future generations are central to the post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals agenda, the session will introduce participants to the UNICEF tools designed to assist companies learning about and integrating children’s rights into business policies and management processes. Panellists will share their experiences and CSR Asia will outline the findings of the recent report commissioned by Aviva which details the experiences of business proactively making vulnerable children’s rights real in their operations.

3d.    Environmental challenges in supply chains

Business is facing various environmental challenges nowadays, especially for those who are closely managing their environmental performance in their supply chain. Some of the obvious ones directly affect the business’ ability to operate, like raw materials scarcity, energy-price increase, and stricter regulation requirements on emission, effluent and waste management. In this session, we invite some of the world leading companies to share their experience on how they explored the opportunities benefiting both the business and the environment, while they are addressing the environmental challenges in their supply chain.

4d.    Shared value II (workshop)

The highly interactive workshop led by CSR Asia and FSG will examine the approach to designing shared value initiatives and how a company can roll them out to meet social needs and deliver profits for business. A number of shared value cases will be explored from an Asian context and participants will engage in a number of small group exercises to explore the opportunities and challenges around shared value.

5d.    Modern day slavery and the role of the private sector

Sweat shops, slave boats, child labour, forced labour, and forced prostitution: These are just some of the many modern day slavery issues that are increasingly confronting the private sector and leading to loss of reputation and disruption to business. This session will outline modern day slavery today, address some of the key challenges facing business and support participants to understand how they can identify, assess and tackle modern day slavery.

Potential topics covered:

  • Understanding modern day slavery and impacts facing your company
  • International frameworks and guiding principles that companies need to know about
  • How to mitigate the risks associated with modern day slavery problems
  • Business to play a lead role in disabling the slavery industry
  • Innovative, strategic and business-driven projects that are designed to disrupt the industry at pivotal points and reduce the risk of more people becoming enslaved.

14:00 – 15:30 Breakout sessions

1e.    Disaster Preparedness

The private sector has become an important actor in disaster response and relief efforts. During past emergencies it has swiftly mobilised crucial financial and in-kind donations, assets and networks. Against the background of increasing damages and losses from recurrent disasters in the region, this session discusses the need for more strategic private sector contributions that help meet community needs and business objectives.

2e.    Skills based volunteering - What is the business value?

Companies are increasingly spending more time and resources organising skills based volunteering (SBV) initiatives for employees. How does SBV lead to increased employee engagement and how does increased engagement contribute to improved staff-retention, recruitment, morale and talent development? How is business value measured? Beyond recruitment and retention, what other business value is SBV creating? This session will hear from corporate community investment practitioners, their human-resources counterparts and a NGO on how companies are trying to capture and track the business value of SBV.

3e.    Food security: Seafood value chains

Seafood is the largest traded food commodity in the world, and demand in Asia is increasing rapidly with increasing affluence. But the sustainability of our seafood supply is under threat: 85% of marine fish stocks are now fully exploited or overfished, and intensive fish farming is highly susceptible to disease. Fish farming and processing practices have also been linked to environmental degradation, human rights abuses and consumer health concerns resulting from overuse of chemical inputs, and it is clear that business as usual is not sustainable.

This session explores the issue of food security by looking at one of the most volatile food commodities, and is relevant not only for seafood producers, suppliers, distributors and retailers, but also has broader implications for industries such as tourism, food and beverage and, of course, for consumers. We will look at the challenges faced by businesses across the seafood value chain and initiatives being implemented to ensure a stable and sustainable future supply.

4e.    ESG and financial services: does it really matter?

This session will explore if ESG does have real business relevance in the financial services sector. It will look at how ESG is integrated at the core of financial services provision and how banks engage their clients on ESG issues. What ESG aspects do providers of capital look at when deciding to finance or invest in a company or project? What are the opportunities for financial institutions and their clients? It will be a panel discussion with speakers representing financial institutions that truly embed ESG consideration in their core business and in their financing or investment decisions.

17:00 – 17:30 Closing Panel

Closing Panel

The last decade has seen rapid developments in corporate sustainability and social responsibility. The closing panel will look to the next decade and the panellists will discuss what they see as some of the key trends emerging. They will highlight the implications for business and how businesses are going to have to respond over the next ten years.









Previous CSR Asia Summits:

• Bangkok, Thailand (2013)
• Beijing, China (2012)
• Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (2011)
• Hong Kong (2010)


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Summit team
CSR Asia
Tel: (852) 3579 8079
Email: summit@csr-asia.com