Thai bourse’s 2013 CSR plan focuses on sustainable development
BANGKOK, January 31, 2013 – Corporate Social Responsibility Institute (CSRI), under The Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET), together with the Thaipat Institute and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), disclosed their 2013 CSR & sustainability plan towards the second era of sustainable development by focusing on “disclosure” and “openness” to meet expectations of society broadly.
The second era of development has been developed from the previous one, which was implemented over the last 20 years by focusing on development in each segment relatively independent of the other parts, aiming to cut limitations of the previous model by taking a holistic approach, emphasizing interaction between dimensions at all levels.
SET Executive Vice President and Director of CSRI, Bordin Unakul, said that the popularity of sustainable development has driven society to focus on development from a holistic point of view, considering the economy, society, and environment as they interact with one another during the developmental process. This holistic approach is becoming the world’s main CSR direction used as development framework at the national and organizational levels.
“SET emphasizes building the foundation for sustainable development of the capital market, society and the country. Thus, we have built CSRI to be a core institution in developing expertise and enhancing business operations with social responsibility to create sustainable value for organizations, stakeholders, and society as a whole. CSRI’s 2013 core plan is to encourage listed companies to do Corporate Sustainability Reporting. Last year, CSRI distributed a handbook on sustainability reporting based on Global Reporting Initiatives (GRI). In addition, trainings and seminars will be offered throughout the year,” said Bordin.
“Investors have placed important on listed companies operating with social and environmental responsibility following good corporate governance principles. Sustainability reporting following GRI is an important key to help investors get accurate and clear information regarding a company’s CSR strategy and operations for investment decision. The reporting is key tools to gives an evaluation of the company, enabling its management and operational officers to know what working processes should be improved for increased efficiency and growth with sustainability,” he added.
Moreover, SET will create the SET Sustainability Index (SET SI) to enhance and improve listed company’s social responsibility operations towards the direction encouraging the sustainability of organization and development.
Pipat Yodprudtikan, director of Thaipat Institute, noted that the driving forces of Thai corporate among large-sized companies would be influenced by the sustainable development framework. This was a result from the Rio+20 meeting in the middle of last year when the meeting proposed to change the framework by considering economic, social, and environmental issues as a whole from 2015 onwards.
The corporate CSR principle, supporting the second era of sustainable development concept, emphasizes “disclosure” and “openness” to meet the broad-based expectations of society by considering all stakeholders. One of the concrete happenings is to encourage corporate sector, especially large-sized listed companies, to have Corporate Sustainability Reporting, Pipat added.
In addition, the corporate sector initiated sustainable business operations by considering grass-root communities, called inclusive businesses, which create jobs for local people with less income, giving opportunities to community members to deliver, distribute, sell, and service business chains, developing and delivering products and services in line with their buying power and enabling them to access products and services to develop their quality of life.
SEC Assistant Secretary-General Waratchya Srimachand said that SET-listed companies were a key mechanism to drive the country’s economy, and that SEC supports those developing sustainable businesses using CSR principles towards business development with sustainability to comply with international standards. These firms would be models for other companies and help meet the demand of investors worldwide who tend to overweight companies operating under CSR principles.
“To encourage listed companies to recognize CSR more, SEC is planning to require that firms to disclose their CSR operations in their form 56-1 and annual report. And also for any firms planning to issue new securities will have to disclose on form 69-1 form whether these companies have operated following SET’s 2012 document on CSR practices regarding stakeholders, economy, society, and the environment. The disclosure will provide key information to investors for their decisions. The regulation is expected to be effective from January 1, 2014 onwards,” Waratchya added.
For details on the outlook for CSR & Sustainability 2013, please see “6 Directions of CSR & Sustainability 2013: Sustainable Development 2.0” produced by Thaipat Institute, tel. 0 2930 5227, email firstname.lastname@example.org or see details at www.thaipat.org