Thaipat Institute

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CSR necessary for smaller firms, says expert


Developing corporate social responsibility is necessary for small- and medium-sized firms as well as large companies, says Pipat Yodprudtikan, the director of the non-profit Thaipat Institute.

Large companies were becoming more aware of the importance and value of CSR but many small firms didn't know the benefits of adopting CSR principles, Dr Pipat said at a briefing on CSR yesterday at the Stock Exchange of Thailand.

He said the Thaipat Institute would reach out to state agencies like the Office of Small and Medium Enterprises Promotion (Osmep) to encourage small firms to upgrade their operations.

''Small and medium-sized enterprises are a key driver for the Thai economy. If they understand the importance of CSR, it will benefit both society and their companies,'' Dr Pipat said.

Organisational cultures and structures between large firms and small ones were completely different, he added.

The Thaipat Institute expected a training programme tailored to small firms to be completed this year, Dr Pipat said.

The institute was set up in 2001 by the Rural and Social Management Institute, Puey Community Learning Centre, Rural and Social Management Institute, School for Life and Thai RuralNet.

The objective was to promote the sufficiency economy philosophy and CSR.

Dr Pipat said CSR awareness was improving in both the public and private sectors. ''We will see new positions in companies for corporate responsibility officers (CRO) and other positions related to CSR.''

Global warming was of particular interest in the current environment. He said that many companies now increasingly giving thought to saving energy and reducing their carbon footprint.

But Dr Pipat said CSR should not be thought of as a marketing or public-relations exercise. ''Today, many organisations use CSR as a tool to promote their organisations. This isn't positive for the long term. Social benefits should be the first priority.''

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