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Map Ta Phut case saps trust

Companies will face higher demands for social responsibility, as the Map Ta Phut case has shaken business's credibility, says Pipat Yodprudtikan, director of the Thaipat Institute.

"The case has caused a phenomenon in that the gap between society's expectations and corporate performance has been greatly widened. This is dangerous to businesses and it will be tougher for them to drive forward their CSR commitment as credibility has been lost," said Dr Pipat.

Businesses next year should therefore reposition their CSR strategies, expanding CSR benefits to more stakeholders as well as seeking outcomes that match communities' demands rather than what companies want to do.

"In the past, organisations may have been focusing on what they give to the society. But actually the question should be what the society receives from them. It's not just giving anything. Providing what the community really needs would give a more valuable result," he said.

Dr Pipat also suggested solutions to the Map Ta Phut case should involve more corporate social responsibility.

"Since the problems occurred, we have yet to see industries in the industrial estates step out and say they will be more cautious in their operations or set up a prevention system in the future," he said. "More active CSR approaches should be applied rather than waiting for the problems to take place then solving them later."

Patareeya Benjapolchai, the president of the Stock Exchange of Thailand, said the Map Ta Phut case remained the most important factor that would affect private investment and investors' confidence.

The Stock Exchange of Thailand, the Corporate Social Responsibility Institute (CSRI) and the Thaipat Institute yesterday said they would continue the second phase of their CSR promotion project CSR Day with an aim of promoting CSR awareness in organisations.

Ms Patareeya said 78 businesses have participated in the project, higher than the target of 50 in the first year. Fifty of the participants are listed on the market.

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