The Singapore Compact for CSR on Thursday renamed itself the Global Compact Network Singapore as the group expands and aligns its objectives more closely to those of the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC).
The UNGC, an international voluntary CSR initiative launched in 2000, promotes UN-backed principles of corporate governance focused on human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption. It has more than 12,000 corporate and non-profit members from over 145 countries, and is the largest voluntary corporate responsibility initiative in the world.
Singapore Compact has been UNGC’s focal point in Singapore since its inception in 2005, but with the rebranding, it has now become the formal network of the UNGC in the city-state, it said in a statement.
Kwek Leng Joo, the president of the non-profit group and also the deputy chairman of Singapore-listed property developer City Developments, was elected for a second three-year term during the annual general meeting held on the same day.
Kwek said the rebranding reflects the Singapore business community’s commitment to strengthen its ties with the UNGC and adhere to its principles on responsible business.
“This move will help the society leverage on the UNGC’s stronger brand name and allow us to tap on its global network, thought leadership and resources,” he added.
Under the new structure, the group could play a more effective role in promoting CSR among businesses, Kwek noted, adding that aligning with the UNGC’s best practices and global standards will also attract many international companies with a presence in Singapore.
As part of UNGC’s local networks, Global Compact Network Singapore could help small firms identify their sustainability challenges and opportunities, as well as assist multinational corporations implement their CSR goals specific to the country’s needs.
The Singapore Business Federation (SBF), comprising more than 21,000 corporate members, will play a lead role in the new Compact, while founding members of the Singapore Compact - the Singapore National Employers Federation and the National Trade Union Congress - will continue to support the renamed organisation, the Compact said.
Victor Tay, chief operating officer of SBF and vice president of the new Compact, explained that the business community in Singapore can no longer ignore the importance of being a good corporate citizen.
“It is with this essential principle in mind that SBF decided to play a greater role at Singapore Compact, evolving the organisation with a greater and broader mandate aligned to the principles of the United Nation Global Compact,” he stressed.
Global Compact Network Singapore and the UNGC will formalise their working relationship on 25 August at the International CSR Summit organised by Singapore chapter. The summit will be held at Suntec Singapore Convention and Exhibition Centre.