Singapore firms pledge to raise sustainability standards

Singapore-based firms which have committed to responsible business practices to receive special certificates from the United Nations Global Compact to mark 10 years of Singapore’s corporate responsibility movement.

spore finance dist view
A view of Singapore's financial district. More companies in Singapore are expected to commit and implement the principles upheld by the United Nations Global Compact, covering the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption. Image: Shutterstock

As part of the 10th year celebration of Singapore’s corporate responsibility movement, a number of Singapore-based companies will be receiving special certificates from the United Nations Global Compact next week.

General Counsel and Chief of Governance and Social Sustainability of the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), Ms Ursula Wynhoven will be issuing these at the opening ceremony of the International CSR Summit by Global Compact Network Singapore on 25 August.

These companies are pledging to abide by the 10 universally accepted principles of sustainable and responsible business practices under the UNGC, a voluntary initiative by companies to adopt sustainable and responsible business practices.

The movement was first launched 15 years ago by then-United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan. These 10 principles cover the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption.

Ms Wynhoven will also be delivering a keynote address at the International CSR Summit, taking place on 25 and 26 August 2015 at the Suntec Singapore Convention and Exhibition Centre. Ms Wynhoven will speak about the impact of the UNGC’s 15-year journey to promote CSR (corporate social responsibility) globally, and how sustainability practices impact the business and financial performance of companies.

She will also touch on the broad plans for UNGC ahead, and how Singapore and the ASEAN region can strategically complement UNGC’s effort in promoting CSR to a diversity of stakeholder groups including corporations, academics, agencies, NGOs, the media and the youth.

Into its seventh year, the International CSR Summit’s theme this year is “Evolving and Evaluating CSR: Creating Value for a Sustainable Future”.

Executive director of Compact Singapore, Christopher Ang, said: “2015 is a milestone year, where world leaders are meeting at the UN climate change meeting in Paris come December 2015 to nail down specific targets to manage climate change. 

“CSR plays a key role in mitigating climate change. It is the 50th year of Singapore’s independence, and 10 years since the CSR movement began with the formation of Singapore Compact, the national society tasked to promote CSR in Singapore.”

To signal closer ties to the UNGC, the Singapore Compact has been rebranded as Global Compact Network Singapore in June, said Ang.

“Singapore Compact had been at the forefront of growing the CSR agenda in Singapore, by promoting CSR thought leadership and providing avenues for companies,” he added.

Maintaining its aim to provide a global and local perspective to CSR practitioners in Singapore and the region, the International CSR Summit this year gathers top-of-their-field speakers from companies such as ABB Singapore, Bloomberg, Cargill, DHL Supply Chain, Interface Asia Pacific, Maritime Port Authority, National Environment Agency, Standard Chartered Bank and Unilever who will share their insights and impart CSR strategies for sustainable growth.

The organisers expect 400 business leaders, government officials, CSR practitioners, policy makers, entrepreneurs, academics, union and civil society leaders to attend this year’s Summit, which will explore best practices, innovations and ideas in an international context with regards to climate change, sustainability investment, sustainability reporting, stakeholder engagement, human capital, environmental stewardship and governance, while providing in-depth perspectives across various sectors.

Beside Ms Wynhoven from the UNGC, Ms Yeo Lian Sim, Special Advisor, Singapore Exchange Limited (SGX) and well-known sustainability expert Dr Wayne Visserof Kaleidoscope Futures Lab will also be delivering keynote addresses.

Ms Yeo will share SGX’s approach to sustainability reporting, following the exchange’s announcement last year that it would mandate sustainability reporting for Singapore-listed companies. Dr Visser, meanwhile, will speak about going beyond CSR and sustainability to create Integrated Value (CIV).

Don’t miss this premier CSR event in Singapore. Please visit the event website at to register for your Summit pass.

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