Role of Governments in Promoting CSR
30 July 2007 at 12:10 pm
A Ministerial Roundtable at the UN Global Compact Leaders Summit in Geneva has developed a five-point plan on developing the role of governments in promoting responsible Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).
The Roundtable said business-led efforts can only be sustained and brought to scale if public institutions, the rule of law, and transparent and predictable regulatory efforts
support responsible business practices.
Moreover, it agreed that collaborative multi-stakeholder initiatives between public institutions, business, civil society and labour organisations offer opportunities to promote innovation and advance sustainable development in ways that have the potential to go beyond what Governments and business could deliver on their own.
The Roundtable released a list of ways in which Governments can support responsible business practices:
i) Creating an enabling environment: Governments can put in place the necessary conditions for corporate responsibility issues to be discussed and developed. This could include leading by example, such as by articulating support for corporate responsibility guidelines and principles.
ii) Raising awareness: Governments can actively draw attention to general issues, aspects, and benefits of corporate responsibility and stimulate public debate.
iii) Promotion: Governments can highlight best practices (for example, through awards), as well as endorse or invite business and wider community support for voluntary corporate responsibility programs, activities, or initiatives, such as the UN Global Compact.
iv) Tools Development: Recognising that the business sector may sometimes need guidance or require facilitation assistance, Governments can assist the development of corporate responsibility programs, guidelines, or recognition specifically designed to encourage ‘entrepreneurism’, and corporate responsibility within the small and medium sized enterprises sector.
v) Funding: Where they have the resources to do so, Governments can directly contribute resources to help voluntary initiatives to maximize their impact.