Asia’s largest sustainability & social responsibility conference, CSR Asia Summit 2019 held in Bangkok

  • Published: 19 September 2019

For immediate release

Asia’s largest sustainability & social responsibility conference, CSR Asia Summit 2019 held in Bangkok

  • Nearly 400 delegates from 25 countries joined together for the two-day Summit;
  • Pre-eminent speakers and leaders from business, NGOs, civil society and academia focus on moving sustainability from concepts and rhetoric to measurable results and impact;
  • Keynote speaker Archana Kotecha addresses next steps for dismantling human trafficking
  • Additional keynote speaker Rob Kaplan challenges Summit participants to take leadership roles in plastic waste and the circular economy

19 September 2019. Bangkok. Nearly 400 sustainability, CSR and supply chain experts and practitioners from around Asia Pacific gathered for Asia’s largest sustainability conference which concludes today. Supply chain challenges, migration, human rights, investors and ESG data, climate change, and the move to a more circular economy were among the topics discussed at CSR Asia Summit 2019. The event featured 60 speakers addressing 22 sessions on the challenges and solutions to the region’s most pressing issues centered around this year’s theme, Sustainability: From Rhetoric to Results.

Keynote speaker Archana Kotecha, Asia Region Director and Head of Legal, Liberty Shared, spoke of regulation, risk and opportunity surrounding action to be taken to end human trafficking and forced labor. “The risk related to modern slavery, forced labor and human trafficking has extended well beyond reputational risk,” said Kotecha, urging corporates and other organizations to understand and address serious financial, legal and regulatory risks within the current environment. “There are opportunities to get your house in order,” she said. “Now is the time to proactively promote transparency and disclosure for effective risk management, and collaborate with partners within and beyond your sector to scale your program impact.”

Rob Kaplan, CEO and Founder of Circulate Capital, an investment management firm dedicated to incubating and financing companies that prevent the flow of plastic waste to the world’s oceans and promoting new models for the circular economy, delivered the second keynote address. “We can cut the amount of plastic flowing into the ocean by half, but the time to act is now,” he said. “The waste crisis is a business opportunity that can generate economic value in Southeast Asia, improve people’s livelihoods, and drastically reduce the amount of plastic entering our oceans.” Kaplan described ways in which the waste and circular economy sector can be investable and bankable with significant positive impact in the next 5 – 10 years, and the roles that regional and global corporates and investors will play.

Industry speakers were led by Glenn Maguire, Principal Asia-Pacific Economist, Visa; Alan Aicken, Vice President Procurement, Chief Sustainability Officer Supply Chain, Huawei; Dana Graber Ladek, Chief of Mission, IOM; and Sorachon Boonsong, Partner, Baker McKenzie Thailand.

“ELEVATE Chief Executive Officer, Ian Spaulding, said, “We know the urgency to move beyond the rhetoric so we may collectively achieve results in sustainability and drive impact.” Acknowledging the accelerating pace of climate change and disruption to world trade and supply chains, he said, “While the global community is taking action to tackle climate change as we advance the ambitious goals of the 2015 Paris Agreement, there is more to be done by corporate actors. Companies need to work smarter than ever – to deliver results, to achieve transparency, and collaborate productively for program effectiveness and value creation.”

Now in its 13th year, the Summit is organized by ELEVATE and its Asia-based sustainability consulting division, CSR Asia. Over the years, the CSR Asia Summit has hosted over 5,500 delegates.

CSR Asia also held a Pre-Summit Training Day for Summit delegates on September 17 that provided practical trainings in building and implementing a sustainability strategy; understanding effectiveness and impact of community investment and CSR programs; integrated reporting and integrated thinking; and creating shared value.

For more details about CSR Asia Summit 2019 please visit the website:


ELEVATE is the leading business risk and sustainability solutions provider. We deliver improved organizational performance through sustainability and supply chain assessment and auditing, consulting, program management and analytics. We shape the industry with our innovative solutions to complex problems, by designing and implementing customized programs and technology that provide complete insight into risk and improve supply chain and sustainability performance. ELEVATE is headquartered in Hong Kong, and the company’s 660 employees oversee work in over 100 countries through dedicated offices in Australia, Bangladesh, Brazil, Chile, China, Colombia, Germany, Hong Kong SAR, India, Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, Pakistan, Portugal, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, UK, USA and Vietnam.

CSR Asia, an ELEVATE company, is a mission-driven business which has become a leader on sustainability issues in Asia. CSR Asia promotes sustainability through advisory and sustainability reporting services, research, the ELEVATE Strategic Partner program and platforms for cross sector collaboration and engagement.

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Media contacts:

Bronwyn Alexander, ELEVATE
Tel: +852 9080 8437