About ELEVATE - Our People - Richard Welford
Richard Welford
Chairman, CSR Asia

Published: 6 September 2019

Published: 6 September 2019

Richard Welford - Chairman, CSR Asia

Tracking – and tackling – the trends at the CSR Asia Summit

Our annual research on the emerging trends in the Asia-Pacific region has guided the design of this year’s CSR Asia Summit. The trend seen as the number one priority for businesses over the next five years is related to supply chains. Risks within supply chains must be considered by businesses when looking at the most material aspects of their sustainability strategies.

These risks are regional in nature and in the Asia-Pacific we are still seeing a lot of media attention being given to scandals involving the abuse of workers, communities and vulnerable people. Just last week Reuters highlighted the millions of migrant workers from Cambodia, Myanmar and Laos who toil in Thailand’s low-skilled sectors, where limited regulatory oversight and unscrupulous employment practices leave many vulnerable to exploitation. Too many of these workers can be found beyond Tier 1 in the supply chains of big multinational brands.

At CSR Asia Summit 2019 we will focus on a number of these supply chain risks. These include labour standards and human rights as well as emerging demands for suppliers to consider climate change and challenges associated with the circular economy.

Our keynote speaker Archana Kotecha, named one of the top ten innovative lawyers in Asia-Pacific by the Financial Times, will take a look at some of these risks to business with a particular emphasis on the role of financial institutions and what they can do to help tackle the trafficking in persons and anti-money laundering frameworks.

Other workshops and dialogues will consider issues associated with responsible sourcing, ethical recruitment, working with small scale suppliers and emerging environmental challenges. This will be an opportunity to engage with experts in each of these fields and to see what leading businesses are doing to tackle these challenges.

Expectations are changing and companies need to be aware of new demands being put on them. Countries such as Thailand are introducing new requirements to stamp out unethical recruitment practices. Globally, we have seen the introduction of legislation requiring companies to monitor and report on their supply chain risks. Companies are expected to do their part in tackling the abuse of workers. Come to the CSR Asia Summit to learn about the role that your company should be playing in tackling the scourge of modern slavery.

This workstream on supply chain innovation & effectiveness at the Summit is complemented by two additional streams: Strategy for results, and Emerging issues & impact, as well as our Partner events. Prepare for an impactful two-days with topics spanning the breadth of sustainability, from technology-driven change impacting jobs to investors and ESG data to building business success under a changing climate. Let’s continue the dialogue in Bangkok.


CSR Asia Summit 2019


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