Draft Programme

Conference Day 1: Wednesday 7 October
14:00 – 15:30 Breakout sessions

1a.    Sustainable Development Goals: can 17 goals transform the world by 2030?

End poverty in all its forms everywhere.
Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.
Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns.
These are only three of the 17 ambitious Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to be set up in 2015. This session will explore what role can the private sector play and how to integrate the SDGs into business. We will discuss the opportunities available to harness private sector capabilities and transformational partnership to contribute to sustainable development in line with these goals. What do these goals mean for business and how can they be translated into action?

2a.     Engaging employees through corporate community investment - the business case

Employee engagement is essential for employee recruitment, retention, productivity and, ultimately, company profitability. Research has shown that companies with a highly engaged workforce have less staff absenteeism and less staff turnover. Companies are increasingly using community investment and employee volunteering as a way to engage staff at all levels, regularly tracking and trying to increase employee volunteering hours and participation rates. But does more volunteering necessarily lead to improved staff retention rates and improved staff morale? Does more employee involvement in a company supported community initiative result in a more engaged workforce? This session will share the different ways companies are using community investment to engage employees, we will also explore if the push for greater employee volunteering numbers has resulted in positive impacts for the business and the community.   

3a.    Can we achieve zero deforestation in the supply chain?

Commitments to ‘no deforestation’ in supply chains are becoming staples of responsible business policies from major brands over the past two years. To many stakeholders, such commitments may seem unrealistic and unattainable, and there are concerns that such lofty ideals might be marketing spin. This session cover the latest strategies and practices being developed on the ground from experts on forest conservation and companies who are working to make these commitments a reality.

4a.    The Channel NewsAsia Sustainability Ranking

Now in it’s second year the ranking identifies and celebrates regional leaders in corporate sustainability. The Ranking lists the 100 most sustainable companies in Asia, highlighting the Top 20 Asian companies as well as the Top 3 companies per country. Countries covered in the ranking include China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, and Thailand.

You can find more information about the Ranking criteria and the full listing of companies at:

16:00 – 17:30 Breakout sessions

1b.    Building partnerships – successes and lessons learnt

Building successful partnerships is a strategic priority for leading organisations who want to create effective sustainable development. Working with like-minded partners across sectors (NGO, government and business) can be the most effective way to find solutions to global issues.
This session will showcase examples of successful multi-sector partnerships in the region. It will discuss the practicalities of developing a partnership and look at the complexity of striking the balance between ‘doing good’ for the business and ‘doing good’ for the community.

2b.    Safeguarding rights for migrant workers – barriers and innovations

Migrant workers form a significant part of the Asia workforce and millions of people travel annually from their villages and leave their countries in search of better opportunities and incomes. Whilst many achieve these dreams, just as many find arrive only to find themselves with broken promises, burdened with debt or faced with unsafe working and housing conditions. For responsible companies, being linked to such practices poses a great reputational and operational risk, so the protection of these workers’ rights have become a critical priority. This session examines the challenges of safeguarding migrant workers and case studies of innovative initiatives in the private sector and seek to identify common areas of concern for future action.

3b.    Climate change: the role of business in Asia

According to the International Panel on Climate Change, Asia stands to face some of the first and worst impacts of climate change. Hundreds of millions of people in the region’s densely populated coastal areas will be vulnerable to flooding, food shortages and increasingly frequent extreme weather events that will threaten social stability and impede economic growth. Political leaders in the region have started to take climate change seriously, with China committing to curb emissions by 2030, and the business community must do the same.

There is no question that business will be affected by climate change. This session looks at how businesses in the region have developed strategies that acknowledge and address the risk of climate change, and those that are taking advantage of the business opportunities this issue presents.

Conference Day 2: Thursday 8 October
09:00 – 10:30 Breakout sessions

1c.    Respect in Practice – Understanding and Addressing Human Rights Impacts Workshop

The objective of the session is to establish/strengthen awareness about the importance (to business and rights-holders) of  addressing human rights impacts and build initial know-how about how to do this. By way of background, international standards and expectations around the corporate responsibility to respect human rights are converging. The UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) are the authoritative internationally-agreed upon standard and provide a roadmap to business on how to manage human rights impacts. This workshop will focus on how companies are undertaking ‘human rights due diligence’ in their business operations and wider value chains. Via case study examples, particular attention will be paid to management tools, methodologies, and stakeholder engagement to identify and address human rights impacts of business operations. The workshop will engage participants in table discussions/exercises around real-life case studies presented by speakers. 

Topics covered include:

  • the case for addressing human rights impacts
  • approaches to identifying human rights impacts across a wide range of stakeholders
  • real-life examples of how impacts have been identified; and
  • sharing of lessons learned, challenges and guidance regarding human rights impact assessment

2c.     Women’s economic empowerment in Asia – at work and in the community, what next?

A woman is economically empowered when she has both the ability to succeed and advance economically and the power to make and act on economic decisions.  This session will explore how the private sector is advancing women’s economic empowerment: the frameworks and global standards that exist to enable businesses to do so, the reporting requirements by Stock Exchanges in Asia on key empowerment indicators and the partnership opportunities for women’s economic empowerment.

3c.    Conservation versus development – unpacking the dilemmas workshop

The protection of forests, wildlife and ecosystem services is now a key priority for many commodity producers, extractive industries, brands and financial institution. However, community groups and governments are concerned that conservation pressures might put barriers to the economic and social development of poor countries. This interactive debate unpack these dilemmas, drawing on the experience of the audience and get guidance from delegate votes. Delegates will replicate real decisions that businesses have to make, and examine the implication for people, environment and reputation. At the end of the debate, you will have to make the critical decision ‘would you invest in this project?’ 

11:00 – 12:30 Breakout sessions

1d.    The role of inclusive business in poverty alleviation

Two-thirds of the world’s population live in poverty and many of them lack access to basic services. Poor people alone are often unable to improve their economic prospects. Inclusive business is a powerful model the private sector can use to contribute to development, alleviate poverty whilst simultaneously creating competitiveness and economic success.
In this session we will explore the rationale for inclusive business and how a company can use its value chain to create opportunities for poor people and communities. The discussion will cover what sort of inclusive business interventions are possible along value chains, sharing successes but also barriers to be addressed.

2d.    Achieving sustainability commitments through certification schemes

Over the past decade, a large proportion of global brands, manufacturers, retailers and financial institutions have made commitments towards the integration of sustainability considerations in products, services and supply chains. With a proliferation of individual company commitments and policies, stakeholders – both commercial and civil society feared that this could result in consumer confusion, inconsistent standards and audit fatigue. To address such concerns, a number of multistakeholder initiatives have been established, encouraging companies to pool resources and develop robust standards across a range of products. This session showcases some of the most successful initiatives, the issues they each seek to address, and the impact they have had so far in helping achieve sustainability goals.

3d.    From disaster response to resilience

Natural disasters cannot be prevented and with continued investments in disaster-prone areas damages, losses and costs are set to increase. The cost of response and recovery by far surpasses the level of investment in disaster preparedness and resilience. This session will explore the need for a coordinated, multi-sector approach to reducing disaster risks, building resilience and preparedness. It will showcase examples of companies that have contributed their expertise, assets, and networks in partnership with government and non-government organisations at international and local levels.

14:00 – 15:30 Breakout sessions

1e.    Partnerships for Shared Value

Shared value is an innovative way to address social needs through a strategy that can simultaneously increase the competitiveness of a business. The session will examine best practice examples of shared value in Asia and will discuss how the process of shared value creation can drive innovation and creativity in meeting social needs and redesigning the purpose of a business. Experts will reflect on what we are learning from developing shared value projects.

2e.    Achieving sustainability objectives: Supply chain practices and challenges

This session shares the perspectives of retailers, suppliers, manufacturers and NGOs on efforts in addressing some environmental and social challenges across global supply chains. Practitioners will reflect on their initiatives, the critical issues they are trying to address and talk about the challenges they face in achieving the objectives.​

3e.    The Trickle Down Effect – How all businesses face operational challenges from water scarcity

The unfortunate misconception about water in business is that industries that are not the typical over-consumers, either through their manufacturing or operational practices, believe that water scarcity and deteriorating water quality will not have a lasting effect on their business. The reality is that this finite and vital resource affects all industry, large or small, either through their day-to-day operations, their production or through the extension of their supply chain.

In this session, invited panelists will discuss how all businesses face challenges and complexities ahead due to water risk.

17:00 – 17:30 Closing Panel

Closing Panel









Previous CSR Asia Summits:

• Hong Kong (2014)
• Bangkok, Thailand (2013)

• Beijing, China (2012)
• Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (2011)


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Summit team
CSR Asia
Tel: (852) 3579 8079
Email: summit@csr-asia.com