CSR Asia Summit 2019 — Sessions

Over 20 thought-provoking sessions provide the roadmap for the sustainability journey from rhetoric to results.

Strategy
for Results

Supply Chain
Innovation & Effectiveness

Emerging
Issues & Impact

Partner
Events

Sustainability Context and Business Model Evolution

18 September 2019  |  14:00 – 15:30

This session will explore the link between organizational business models / strategies / performance management and the context in which they operate. Panelists will also explore how business models can integrate multiple capitals in their purpose and value creation proposition..


Investors and ESG Data

18 September 2019  |  16:00 – 17:30

Investors increasingly integrate ESG factors into investment decisions. Between 2012 and 2016, ESG assets under management in Asia ex. Japan grew by 16%, spurred by the implementation of national stewardship codes and ESG disclosure requirements. But debate continues as to whether or not ESG can impact financial returns. In particular, the ESG data needed to guide investment decisions is increasingly scrutinized, with investors stating that the reliance on annual public disclosure leads to insights that are “too slow, and too late” to accurately inform. This session will look at changing investor needs in Asia, along with the value and potential pitfalls of ESG data.


Measuring Business Impact on SDGs

19 September 2019  |  09:00 – 10:30

Progress on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) needs to accelerate as only a decade remains to achieve the SDGs by 2030. Engaging the private sector is crucial to the fulfilling the SDGs. While the private sector has shown increased awareness of the SDGs – as evidenced by annual sustainability reports – a majority of companies seem to be simply connecting SDGs to sustainability and / or CSR initiatives. The challenge is for businesses to demonstrate how local sustainability initiatives can specifically contribute toward the SDGs. As businesses increase awareness, they can also take more action through capturing measurable evidence that contributes toward the SDG targets. This session will provide practical examples of how to measure the impact of business initiatives on SDGs.


Biodegradable Bags and Plastic Straw Bans – Looking Beyond the Trends in Plastic Pollution Reduction

19 September 2019  |  11:00 – 12:30

Awareness and action is increasing to fight plastic pollution. We know the issues: That plastic may one day out number fish in the sea and that we may be consuming a credit card’s worth of plastic each week. How do we move the conversation forward?


Beyond Policies and Targets: What’s Next in Gender Equality?

19 September 2019  |  14:00 – 15:30

A study by the Asian Development Bank estimated that if women’s participation in the workforce rose by 10%, Asia’s economy could see a 30% growth in income per capita in just one generation. Achieving gender parity is not only good for the economy but also good for business. More than ever before, companies with more women in executive management are financially outperforming companies with no women in these positions. So how can we ensure companies and societies unleash the tangible benefits of having women in the workforce? This session explores what fundamental components companies need to benefit from a gender-balance workforce.


 

Responsible Sourcing Trends 2019

18 September 2019  |  14:00 – 15:30

This 90-minute kick-off session will be an engaging discussion with industry experts on global trends in responsible sourcing led by Ian Spaulding. The topics are identified based on innovation, industry trends and key insights within supply chains.


Ethical Recruitment & Southeast Asia Supply Chains

18 September 2019  |  16:00 – 17:30

Migrant workers face increased risks of forced labour within supply chains. This is why brands are focused on embedding responsible recruitment practices within their supply chain to eliminate worker fees and other indicators of forced labor. This session will allow industry experts and brands to share how they are working to embed these principles into their supply chains, the challenges, and why all actors need to be engaged to create systemic change.


Sustainability & Agriculture – A Social Lens

19 September 2019  |  09:00 – 10:30

Implementing social compliance at the commodity level requires a different a set of tools than at tier 1. This session will focus on actions brands are taking to understand and address commodity-specific challenges within their supply chain and how they are engaging workers.


Sustainable Capacity-Building at Site Level: What Incentives & Opportunities?

19 September 2019  |  11:00 – 12:30

Market dynamics, business needs, and new technologies and data are coming together in ways that are enabling – perhaps for the first time ever – truly scalable and sustainable capacity building at factories and farms. Common program themes are workplace safety, gender (from harassment to empowerment), social dialogue, and management systems. This session will feature a panel discussion on different strategies and drivers that can be used to achieve scalable and measurable improvement on any or all themes. It will feature practical examples of supplier ownership in practice, fit-for-purpose tools and technology, new datasets, and key levers that can influence a successful remediation and capacity building strategy.


 

Clearing the Air: The Role of Business in Driving Down Air Pollution

18 September 2019  |  14:00 – 15:30

The impacts of air pollution are as invasive as the particulates that more than 9 in 10 people living in Asia are breathing at unsafe levels. The health implications range from premature deaths and asthma-related emergency room visits to mental ill-health.


Doing Good While Eating Well: How Consumers & Corporates Galvanize One Another on Food Sustainability

18 September 2019  |  16:00 – 17:30

Asian consumers are increasingly using their spending power to do good while eating well. These behavior changes are fueled by a growing consciousness around food safety, health, and the environment. This session will delve into how both consumer expectations and corporate responsibility regarding food sustainability are evolving. Companies too are influencing consumer behavior and leveraging new opportunities in food waste, plant-based foods and fresher, healthier options.


Developing Tomorrow’s Resilient Workforce Today

19 September 2019  |  09:00 – 10:30

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is rapidly changing the nature of work across industries. While technological-driven change is displacing jobs and threatening to exacerbate global inequalities by creating a tech divide, this disruption is also creating opportunities. Artificial intelligence and automation are expected to generate a net gain in jobs, create new categories of jobs, and empower workers to work more efficiently and effectively. This session will explore how companies are adapting to this evolving landscape and the role they are playing in reskilling and upskilling their talent pools.


Big Data, Technology and Sustainability in the Age of Digital Transformation

19 September 2019  |  11:00 – 12:30

From real-time supply chain optimization and the internet of things (IoT), to blockchain and artificial intelligence (AI), Asia is ahead of most regions in the age of digital transformation. Whilst technology and the use of data and AI have been lauded for its ability to enhance productivity and innovation, it has equally been in the spotlight for a series of less appealing outcomes including unemployment, increased inequalities as well as issues relating to data privacy and resulting diminishing public trust. Many are concerned that technological advancements are outpacing our understanding of the deeper ethical outcomes or regulatory frameworks. This session will be a lively debate amongst panellists from different backgrounds and perspectives, deliberating tough questions on the business ethics of our fast-paced digital world and its implications for sustainability and supply chains in Asia.


Climate Prosperity – Building Business Success under Changing Climate

19 September 2019  |  14:00 – 15:30

“No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.” – Albert Einstein.
Climate disclosure is fast becoming the new norm. Confronting climate-related risks and proactively integrating climate resilience strategies into business strategy is the path to security and prosperity for companies and for society. Join this session to gain insights from industry leaders who have adopted frameworks including the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosure (TCFD), and learn how establishing climate action plans can guide economic development for companies from various industries.


Working on Supply Chain Sustainability with Small Scale Producers

18 September 2019  |  16:00 – 17:30

Worldwide small scale farmers are key suppliers in many value chains. Yet often when companies work with small scale producers, both parties can experience challenges. On one hand, smallholders can be fragmented with inconsistent supply, and are not the first to adopt new and sustainable methods. On the other hand many companies focus only on first-tier suppliers, are not checking upwards into their supply chains, are not rewarding suppliers for sustainability improvements or support assurance mechanisms let alone addressing inequalities between men and women, and the burden of risk of climate change.


Breakfast Roundtable: Children’s Rights in the Agricultural Sector (Invitation Only)

19 September 2019  |  07:00 – 09:00

The agricultural sector in Southeast Asia is a major regional force, both as a driver of GDP as well as a formal and informal employer. However, with the combination of growing populations, migrant workforces and the threat of climate change, agrobusiness in Southeast Asia is at a crossroads, particularly for its largest and most vulnerable population: children.


Sustainable Finance through a Gender Lens

19 September 2019  |  09:00 – 10:30

In 2019, Asia will account for half the world’s GDP growth. Governments and investors in the region are increasingly seeing sustainable finance as an important tool to mitigate the environmental and social impacts of rapid economic development. This session, organised in partnership with Fair Finance Asia, will look at sustainable finance through a gender lens. We will explore how gender can be considered in decision-making processes for capital allocation, and the business case for doing so. We will hear from investors and organisations that are banking on equality to unleash untapped opportunities for sustainable financial returns.


Collaborative Strategies to Positively Impact Mental Health in Asia (Roundtable with Limited Seating)

19 September 2019  |  11:00 – 12:30

The global impact of mental illness is staggering as the attributable burden of disease is on the rise. Challenges such as lack of resources and trained healthcare providers, inaccurate assessment and social stigma compound the inability to address the mental health epidemic effectively.

In low- and middle-income countries across Asia Pacific the essential mental health care provisions, personnel and funding to address this issue are sorely lacking, yet the mental health impacts from poverty, extreme weather events and climate change are more pronounced here that elsewhere in the world.  Community-based organisations may be best positioned to overcome the primary obstacles to much needed progress, but the replicability and scalability of successful programs requires funding and support.


Entrepreneurship Accelerator for Sustainability in Thailand, and beyond

19 September 2019  |  14:00 – 15:30

There is no shortage of innovative ideas in Thailand for improving sustainability and quality of life. And the ideas are also—imagine this!—profitable. Their objective is clear: to benefit communities while working to preserve the planet’s resources, with the Sustainability Development Goals as guide and inspiration. This involves real-world challenges of the kind that entrepreneurs excel in tackling, and they are doing just this in Thailand today. This panel of start-up leaders will introduce successful Thai entrepreneurial responses that are ready to be scaled up to the next stage of implementation.


 

Strategy
for Results

Sustainability Context and Business Model Evolution

18 September 2019  |  14:00 – 15:30

This session will explore the link between organizational business models / strategies / performance management and the context in which they operate. Panelists will also explore how business models can integrate multiple capitals in their purpose and value creation proposition..


Investors and ESG Data

18 September 2019  |  16:00 – 17:30

Investors increasingly integrate ESG factors into investment decisions. Between 2012 and 2016, ESG assets under management in Asia ex. Japan grew by 16%, spurred by the implementation of national stewardship codes and ESG disclosure requirements. But debate continues as to whether or not ESG can impact financial returns. In particular, the ESG data needed to guide investment decisions is increasingly scrutinized, with investors stating that the reliance on annual public disclosure leads to insights that are “too slow, and too late” to accurately inform. This session will look at changing investor needs in Asia, along with the value and potential pitfalls of ESG data.


Measuring Business Impact on SDGs

19 September 2019  |  09:00 – 10:30

Progress on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) needs to accelerate as only a decade remains to achieve the SDGs by 2030. Engaging the private sector is crucial to the fulfilling the SDGs. While the private sector has shown increased awareness of the SDGs – as evidenced by annual sustainability reports – a majority of companies seem to be simply connecting SDGs to sustainability and / or CSR initiatives. The challenge is for businesses to demonstrate how local sustainability initiatives can specifically contribute toward the SDGs. As businesses increase awareness, they can also take more action through capturing measurable evidence that contributes toward the SDG targets. This session will provide practical examples of how to measure the impact of business initiatives on SDGs.


Biodegradable Bags and Plastic Straw Bans – Looking Beyond the Trends in Plastic Pollution Reduction

19 September 2019  |  11:00 – 12:30

Awareness and action is increasing to fight plastic pollution. We know the issues: That plastic may one day out number fish in the sea and that we may be consuming a credit card’s worth of plastic each week. How do we move the conversation forward?


Beyond Policies and Targets: What’s Next in Gender Equality?

19 September 2019  |  14:00 – 15:30

A study by the Asian Development Bank estimated that if women’s participation in the workforce rose by 10%, Asia’s economy could see a 30% growth in income per capita in just one generation. Achieving gender parity is not only good for the economy but also good for business. More than ever before, companies with more women in executive management are financially outperforming companies with no women in these positions. So how can we ensure companies and societies unleash the tangible benefits of having women in the workforce? This session explores what fundamental components companies need to benefit from a gender-balance workforce.


 

Supply Chain
Innovation & Effectiveness

Responsible Sourcing Trends 2019

18 September 2019  |  14:00 – 15:30

This 90-minute kick-off session will be an engaging discussion with industry experts on global trends in responsible sourcing led by Ian Spaulding. The topics are identified based on innovation, industry trends and key insights within supply chains.


Ethical Recruitment & Southeast Asia Supply Chains

18 September 2019  |  16:00 – 17:30

Migrant workers face increased risks of forced labour within supply chains. This is why brands are focused on embedding responsible recruitment practices within their supply chain to eliminate worker fees and other indicators of forced labor. This session will allow industry experts and brands to share how they are working to embed these principles into their supply chains, the challenges, and why all actors need to be engaged to create systemic change.


Sustainability & Agriculture – A Social Lens

19 September 2019  |  09:00 – 10:30

Implementing social compliance at the commodity level requires a different a set of tools than at tier 1. This session will focus on actions brands are taking to understand and address commodity-specific challenges within their supply chain and how they are engaging workers.


Sustainable Capacity-Building at Site Level: What Incentives & Opportunities?

19 September 2019  |  11:00 – 12:30

Market dynamics, business needs, and new technologies and data are coming together in ways that are enabling – perhaps for the first time ever – truly scalable and sustainable capacity building at factories and farms. Common program themes are workplace safety, gender (from harassment to empowerment), social dialogue, and management systems. This session will feature a panel discussion on different strategies and drivers that can be used to achieve scalable and measurable improvement on any or all themes. It will feature practical examples of supplier ownership in practice, fit-for-purpose tools and technology, new datasets, and key levers that can influence a successful remediation and capacity building strategy.


 

Emerging
Issues & Impact

Clearing the Air: The Role of Business in Driving Down Air Pollution

18 September 2019  |  14:00 – 15:30

The impacts of air pollution are as invasive as the particulates that more than 9 in 10 people living in Asia are breathing at unsafe levels. The health implications range from premature deaths and asthma-related emergency room visits to mental ill-health.


Doing Good While Eating Well: How Consumers & Corporates Galvanize One Another on Food Sustainability

18 September 2019  |  16:00 – 17:30

Asian consumers are increasingly using their spending power to do good while eating well. These behavior changes are fueled by a growing consciousness around food safety, health, and the environment. This session will delve into how both consumer expectations and corporate responsibility regarding food sustainability are evolving. Companies too are influencing consumer behavior and leveraging new opportunities in food waste, plant-based foods and fresher, healthier options.


Developing Tomorrow’s Resilient Workforce Today

19 September 2019  |  09:00 – 10:30

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is rapidly changing the nature of work across industries. While technological-driven change is displacing jobs and threatening to exacerbate global inequalities by creating a tech divide, this disruption is also creating opportunities. Artificial intelligence and automation are expected to generate a net gain in jobs, create new categories of jobs, and empower workers to work more efficiently and effectively. This session will explore how companies are adapting to this evolving landscape and the role they are playing in reskilling and upskilling their talent pools.


Big Data, Technology and Sustainability in the Age of Digital Transformation

19 September 2019  |  11:00 – 12:30

From real-time supply chain optimization and the internet of things (IoT), to blockchain and artificial intelligence (AI), Asia is ahead of most regions in the age of digital transformation. Whilst technology and the use of data and AI have been lauded for its ability to enhance productivity and innovation, it has equally been in the spotlight for a series of less appealing outcomes including unemployment, increased inequalities as well as issues relating to data privacy and resulting diminishing public trust. Many are concerned that technological advancements are outpacing our understanding of the deeper ethical outcomes or regulatory frameworks. This session will be a lively debate amongst panellists from different backgrounds and perspectives, deliberating tough questions on the business ethics of our fast-paced digital world and its implications for sustainability and supply chains in Asia.


Climate Prosperity – Building Business Success under Changing Climate

19 September 2019  |  14:00 – 15:30

“No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.” – Albert Einstein.
Climate disclosure is fast becoming the new norm. Confronting climate-related risks and proactively integrating climate resilience strategies into business strategy is the path to security and prosperity for companies and for society. Join this session to gain insights from industry leaders who have adopted frameworks including the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosure (TCFD), and learn how establishing climate action plans can guide economic development for companies from various industries.


Partner
Events

Working on Supply Chain Sustainability with Small Scale Producers

18 September 2019  |  16:00 – 17:30

Worldwide small scale farmers are key suppliers in many value chains. Yet often when companies work with small scale producers, both parties can experience challenges. On one hand, smallholders can be fragmented with inconsistent supply, and are not the first to adopt new and sustainable methods. On the other hand many companies focus only on first-tier suppliers, are not checking upwards into their supply chains, are not rewarding suppliers for sustainability improvements or support assurance mechanisms let alone addressing inequalities between men and women, and the burden of risk of climate change.


Breakfast Roundtable: Children’s Rights in the Agricultural Sector (Invitation Only)

19 September 2019  |  07:00 – 09:00

The agricultural sector in Southeast Asia is a major regional force, both as a driver of GDP as well as a formal and informal employer. However, with the combination of growing populations, migrant workforces and the threat of climate change, agrobusiness in Southeast Asia is at a crossroads, particularly for its largest and most vulnerable population: children.


Sustainable Finance through a Gender Lens

19 September 2019  |  09:00 – 10:30

In 2019, Asia will account for half the world’s GDP growth. Governments and investors in the region are increasingly seeing sustainable finance as an important tool to mitigate the environmental and social impacts of rapid economic development. This session, organised in partnership with Fair Finance Asia, will look at sustainable finance through a gender lens. We will explore how gender can be considered in decision-making processes for capital allocation, and the business case for doing so. We will hear from investors and organisations that are banking on equality to unleash untapped opportunities for sustainable financial returns.


Collaborative Strategies to Positively Impact Mental Health in Asia (Roundtable with Limited Seating)

19 September 2019  |  11:00 – 12:30

The global impact of mental illness is staggering as the attributable burden of disease is on the rise. Challenges such as lack of resources and trained healthcare providers, inaccurate assessment and social stigma compound the inability to address the mental health epidemic effectively.

In low- and middle-income countries across Asia Pacific the essential mental health care provisions, personnel and funding to address this issue are sorely lacking, yet the mental health impacts from poverty, extreme weather events and climate change are more pronounced here that elsewhere in the world.  Community-based organisations may be best positioned to overcome the primary obstacles to much needed progress, but the replicability and scalability of successful programs requires funding and support.


Entrepreneurship Accelerator for Sustainability in Thailand, and beyond

19 September 2019  |  14:00 – 15:30

There is no shortage of innovative ideas in Thailand for improving sustainability and quality of life. And the ideas are also—imagine this!—profitable. Their objective is clear: to benefit communities while working to preserve the planet’s resources, with the Sustainability Development Goals as guide and inspiration. This involves real-world challenges of the kind that entrepreneurs excel in tackling, and they are doing just this in Thailand today. This panel of start-up leaders will introduce successful Thai entrepreneurial responses that are ready to be scaled up to the next stage of implementation.


 

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