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“Global Trend on Corporate Sustainability and UNGC Seminar” Outcome Report (4/25), (4/26)

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관리자
Date
2019-09-24 13:43
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Global Compact Network Korea (GCNK) is hosting a “Global Trend on Corporate Sustainability and UNGC Seminar” for state-owned enterprises, public institutions, and private enterprises in local areas as one of its main programs for this year. The seminar was successfully held on both April 25th and 26th in Busan·Ulsan and Daegu·Gyeongbuk respectively. Subsequent sessions in Daejeon·Sejong and Gwangju·Naju are scheduled during June. This seminar was prepared to share informative trends in sustainable management including realization of social values, exemplary cases of UNGC companies in the region in addition to benefits of participation to the UN Global Compact to members and prospective members in the area.   



Dong-kurn Lee, President of the GCNK and Suk-bum Park, Secretary-General of the GCNK, said “Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is not simply a duty but also an opportunity for companies to increase their sustainability. I hope today’s seminar will act as a valuable time, which can help increase participating company’s sustainability and offer insight on how to realize social values.”

Following this, Lee Eun-kyung, Chief/Senior Researcher of the GCNK and Kwak Geul, Senior Researcher of the GCNK, shared insights on Global Trends in Sustainable Management and Corporate Response to SDGs such as legislative trends of CSR in different countries, strengthening of anti-corruption laws, responding to climate change, and increasing request from stakeholders to corporations to take a more sustainable approach. In general, businesses are joining the UN Global Compact to improve their overall trustworthiness, fulfill universal values like human rights, labor, environment, and anti-corruption, and enhance sustainability. In fact, many countries require mandatory public disclosure of corporate ESG information, and according to an analysis on Global 300 companies, those with good ESG performance demonstrate better profit due to better reputation and brand competitiveness.

Also, Lee & Kwak introduced UNGC’s role in supporting CSR and setting up sustainable corporate strategies, and shared UNGC’s various issue platforms, activities, and opportunities from participation. They emphasized how companies can contribute to realizing the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by preventing risks and creating business opportunities. By sharing exemplary cases of domestic corporations that incorporated SDGs into their core competencies, they encouraged attendees for more attention to the SDGs and active participation to the UNGC to explore new solutions and business models. 

For the next presentation, Sangcheol Lee, Professor at Pusan University and Chair of the Public Institution Operating Committee, gave a speech on public institutions realization of social values. He promoted participation to the UNGC by stating that “Five key areas to the realization of social value – Job Creation, Equal Opportunity, Safety and Environment, Cooperation and Regional Development, Ethical Management – are also in line with the UNGC’s 10 principles.” Moreover, he explained, “The carrying out of Human Rights Management in public institutions is a testbed for private firms. Therefore, public institutions must make good examples so that the private sector can benchmark to spread and institutionalize human rights management. The Korean government has added the criteria of human rights management in the Public institution’s Management Assessment, which will be graded in consideration of each organization’s circumstances.”



After the presentation of exemplary practices of UNGC signatories in the region, Aehwa Lim, Senior Researcher of the GCNK, introduced the overview of GCNK as well as the benefits of participation and joining process. By offering various value propositions such as Introduction on current trends of UNGC, CSR, SDGs; Training Programs to Advance Employees’ Capabilities; COP, COE Support; Networking opportunity; Sustainable supply chain management; Advice in SDGs fulfillment, she called for attendees’ active participation to the UNGC for enhancing their corporate sustainability.

 Busan·Ulsan Seminar

Foremost, this event, co-hosted by Busan Economic Promotion Agency (BEPA) and sponsored by Busan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI), was attended by 40 CEOs and employees. Gisik Park, Director of BEPA, announced “By realizing the protection of human rights and labor rights and supporting anti-corruption by practicing it, BEPA will be a forerunner in establishing a transparent corporate environment.” He added, “BEPA, a representative organization of public institutions in Busan, will take this chance to become an exemplary and mature leader amongst other public institutions and corporations.”

       

First, Ohyeon Kwon, Senior Manager/Lawyer at Korea Southern Power Corporation (KOSPO), shared the KOSPO’s Human Rights Management case. He explained, “By conducting a self-assessment in Human Rights Management, we were able to identify four areas – Human Rights Management System, Industrial Safety, Equality in Employment, Governance of Supply Chains — that needed improvement. In addition, the institution also realized the needs of employees and partners to create the 2018 strategy. Through the proclamation of the Human Rights Vision, “KOSPO that leads CSR by Human Rights Friendly Management Activities,” the institution was able to establish a foundation to Human Rights Management, improve working conditions for internal staff, create a strategic direction for the protection of shareholders’ rights.

In particular, recognizing that the environment around power plants is ‘directly related to the human rights of local residents,’ KOSPO is carrying out various activities to reduce fine dust such as improving environmental facilities, installing mini solar panels and air purifiers in public spaces, recycling of vinyl to generate refined fuel. In the future, KOSPO will enact a Global Standard Human Rights Charters and Human Rights Management Regulations in its domestic and overseas subsidiaries, while expanding the subject of its Human Rights Assessment to improve the safety, environment etc. of local residents and subsidiaries and develop indicators to better measure the level of Human Rights Management.

For the second presentation, Jeonghui Cho, Deputy Director at Korea Technology Finance Corporation (KIBO), shared the institution’s efforts against climate change, focusing on the SDG 13. She stated, “After establishing our own vision and strategy for environmental conservation that KIBO wishes to pursue, we have set up plans to support companies in the relevant industry to create a low carbon society resilient from the climate change. Moreover, in terms of business management, KIBO aims to promote energy saving and purchasing of eco-friendly and green products by raising employees’ awareness in environmental conservation and facilitating voluntary improvement activities. While fostering Environmental Certification Guarantees (New and Renewable Energy Agreement Guarantee, Climate Technology Guarantee, Smart Farm Guarantee) to minimize environmental impact, KIBO collaborates with various International Organizations such as the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) to act as a bridgehead for outstanding companies in the climate technology sector.

 Daegu·Gyeongbuk Seminar

Co-hosted by Daegu Metropolitan City, Daegu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI), this seminar was sponsored by DGB Financial Group, which was attended by 40 CEOs and employees.

For his opening speech, Seokjun Hong, Director of Economy at Daegu Metropolitan City, said, “Approaching social problems with a corporate lens is very interesting. I am curious to find out how UNGC approaches to such problems, and how public institutions are responding to these issues. I believe this event will give many ideas to attendees from corporations and public institutions in the Daegu Metropolitan City who are here today.

        

The first presentation was delivered by Huirak Kim, Deputy Director of DGB Financial Group. He stated, “DGB Financial Group is upgrading its main business strategy from regionally focused to one that is based on the global standards to pursue sustainable management.” He shared various issues in detail such as Increasing of Communication Channels with Stakeholders; Participating in Global Initiatives; Establishing Symbiotic Relationship with Suppliers; Publishing Sustainability Report; Diagnosing on ISO26000 Level; Ethical Management System; Consumer Protection System; Strengthening of Human Rights Protection System; and Environmental Management System. Participants showed great interest especially in the signing of the “Fair Player Club” to create an ethical corporate culture, women-friendly banking, improvement of financial services access, and the increased environmental criteria in the credit evaluation process.

The second presentation was presented by Seunggi Shim, General Manager at Korea Gas Corporation (KOGAS). He introduced KOGAS’s case as a pilot corporation of the National Human Rights Commission of Korea (NHRCK), which has established a leading human rights management system. He gave explanation about the overall processes of KOGAS’s Human Rights Management system including Human Rights Management Charter Reform, Enactment of Human Rights Management Regulations, and Establishment of Human Rights Management Committee and specialized department. Moreover, KOGAS added 3 new areas and 32 checklists to existing NHRCK’s implementation checklist, totaling of 13 areas and 190 institution checklists. Shim informed the audience about adding ‘Data Protection,’ ‘Women’s Rights,’ ‘Maternity Protection,’ and ‘Employee Human Rights Protection’ to its checklist, and also mentioned its ‘Principal Business Checklist’ composed of 4 areas and 58 checklists.

He evaluated that, “KOGAS was able to systematically enforce human rights management by successfully creating a solid institutional and normative foundation using ‘Human Rights Impact Assessment in Institutional Operations,’ ‘Human Rights Impact Measurement in Principal Business,’ and ‘Self-Assessment Checklist.’ Moreover, as for the remedy procedure, KOGAS is trying to develop its own measurement against human rights violation that is independent, prompt and effective.” He added, “As human rights sensitivity has increased recently, evidence of human rights management spreading within the organization is more apparent across departmental level such as increase in relevant policies favorable for female employees” He concluded by emphasizing, “The human rights policy of each organization has to be developed according to its different characteristics.”

The Global Sustainability Trend on Corporate Sustainability and UNGC Seminars provided valuable time for attendees from stated-owned corporations, public institutions, and private companies that are interested in UNGC, CSR, and SDGs by addressing sustainable management and realization of social values. The GCNK is planning on hosting other seminar sessions in Daejeon·Sejong and Gwangju·Naju in June.

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