The Stock Exchange of Thailand has invited RobecoSAM, a Swiss company specialising in assessing the investment sustainability for Standard & Poor's and Dow Jones, to guide listed Thai companies vying to find a place in the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices
SET president Charamporn Jotikasthira said listed companies were encouraged to qualify as members of the indices, the global sustainability benchmarks.
“The SET’s key objectives in developing social responsibility and sustainability among listed firms are to create awareness and promote a better understanding of corporate social responsibility. Firms are encouraged to embed social responsibility into all business processes, eventually to enhance their competitiveness and productivity,” he said.
In the past few years, the exchange has continuously enhanced commitment to social responsibility among listed companies through a variety of activities, such as CEO forums, seminars, workshops, and other training, focusing on applying social responsibility to achieve corporate sustainable development. It also develops and disseminates CSR reporting guidelines to prepare listed firms on disclosing their social-responsibility performance.
Listed companies are encouraged to incorporate social responsibility in their business plans in order to become “corporate citizens” of the world. This could be achieved through the integration of the “Creating Shared Value” (CSV) strategy by utilising corporate assets and expertise in conducting social responsibility, to create economic value and business opportunities, together with scalable and self-sustaining social development.
Pipat Yodprudtikan, director of the Thaipat Institute, said companies should engage in social development to achieve corporate sustainability not only because society is affected by their operations but also because of companies’ corporate citizenship as key stakeholders of society.
Pipat said anti-corruption practices would be a focus of CSR direction in 2014. Listed companies are urged to join the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Collective Action Coalition against Corruption Council (CAC).
As of December, 264 companies had applied for CAC membership, comprising 103 listed companies, 16 securities companies and 22 asset-management companies, while nine listed companies had become CAC certified members. At present, there are 574 listed companies, 40 securities companies and 22 asset-management companies in the country.
The second area of focus will involve assessment, which will be shown in the annual CSR report. In the third area, listed companies are encouraged to promote the same practices with others in the supply chain.
Pipat foresees the integration of CSR strategies in the corporate business strategies, to create shared value. In the end, he foresees wider adoption of green procurement practices, to help conserve the environment. This will further highlight the benefits of reuse and recycling as well as the greater focus on product life cycles and pollution prevention.