(Kuala Lumpur, 27 August 2008) - Ten Malaysian firms have vowed to advance corporate
citizenship in Malaysia as they became signatories to the Global Compact today.
In a signing and networking event hosted by UNDP, the Malaysia Compact and the Caux Round Table, with the support of Khazanah Nasional Berhad and Talisman Energy, the companies pledged to align and observe the Compact's te universal principles regarding human rights, labour rights, environmental sustainability and anti-corruption in their operations and strategies as well as produce a comprehensive annual report on their implementation.
The local business units of several multinational companies including DiGi Communications, Talisman Energy Malaysia, and Phillips Malaysia, also pledged to the UNGC. DiGi is also the first Malaysian company to sign up for the “Caring for Climate” initiative under the UNGC, and has launched a programme to reduce the company's carbon footprint over the coming years.
Other signatories included Asian Overland Services Tours and Travel, OWW Consulting, RUSS Consulting, and SL+A Sdn Bhd (The Stephen Leach Group), as well as Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), the EU-Malaysia Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and the Equator Society, which joined the Global Compact under the banner of academic and non-governmental organizations.
Together, these organizations join the five homegrown companies and 62 multinational firms with operations in Malaysia that are already on board.
As scorekeeper of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), UNDP is working with the private sector to translate Corporate Social Responsibility into action and to promote the development of inclusive markets that benefit the poor. UNDP continues to support the development of local networks such as the Malaysia Compact, which bring together the local private sector, civil society groups, labour organizations and academia to discuss corporate concerns about human rights, labour standards, the environment and anti-corruption issues and to provide policy space for all stakeholders to work together to examine how to scale-up innovative business approaches that benefit both commerce and the wider development interests of society.
According to En Abdullah Abdul Hamid, Executive Director, Transformation Management Office, Khazanah Nasional Berhad, the main advantage that the Global Compact delivers to Malaysian signatories is a broad international reach to showcase their corporate responsibility initiatives and a strong channel to engage with civil society.
Linking the move with Khazanah’s flagship CSR platform, the Silver Book, Encik Abdullah said, “The Silver Book has been acknowledged as a highly progressive CSR agenda – the UNGC allows us to demonstrate how that agenda has benefited Malaysia and share our experiences worldwide as a nation of CSR practitioners."
“We must know where we are today and what we hope to achieve tomorrow. This is where the thinking behind the Silver Book integrates with the opportunities offered by the Global Compact.”
Commenting on the participation of the GLCs, Datuk Dr. K. Govindan, Deputy Director General, Economic Planning Unit in the Prime Minister’s Department said that it was encouraging to see leading businesses play a more active role in responding to national development challenges.
The event was held in conjunction with a two-day Silver Book workshop on measuring impact which aimed at reviewing trends in Corporate Responsibility (CR), as well as highlighting the importance and benefits of CR measures.
Ms. Lilei Chow
United Nations Development Programme Malaysia
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