Bosses of State firms should be 'more responsible'

By Wang Zhuoqiong (China Daily)
Updated: 2007-07-03 06:40

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) should be taken into consideration when appointing and appraising the heads of State-owned-enterprises (SOEs), a business leader said yesterday.

"The ability to perform CSR should be one of the major factors in the selection and appraisal of leaders of SOEs," Wang Jiming, executive vice-president of the China Enterprise Confederation, said.

"A business leader who only cares about profit margins and neglects social responsibility will drive high consumption of energy and heavy pollution.

"Such behavior is a crime against society and its people," Wang told China Daily.

Wang also called for promoting the awareness of CSR on a larger scale, particularly among small-and-medium sized enterprises.

Khalid Malik, UN Resident Coordinator and Resident Representative in China, said challenges soon become very visible in the business community, as the recent food security incidents showed.

CSR has become important for everyone in China where companies grow rapidly and some move overseas, Malik said.

"So it is a question of transparency and branding for Chinese firms. Business will benefit if the consumers benefit."

Getting more business chiefs to adopt the idea of global leadership and corporate citizenship is one of the goals for some 80 Chinese businesspeople who will take part in a global summit which starts on Thursday in Geneva.

The United Nations Global Compact world leaders' summit, will be chaired by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and include about 1,000 participants from business, the government and civil society.

It is the largest group of Chinese business leaders ever to take part in such a global level CSR event.

The three-day summit will cover topics including human rights, labor, environment and anti-corruption issues, with a special section on Chinese companies.

The summit will unveil a global CEO survey on the topic of business and society, presenting findings on the key socioeconomic and political trends that are shaping the leadership agenda.

The Global Compact - an international initiative to bring companies together with UN agencies, labor and civil society to support universal environmental and social principles - includes more than 4,000 companies from about 120 countries, including 116 from China.

(China Daily 07/03/2007 page3)

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