Global CSR Conference gets under way in Seoul

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Global CSR Conference gets under way in Seoul

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UNGC Korea Network President Lee Seung-han, third from left, speaks to reporters yesterday about corporate social responsibility. Provided by the network

Lee Seung-han, president of the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) Korea Network, urged more Korean companies to take part in the international organization’s corporate social responsibility initiative.

“Companies have to realize that social responsibility goes far beyond donating money,” Lee said in a press conference to mark the opening of the two-day Global CSR Conference organized by the UNGC Korea Network and the Ethics and Compliance Officer Association. “That is why a company feels it is too much of a burden to join the UNGC Korea Network, because it has to incorporate policies regarding human resources, the environment, anti-corruption and so on. It’s my responsibility to increase member companies to 2,000 by 2020.”

There are currently 250 member companies in the network, including Yuhan-Kimberly, Korean Air Lines, LG Electronics and KB Financial Group.

Launched in 2000, the UNGC has more than 120 countries and 8,000 business members. The UNGC Korea Network was established in 2007.

Others at the press conference were Lim Hong-jae, secretary-general of the UNGC Korea Network; Georg Kell, executive director of UNGC; Keith Darcy, executive director of the Ethics and Compliance Office Association; and Wolfgang Engshuber, chairman of UN Principles for Responsible Investment.

“The Korea Network is focusing on some of the critical areas,” Kell said. “The secret behind making progress is really to work together and focus on specific challenges all over the world.”

“We must recognize that now the paradigm of the business world has shifted,” said Lee, who is also the chairman of Homeplus. “However, this method is facing a limit due to primitive and saturated competition, challenging corporations to grow sustainably based on economic profits with due regard to environment, society and governance.”



BY LEE EUN-JOO [angie@joongang.co.kr]

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