An International Policy Framework for Corporate Social Responsibility: Moving to Action
27th March 2012
On March 27th, the Dialogue on a Convention for Corporate Sustainability and Accountability (convened by Stakeholder Forum and Vitae Civilis), the Global Reporting Initiative and Aviva Investors organized the side event an ‘International Framework for Corporate Social Responsibility: Moving to Action’. The objective was to discuss the relevance of having an International Framework for Corporate Sustainability (paragraph 24 and 104 dec of the zero draft) and especially, to present the current proposals to develop such framework drawing on evidence and examples from governments, international organizations, stock exchanges and a number of private initiatives. The panel represented a variety of sectors and included Teresa Fogelberg (GRI), Rina Levy (Bloomberg), Aron Belinky (Vitae Civilis), Jorge Abrahao (Ethos Institute) and Harris Gleckman (former UN Centre on Transnational Corporations).
The panellists presented proposals on how to put a global framework into practice through a call for a convention (hard law) or a commitment (soft law) to an international framework that harmonises current CSR/reporting practices. Many countries are already developing national policies that regulate sustainability reporting of large private and public companies (eg. Denmark, Spain, etc.); some others do this through their stock exchange listing rules (eg. South Africa, Brazil, etc.). This type of policies and policy instruments are implemented in both developing and developed countries. A call for a convention on corporate sustainability does not lay outside the scope of a UN convention, examples already abound: ILO Conventions, Basel Protocol, Vienna Ozone Protocol, OECD Anti-Bribery Convention, etc. A global framework would indeed level the playing field for corporations and would speed up the process towards a substantial contribution of the private sector to sustainable development efforts.