2014-15 Canada-China Business Forum Magazine - Page 78

BACKGROUND Trade between Canada and China continues to grow rapidly. While large companies have the resources to navigate their way around the issues of doing business in China, small and medium-sized enterprises can find the complexities overwhelming. The whole subject of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and how to meet the specific company’s ethical objectives in a substantially different business culture and environment has prevented many potential exporters from developing this promising market. Corporate Social Responsibility The following pages have been developed by the CCBC to help potential Canadian exporters to China find useful resources and to ask the right questions of their potential partners or suppliers in China. CSR has been broadly interpreted to include issues surrounding bribery and corruption. CSR initiatives are generally defined as the voluntary activities undertaken by a company, above and beyond regulation, to operate in an economically, socially and environmentally sustainable manner. There are growing expectations that companies abide by globally accepted CSR principles and practices, such as ISO 26000. This is no different in China. CSR expectations in China have grown dramatically in the past decade, but adherence to certain CSR principles and practices in China can be challenging. HOW TO USE THIS GUIDE This guide is intended to highlight key aspects of CSR that companies should consider with regards to their business in China, and to provide tips on how to address these key aspects. This is not an exhaustive list or detailed guide, but rather a series of questions and considerations that companies need to think about in order to achieve CSR-related objectives that will allow them to meet stakeholder expectations. This guide will refer you to the different resources available to help you better understand the history of CSR in China; the regulatory framework for CSR requirements in China; how to develop an appropriate CSR strategy in China; international guidelines for CSR and best practices for implementing and reporting on CSR strategies in China. A list of useful CSR resources is included in the appendix. vm/ iStock Images A CCBC Guide for Canadians Investing in China 77 CANADA CHINA FORUM BUSINESS 2014-2015 ccbc.com It i s also important to fully understand the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, the IFC Environmental and Social Performance Standards, ISO 26000:2010 (Social Responsibility) and the Global Reporting Initiative. 78