LEADING THE WAY
Over the past few years, we have seen a gradual shift in the way that companies in Thailand view responsible _ and therefore sustainable _ business. Thai corporate leaders increasingly see good business as going beyond ad hoc philanthropic activities branded as corporate social responsibility (CSR). Businesses today must be able to recognise and respond to the complex risks and opportunities presented by emerging global megatrends _ climate change, population growth, ecosystem degradation and resource scarcity.
In part, this recognition has been driven by an intensifying demand for transparency from stakeholders. In Thailand, pressing social and environmental issues _ health concerns at Map Ta Phut, ethical labour issues in the shrimp industry, or severe floods linked to deforestation _ have highlighted the growing significance of "people power". This in turn has put pressure on businesses to not only be responsible for their impacts, but also to bring tangible value to society and nature. This in turn has led many businesses to look beyond their own operations and bottom line, to their broader supply chain and stakeholders.
Not surprisingly, the demand for sustainability reporting _ disclosure of companies' social and environmental performance _ is picking up. The number of sustainability reports in Thailand based on the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) guidelines rose from just one in 2006 to 16 in 2011 _ and this trend is about to accelerate.
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