English

Discussing CSR in the Alps

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is taking many different forms these days. (You can look here for a quick discussion.) Electronics industry firms, and Information and Communications Technology firms in particular, founded the EICC (Electronic Industry Code of Conduct) and recently invited NGOs from US and Europe to a Stakeholder Engagement Meeting in Geneva, together with Global e-Sustainability Initiative. The objective was to share recent developments in CSR approaches, such as pilot programs for factory audits in China as well as capability-building efforts, and receive feedback from civil society organizations. I was privileged to represent FLA at the meeting.

 

Many thanks to both the Internet and Swiss efficiency that allowed me to get a flight that arrived an hour before the meeting and take the only public bus from the airport to where the meeting was being held. The hardest part was getting exact change for the fare, which took more time than the journey itself! No one told me that one could survive in Switzerland with just a pocket full of Swiss coins.

The meetings themselves were great and productive. And the post-meeting get-together were also great, involving drinks and more talking. My small anxiety of talking business in a social environment turned into panic at not being able to catch up with American jokes at our extremely funny table at the reception— probably due in part to the Swiss wine consumed by my mates! But we got by.

 
One of the many results to come from these meetings is that FLA is now increasing its outreach with the ICT industry. I look forward to continued strengthening of these relationships and sharing more information as we explore new ways of strengthening business involvement in and support of communities. of I’m hopeful that this meeting will be remembered as but a small step in the future relationship of these two. And of course, the other important result to come from this short, unexpected trip — magic chocolate and fondue!

 

Aykut Kazanci

 

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