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2018 Top 10 International CSR Events


2018 was the first year for implementing the guiding principle of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China. It is also the 40th anniversary of China’s reform and opening up and a crucial year for securing a decisive victory in building a moderately prosperous society in all respects. 
In the context of a complex and volatile trade environment, profound changes in technological development, transformation and upgrading of all business, and higher expectations from people, various policies and regulations have been issued, outstanding practices have been emerging, and cooperation at home and abroad has continued to deepen.
Since 2006, we have been selecting and publishing the annual list of top 10 CSR events for 13 years. As the first step in 2019, China WTO Tribune selected the 2018 Top 10 International CSR Events (in chronological order) to review and solute all efforts in social responsibility development in the world in 2018, and hopes to welcome a better 2019.
1. EU strategy deals with plastic waste
According to the news on the official website of European Commission released on January 16, the European Commission passed the first strategy for plastic products, Strategy for Plastics in European Union. It notably states that, all plastic packaging in the EU must be reusable or easily recyclable by 2030, which will reduce the consumption of disposable plastic products and limit the use of micro plastics in products. Under the strategy, plastic packaging in all EU markets will be recyclable by 2030, the use of disposable plastic products will be reduced, and the deliberate use of micro plastics will be limited.
Reason for listing:
Limiting the use and production of plastics is a highlight in the field of global sustainable development in 2018, which, to a large extent, benefit from EU’s effective efforts and practices in limiting plastics.
The strategy, because of its wide coverage, clear objectives, and effective supervision, not only restricts plastic packaging, encourages green consumption to become a good social trend, but also makes reducing plastic raw materials and restricting the production of plastic products become an important means for enterprises to respond to environmental problems and fulfill their social responsibilities.
The strategy was born in Europe, but it will influence the whole world, playing a leading and strategic role in global effective governance of plastic pollution and green consumption.
2. OECD passes the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Business Conduct
According to the news on OECD’s official website released on May 31, the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Business Conduct was approved. The Guidance provides practical support to enterprises on the implementation of the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises by providing plain language explanations of its due diligence recommendations. This is also the first government-supported due diligence reference document applicable for all types of enterprises operating in all countries and all industry sectors.
Reason for listing:
When conducting business, enterprises should consider the bottom line of their activities and manage the negative impact of their activities on society. This is the guarantee for the sustainable operation of enterprises and also the nature of social responsibility fulfillment. As the first government-supported due diligence document applicable for all types of enterprises operating in all countries and all industry sectors, the release of the Guidance helps ensure that governments and businesses work together to promote responsible business conduct, and to push forward inclusive and sustainable growth on a global scale. For more enterprises that urgently need to build a sustainable supply chain, the Guidance provides a more practical and operational path. 
3. Ireland becomes the first country in the world to stop public investment in fossil fuels
On July 12, the Irish House of Commons voted to pass the Fossil Fuel Divestment Act 2018, which marks Ireland as the first country in the world to stop public investment in fossil fuels. After the bill was passed, the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund is required to stop investing in non-renewable energy sources such as oil, natural gas, and coal within five years.
Reason for listing:
Fossil fuels are the main source of industrial development, but are to blame for global warming. Ireland pioneered the action to stop public investment in fossil fuels in the form of a bill, showing the determination to active transformation. This is not only a good approach for the nation to guiding the enterprises to achieve green transformation, then sustainable development, but also a clear signal for social investment and private capital. New energy development and green industry are bound to have new opportunities for development.
In addition, among the countries to carry out the global mission of implementing The Paris Agreement and addressing climate change, Ireland has also taken the first initiative to achieve good results.
4. IAI publishes Sustainable Bauxite Mining Guidelines
According to the news on the ALU.cn released on September 6, the International Aluminium Institute (IAI) released the Sustainable Bauxite Mining Guidelines. The Guidelines outlines ten sustainable bauxite mining principles including integrity management and good governance, sustainability concerns in decision-making process, effective health and safety performance, etc. The Guideline also lists 17 best practices of bauxite mining from 14 enterprises.
Reason for listing:
In recent years, with a growing of investors pouring into the bauxite industry, there are many unsustainable practices in the process of bauxite mining, such as environmental pollution, frequent safety accidents, etc. The Guidelines provides scientific methods from the aspects of principles and key areas of sustainable bauxite mining, as well as the best practices that can be used for reference. It helps improve the sustainable development of the industry to a certain extent. Meanwhile, for the “Going Global” Chinese aluminum enterprises, the Guidelines is both a guideline for action and a model for practice to conduct overseas business.
5. NYSE launches a Sustainable Development Goals-aligned exchange traded fund 
On September 24, the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) announced to launch a Sustainable Development Goals-aligned exchange traded fund (ETF). The fund allows investors to invest with enterprises committed to the SDGs, aiming to help achieve the goals of ending poverty and supporting economic development on a global scale.
Reason for listing:              
It is the core of the capital market and the responsibility of the exchanges to bring together the responsible forces by means of capital to enable it to achieve a “return of the goodness”. NYSE uses ETF as a medium to enhance the awareness and decision-making ability of markets and investors to promote sustainable development, and provide related products and services that truly can turn the awareness and power of goodness into actions that contribute to the sustainable global economic development. The NYSE’s act will also provide a model for domestic exchanges to fulfill social responsibility and promote green finance development.
6. UN launches Youth 2030 strategy for the world’s 1.8 billion young people “to lead” 
On September 24, the Youth 2030: The United Nations Youth Strategy was officially launched at the 73rd Session of the UN General Assembly at the United Nations in New York. The strategy identifies five key areas like training and jobs, prioritizing support for young people in conflict and in humanitarian crises, aiming to drive 1.8 billion young people aged 10 to 24 worldwide take the lead for building a more peaceful, sustainable and prosperous world.
Reason for listing:
Youth is the future of the global sustainability. The sense of responsibility and concerted action of young people are new forces that advance the solution to issues affecting human destiny and the long-term future. Launching the Youth 2030 strategy can not only gather the young people who are willing to innovate and share, but also warm those young people who are suffering from injustice, giving them dignity and making them be responsible in their lives,by which youth can contribute to building a more sustainable society, thus really reflecting the principle of “not one less”. 
7.  Upgrading ISO 26000 PPO to ISO 26000 SGN 
At the ISO 26000 PPO Experts Meeting in Bali on October 28, the Post Publication Organization (PPO) was upgraded to a new organization, the ISO 26000 Stakeholder Global Network (SGN), whose mission is to promote social responsibility and sustainability through ISO 26000 worldwide. Mr. Yin Gefei, chief expert of GoldenBee Thinktank and founder of GoldenBee CSR Consulting, was successfully elected Secretary of ISO 26000 SGN.
Reason for listing:
The establishment of ISO 26000 SGN is the result of the global development and innovation of ISO 26000, which indicates that ISO 26000 will open a new journey of global development.
The new SGN continues and develops mechanism and system guarantees that facilitate the wide participation of global stakeholders, transparent and fair expression of opinions and efficient and high-quality resource sharing. By reforming its positioning, membership system and organization structure, the organization also will become more dynamic, more innovative and more open.
In addition, seven directions drafted by ISO 26000 SGN for the future will inevitably highlight the significant value of ISO 26000 in contributing to sustainable business operations and global sustainability.
8. Kenya hosts the first global conference on the sustainable blue economy
On November 26-28, the Sustainable Blue Economy Conference (SBEC), the first global conference on the sustainable blue economy, was held in Nairobi, Kenya. The conference gathered more than 4,000 delegates from 183 countries and regions to learn how to build a blue economy and realize the goals of reducing environmental pollution, tackling climate change, ending poverty and hunger, and creating jobs, etc.
Reason for listing:
The Blue Economy has become a new important engine of the world economy and the sustainable use of marine resources is crucial to ending poverty and developing economics. However, over-exploitation in recent years has caused challenges such as marine pollution and climate change.The first SBEC has established a worldwide dialogue platform to unify the consensus on sustainable development and share development and governance experience, which will help protect the diversity of marine life and reduce unsustainable practices in marine development. The SBEC is also a response to the goal of the sustainable use of marine resources in both the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the African Union's Agenda 2063. 
9. UN recognizes the role of sport in achieving sustainable development
On December 3, the UN General Assembly approved a resolution to leverage “sports to foster sustainable development”, which encourages UN Member States and relevant stakeholders to emphasize and promote the use of sport as a tool for sustainable development. The resolution also recognized the contribution that sports,the Olympic and Paralympic movements have made to health, education, social inclusion and anti-corruption. The resolution was adopted on the occasion of the presentation of the biennial report of the UN Secretary-General on Sport for Development and Peace.
Reason for listing:
In building a more inclusive, peaceful and positive world, the value of sports and the pursuit of sustainable development are the same.
Thanks to the UN, we now have a strong tool to foster sustainable development. The resolution affirms that sports functions as a bridge to improve individual self-esteem and national self-confidence, connect various stakeholders to communicate and help the community to cross political and cultural differences, etc. In addition, the great influence of sports facilitates the event sustainability management of large-scale sports activities and the integration of the concept of sustainable development into the core values of sports, by which we can achieve consensus and achieve sustainable development goals globally, and help individuals become more confident, boost organizations become healthier and more sustainable, and contribute a more active and prosperous China.
10. Global fashion industry releases Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action
On December 10, the global fashion industry released the Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action (the Charter) at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP24). The Charter, including 16 principles and objectives, contains the industrial vision to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 and identifies the issues that the signatories will address. The implementation steps will be identified by signatories within six Working Groups under the Charter.
43 representatives from fashion industry, including Adidas, Burberry, Sustainable Apparel Coalition and China National Textile and Apparel Council, also promised to implement or support the Charter and agree to jointly address the impact of the fashion industry on the climate change.
Reason for listing:
As the fashion industry connects not only the design and production by enterprise side, but also the life and mental pursuit of the people, it has a large influence.
For the consumers, especially young people, the release of the Charter can greatly promote the public's correct understanding of climate change and sustainable consumer behavior. This is not only a concrete exemplification of the industry's fulfillment of social responsibilities, but also a typical case of demand-side transformation driven by supply-side structural reform. The Charter will play a significant role in promoting fashion enterprises to achieve sustainability, the industry to develop a healthy ecology, and consumers to foster awareness of green consumption.
Experts participating in the selection of the “2018 Top 10 International CSR Events” and putting forward opinions and suggestions include:

  • Yu Zhihong, President and Editor-in-Chief of China WTO Tribune
  • Chen Yuanqiao, Secretary General of Social Responsibility Working Group of International Standardization Organization; Researcher of China National Institute of Standardization (CNIS)
  • Li Ling, Vice Chairman, China Association of Enterprises with Foreign Investment
  • Li Li, Associate Research Fellow of Institute of International Economy, University of International Business and Economics (UIBE), and Director of China Research Center for Technical Barriers to Trade, UIBE
  • Zhang Shaoping, Executive Director, China Association of Social Workers, Committee of Corporate Citizenship
  • Zhou Weizhong, Professor of Business School, Central University of Finance and Economics
  • Guo Xiuming, Vice Chairman, China Information Technology Industry Social Responsibility Committee
  • Guo Yi, Professor of School of Economics, Beijing Technology and Business University (BTBU), and Director of Business Environment Research Center, BTBU
  • Yin Gefei, Chief Expert of GoldenBee Thinktank; Secretary of ISO 26000 Stakeholder Global Network (SGN)
  • Liang Xiaohui, Ph.D, Chief Researcher of Social Responsibility Office, China National Textile and Apparel Council
  • Han Bin, Executive Secretary-general of Global Compact Network China 
  • Lei Hong, Vice Chairman of Chinese Sociological Association, Professor of School of Sociology, Huazhong University of Science and Technology (HUST), and Dean of HUST-GoldenBee CSR Research Institute
  • Tan Mingfang, Professor of School of Philosophy, Zhongnan University of Economics and Law, Vice Chairman of Hubei Sociological Association
  • Zhai Qi, Executive Secretary General, China Business Council for Sustainable Development (CBCSD)
  • Xue Dayuan, Professor of Minzu University of China, Chief Scientist of “Project 985” Ecological Environment Platform

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