More Singapore firms commit to responsible business practices under UN pledge

CapitaLand was one of the latest Singapore firms to sign the UNGC.
CapitaLand was one of the latest Singapore firms to sign the UNGC. PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

SINGAPORE - Seven more Singapore companies have pledged to adopt sustainable and responsible business practices under a UN initiative.

They were the latest signatories to the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), which espouses 10 principles in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption.

The number of Singapore-based UNGC signatories now stand at 66, with the addition of CapitaLand, Sembcorp Industries, Facility Link, Ghenni, Greenpac, Qi Group of Companies and YTL PowerSeraya.

At the opening ceremony of the 2015 International Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Summit organised by Global Compact Network Singapore (the Compact) on Tuesday (Aug 25), the new signatories were presented with special certificates by UNGC's general counsel and chief of governance and social sustainability, Ursula Wynhoven.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Ms Grace Fu, Second Minister for the Environment and Water Resources, said there has been a growing awareness of corporate responsibility and sustainability over the past decade in Singapore.

From 2005, the Compact has seen a membership growth of more than 200 per cent to reach 500 members, she added.

Its president, Mr Kwek Leng Joo, stressed for a stronger mandate for the Compact in order to help the organisation better engage stakeholders to advance sustainability in Singapore.

Mr Kwek gave the example of France and Luxembourg that have dedicated ministries to oversee matters pertaining to sustainable development.

"Currently, it is difficult for a single existing ministry to tackle the entire spectrum of CSR issues as they cut across various disciplines," he said. "Against this backdrop, our wish is perhaps for Prime Minister's Office to consider adopting the Compact so that we can accelerate the pace of CSR adoption in Singapore."