The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) took part in the Multi-Stakeholder Forum on CSR held in Brussels on the 3rd and 4th of February. Mr. Christophe Yvetot, the Head of UNIDO Liaison Office to the European Union was invited as speaker on the panel “International Development Cooperation – towards a global level playing field”.
On this occasion the European Commission gathered together representatives from the private sector, NGOs, Trade Unions and international organizations in order to prepare the new European policy on CSR. Following a public consultation last summer, the objective of the initiative will be to receive feedback on the achievements, shortcomings and future challenges of the European Commission’s strategy on CSR.
According to Mr. Yvetot: “SDGs are about achieving development goals from an economic, social and environmental perspective. In this view, we can think about CSR as a way to implement these goals at the level of enterprises.” “It is essential to support SMEs in developing countries in utilizing CSR as a management tool to improve their competitiveness while complying with international standards and norms.”
The recommendations of UNIDO on CSR include:
- Develope technical assistance for implementing CSR for SMEs in developing countries within the framework of the Communication of the European Commission on A stronger role of the Private Sector in Achieving Inclusive and Sustainable Growth in Developing Countries (you can find more information at the following link)
- Support the harmonization and simplification of CSR practices, particularly those requested by multinational companies to their suppliers.
UNIDO’s primary objective and expertise is to help SMEs implement CSR and for this reason in 2003 it became the fifth core UN Agency in the Global Compact and the focal agency for SMEs.
UNIDO’s approach on CSR is twofold: 1) UNIDO works on policy implementation by bringing together the Ministries of Industry from its 172 Member States; 2) UNIDO works closely with companies, in order to track the implementation of CSR in SMEs through ad-hoc instruments. For example the Responsible Entrepreneurs Achievement Programme (REAP) with the European Union in Vietnam. Another successful project integrating SMEs in global value chains would be the one with METRO Group in the context of the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI).
For more information on REAP see link
For more information on other CSR projects see link
On UNIDO’s assistance to governments in implementing CSR see link