Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) presents opportunities for development in Bangladesh and around the world. Despite that, a cross-functional survey done by Social Responsibility Asia in 2017 highlighted that most companies do not know the concept of CSR or do not know how to integrate it into their businesses. SR Asia Bangladesh conceptualized the idea to form a CRN in Bangladesh following that survey. The need for such a Network has arisen because Bangladesh lacks the instrument that can help, guide and escalate CSR activities.
To integrate CSR practices at all levels, a formal authority is needed to help companies strategize, improve communication and collaboration between all stakeholders, create CSR opportunities, optimize funding through proper CSR mapping and create CSR awareness. A platform is needed to encourage the sharing of ideas with a central way of collecting feedback, allow discussions to take place in an open environment and share knowledge with people who need it, when they need it.
The CRN will brand the importance of Corporate Responsibility as a tool to achieve competitive advantage, a positive image in the society and the assurance of an ecological balance and economic development, all through which will have a positive effect in the country. If a business makes its values a central part of their businesses, CSR will fuel its success.
Some companies showed interest and came together to discuss the possibility of creating a network during a preliminary meeting on July 29, 2017. A few stakeholder engagement meetings and one-on-one sessions with Epyllion Group, Nestle Bangladesh, British American Tobacco, Olympic Industries Limited and Marico Bangladesh followed. From these encounters, the CRN has emerged as a platform where practitioners, academicians, government, business organizations can learn about and discuss CSR practices in Bangladesh.
Establish a knowledge hub, which will shape the landscape for organizations to integrate the sustainability movement into their processes.
Support the government in developing a National Council for Corporate Responsibility, contribute to the drafting of the National Guideline on CSR, and ensure coherence between CSR goals and government policies.
Promote the adoption of CSR practices among businesses and establish a standard for their initiatives.
Support companies engaging in CSR activities.
Founder members are the companies who initiated the platform. Their name and logo will always appear on the website and in other documents as founder members, or until they wish to be removed. The first Stakeholder Council consists of all founder members.
CRN’s Stakeholder Council will be composed of General Members. The President of CRN’s Stakeholder Council will preside over all Stakeholder Council meetings. The Stakeholder Council is the highest ranking body of the CRN and will approve the plans, policies and strategies for the society. A separate team from Operational Body governed by Stakeholder Council will assist Stakeholder Council to develop member criteria and sustainability issue to incorporate in membership. The Stakeholder Council will elect the Operational Body (OB) among its members for every term. The Stakeholder Council will also approve the yearly budget, yearly report, financial statements and appoint auditors. The Stakeholder Council will ordinarily meet once in a year which will be the annual general meeting.
With the consent of Stakeholder Council and OB, any corporate body/organization can be a member, insofar as it respects the rules and regulation of the society. There are four category of corporate membership.
General Members BDT. 20,000 (Twenty Thousand) membership fees and BDT. 20,000 is yearly renewal fees. General members’ commitment to sustainability will be published in website and best practices will be published. General members will have voting power and can apply for nomination to be elected in Stakeholder Council.
With the consent of the Stakeholder Council and OB, any professional can be a professional member, insofar as they comply with state rules and regulations. Yearly membership fees is BDT. 5,000 (Five thousand).
Membership fees will be decided and modified during the annual Stakeholder Body meeting. Professional members do not have voting power.