The Stock Exchange of Thailand
has released guidelines on social responsibility and reporting.
The advice comes in two parts: guidance on sustainability reporting, including a Thai translation of the Global Reporting Initiative's G3.1 Guidelines, and a guide on how companies can begin to implement social responsibility programmes.
Both documents have been produced by the Stock Exchange of Thailand’s Corporate Social Responsibility Institute (CSRI), which was set up to promote responsible business behaviour among Thailand's 500-plus listed companies.
Six Asian stock exchanges have now produced some kind of guidance for listed companies on sustainability: the others are in Malaysia, Hong Kong, Korea, China (Shanghai), and Singapore.
Mia Overall, a senior project manager at the CSR Asia Centre in Thailand, said the Thai documents are 'the most comprehensive' produced by any Asian stock exchange so far and 'will hopefully be a big help to Thai companies in implementing sustainable business and reporting practices'.
She added: 'This guidance represents a serious commitment to international standards and is a big push for Thai companies on two fronts: implementation and reporting. It should help them expand the vision of corporate responsibility beyond charity and philanthropy and to adopt it as a strategic issue'.
The guidance document on how to implement sustainability programmes is largely based on the ISO 26000 social responsibility standard, which was published in 2010 – although it also makes use of material produced by the United Nations Global Compact. The material on reporting draws heavily on the GRI guidelines.
Thailand's stock exchange, which runs the SET Index, SET50 Index and the SET100 Index, has become increasingly interested in sustainability issues over the past few years. Through the CSRI it already offers free training and advice on the topic to companies.
It followed up publication of its guidelines by inviting chief executives of Thai companies to a seminar on 'building a sustainable organization'. The event, which was co-hosted by the Thai Listed Companies Association, was addressed by the deputy prime minister Kittiratt Na-Ranong.
Stock Exchange of Thailand president Charamporn Jotikasthira said: 'We are doing this because we believe that taking social and environmental issues into account in every business procedure will lead to success and growth, as well as compatibility with society and the environment'.