Business for Society, Czech Republic
CSR Europe is very pleased to welcome Business for Society, Czech Republic, in the National Partner Organisation network. Can you please give as a brief introduction of your organisation and tell us about your expectations of being part of the network?
Business for Society, Czech Republic, is the biggest national network for corporate responsibility and sustainable business in the Czech Republic. It promotes the responsibility of businesses and their role in the society. It mobilises businesses and other key institutions for social issues, responsible business performance and the development of the quality of life in the society. Business for the society is a network, which helps improve the cooperation of companies as well as their professional background, and allows them to share experience and seek new approaches in the area of social responsibility. It has informally operated since 2005 and was formally registered in 2010. For us it is important to implement our programmes in cooperation with our members and partner organisations in main CSR strategic areas such as workplace, environment, and community.
We are happy to become part of CSR Europe's NPO network as we would like to join the CSR discussion and effort also at European level. We hope to promote the Czech voice into the CSR agenda, but also offer our experience and enthusiasm of our members to some of CSR Europe's activities under the iniative Enterprise 2020.
In your view, what are the current CSR “hot topics” and trends among your corporate members?
Over the last 2 years our members and corporate partners have significantly developed their CSR focus towards integrating responsibility across the business operations. Currently we are working together with our members to establish standards for environmental responsibility, climate change and carbon footprint. In the area of workplace we have just finished the manual for employee engagement and corporate volunteering and started to work intensively on diversity issues. For the upcoming year, we will have a set of activities for active aging and employing people with disabilities. Also, we are starting a dialogue on the new CSR communication, provided by the European Commission.
For the next year we will organize, amongst others, national conferences on sustainability as well as public dialogues with the government and other stakeholders on the national strategy on CSR. Furthermore, we will organize various events for joint activities for our members.
In November 2011, Business for Society awarded the “TOP Responsible Company 2011”. Can you please tell us a bit more about the award?
“TOP responsible Company Award 2011” is a national CSR Award that aims to promote the best CSR- and sustainable practice in the Czech Republic and has become one of the most respected events on the business calendar. It is organized under the auspices of the Czech Prime Minister and Chairperson of the House of Representatives. Plzensky Prazdroj (SAB Miller) received the award "The Most Responsible Big Company of the Year", followed by IBM CR and Vodafone Czech Republic. The local Hotel Adria Prague succeded in “The Most Responsible Small Company of the Year” that awards SMEs for their responsible business. There were seven other awards for specific CSR areas such as Marketplace, Workplace and others.
In how far does the government support Czech companies in regards to CSR? Can you please inform us about your collaboration with the government?
We are at the beginning of a more structured dialogue on the CSR strategy in the Czech Republic. This is connected to the fact that sustainability and responsible business has developed rapidly over the last two years. Before that we just had a few champions. For the dialogue, we are starting an open process of developing a national strategy and will organise a few events with the focus on this issue in the upcoming months. The most visible one should be our conference in the Senate, planned for February 2012. Any company, academic institution or other stakeholder can join us in our journey.
For more information about Business for Society go here.