Seoul Conference Reaffirms Korean Commitments to Corporate Responsibility

(Seoul) – Organised by the Global Compact Korea Network and KMAC, the Global Corporate Social Responsibility Conference concluded on 23 November 2011 in Seoul with the adoption of the Seoul Declaration and Action Plan. Over 600 business participants and other stakeholders reaffirmed their commitments to corporate responsibility, and called on governments to create enabling environments by providing incentives and recognizing the critical role of corporate sustainability in addressing emerging global issues.

As the first large event focusing on corporate sustainability in the Republic of Korea, the conference addressed emerging trends in corporate sustainability and discussed how corporate sustainability contributes to competitiveness and performance and addresses pressing social, environmental, and governance issues. “This conference highlights how fast the corporate sustainability movement and the UN Global Compact have gained momentum in the Republic of Korea,” said Georg Kell, Executive Director of the UN Global Compact Office.  “I hope this momentum will play an important role in mobilizing business leaders in the lead up to Rio+20: Corporate Sustainability Forum, to be held in June 2012.”

Participants engaged in interactive working sessions focusing on a range of the issues including: human rights and women’s empowerment, labour and responsibility of labour unions, anti-corruption and transparent corporate management, Rio+20: environment and low-carbon management; renewable energy and energy security, value chain management, responsible investment, social enterprise, and green consumption. Following an opening video message by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, the two-day event featured a range of prominent experts and practitioners in the field of corporate sustainability and responsible investment highlighting emerging trends and best practices from around the globe.  “Since its establishment the Global Compact Korea Network has been at the forefront in putting forth innovative solutions widely applicable to every sector. With the support of the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, we are striving to increase the number of Korea network members to 2,000 by 2020,”said Mr. Lee Seunghan, President of the Global Compact Korea Network.

Experts featured during the conference included: Georg Kell, Executive Director, UN Global Compact; Kobayashi Eizo, Chairman, Itochu Corporation; Ernst Lighteringen, Chief Executive, Global Reporting Initiative; Andrei Galaev, Chief Executive Officer, Sakhalin Energy Investment; Soo-Gil Yang, Chairman, Presidential Committee on Green Growth of the Republic of Korea; Huguette Labelle, Chairperson, Transparency International; Wolfgang Engshuber, Chairperson, Principles for Responsible Investment; Michael Janzi, CEO, Sustainalytics; and Paul Dickinson, Chief Executive, Carbon Disclosure Project.

A welcome reception on 21 November, which officially opened the conference, was hosted by the Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. On 22 November, a gala dinner hosted by the Korean Ministry of Environment featured the UNGC Value Awards. Launched in 2011, the UNGC Value Awards recognizes eight Korean companies that demonstrated outstanding corporate sustainability performance in the areas of labour (LGE and KT), environment (WoonjinCoway and Korea East-West Power Corporation), anti-corruption (Incheon Airport Corporation), community service (SK Telecom and NanoEntek), and UN goals including MDGs (Asiana Airlines).  These companies were selected by a panel of 11 experts who reviewed their performance during three rounds of evaluation (sustainability reports review, survey on the companies to 500 CSR affiliated stakeholders, and due diligence and negative screening process by panelists).

“We hope that the Global CSR Conference 2011could help advancing corporate sustainability issues in the Republic of Korea.  This conference unlocks the country’s potential to become a regional hub advancing corporate responsibility and responsible investment debates and action”, says Mr. ChulkiJu, Vice Chairman, Global Compact Korea Network.

About the GC Korea Network
Established in 2007, it aims to mainstream CSR/UNGC values in Korean business practices by bringing together approximately 200 business participants and other stakeholders.  It serves as a platform of dialogue and action for corporate sustainability, and is presided by Mr. Lee Seunghan, President of Homeplus.  Its secretariat is led by Mr. Chul-kiJu. More information: 

As a leader of management innovation in the Republic of Korea, KMAC is a association of 11 professional service providers who offers management services and research on latest management and sustainability trends.  More information:

Media Contact

Matthias Stausberg
UN Global Compact