HCM CITY — Applications are being accepted for the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Award to honour businesses for good performances in the areas of environment and labour in 2010-12.
The fifth awards are given away by the Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) together with several ministries and other agencies.
"The awards seek to raise businesses' awareness of their responsibility for the sustainable development of not just of themselves but also their community and society," Nguyen Quang Vinh, general director of the VCCI's Office for Business Sustainable Development, said.
They encouraged businesses to share their experience in labour management and helped link them up with international businesses and forums, he said.
"The awards are also expected to provide a motivation for businesses to continue improving working conditions for their employees and protecting the environment, thereby raising their own prestige and competitiveness," he said.
Speaking at a workshop held to announce the award in HCM City on Wednesday, Vo Tan Thanh, director of the VCCI's HCM City branch, said in the context of international integration, implementing CSR was indispensable if Vietnamese businesses wanted to enter the global market.
Florian Beranek, chief technical advisor for a United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) -VCCI CSR Project, said: "The EU Commission has previously defined CSR as a concept whereby companies integrate social and environmental concerns in their business operations and in their interaction with their stakeholders on a voluntary basis."
Last year, it put forward a new definition of CSR as the responsibility of enterprises for their impacts on society and environment, he said.
Due to social pressure, businesses globally considered CSR an important strategy to help them stand out in the minds of employees, consumers, and potential partners, he said.
Vinh said many Vietnamese companies, especially exporters, had done very well in CSR. But many small- and medium-sized companies, whose products were mostly consumed domestically, did not pay much attention to it, and this should be changed, he added.
VCCI's partners in instituting the award were the Ministries of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, Industry and Trade, and Planning and Investment, the Viet Nam General Confederation of Labour, and Environmental Police Department.
The awards ceremony will be held next March. — VNS