Setting: Thursday 27 November 2014, (Text and photos by Mark Koghee)
SDBP met for a session about corporate social responsibility.
Corporate social responsibility
Corporate social responsibility is in Slovenia and the Netherlands almost commonplace already but there are still changes to make. That could be learned at a debate about corporate social responsibility of the Slovenian Dutch Business Platform in Ljubljana on Thursday 27 November.
At the meeting in restaurant Glazuta Paul van Oostveen, the Deputy Head of Mission of the Dutch embassy, and Eva Tomič, head of the Human Rights Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Slovenia, discussed corporate social responsibility in the Netherlands and Slovenia.
Before the meeting Tomič already sent and opening statement that ‘corporate social responsibility is becoming a way of life’. During the evening she told that the 16 biggest Slovenian companies all have corporate social responsibility policies.
Social responsible companies try to do their business in a sustainable way and protect human rights. Tomič: ,,People are more and more aware that human rights can be a boost for development. For Europe it’s hard to compete with prices but our advantage is that were doing social responsible business and we see that consumers want products which are produced social responsible’’.
Van Oostveen had to fill in at the last moment for ambassador Pieter Langenberg whose flight was delayed. He told the attendees that in the Netherlands there is an integral vision on a sustainable way of doing business. We look at the effects on society and environment. Keywords are profit, planet and people.’’ The Dutch government includes corporate social responsibility even in tenders.
Corporate social responsibility is being implemented on many places and on many levels but, as Tomič says, ‘we’re not there yet’. ,,We need to change our attitude. Now we always choose the cheapest offer. Of course price is important but also quality is. We are not there yet.’’
Attendees gave examples of how they privately and in their business try to be social responsible. That is not always easy as one SDPB member told. In the supermarket he tries to find garlic that’s grown close by but he can only find garlic from China and when he recently looked for a water boiler all twelve machines, he could choose from, where from China.
Another visitor had a different view on things. He looked at things from an interhuman perspective. ,,Social is about bringing people together but we are only moving further from each other. The word friend is getting lost. Companies should promote friendship among their employees.’’