Reflections from CSR Asia Summit 2015

Sarah Ng, Manager, Corporate Communications, ICTI Ethical Toy Program

Last month, ICTI Ethical Toy Program participated at the CSR Asia Summit 2015 “Strategic Value Creation” hosted in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The summit gathered more than 400 professionals from 28 countries to discuss sustainability issues in the Asia- Pacific region and beyond.

Panelists from Prudential Corporation Asia, PT Rimba Makmur Utama, Coca-Cola, Nestle, VISA, IKEA and others shared their experiences on a wide range of sustainability issues of relevance to the region, including deforestation, pollution, renewable energy, supply chain labourstandards, migrant workers and many others.

On day two of the Summit, ICTI Ethical Toy Program’s CEO Carmel Giblin participated in the panel ‘Achieving sustainability objectives: Supply chain practices and challenges’. Carmel was joined by other brands and retailers from the ICTI Ethical Toy Program including Edena Low from Mattel and Ronnie Tham from Walmart. The panel was Chaired by Jurgita Balaisyte, Project Manager at CSR Asia.

Carmel discussed how ICTI Ethical Toy Program works with more than 2,500 brands, retailers and suppliers to drive sustainability standards in the global toy and entertainment industry supply chain. She explained how consumers, NGOs, media, regulators and investors now expect greater transparency on supply chain ethics which continues to increase pressure on companies to improve standards.

Mattel and Walmart each presented on the challenges and opportunities associated with ethical manufacturing in Asia and discussed the progress they are making to improve standards.

The powerful benefits of collaboration – in this case between buyers, retailers and suppliers working together to tackle sustainability challenges and share best practice for a greater impact - emerged as a key theme from our panel.

As one of the world’s leading ethical supply chain initiatives, ICTI Ethical Toy Program exists to support toy and entertainment brands and retailers in achieving their sustainable supply chain commitments.  The ICTI Ethical Toy Program Seal – and the ethical supply chain code of conduct which underpins it - aims to reflect these commitments and brings them all into one place.  This consolidation makes it easier for suppliers to respond.

Collaboration brings multiple benefits to the companies. Across the ICTI Ethical Toy Program, collaboration is helping suppliers in Asia to learn from one-another, share good practice, address joint challenges and implement new ways of working which brings real benefits to their businesses.   

Enabling collaboration – in all of its various forms – to tackle sustainability challenged will remain at the forefront of our work at ICTI Ethical Toy Program, and it was encouraging to see this intention echoed across the rest of the CSR Asia Summit.