On 28 October 2010 the Bangladesh German Chamber of Commerce and Industry in cooperation with the German Embassy and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) held a conference on "Global Social Responsibility" in Dhaka.
Over 300 representatives from Bangladesh and German companies as well as prominent participants such as Minister of Commerce Faruk Khan, Nobel Laureate Muhammad Yunus and Dr. Michael Otto discussed strategies and best practices for companies to address social and environmental challenges.
Professor Yunus presented his concept of "Social Business", calling upon the private sector to find solutions for social and environmental problems. Everyone could launch a "Social Business". Professor Yunus illustrated his experiences in establishing "Social Businesses" with international partners (for example BASF) and presented new projects he pursues with the Otto Group, adidas and Solarworld.
The discussion on "Corporate Social Responsibility" showed that CSR measures and implementation of "Social Compliance" can lead to a rise in productivity (for example by internal measures in order to provide primary education, health care and allocation of child care facilities) as well as attractivity of products for consumers.
Especially the compatibility of pricing pressure by international buyers and the demand for corporate social responsiblity became a topic of dedicated discussion. As markets were increasingly determinded by critical consumers, it was concluded that visible compliance with social and environmental responsibilities was essential for the acceptance of companies and brands by markets.
The conference resolved that successful business and social responsibility do not exclude, but may rather complement each other in the quest to create future-oriented and sustainable business models.