Corporate & NGO leaders in Beijing discuss “CSR4.0” at BSR’s CiYuan Initiative

March 22nd, 2013

Corporate & NGO leaders in Beijing discuss “CSR4.0” at BSR’s CiYuan Initiative

On March 19th, BSR held an event called “Capacity Building & Collaboration to Drive Social Investment in China: Reflections from the CiYuan Initiative”. The half-day event attracted 50 individuals from the business community, local and foreign foundations, NGOs and media who came to learn about how CiYuan has been driving social impact through its work with foundations, NGOs and through corporate-NGO partnerships; and to hear from sector leaders on the future of “cross-sector collaborations” in China.

The panel session was a highlight of the event highlight which brought together senior leaders from the Gates Foundation, Lenovo, Children’s Hope Foundation, China Youth Development Foundation, Liangshan Development Community and One Foundation. The panelists discussed the Chinese government’s ability to influence and enhance cross-sector collaboration, and the role it plays in the overall design of social policy and awareness raising on social issues. In his session summary, facilitator and BSR Director of Advisory Service Beijing, Wang Chengbo, raised the concept, CSR4.0, which expects business to earn profits in a sustainable way. From the starting point of CSR1.0, which focuses on corporate donations or philanthropy, CSR4.0 encourages inter-industry collaboration to collectively address social or environmental issues and create even greater shared value.

In the other sessions, BSR invited B&Q and Friends of Nature (FON) to take part in an interview by BSR’s Manager Partnership Development, Bao Min, to share with the audience how B&Q and FON worked together to increase B&Q’s customers and design teams’ awareness of green products and environmentally friendly options for home renovation. Zhangwen, Director, Children’s Hope Foundation also shared, in a separate discussion with BSR Associate Advisory Sevices, Wang Xiaoshu, the Foundation’s “growing pains” over the past ten years, and how CiYuan’s China Foundation Development Handbook (Handbook) helped the foundation to re-shape their vision and mission. At the end of this session, Wang, launchedBSR’sevaluation of the Handbook which outlines how Chinese foundations are using it to enhance their operations, and other needs and challenges facing foundations in China.  The Handbook can be downloaded here, and the Handbook evaluation report here.

Over the past three years, the CiYuan Initiative has reached 556 foundations and NGOs through training events or pilot projects and it has trained or collaborated with 110 companies.  CiYuan helped establish or support seven corporate-NGO partnerships between companies like Lenovo, Hewlett Packard, B&Q and SAP. CiYuan also trained over 200 grassroots nonprofits on the rationale for information disclosure and transparency.  

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