United Nations Global Compact(UNGC) Network Korea and Korea Sustainability Investing Forum(KoSIF) announced the launch of a new anti-corruption project called “Business Integrity Society(BIS)” under the sponsorship of the Siemens Integrity Initiative and the World Bank.
The new project is developed upon three main objectives: ‘creation of an anti-corruption environment’ through legislation and law revisions; ‘incorporation of effective compliance system’ for lawful and ethical management; and ’implementation of collective action’ for an established corporate culture of anti-corruption. Under these banners, the BIS project will focus its resources on promoting business transparency and creating a fairer market environment in Korea over the next three years.
More specifically, activities planned in the first half of this year include anti-corruption policy research; consultation seminars with key experts; anti-corruption related policy inquiries to major political parties; and pledges by lawmakers to fight corruption. These activities will be followed by CEO and executive forums as well as working-level seminars themed in anti-corruption; and publications of anti-corruption guide books by industry in the second half of the year.
With these programs, UNGC Network Korea and KoSIF will share key sustainability issues raised in the business community and international society, the Ten Principles of UNGC, and information and insights related to “Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions,” Sustainable Development Goal 16 with corporates across sectors. Overall, Business Integrity Society is intended to help Korean companies boost their competitiveness, while pursuing cooperation among stakeholders ranging broadly from companies, the National Assembly, the national government, academia to civic groups. The project aims to improve policies and systems to ensure that companies can make lawful and ethical management a daily practice.
“UNGC Network Korea successfully conducted the Fair Player Club(FPC) project for three years beginning in 2015, eliciting anti-corruption declarations from about 230 companies, based on Principle 10 – Businesses should work against corruption in all its forms, including extortion and bribery – among the UNGC’s Ten Principles. Our past experience demonstrates that we have been committed to establishing an anti-corruption system within companies and creating a more transparent market environment through cooperation with companies, industry associations, national and local governments and civic groups,” said Dong-Kurn Lee, President of UNGC Network Korea. “This new project will concentrate on making systematic and fundamental changes to establish an environment for anti-corruption through various programs for policy proposals and strengthened compliance systems.”
“Corporates’ stronger focus on anti-corruption movement is a global trend related to sustainability, driven by adoption of Environmental, Social, and Governance(ESG) disclosure as well as the Korea Stewardship Code – a set of principles and guidelines for institutional investors to comply with their fiduciary duty – and socially responsible public procurement," said Young-Ho Kim, Chief Director of KoSIF. “Therefore, Korea should solidify laws and systems that allow companies to adopt stronger anti-corruption business practices in a market-friendly manner. In the process, this project will help produce actual results.”
“We have been impressed by the large number of applications and the quality of the interesting project proposals received from around the world for the current funding round,” said Ms. Sabine Zindera, Head of Siemens Integrity Initiative and Vice President of Legal and Compliance at Siemens AG. “This reflects the need for, and increased interest in, fighting corruption around the world, and in this regard, we will continue our efforts constantly.”
“I’m pleased that Korea has been selected once again as one of the recipients of the third round of funding, in addition to the first and second rounds,” said Mr. ChewKong Lum, President and CEO of Siemens Ltd. Seoul. “We will actively participate in BIS activities to help lay the foundation for a more transparent and fairer business environment in Korea.”
BIS was selected as one of the third-round anti-corruption projects sponsored by the Siemens Integrity Initiative and the World Bank among approximately 140 proposals from over 50 countries pursuing greater awareness of anti-corruption. The selection of BIS marks the Siemens Integrity Initiative’s third anti-corruption project operated in Korea, following the Northeast Asia Business Integrity School(NABIS) and the Fair Player Club(FPC).