Dhaka,  Tuesday
25 June 2024

DCCI for ESG compliance reporting to boost trade

Staff Reporter, Dhaka 

Published: 09:16, 19 May 2024

DCCI for ESG compliance reporting to boost trade

Photo: Collected 

Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) President Ashraf Ahmed on Saturday said that embracing Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance (ESG) compliance reporting standard is essential to boost trade and investment.

He said ESG compliance framework will not only allow the businesses to align their values and strategies with sustainability objectives, foster economic growth but also remain competitive beyond LDC graduation. 

"Absence of culture, weak corporate governance and lack of data are few of the challenges to adopt ESG in Bangladeshi Industries," Ashraf said this in a round table discussion titled "Navigating the Challenges and Opportunities of ESG Compliance in Bangladesh" organised by DCCI.

The DCCI president said as Bangladesh is being more connected to the world and country's international trade is also increasing day by day, ESG compliance is becoming mandatory for businesses. "Investors consider ESG factors when assessing a business's potential since, it is a sign of resilience and long-term financial health," he added.

He also said it is worth mentioning that the trend of ESG reporting is going upward in Bangladesh while organisations in different industries have started reporting on their ESG performance, and the government bodies have also taken initiatives to promote and encourage ESG reporting. Taking into account the importance of ESG compliance, he recommended developing an effective ESG compliance strategy in alignment with the global value chain and integrating ESG considerations into decision-making processes and organisation culture.

Ashraf also underscored the need for educating the stakeholders including employees, management, investors, regulators and the mass public about the importance of ESG compliance and its reporting. Moreover, ESG compliance needs to be prioritised in embedding in other policies such as industrial policy, SME policy, etc., he added.

Md Munim Hassan, Director General, Department of Patent, Design & Trademarks, Ministry of Industries, said that in every sector compliance is mandatory and compliance always increases the credibility of business. "For environmental or social compliance, we individually should take responsibility on our shoulder. We should not look into what others do," he added.

Munim informed that during 2016 to 2022, a total of 17 products of Bangladesh got GI whereas 14 products have already got GI certification and 30 more are in progress to get GI since 2023 to till date. Md. Anwarul Alam, Director General (Additional Secretary), Bangladesh Accreditation Board (BAB), Ministry of Industries said Bangladesh Accreditation Board is directly linked with ESG.

He said the Bangladesh Accreditation Board works for ensuring quality of goods and services while BAB's certification is accepted world-wide. Anwarul also urged all to be compliant and suggested the lab owners to get accredited from BAB. "ESG is also interlinked with the vision of Smart Bangladesh," he said.

The keynote speaker Zaku Uz Zaman, Country Representative, UNIDO, Bangladesh said the term "ESG" came into use in the early 2000s, but its foundations were laid in the 1990s. ESG works as an evaluation of a firm's seriousness in engaging with environmental, social and governance factors. 

Zaku also said that there is no defined format for ESG reporting that makes challenging for the management to understand what is required to be reported. "Compliance with ESG reporting can help Bangladeshi companies to be competitive after graduation from LDCs," he added.

Dr. M Niaz Asadullah, visiting professor of Economics, University of Reading, UK, Mohammad Bin Quasem, director, Echotex Ltd., Yeasmin Akther, business manager, Knowledge, Health and Nutrition, SGS Bangladesh Limited, M Abu Horairah, former vice president, DCCI, Enamul Haque Patwary, former director, DCCI, Rashid Shah Shamrat, former director, DCCI also spoke on the occasion. 

Speakers at the roundtable stressed on an ESG policy, creating awareness, having monitoring and reporting system. They also suggested orienting people about what ESG is. For the sake of environmental safety, they put emphasis on massive afforestation across the country. They also urged for a concerted efforts as well as implementation of rules and regulations to implement ESG in the country.

Messenger/Fameema

Advertisement