Asia Pacific Resource Centre on Responsible Business Practices (APRC)

The Asia Pacific Resource Centre on Responsible Business Practices (APRC) is a well thought through initiative of GCNI to meet the expectations and the demands of the member companies for an integrated knowledge management system that would facilitate cutting edge research, diligence and advisory, training and capacity building and information support. The APRC is an outcome of an extensive need analysis and scoping and mapping exercise undertaken by GCNI amongst its key stakeholders to launch the Centre in phases and avoid duplication, undertaken over the last 1.5 years.

The proposal for the Asia Pacific Resource Centre on Responsible Business Practices was put up for approval before the 39th Governing Council meeting held in New Delhi on 10th September 2013. The proposal was in principle agreed upon by the Governing Council (GC) and at the Projects Committee meeting. The GC and the Projects Committee then advised the Executive Director to submit a detailed project report for subsequent consideration. Projects Committee meeting held on 12th May 2014 approved the proposal and advised for a brief report to be put up before the GC for its approval.

The Asia Pacific Resource Centre on Responsible Business Practices will be the actualisation of a long felt need of GCNI members, UNGC Signatories and other key stakeholders to have access to credible, evidence based and thoroughly professional data and knowledge for furthering their business portfolios ahead and receive adequate support through evidence based research, data and information and knowledge based services in embedding their CSR, Companies Act 2013 and 2% CSR clause, Sustainability, Ten Universal Principles, Broad UN Goals including Post 2015 Development Agenda, Special initiative of the Secretary General, etc. in their organisations. The Centre would also provide knowledge support to the Academic institutions to embed CSR and Sustainability in their curriculum, and provide the media houses with content to write stories and news articles on CSR, Companies Act 2013 and 2% CSR clause, Sustainability, Ten Universal Principles, Broad UN Goals including Post 2015 Development Agenda, Special initiative of the Secretary General, etc.

The Centre has been conceived to function as an integral part of GCNI and would focus on knowledge and information collection, storage, dissemination and exchange. A virtual platform on information the Centre would also provide quality, credible and extensive knowledge support to the activities of the companies and organisations. The Centre would be an integrated knowledge management system that would leverage the resources from local, regional and global levels, aggregate and categorise data and feed into a knowledge hub, accessible by companies and organisations in India, South Asia and Asia Pacific region.

What would the Centre do?

The services provided by the Centre will focus around 4 pillars – diligence, advisory, training and knowledge support - and would initially include the following components

  • Sustainability reporting and related advisory services,
  • CSR policy support on  implementation and compliance,
  • Training and Development initiatives,
  • Evidence based research/surveys/data/tailor made reports, and
  • Support Academic Institutions in embedding CSR and Sustainability in their curriculum and help them set up departments as needed.

What would be the institutional framework?

The proposed Centre would function as an integral part of GCNI with maximum IT application. The Centre would be supported and advised by a Strategic Advisory Group or Leadership Group comprising of key members from the GCNI Governing board, including the

Proposed Plan for implementation

Phase I – July 2014– December 2015 – Pilot and Consolidation of Activities in India

  • Building collaborations and partnership with key stakeholders
  • Identifying partners and collaborators and signing of MoUs
  • Rolling out of the Centre in India with specialised services
  • To be housed within GCNI as a virtual platform
  • Building alliances with some of the prestigious overseas universities like University of Chicago, Brookings, Deakin and Columbia.
  • Collating existing knowledge generated at seminars, conferences, dialogues and workshops, research studies, surveys, policy briefs, outcome documents, etc. for pilot and scale.
  • Conducting surveys, research studies, policy briefs including on post 2015.

Phase II – January 2016 – June 2017

  • Expansion of the Centre to South Asian Countries
  • Undertaking regional research projects including surveys, good practices, handbooks, tools, etc. with  UNGC, global firms and advisory service think tanks
  • Undertake specialised public policy support and training initiatives both for the members and non- members in the region.
  • Launching the Summer Schools on key issues of relevance to business
  • Tie-up with specialised regional academic and practice Institutions for expanded outreach and support to local organisations within the region.

Phase III – July 2017 – December 2018

  • Expansion of the Centre to include Global Compact Networks, Companies and Organisations in the Asia Pacific Region
  • Expansion of the Summer School on key issues of relevance to business in the Asia Pacific Region
  • Tie-up with specialised academic and practice Institutions in the Asia Pacific region for expanded outreach and influence both on programme side and also on data and delivery.
  • Form global alliance for bidding major knowledge, research and evaluation projects that would have similar mandate.
  • Developing an online education platform for practioners from business and non business sectors

Monitoring and Evaluation

The Centre would undergo monitoring and evaluation to constantly seek feedback from Strategic Advisory Group and users of the Centre to continuously upgrade, value add and expand both its scales and services.

 Next Step

  • Launch event for the APRC
  • Application of Trademark
  • Development of APRC website
  • Logo design for the APRC
  • Identification of the partners
  • Meeting with partner companies and signing of MoU
  • Hiring 1 staff for the Centre
  • Launch of the pilot in India

Future Plans

  • The proposed Centre would be developed to function as GCNI’s Centre on responsible business practices, with information and data regarding companies from the Asia Pacific region.
  • The Centre would innovate around data and content and provide useful information to companies and organisations seeking services from the Centre.
  • The proposed Centre would deliver differentiated membership services (at a cost) around strategic advisory, research, training, evaluation and impact assessment of CSR and Sustainability projects to those seeking out premium services of the Centre.
  • It would act as a feeder for information to specialised agencies and key stakeholders around UNGC principles, CSR and sustainability.
  • The proposed Centre will over the time become a special knowledge hub around sustainability and CSR from the Asia Pacific region and would provide programmatic support to key stakeholders.
  • Bidding to expand Centre in consonance with laid out guidance and advice of Strategic Advisory Group.
  • Bringing strategic partners to further expand, scale and hive it into a fully integrated Centre.
  • The Centre will aggregate information about all UNGC activities, programmes and initiatives and provide updated and quality information on them.
  • The Centre would subsequently develop a template for replication and provide it to other networks and regions for forming regional knowledge hubs on CSR, Sustainability, Ten Universal Principles, Broad UN Goals and Special initiative of the Secretary General as an integrated knowledge hub in respective region and geographies.