Private sector engagement- key to our sustainable future

Posted August 4, 2022
Ms. Alichith, a male representative from UNDP and a hotel staff

Ms. Alichith Phengsavanh, Manager of Maison Souvannaphoum Hotel, Mr. Thome Xaisongkham from UNDP and one of Ms. Alichith's staffs together at the lobby of the property to accept a token for her great work on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)

UNDP Lao PDR

“I am willing to work on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) as part of our business, not only because I believe that it will bring more guests to us, which it will, but also actually because I believe in it for the sustainability of our company, culture and environment.” said Ms. Alichith Phengsavanh, Manager of Maison Souvannaphoum Hotel, who had an inspiring conversation with us on her CSR work.

CSR is purely voluntary for the private sector to implement. It demonstrates the interest in the wider social and environment issues beyond profit margins, attracting customers who share the same values. Therefore, it is a case in point on how sustainable business operations can be made with a good business sense.

With the consideration that CSR is one of the drivers for quality investments in Lao PDR, the Poverty Environment Action (PEA) Project- a UNEP-UNDP inter-agency initiative, is working closely with the Investment Promotion Department (IPD), Ministry of Planning and Investment on promoting responsible businesses. The project has conducted a baseline survey on CSR practices in tourism sector, developed CSR guidelines and CSR reporting template. As part of this activity, a CSR training was conducted to engage with 14 companies in the tourism sector.

The main purpose of the training was to introduce the guidelines and CSR reporting template, which included different tools that companies can use to guide their CSR initiatives. And this week, the project team has followed up with a mission to gather feedback from those companies.

Ms. Alichith noted that, “the training was really useful and allowed us to learn more. We were also able to share our work on CSR which we have been implemented for years. We would like to encourage others to do the same”.

Ms. Alichith and her team, are keen to take part in the Training of Trainers on CSR that the next stages of the project might provide. Likewise, Ms. Soumontha Khantivong, Head of Human Resource Unit of Avani Hotel, is also more than willing to learn more and implement CSR activities as part of the hotel operations.

-------

For more information, please contact:

Ms. Aksonethip Somvorachit, UNDP Communications Analyst,

020 5502 1550,

aksonethip.somvorachit@undp.org