The first Sino-European cooperation agreement on corporate social responsibility (CSR) was signed on Friday in a move to strengthen strategic ties between Chinese textile suppliers and European retailers.
China National Textile and Apparel Council (CNTAC) and Foreign Trade Association (FTA) of Europe signed the pact, in which the organizations promise to foster cooperation on information sharing, evaluating suppliers and retailers and preparing training material to improve the supply chain.
"Chinese enterprises have increased awareness about CSR in recent years, thanks to economic globalization and the government's call for a more harmonious society," said Chen Shuijin, vice-president of CNTAC.
Chen added that textile enterprises should pay more attention to this issue because their processing procedure impacts both employees and the environment.
"CSR concerns safe production, working conditions, employment, product quality and environmental protection," said H.D. Koeppe, a senior advisor of FTA Europe.
CNTAC has made strides to implement CSR practices, such as establishing a CSR promotion office, formulating a CSR industrial code for China's textile and apparel businesses, and conducting annual CSR reports since 2005.
However, collaborating with mature markets might speed up improvements of Chinese companies' CSR practices, insiders say.
(China Daily May 19, 2007)