GOVERNMENT has appealed to the business sector to plough back to the communities they are operating in order to eradicate poverty.
BY BUSINESS REPORTER
Speaking at the corporate social investment forum organised by the Corporate Social Responsibility Network in Harare, Labour and Social Welfare deputy minister Tapiwa Matangaidze said businesses have a huge responsibility to demonstrate positive influence on society.
“Without business stepping up to do more, we simply cannot create the Zimbabwe of zero poverty, zero hunger and zero emissions that everyone would benefit from,” Matangaidze said.
“Business has a huge responsibility and opportunity to demonstrate their positive influence on society.
“Your role, as captains of commerce and industry, is critical in driving the transformations needed to ensure a future without abject poverty, with reduced inequalities, in which people have safe healthy work environments and are paid decent compensation.”
Matangaidze also said the corporate sector should strive to adopt inclusive business models and to invest in industries which have the potential to create better jobs.
The deputy minister, however, said there was need to adopt the Sustainable Development Goals compass, which sets out five steps for companies.
Speaking at the same event, CSR Network Zimbabwe executive director, Willard Razawo said there was need to take and consider corporate social responsibility as important because it gradually turned around the economic fortunes of the country.
“CSR is not new in Zimbabwe, but despite increased attention to CSR, the gap between expectation, theory and practice of CSR remains unresolved,” Razawo said.
“While the overall level of disclosure of companies has increased significantly in recent years, there is still an imbalance of disclosure quality across sustainability topics and the depth of reporting remains relatively low,” he said.
Razawo, however, said the CSR Network Zimbabwe were committed to helping mainstream business conduct in Zimbabwe based on internationally accepted norms and standards.
Speaking at the same event, Swedish Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Sofia Calltorp said the key to success is to focus on the sustainability factors which matters for your company and your business model.
“I understand Zimbabwe is pursuing waste to energy as a solution to waste management; Sweden has expertise in this area and I would like to encourage Zimbabwean companies to work with Swedish businesses as they develop in this area. Speaking of Swedish technologies, I am glad to mention that Scania has its presence here in Zimbabwe,” she said.
She emphasised that sustainable businesses were the future and there were many benefits for pursuing this route.