The business platform for corporate social responsibility (CSR) and sustainable development was launched in October 2007, while respACT Austria and the Austrian Business Council for Sustainable Development (ABCSD) have now joined forces in an effort to provide support to Austrian enterprises when it comes to implementing their social and ecological goals.
In recent years, corporate social responsibility has been gaining importance and attention both in Austria and internationally, as evidenced by initiatives such as UN-Global Compact, the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, the European Commission Green Paper on Corporate Social Responsibility and the European Business Network for Corporate Social Responsibility, which was presented by the European Commission in early 2006.
The BMDW has always been supportive of initiatives addressing CRS, such as CSR-Austria, an initiative launched already in 2002 in cooperation with the Federation of Austrian Industry (IV) and the Austrian Economic Chamber (WKO) that triggered widespread debate of this topic. In 2005, respACT Austria was founded, and the Austrian Business Council for Sustainable Development (ABSCD) and CSR-Austria were merged, creating a platform for sustainable development, responsible corporate behaviour and business ethics. respACT austria pursued the process initiated with the CRS guidelines on a broad basis, encouraging discussions and raising awareness of the topic of corporate social responsibility and underlining the leading role enterprises should assume in this respect. As in the European Alliance for Corporate Social Responsibility, special focus points included research, education, and SMEs.
The new name – respACT - austrian business council for sustainable development – is a manifestation of this successful cooperation. respACT also collaborates with Trigos, the Austrian CSR award that was created in 2003 and is conferred in recognition of business success and responsible behaviour.