About time – Korean socially responsible fund

Today’s Korea Herald covered an announcement by Korea Development Bank entitled, “KDB to fund socially responsible firms.”

I think this is a positive move by the state-run bank, and much needed.  It is the first time a Korean organization has introduced the concept of socially responsible finance, according to the KDB.  It helps extend the definition of ‘CSR’ beyond the Korean-market conception of mere philantropy and cause marketing.  The fund will invest or provide loans to companies undertaking the following four criteria, of which 275 Korean companies have been identified:

  • Social Welfare projects
  • Energy Saving projects
  • Recognized for good labour-management relations
  • Employing physically or mentally challenged people

However, I’d argue that it’s about time.  It’s been long shown that socially responsible companies outperform sustainability laggards by as much as 23%.  Companies that embrace CSR stakeholder activities are more attractive to invest in.  Being ‘good’ does benefit the bottom line!

I think this could be a good catalyst for Korea and help focus C-Suite execs to think about the issue more and the obvious benefits.


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