Perspectives: Responsible and Inclusive Business, Mr. Ieng Sotheara, Founder of Khmer Organic Cooperative

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To be able to be considered as engaged in a responsible business, every businessman has two major responsibilities: “responsibility toward the people” and “responsibility toward the planet.”

“Responsibility toward the people” concerns three different groups. The first group is the employees working for the company. Each company has to take into account the physical and mental health, capacity building, virtue and moral education of its employees.

The second group is business partners or partnership companies. Being responsible only toward their team is insufficient; the company has to take better care of its business partners. The last group is citizens or the citizens living in business-targeted areas or business areas. As merchants, we must help bring about the positive impacts of our business on the citizens.

“Responsibility toward the planet” refers to the contribution to preventing any toxic or contaminating substance from getting into the water, air, soil or atmosphere. Such responsibility results in steady growth and helps society as a whole.

It must be kept in mind that responsible and inclusive business and gift-giving are good and worthwhile, but these are two different things. I therefore urge all businesses and enterprises to consistently engage in responsible and inclusive business and, if possible, offer some chances of gift-giving.