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Our Commitment to the UN Global Compact

v1.01, revised on 8/6/2009


We have been aware of the increasing appeal from our trading partners to the adherence to the UN Global Compact, which was first announced by the then UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan in an address to The World Economic Forum on January 31, 1999, and was officially launched at UN Headquarters in New York on July 26, 2000. To our best understanding, the Global Compact is the world's largest corporate citizenship initiative. It  has two objectives:

  1. Mainstream the ten principles in business activities around the world;  and 

  2. Catalyse actions in support of broader UN goals, such as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

The Global Compact presents a unique strategic platform for participants to advance their commitments to sustainability and corporate citizenship. Structured as a public-private initiative, the Global Compact offers a policy framework for the development, implementation, and disclosure of sustainability principles and practices related to its four core areas: human rights, labour, the environment, and anti-corruption.

Participation in the Global Compact is a widely visible commitment to the implementation, disclosure, and promotion of its ten universal principles. A company joining the initiative is expected to:

  1. Make the Global Compact and its principles an integral part of business strategy, day-to-day operations, and organizational culture;
  2. Incorporate the Global Compact and its principles in the decision-making processes of the highest-level governance body (i.e. Board);
  3. Contribute to broad development objectives (including the Millennium Development Goals) through partnerships;
  4. Integrate in its annual report (or in a similar public document, such as a sustainability report) a description of the ways in which it implements the principles and supports broader development objectives (also known as the Communication on Progress); and
  5. Advance the Global Compact and the case for responsible business practices through advocacy and active outreach to peers, partners, clients, consumers and the public at large. 

Our Voluntary Commitment to the Global Compact

We understand that the Global Compact is not a regulatory instrument, but rather a forum for discussion and a network for communication for every members of the public and private sectors. Nevertheless, regarding to the Golbal Compact, we hold the following principles:

  1. We have no objection to the ten principles regarding human rights, labor, the environment and anti-corruption as provided in The Global Compact, which constitutes the ethical framework for global trading. We are also willing to commit ourselves to the achievement of the two objectives as set forth in the Compact. Hence, we have never hesitated and will never hesitate to sign on any document to show our pledge to the voluntary adoption and advancement of the Compact. 

  1. In addition to the fundamental values behind the Compact, we must also take into account  the local values and take all necessary steps to comply with the local laws. It is equally important for a socially accountable enterprise to respect the local laws and values in the process of trading.

  1. It is of fundamental importance that all principles should be and should manifestly and undoubtedly be seen to be  applicable reciprocally to both parties in the process of trading, regardless of the size, status and nationality of the party/parties involved, or fairness and justice are deemed to be  undermined. 

Our Concern to the Abuse of Global Compact

Since the establishment of our companies in 1997, two years before the Global Compact was first announced, we have advocated fair trading and tried our best to adhere to its fundamental principles voluntarily in dealing with our employees, suppliers and customers. As a newly established SME, we had good reasons to believe that the observation of these principles of fair trading would benefit us in competing with gigantic corporations. In the last decade, we have a proven record in maintaining excellent relationship with purchasers from all over the world. Ninety percent of our product was exported to Europe, 5% to United States and 5% to Asia and Middle East. We have never hesitated to try our best to fulfill all those sensible requirements from our customers. Nevertheless, it brings to our atttention that some traders have abused the Global Compact in the trading process. We feel that we and all other SMEs have the right to protect our own interest that we deserve. The enforcement of the Global Compact in the form of "supplier qualification" process is an controversal issue worthing public attention and discussion: The following are our views over the "supplier qualification" process:

  1. Under the principle of fair trading, if the process of supplier qualification is justified, the same should be applicable to the counter party in asking for the certification of purchaser qualification.  Albeit in the name of transparency, it is not appropriate to demand for the disclosure of information from any side, either unilaterally or bilaterally, to such an extent that crosses the line dividing open information from classified or private information.
  2. On account of the significant differences between the prevailing legal framework and social infrastructure of Hong Kong and Mainland China, we must maintain a rather tactful organization of collarborating companies and mode of operations to attain the greatest efficiency. All the activities are legal and ethical in both regions.  Just like a brandname holder never discloses its details of supply chain to the customer, these detailed informations should be regarded as our commercial secret but irrelevant to the adoption of the said principles.
  3. Frankly speaking, the demand for the technical information of the production process is an infringement of our intellectual property and a violation of the international business convention and practice. We have no problem to provide our customer an ingredient test report or materials safety data sheet (MSDS) to prove that our products are safe and environmental friendly except the stepping of production which is also a commercial secret in all senses. It should also be noted that all the production activities are regulated by the local government under the jurisdiction of a sovereign state. There are proper ordinances, including labour ordeinances and environmental protection ordinances in all the regions where we carry out our production activities.  
  4. The qualification certification is itself a discriminatory measure against SMEs in view of the huge cost accrued in acquiring the certification. We are pleased to test our product for every single order but much reserved in spending an immense amount of money and other intangible resources to acquire all the said qualifications.


We support all the campaigns that promote the ethical sense of fairness and justice which are universally accepted by all people in the world. However, all traders must be cautious in enforcing the principles in the trading process. The abuse of the Global Compact is on the contrary a breach of its spirit upon the origination. As a lot of NGOs criticize, the use of the Global Compact tends to become a public relations instrument for "bluewash"  or even a hypocritical behavior of the multinational corporation.

Appendix-  The Ten Principle of the UN Global Compact

The UN Global Compact asks companies to embrace, support and enact, within their sphere of influence, a set of core values in the areas of human rights, labour standards, the environment, and anti-corruption:

Human Right
Principle 1 Businesses should support and respect the protection of
internationally proclaimed human rights; and
Principle 2 make sure that they are not complicit in human rights abuses.

Principle 3 Businesses should uphold the freedom of association and the
effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining;
Principle 4 the elimination of all forms of forced and compulsory labour;
Principle 5 the effective abolition of child labour; and
Principle 6 the elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation.

Principle 7 Businesses are asked to support a precautionary approach to environmental challenges;
Principle 8 undertake initiatives to promote greater environmental responsibility; and
Principle 9 encourage the development and diffusion of environmentally friendly technologies. Anti-corrupt ion
Principle 10 Businesses should work against corruption in all its forms,
including extortion and bribery.

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