The German Development Service (DED) has requested the Enterprise & DevelopmentConsultants Co., Ltd (hereafter called EDC) to conduct a survey on Corporate SocialResponsibility practice in 17 LMEs in Vientiane Capital and Savannakhet province fromDecember 2010 to February 2011. This survey is the first of its kind in Laos. It aimed to find outif there are sufficient CSR practitioners (particularly among the large and medium enterprises -LMEs) and if so, how is the practice spreading. Three case studies were selected and includedherein as best practices among the companies surveyed. A questionnaire was used with a focuson qualitative rather than quantitative information.Globally, there is no unified definition of CSR. Generally, it is referred to as corporateconscience,
social performance, or sustainable responsible business.Wikipedia suggests that it is a form of self-regulation integrated into a business model. The goalis to embrace the responsibility for the company's actions and encourage a positive impactthrough its activities on the environment, consumers, employees, communities, stakeholders andall other members of the public sphere.CSR in Laos is alive but on a very early stage of development and embeddedness in thecompanies. Applications have been sparse and limited in scope. Practitioners see this as animportant trend that they must respond, follow and comply to. CSR has not reached the stagewhere they will be performed continuously by the practitioners. Interestingly, all companiesinterviewed in the survey said they were aware about CSR and found it useful and important forthe company. The most common programs are to address health and safety issues of thecompany staff, education and training for staff and communities and environment protection.The main drivers of CSR in the companies are the top management. The bigger the companies,the more CSR needs to be understood and promoted. The current biggest challenges for CSR thatthe companies are facing are limited budget, no support policy and lack of awareness. Theyneeded more awareness, e
ducating their staff and their stakehoders and other relevant ―publics.‖
A number of recommendations mainly focusing on awareness raising, education on the topic andnetworking of CSR practitioners
are made for DED‘s consideration in order to move forward
with CSR promotion in Laos.