Response by Roland Berger - Myanmar Foreign Investment Tracking Project

Author: Roland Berger, Published on: 7 September 2016

This is part of our effort to track the human rights policies of companies in Myanmar’s special economic zones, under our Myanmar Foreign Investment Tracking Project.

[The unofficial Myanmar language translation of this response is available here.]

1. Does your company have investments or operations in Myanmar or is it seriously considering investing or operating there?  If so, please provide information on the nature of these investments or operations, and which geographic areas and communities they will affect.

Roland Berger, founded in 1967, is the leading global strategy consulting firm of European heritage, with 50 offices in 34 countries, including in Myanmar and other Southeast Asian countries.

We have been active in Myanmar since 2013, advising the public sector and private companies on a wide range of strategic issues related to Myanmar's economic transformation. For example, we advised on the telecommunication sector liberalization and licensing, which was lauded as best-in-class and transparent, and has led to an exceptionally rapid uptake of mobile services and coverage, including in rural areas.

Another example of our engagements in Myanmar is the Dawei Special Economic Zone Project, in which we have been advising the Dawei SEZ Management Committee in the last two years (since June 2014) on the re-launch of Dawei SEZ.

Besides our work in the public sector, Roland Berger also supports numerous international firms in entering the Myanmar market in a wide range of sectors, hence contributing to Myanmar's economic transformation and growth.

As a result, our advisory services impact a wide range of stakeholders in Myanmar, including private investors, the government and public entities, as well as indirectly the citizens of Myanmar (e.g. through better telecom services including in rural areas, in the case of our telecom liberalization advisory support, as well as job opportunities).

2. Do you have policies and procedures in place to prevent your business activities or investment from contributing to human rights abuse and social conflict in Myanmar (including, for example, human rights due diligence measures)?  If you have human rights policies and procedures regarding investing or operating in Myanmar, are you willing to share them for posting on our website?  If so, please send them as a Word or PDF file, or, if available, as a hyperlink.

As a global company, we live up to our corporate responsibility by treating our employees, clients, suppliers and the environment responsibly. We abide by the UN Global Compact, which Roland Berger has been a member of since 2012.  The UN Global Compact is a United Nations initiative to encourage businesses worldwide to adopt sustainable and socially responsible policies, and to report on their implementation.  There are four areas the initiative champions: human rights, labor standards, the environment and anti-corruption.  We closely watch those areas and the principles that govern how we approach each area. 

How we implement these measures is published on our website.  We have several editions.  The latest one is linked here: https://www.rolandberger.com/en/Publications/pub_un_global_compact_roland_berger_gmbh_reporting.html

Previous years are linked at:

Additionally, we consider corporate responsibility a necessary and even strategic business approach. Corporate responsibility reconciles economic, social and environmental success. When these successes converge, the effects are multifold. 

3. If you do not yet have human rights policies and procedures in place, do you have plans to develop them?  If so, what efforts are you currently engaged in or plan to engage in on this regard?

Please see answer to question 2.  We have clear CSR procedures in place.

4. Will the policies and procedures described in Question 3 (if any) apply to the company’s related entities in Myanmar, including but not limited to subsidiaries, subcontractors and other business partners? And is the company willing to disclose the names of these related entities?

Our work in Myanmar closely follows our global principles and guidelines. 

As stated above, we closely follow the ten principles of the UN Global Compact within the areas of human rights, labor standards, the environment and anti-corruption.  The ten principles are:

Human rights

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

Labor standards

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

Environment

  1. Businesses should support a precautionary approach to environmental challenges;
  2. undertake initiatives to promote greater environmental responsibility;
  3. encourage the development and diffusion of environmentally-friendly technologies.

Anti-corruption

  1. Businesses should work against corruption in all its forms, including extortion and bribery

5. Have you undertaken environmental, social, health, and/or human rights impact assessments on your project or investment?  If so, are you willing to share the results of these assessments for posting or linking on our website?

We are not a social or environment sustainability consultancy that conducts environment, social, health, and/or human rights impact assessments. However, in our engagements with and advice to all stakeholders we work with in all projects, we make sure all parties – including ourselves – support a precautionary approach to environmental preservation and social safeguards.  We undertake initiatives to promote greater environmental responsibility, and encourage the development and diffusion of environmentally-friendly technologies.

For instance, as part of the Dawei project, and with regard to the relocation of the local communities, Roland Berger recommended the appointment and supported the Dawei SEZ Management Committee in the selection and appointment of the Relocation and Compensation Independent Expert.

6. Does your company have policies and procedures in place to address each of the following areas?

a.     Land and housing rights (including eviction, resettlement, compensation, among others)

As we are nota social sustainability consultancy, we do not engage in resettlement and compensation planning / process.  In addition, our business does not involve us in such activities by nature.

b.    Association and collective bargaining, living wages, workplace health and safety, child labour, forced labour, discrimination, among others)

Roland Berger is a member of the UN Global Compact.  As members, we have strict governing principles with regard to labour rights.  Businesses should uphold the freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining as well as the:

  • elimination of all forms of forced and compulsory labor;
  • effective abolition of child labor; and
  • elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation.

All our projects and advisories adhere to these strict guidelines.  The same principles apply to our partners and clients, in all our engagements with them. 

7. Do you have policies or programs in place for information-sharing and consultation with communities affected by your investment or operations?  If so, please provide further information about these policies or programs.

Our direct business does not involve us in such activities by nature.

8. Do you have mechanisms in place to address local peoples’ grievances related to your investment or operations?  If so, please provide information on these mechanisms, including contact information of personnel or department in charge.

As we are nota social sustainability consultancy, we do not engage in resettlement and compensation processes by ourselves.            

In addition, our business does not involve us in such activities by nature.

9. Who should communities or civil society groups contact if they have questions or concerns about your investment or operations in Myanmar?  Please provide their contact information.

Dieter Billen: +959452216076, [email protected]

Tan Jin Kien: +6590610463, [email protected]

Roland Berger's Code of Conduct

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