‘Walk the Walk and Talk the Talk’:
The Second Annual Global Corporate Social Responsibility Summit 2010 WWW.GLOBALCSR2010.TPGI.ORG. ROYCE TAN reports
Team Energy Foundation, Inc, winner of the Gold award for Best Community Programme
he Second Annual Global Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Summit and Awards took place on the 29 th to 30 th of June 2010 at the Raffles Town Club, Singapore. The summit was attended by more than 150 delegates from more than 40 companies, including companies from the Philippines, Malaysia, India, Indonesia, Thailand and Singapore. Mr Melvin Chan, Senior Director of The Pinnacle Group International—the organiser of the event—stated that the purpose of the conference was to ‘celebrate the resilience of companies that have not only weathered the financial storm but remained resolute . . . to continuously uphold the highest standards in CSR while developing innovative and sustainable solutions and products for greater profitability and improving the welfare of societies.’
‘Walk the Walk and Talk the Talk’ This year’s summit had more than 20 speakers over a twoday period, providing broad as well as in-depth coverage of CSR-related topics and issues. Though the speakers came from vastly different organisations, a common thread underlay the presentations: a CSR-conscious company
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must ‘walk the walk’ and ‘talk the talk’—from the inside out. Corporate Social Responsibility cannot be an add-on, or a quick sub-page within a corporate website. Specific, attainable (yet challenging) goals must start with committed leaders, be implemented by motivated, trained staff and be of benefit to all stakeholders, from the community, consumers to employees. Below, we have highlighted four speakers who gave inspiring talks on ‘walking the walk’ for the betterment of the planet—for humans and non-humans alike. Keynote speaker, Mr Prakash Tewari (Head of Community Relations, Rehabilitation and Resettlement of The Tata Power Company Limited, India) opened the conference by outlining how Tata’s CSR policies successfully integrate community needs and the company’s expansion. A company must take into account the environmental and social needs of the communities in which it is impacting, he stated. An active CSR policy that carefully analyses how to work within a community for the benefit of community members can result in both cost savings, increased efficiency, and a respect for the environment.
Mr Mark Goyder (Founder and Director of Tomorrow’s Company ) could not be present, but he enriched the conference with an eloquent pre-recorded video. Goyder stated that social responsibility means having stewardship of a company: having a vision and mission of service and integrity that must be shared, and enacted upon, by all employees. Only by doing this can a company be assured of long-term sustainability. Goyder took to task corporations such as Exxon and Enron, noting that these companies failed because they had demonstrated poor leadership which had forgotten what their companies initially stood for. It is the responsibility of business leaders to set the values, culture and purpose of the organisation. Procedures must be transparent, and every employee must be held accountable. Hence, having an authentic CSR policy is not just about ‘doing good’, but is about ensuring a company’s long-term survival. Mr Greg Koch (Director of Global Water Stewardship of The Coca Cola Company) discussed how Coca Cola addresses sustainability issues by preparing for tomorrow today. Like the Tata Group, this major corporation has a long-term commitment to create shared values for all their stakeholders. Koch outlined Coca Cola’s four core areas of influence: the environment, the marketplace, the community and the workplace. The communities, under Coca Cola’s stewardship, must be respectful of the environment; the workplace must be respectful of the employees; and the products must be respectful of the consumers (by giving them the highest quality trustworthy products). Mr Goh Chee Kong (Vice President for Corporate Marketing Communications of SMRT, Singapore) spoke about using media technology for the public good. SMRT strives not just to become a global brand and industry leader, but also to enrich the community; hence its vision ‘Moving People, Enhancing Lives’. SMRT sets out to build an inclusive society and to make a positive impact on the economic, social and environmental well-being of the communities it serves. Certainly environmental sustainability is a huge part of the company’s mission, since it encourages the use of mass transportation. In typical technologically savvy Singapore fashion, SMRT uses advanced social media platforms to advance the company’s CSR initiatives to a younger, net-savvy audience; for example, SMRT has an active presence on Facebook and YouTube. Goh cited several highly successful campaigns that SMRT had organised to promote its CSR initiatives, one of which was the ‘SMRT is Green’ initiative which saw high levels of public engagement.
Awards ceremony taking place during delegates’ lunch.
And the Winners Are. . . Award-winners for the Global CSR Best Workplace Practices are: • Gold: Globe Telecoms, Inc. • Silver: Guinness Anchor Berhad • Bronze: FedEx Express Singapore. Award-winners for the CSR Leadership Award are: • Gold: City Developments • Silver: Manila Water Company • Bronze: YTL Corporation Award-winners for the Best Environmental Excellence Award are: • Gold: City Developments (its second Gold for 2010) • Silver: Premier Oil Plc. • Bronze: Globe Telecoms Inc. Award-winners for the Best Community Programmes are: • Gold: Team Energy Foundation, Inc. • Silver: Standard Chartered Bank • Bronze: Indika Energy Congratulations to all the award-winners, and to the participants, speakers, and conference organisers who are at the forefront of ensuring both the sustainability of this planet, as well as the economic vibrancy of countries worldwide.
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