The Corporate Sustainability Review - CSR 2013-2014

Page 1


T&T CSR REVIEW 2014 3 Contents T&T CSR REVIEW Editorial 5 CSR Stories Building Relationships and Fulfilling Responsibilities CSR is fundamental to the way Scotiabank does business 6 Unearthing Leadership Talent Methanex Trinidad is engaged in capacity-building 8 Angostura’s Triple Bottom Line What’s good for the Community is good for business 12 National Development through Youth Empowerment blink| bmobile deepens its commitment to the next generation 16 Transforming Lives, Impacting Communities NGC collaborates to build safe environments 18 Safety is Systemic at Atlantic Engaging suppliers to promote a culture of safety 22 Making a Sound Investment RBC developing young leaders in Trinidad and Tobago for more than three decades 26
takes on the Nation’s Health
good for the community, one glass at a time 30
Technology for Food Sustainability REPSOL’s farming project reaps rewards for Mayaro farmers 32
the Family, Empowering Communities
agents transform Moruga and Barrackpore 34
Channel for Self-Expression and Entrepreneurism
& the T&T Film Festival chart a new course for filmmakers 36 The BPTT Principle of Value Creation Today’s people securing tomorrow 38 PowerGen’s Employees Our best ambassadors 42 CSR Features A Common Cause Caribbean neighbours share the burden of recovery in 2013 44 CSR Lessons CSR vs Philanthropy Enhancing Corporate Strategy 48


Donna P. Ramsammy

Deputy Editor

Jasmin Singh

The Trinidad and Tobago Corporate Social Responsibility Review is in its second edition. The review features the unique programmes and experiences of companies from a wide range of sectors: Energy, Finance, Manufacturing, Communication Services and others as they strengthen communities and transform lives across Trinidad and Tobago.

Contributing Editor

Linda Hutchinson-Jafar

The TTCSR is an annual publication of Virtually Yours T&T (VYTT).

Art Director

Kathryn Duncan



Virtually Yours T&T (VYTT)

Donna P. Ramsammy


Production Coordinator

Deputy Editor Wendy Singh

Valery Marin

Contributing Editor

Publisher VYTT

Linda Hutchinson-Jafar

Art Director


Kathryn Duncan

Andre Neufville (where credited)

Company photos


Virtually Yours T&T (VYTT)


Office Authority LImited

Production Coordinator

Valery Marin


Donna Ramsammy

Publisher VYTT

J. Wendy Singh

Linda Hutchinson-Jafar


Ronda Francis

Andre Neufville (where credited)

Esther Le Gendre

Photos for CSR stories supplied by the featured company




Virtually yours T&T Ltd; Suite 102 43-45 Woodford Street, Newtown, POS, Trinidad & Tobago W.I.

Office Authority Ltd., Trinidad and Tobago


Phone/Fax 1.868.628.2288

Paul Charles . Linda Hutchinson-Jafar


Barbara King . Garfield King. Esther LeGendre

Donna Ramsammy . Anil Seunath

Wendy Singh . Nicole Westfield


Virtually Yours T&T Ltd; #22 Alfredo Street, Woodbrook, POS

Phone/Fax 1.868.623.3892




65 Classifieds


Standardizing CSR Practice Common process to measuring impact
Caribbean Children in Crisis Why companies must invest in protecting children
Conscious CEO Interview
Driver CEO TT Energy Chamber
CSR Action Managing the Price of Profit Government introducing a National Policy on Corporate Social Responsibility
CSR Green Agenda Sustainable Development should be Key Focus of post-2015 MDGs
CSR Perspectives Project Care TT How small companies are making a big difference
The TT Chamber CSR Committee
Workshop Launch

This year has been a whirlwind in terms of corporate activity. In particular, the financial industry had and continues to have its share of challenges in mitigating reputational injury and rebuilding public confidence. The energy industry has also had to face public scrutiny regarding infrastructural integrity and compliance with international safety standards. Oil spills and seismic-testing have been fingered by fishermen as contributing to depleting fish stock and company heads have been called to accountability by media, unions, environmental activists and residents of affected coastal villages. Increasingly, companies are recognizing the value of having pre-existing relationships with communities when crisis hits. Having solid networks with stakeholders – be it community members, media or social activists, allow a company to respond with alacrity and relevance to issues.

With the advancement of digital technology and its immediate and easy access to most of the T&T citizenry, events unfold in real time and often make news long before the best trained professional can respond. And as PR agents and spokespersons are discovering, it is less about what you say and more about what you do when responding to a crisis. Companies that invest in social responsibility programmes and projects are benefitting tremendously from on-the-ground feedback from their stakeholders when a crisis develops.

Divorced from mainstream media, they have a better understanding of the immediate needs, the advantage of ready advocates and access to secondary flows of information, to get their messages heard.

Atlantic came in for kudos during the Petrotrin oil spill when they were publicly applauded for having sustained and valued engagement at the community level. Atlantic was flagged as a model for how companies must partner with communities in driving solutions to the real issues.

In our inaugural edition last year, we promised to expand the discussion on CSR from the traditional philanthropy (investment) to deepen understanding of how corporate responsibility in the areas of governance, ethical conduct and compliance is changing the way business is delivered in Trinidad & Tobago and helping to build conscious leadership and responsible management of assets.

It was challenging but a rewarding experience as our team compiled some interesting and even riveting articles in putting this issue together. We learned a lot about what companies are doing within their operations and not just outside in the community; and how this is working collectively to strengthen local capability in country.

Email us and let us know what you liked in this year’s publication and what you’d like to see in the next edition.

Donna P. Ramsammy Editor-in-Chief


Our CSR philosophy is to integrate environmental, social and governance practices into our day-to-day business activities. We measure success not only in terms of financial criteria, but also in building customer satisfaction and employee engagement, and supporting the communities we serve.

Building Relationships and Fulfilling Responsibilities

CSR is fundamental to the way Scotiabank does business

Each year they congregate - like flamingos, pink flocks of women who share a common concern of the impact of breast cancer on the lives of grandmothers, mothers, daughters, sisters and friends. Over the last 15 years, Scotiabank has partnered with the women of Trinidad and Tobago to create a powerful force for promoting awareness of breast cancer, promoting a healthy lifestyle for all and raising funds towards the early detection of the disease that affects many women.

In 2013, more than 6,000 mothers, daughters and friends joined the annual race for life and defiance against breast cancer.

Anya M. Schnoor, Scotiabank’s Managing Director said in the company’s 2013 Annual Report at the end of yet another successful year of operations, “At Scotiabank, we believe our business has a responsibility to operate ethically and with integrity for the benefit of all stakeholders and we understand that there is a direct link between our success and the communities we serve. Through the work of the Scotiabank Trinidad and Tobago Foundation and our team of Scotiabank volunteers throughout the Group, the Bank is able to give back to the communities in which we operate. We are proud of the tremendous role we have played in advancing the awareness of breast cancer and in the preservation of our environment, promoting our cultural heritage and providing our children with opportunities for advancement.”

The Foundation

The Scotiabank Trinidad and Tobago Foundation was established in 2008 as a registered non-governmental organisation (NGO) with oversight of the Bank’s philanthropic efforts and the direction of funding. Scotiabank’s corporate responsibility activity is delivered under the umbrella of its Bright Future Programme, a communitygiving programme which supports causes associated with the well-being of children, the Scotiabank Women Against Breast Cancer Programme, sport and culture and general philanthropy. The Bank is also the Official Bank of West Indies cricket and proudly sponsors the Scotiabank Kiddy Cricket Programme, which teaches children the rudiments of cricket, a game which is an inherent component of West Indian heritage.

In five years, the Scotiabank Foundation has provided support of some $8.6 million to various community and youth-based initiatives. Its objectives are: to relieve poverty, deprivation and distress among economically disadvantaged persons and their dependents; to foster public understanding of and

education on health issues, conditions and diseases such as breast cancer; to support education through assistance to students, the enhancement of school infrastructure and scholarships at the tertiary level. The Foundation also assists in the organization and provision of facilities, which will encourage and promote community participation in healthy recreation and sport in particular, for the benefit of young people, and supports the promotion of Trinidad and Tobago culture.

Engaged Employees

Scotiabank boasts of a high level of employee engagement. Recent surveys indicate that 83% are ‘engaged’ i.e. knowledgeable of and supportive of the Bank’s strategic direction and 52% strongly so. The reach and success of The Scotiabank Bright Future Programme no doubt owes much to high levels of employee engagement, as volunteerism drives many activities spear-headed by staff of the Bank’s extensive network of 24 branches, 5 Sales Centres and numerous support departments, ensuring that Scotiabank Bright Future reaches every area of its operations. Each year, employees design and execute youth focussed projects in their communities. The Bank provides a minimum of $10,000 to each eligible project and encourages employees to undertake fundraising so that they obtain more funds towards their selected causes. Some of the approved projects employees undertake involve the upgrade of library facilities and other infrastructure enhancement at schools, computer literacy programmes, the introduction of solar energy for electricity, agriculture and environment awareness programmes.

6 T&T CSR REVIEW 2014 CSR Story
Bright Future Programme

Scotiabank’s CSR focus

Public Education on Health issues

The pink ribbon of femininity and hope that has become the symbol of the global fight against breast cancer since 1991, is also a metaphor for what good can be achieved when institutions like Scotiabank use their considerable resources and leverage positive relationships in support of causes of importance to the community. The funds have been used to underwrite the full cost of breast cancer screening for some 16, 833 women to date. The number of lives saved and families kept whole as a consequence of early critical information is immeasurable.

Scotiabank raises funds via several initiatives that include a golf tournament, the sale of memorabilia and its signature Women Against Breast Cancer 5K Classic. Funds raised all go towards the Scotiabank Women Against Breast Cancer Fund, which is used to meet the costs of the services of doctors and nurses to conduct the initial examinations and any follow up mammograms and ultrasound tests. Where necessary, the cost of psychological counselling for the patient and family is undertaken. The Scotiabank Foundation constantly strives to improve its fund raising effort and provision of breast cancer screening, and this has resulted in the modification of the screening programme within the last 2 years.

Support for Education

Statistics supported by a 2006 study undertaken by the MacArthur Foundation and researched by Sarah B. Miles and Deborah Stipek, show a correlation between low literacy skills and anti-social behaviours. The study also determines a similar correlation to drop outs from school, unemployment and crime. Collaboration by the Scotiabank Foundation with the A.R.R.O.W Foundation, which has a proven track record working with thousands of children in over 70 schools in Trinidad and Tobago, is viewed as a key partnership in the sustainable development of communities in which the Bank operates. The Aural, Read, Respond, Oral, Write

(ARROW) is a six week programme in literacy development.

Promoting Community and Sport

Scotiabank Kiddy Cricket - Introduced in Trinidad and Tobago in 2000 through a partnership between Scotiabank and the WICB, targets primary school boys and girls, ages 7-12. The programme used the medium of a game rooted in West Indian culture to teach young players, maintaining a tradition. At the same time, it helps with the development of motor skills and provides lessons in team-play, leadership and good sportsmanship. In Trinidad and Tobago, the Scotiabank Kiddy Cricket Programme is also taught in the classroom sessions in accordance with the curriculum in Mathematics, Social Studies, Language Arts and IT. Scotiabank continues to support the sport of cricket, which has been lauded

as the one feature that truly unities the Caribbean region.

Scotiabank has also partnered with the Scout Association of Trinidad and Tobago on a youth enhancement project for young boys. The initiative targets 50 boys between the ages of 7 – 11 from six primary schools, inclusive of a school associated with a home for children. The boys will participate in various activities and events which began in March 2014, aimed at teaching them the important life skills of goal-setting, teamwork, and discipline, to name a few. Activities include reading assessment and improvement sessions, field trips, camps, kayaking lessons and weekly sessions with scout leaders.

In 2014, Scotiabank celebrates its 60th anniversary in Trinidad and Tobago and its 125th anniversary of service to the Caribbean as a group which operates in 55 countries worldwide. Of its CSR initiatives, Scotiabank asserts, “We measure success not only in terms of financial criteria, but also in building customer satisfaction, employee engagement and supporting the communities we serve. The Scotiabank Bright Future Programme brings together the passion of our employees, the insight of our partners and the spirit of our communities.”

We measure success not only in terms of financial criteria, but also in building customer satisfaction, employee engagement and supporting the communities we serve.
Scotiabank Women Against Breast Cancer The ARROW Foundation Kiddy Cricket Kiddy Cricket


Methanex Trinidad’s active Social Responsibility engagement is delivering long term value for local communities, its employees whose volunteerism is a big part of the company’s community outreach, and other stakeholders. Maintaining a focus on Responsible Care and leadership development, the company is creating and supporting programmes that contribute to the sustainable well-being of its fence line and national communities.

Guiding people to fully emerge their talent and develop leadership skills requires commitment. It is an investment that Methanex Trinidad is making to deliver capacity-building benefits to people, company and country over the long term.

The company recognises that everyone has potential to grow an innate ability that can yield extraordinary results, when developed and applied well. This belief is behind the engagement and development of its totally local workforce of 192 employees, in addition to vacation interns who come through its Point Lisasbased methanol production facility for a growth experience.

The local branch of Canada-based Methanex Corporation, global leader in methanol supply, is guided by the Responsible Care ethos in looking after people. The concept of Responsible Care was developed by the Chemistry Industry Association of Canada (CIAC) and demands the safe and environmentally sound management of chemicals over their life cycle. The ethic covers basic areas such as health, safety, environment and community outreach, but the overriding goal is the betterment of society and life as a whole. Methanex has aligned its Social Responsibility principles with Responsible Care in addition to the company’s core values of integrity, trust, respect and professionalism.

Unearthing Leadership Talent

Methanex Trinidad is engaged in capacity-building

Not only is the Methanex experience creating a pool from which future employees can be drawn, the company is helping to make young people more marketable to a wider Trinidad and Tobago.

A significant aspect of its Social Responsibility is unearthing and developing leadership talent among a workforce with an average age demographic of thirty-seven (37) years. While the traditional performance evaluation system is a useful contributor, the company distinguishes its talent development approach by incorporating the principle of volunteerism in the pursuit of some creative approaches and articulating what it takes to be a Methanex leader.

Mentoring: A Different Development Choice

The organization’s internal Mentorship Programme is a significant avenue for shaping talent. It was launched as a sixmonth pilot at the Trinidad site in 2012 with 5 pairs of mentors/mentees across several disciplines. The encouraging results have led to an extension of the programme to other Methanex locations.

The value of mentoring programmes in elevating knowledge transfer and enhancing professional development will have exceptional business value when disseminating learning across organizational, geographical and generational boundaries. The pilot in Trinidad served as a solid launch pad for a development method that can be leveraged as a collaborative space where people share ideas and knowledge generously, creating innovative solutions to real business issues.

Methanex Trinidad has built on the success of the pilot by engaging its total management team in mentoring employees drawn from a pool of professionals and high potentials as well as new appointees to supervisory/ management positions. During an 18-month period, which started in October 2013, 15 pairs of mentors/ mentees embarked on a journey of increased self-awareness and learning from one another within a trusting and supportive mentoring partnership. In June 2014, another round of the programme will be launched with supervisory/professional personnel as mentors, to ensure wider participation.

Methanex has defined leadership competencies for all levels, from Individual Contributor to Executive. The Mentorship Programme goes beyond this by providing an opportunity for employees to test their preference for a leadership role and allow young leaders to emerge by choice.

Beyond Boundaries

Our commitment to strengthen employee skills through training and development opportunities extend to overseas assignments at other Methanex sites around the world. In our eight years of operation, 43 employees have had the benefit of assignments in Canada, Chile, Egypt, New Zealand and USA.

Being part of a global company, our employees participate on global teams

CSR Story

where opportunities for benchmarking against best practices help our local operation, even as we share what works well at the Trinidad site. This cross-fertilization of ideas is beneficial for personal and professional growth, and advancing the site’s Reliability and Responsible Care goals.

The Methanex Experience: Developing Talent Early

The company is investing in local talent through its training programmes which allow tertiary-level students to receive on-the-job training. The Methanex experience is an incubator for personal and professional growth and development, and begins as early as the award of student bursaries in disciplines relevant to its business, in particular, Engineering. From bursaries to vacation internships and then trainee programmes, young people are exposed to the world of work and have an opportunity to learn but also to demonstrate their capability.

The training through rotations in several areas of the business, the mandatory involvement in communitygiving, and the strong focus on volunteerism all help shape a young person’s business skills, values and personal development. Not only is the Methanex experience creating a pool from which future employees can be drawn, the company is helping to make young people more marketable to a wider Trinidad and Tobago. At the same time, employees who supervise trainees are honing coaching skills and refreshing their perspectives.

Each year Methanex Trinidad challenges its graduates-in-training, as well as vacation interns to conduct a Social Responsibility project. They must carry out a community needs analysis, identify a project, raise the funds (which the company matches), manage and implement the project and present a report to a team comprising their supervisors and the site’s management. All of this is done by a newly-formed team that is challenged to quickly learn about project management, decision-making, finance management and accountability.

Beyond technical skills development

and inspiring volunteerism, Methanex Trinidad is hoping that the experience of young people in its training programmes will be shaped by values that will strengthen their foundation and encourage them to step up to the leadership challenge, even as they are motivated to help others.

Transferring Skills through Volunteerism

A non-traditional and very powerful principle in strengthening competencies and skills is volunteerism. While there is no financial reward, the short and long-term benefits are numerous. These include practising professional skills beyond the substantive job description, thereby increasing skillset

and marketability, interpersonal skills, personal development and a sense of satisfaction.

Methanex Trinidad has established excellent opportunities for volunteerism both within the company and in the wider community. An example is how its Project Management Professionals (PMPs) are transferring PM skills to school principals and teachers who are responsible for managing school improvement projects that were awarded under the company’s community Eco-Heroes initiative.

The employee-led Social Responsibility Committee is another example. This committee allocates donation funds in accordance with the company’s Social Responsibility policy. Their task appears simple but

Susan Yorkshire, Contracts Supervisor and Noel Jones, Manager, Human Resources, benefitted from the pilot Mentoring programme. Graduate-in-Training, Shivana Maharaj (centre) shared her Methanex experience with final year students at The University of the West Indies’ World of Work Fair 2014.

the responsibility in ensuring prudent allocation of funds through critically assessing a large number of requests, and doing so by majority vote, requires collaboration and accountability. At the same time, they are honing skills of interrogation, due diligence, risk assessment, cultural sensitivity and relationship management.

Through its Community Advisory Panel, Methanex is engaging fence line residents in understanding its business and encouraging them to stand out as leaders in their communities through Social Responsibility and other improvement projects that the company supports.

Mentoring Our Children

The award-winning ‘Mentoring Our Children’ initiative is another avenue for transferring skills and developing new ones. Conceptualised eight years

Developing Young People

ago by an employee, it is driven by employees and is totally voluntary. Initially, the outreach was mainly focused on academic support, but was expanded to embrace a more holistic frame of development (psycho-social, cultural, cocurricular) for children 12 - 15 years.

Mentors comprise employees, employees’ spouses and even former employees who are vested in it. The multi-disciplined mentors range from professionals to leadership team members who volunteer personal time on week-ends to provide academic coaching and mentoring.

One way to view the growth and success of a project is how well it can be adapted for use outside the company and in various locations. Part of the vision for the ‘Mentoring Our Children’ Programme is to develop a sound, proven and tested model that could be adopted by any community, anywhere in the country.

One hundred and thirty-two (132) participants have benefited from Methanex Trinidad’s development programmes over the past 8 years: 29 Graduates-in-Training, 73 Vacation Interns, and 30 Operator and Technician Trainees. GITs, Operator and Technician Trainees generally spend about 2 years onsite while Vacation Interns have a shorter 3-month stay before returning to university, for their final year.

10 T&T CSR REVIEW 2014
Employee mentors are helping to shape young lives. The Energy Chamber of Trinidad and Tobago’s 2013 CSR Award for ‘Best Social Investment Project’ is testimony that this is achievable.


At Angostura we have established, implemented and will maintain procedures to identify environmental aspects of the company’s activities, products and services. This will take into account planned or new developments, or new or modified activities, products and services in order to determine those which have or can have significant impact on the environment. The elements related to these significant impacts are considered in setting the company’s environmental objectives and targets.

Angostura’s Triple Bottom Line

Since 1875 Angostura Ltd. and its predecessor companies have been an intrinsic element of the community of Laventille which sits on the outskirts of the capital city of Port of Spain. The presence of one of the Caribbean’s leading rum producers with a superb collection of rum brands and a reputation as the world’s market leader for the iconic Angostura aromatic bitters has been a source of jobs and corporate support for a community sustained by rich cultural traditions and its proximity to the business centre.

Trinidad and Tobago has been the core rum market for Angostura and many of its brands have been in existence for generations. Angostura’s international rums have won gold medals at many international competitions in the past decade and named ‘the world’s most awarded rum range’ by the Rum Masters. Business then, has been generally good for Angostura and for the community from which many of the company’s workers have come over some 190 years.

Without a doubt, Angostura can attribute the sustainability of its legacy and growth as a company to its careful management of profits, people and the planet. This triple bottom line framework provides a lens through which one may evaluate the performance of

what is one of Trinidad’s oldest going and internationally successful business concerns. When Robert Wong was elevated from the ranks of the Company where he had been for more than 20 years, and given the opportunity to chart his own course for the globallyrecognised rum producing company, he was quick to point out: “A good leader is as strong as the relationship he has with his workers.”

People and Environment

Angostura prides itself on providing competitive remuneration and benefits for its 350 workers many of whom come from the fence line community. The last time that workers ‘downed tools’ it was to go over to the main building to witness the interfaith service and official cutting of the ribbon that marked the opening of the new bitters bottling facility at the House of Angostura on January 29th, 2014. On hand to do the honours was Gordon Siegert, great, great grandson of

Angostura founder, Johann G.B. Siegert. The opening was a proud moment for the Maintenance Team trusted by the management to undertake the project. It felt that it had the expertise and experience to construct and install the plant itself and was able to save money for the company by not bringing in an outside consultant. This project was done in a reasonable time frame, within budget and, most importantly for Angostura, was accident free.

As a manufacturing concern Angostura has moved to articulate an environmental position that takes into account its being situated in an industrial estate in close proximity to a residential community. A Health, Safety and Environment policy declares: “At Angostura we have established, implemented and will maintain procedures to identify environmental aspects of the company’s activities, products and services. This will take into account planned or new developments,

12 T&T CSR REVIEW 2014
What’s good for the Community is good for business
CSR Story
Kids Camp 2013

or new or modified activities, products and services in order to determine those which have or can have significant impact on the environment. The elements related to these significant impacts are considered in setting the company’s environmental objectives and targets”. These objectives include water and energy conservation, solid waste management that includes the recycling through reuse and sale, and a health and safety outlook that has a focus on effective emergency response training.

Back to School

Over the years Angostura Limited has shown its commitment to giving back to the communities of Laventille and the adjoining Morvant in which it operates. This is achieved through a variety of activities and outreach programmes geared towards enhancing the quality of life for its residents and in particular its youth. The focus of these programmes has been to empower young persons by helping to provide the tools necessary to approach the challenges of life. Despite its closeness to the city centre, these communities have been challenged by underemployment and crime.

Working with the Chinapoo Police Youth Group and its’ Back to School Program, Angostura provides financial aid to less privileged children to purchase books and stationery for their return to school. In 2013 Angostura conducted workshops in several primary schools to create greater awareness of the consequences of abusing alcohol. In the secondary schools the emphasis was on helping students, parents and teachers to learn more about responsibility through love and education.

Education and the Green Initiative

A partnership with the Trinidad Theatre Workshop and their Theatre in Education outreach program seeks to ignite an interest in reading by bringing to life books that are on the CSEC syllabus. The programme impacts all secondary schools in the country who participate.

As part of the commemoration of World Environment Day, secondary school students participated in a poster

competition, where they were challenged to create a poster depicting their dream eco-friendly home. First prize went to the Russell Latapy Secondary School, who also submitted a model of their ‘dream home’.

Through the Company’s ‘Green Initiative’, support is given to primary schools in the area to help form 4H clubs where there are none currently, and to assist with the creation of crop and ornamental gardens on the compound. This particular programme is aligned to the new agricultural component of the S.E.A. exam. Hundreds of primary school students visit Angostura and its Barcant Butterfly collection each year. These field trips help to increase their awareness of and appreciation for butterflies in general

and the local population in particular.

Angostura’s annual children’s camp celebrated its 10th year of existence with activities that included a field trip to the NIHERST science centre and a workshop conducted by Crime Stoppers – a local NGO that promotes the management and decrease in crime through citizen intervention.

Steelband Festival

Steelband is to Laventille what Angostura is to the world: a unique ingredient that embodies the spirit of Trinidad and Tobago and which brings people together in celebration of their most memorable moments. The Laventille Street Parade and Steelband Festival is a much anticipated event on the August

T&T CSR REVIEW 2014 13
Participants in the poster competition Kids Camp crimestoppers lecture

calendar and is heavily supported by the Company in front of whose gates the parade passes each year. Support for the steelband extends to other communities as financial assistance was given to over 30 unsponsored steel bands participating in the Carnival competitions. To help record the history of this unique aspect of the country’s cultural tradition, Angostura sponsored a documentary on the steelband and another on the legendary musical pioneer and Laventille born, Bertie Marshall.

Volunteerism is also an important aspect of the company’s overall corporate social responsibility programming. Some of the initiatives which employees took part in this year included the Angostura Barcant Mentoring Program which comprises visits to primary schools attached to the Growing Leaders’ Foundation.

They have also participated in the annual ICC Ocean Clean-Up campaign which seeks to obtain data on ocean and waterway health. The company also caters to the needs of senior citizens in the area at Christmas time, providing hampers full of essentials. They also hold a Christmas party for children in the vicinity and distribute toys, some of which are donated by staff members. Events such as these are hosted at the Laventille Community Complex, a venue that the Company initially built for the community and helps to maintain throughout the year.

In 2013, employees of the Company’s production department also came together to hold a BBQ and walk-a-thon event which raised funds to set up the Angostura Emergency Fund. This fund would seek to assist any member of staff during a time of dire need.

Tobago Heritage

The island of Tobago has not been ignored. Angostura also engages with the wider community to support various causes and initiatives in Trinidad as well as Tobago. A long-time supporter of the Tobago Heritage Festival, the Company is involved in activities in both the communities of Buccoo and Plymouth during the celebrations. Healing with Horses is an annual vacation camp for differently-abled children in Tobago which the Company is proud to support. Financial assistance is also given to the annual Tobago Word Festival and sponsorship of two individuals to the annual two-week symposium on alcohol and addiction studies held in Tobago and hosted by CARIAD.

Audited statements for the year 2013 revealed that Angostura has posted a profit of some TTD76.6m over the previous year’s performance and this must be pleasing to shareholders as a turnaround initiated in 2009 continues to have effect. Chairman Gerald Yetming, giving an overview of the performance of the company in a March 19, 2014 Chairman’s Report says, “This signifies the strength of our brands in an increasingly competitive environment.” But success at Angostura is measured in other ways as well and that has been in its use of natural resources, its management of the environment, the care of its employees and in the levels of social support of its home community where what’s good for the community is also good for business.

14 T&T CSR REVIEW 2014
Ocean Cleanup 2013 Healing with Horses Growing Leaders Foundation


blink | bmobile is proud to be the leading corporate citizen in the telecommunications sector and to stand shoulder to shoulder with other likeminded citizens from all walks of life who give of their time, talent and resources to shape the future together. The company shares a special connection with the people of Trinidad and Tobago and takes its role as a corporate citizen very seriously - that is, not just to give financing to good causes, but to focus its capacity, capabilities and time to make sure that its community activities make a real difference in the lives of citizens.

Via the blink | bmobile Foundation the company aims to contribute to the positive development of the nation’s youth. Whether it is in business, sports, education, health or culture, the company focuses on adding value, sharing its skills and supporting those things that are improtant in our communities.

National Development through Youth Empowerment blink| bmobile deepens its commitment to the next generation

The company’s emphasis on being environmentally responsible is also evident in its Green PC programme where refurbished PCs are presented to NGOs and CBOs helping the nation’s children progress. For 2014 groups like Autism Support Services, Mango Rose Home Work Centre, the Islamic Home for Children and various primary schools were supplied with computers.

The dedication the blink | bmobile Foundation displays on initiatives like these which give young people an opportunity to advance under the pillars of the Foundation; education, sport, culture and health leave little doubt that blink | bmobile is committed to contributing to the development of the nation’s youth.

with technology in the form of Kindles, Ipads and other devices so that students have more direct access to the school curriculum.

Acting CEO, George Hill says, “Learning is not only about books anymore. The future is interactive. Our children must be engaged through various media. Learning must be more interactive so that they can achieve their fullest potential.”

Telecommunications giant, blink | bmobile, embarked on a nation-wide effort to collect and recycle old telephone books through its Directory Recycling Program 2014. This programme, encourages a national effort among the youth towards recycling.

“Every year, our company produces over 500,000 directories and we have tried to do so in an environmentally friendly manner by utilizing biodegradable ink. This recycling programme will help in educating young people about the importance of recycling and engaging in environmentally responsible behaviour,” explained Graeme Suite, Acting Head of Public Relations and External Affairs.

As an incentive, schools received one dollar for every directory collected and the books will be sent on to a recycling company based in the United Kingdom

Committed to Education

The blink | bmobile Foundation, supports several education-based initiatives as part of this overall commitment. “Tomorrow Starts Today” provides primary schools

blink | bmobile’s Book Buddies Programme, is another education initiative which blink | bmobile champions, and one in which employees play an active role. Staff members partner with children’s homes across the country prior to the start of the school year to fill the children’s booklist. Natasha Davis, Executive Vice President, Marketing states, “We’re proud of the programme because it demonstrates the commitment of our employees who enthusiastically volunteer to help enable these children.”

The “future is interactive.” George Hill, CEO Ag. blink | bmobile experiences the blink | bmobile sponsored ebooks with students of Couva Anglican Primary School.

16 T&T CSR REVIEW 2014
CSR Story

blink | bmobile teams up with education institutions and NGO groups working with differently abled children across the nation through mentorship and life skills training programmes. Partners include the Down Syndrome Family Network and the We Care Deaf Support Network who promote tolerance and inclusion for persons with disabilities in Trinidad and Tobago.

blink | bmobile also supports, SASH Consulting as they produce and distribute the Character Education and Citizenry Development Student Workbook for students in Standards Three and Four. This workbook, is critical for students as they prepare for the national Secondary Entrance Assessment, and aims to provide a holistic approach to character development as it supports the development of confident, well-rounded citizens.

Deepening Cultural Connections

The blink | bmobile Foundation wants to ensure that local youth are able to experience the rich cultural history of the nation. To achieve this, the Foundation partners with the Indian Caribbean Museum enabling them to share the story of some of our ancestors. The Foundation also recognises the importance of supporting initiatives like Emancipation Village and Divali Nagar as they help individuals to understand the wealth of our past.

The Foundation supports and champions a series of programmes in the Arts such as the blink | bmobile Art Mentorship competition and programme.

The competition challenged budding artists between the ages of 16-21, to use art to interpret the theme “Imagine Trinidad and Tobago.” The best pieces were displayed on the blink | bmobile Facebook page and throughout the 2014 telephone directory. The top twelve artists won a place in a Mentorship programme with renowned artist, Leroy Clarke.

Promoting Sport, Health and Wellness blink | bmobile understands the critical role health and sport plays in youth development and therefore participates in key programmes across the Primary and Secondary level. At the Primary level, the company supports the schools along the north coast of Trinidad and in some rural communities in the National Primary Schools’ Track and Field programme.

“In their preparation to participate in the national event, the north coast schools host the North Coast Games. We’ve been a part of this for over 15 years and it builds tremendous community spirit,” said Davis. The Foundation also provides similar support to the Victoria Education School District Games.

At the Secondary level, blink | bmobile is in its 11th year of promoting healthy lifestyles by supporting the Secondary School Aerobic Burnout hosted by Eastern Regional Heath Authority. It is aimed at encouraging youngsters to maintaining healthy weight and make regular physical activities a way of life.

The Foundation gets involved in initiatives driven by our local athletes

giving back to the nation such as with the Nijsane Cycle Festival. “We believe athletes like Nijsane work very hard promoting our country and they also play a part in nurturing and developing young upcoming athletes and it is our responsibility to help them achieve this.

Through the Nijsane Cycle Festival for example we work with the cyclist to encourage young people who are aspiring cyclists,” said Suite.

blink | bmobile also hosts Children’s Homes at the festival and in an effort to promote healthy sports at the homes, recreational bikes are given to each home. This year, the St. Mary’s Children Home, Couva Childrens’ Home and Nursery and Ferndean Children’s Place participated in the festival.

Another long-term commitment of the Foundation is the National Secondary Schools’ Swimming Championship hosted by Tidal Wave Aquatics of Trinidad and Tobago and in 2014 the Foundation provided financial grants to the top swimmers of the competition to aid in their development.

The strength of the brand is also present in the commitment of its employees to CSR programmes. Employee volunteerism is a critical element of the corporate responsibility as blink | bmobile staffers are always eager to participate in the programmes upon which the company embarks. Whether it is refurbishing computers or wrapping Christmas presents as part of an annual Angels of Smiles programme, employees give of themselves - their time and their skills every day.

Through the work and efforts of the Foundation, blink | bmobile, has created strong linkages with communities and distinguishes itself as a leader in corporate responsibility as it seeks to make a lasting impact on what is arguably the country’s most precious resource – youth.

that they can achieve their fullest potential.”

T&T CSR REVIEW 2014 17
Supporting Sport development. blink | bmobile Victoria Education District Sports 2014 march past winner, San Fernando East zone represented flanked by Devanan Maharaj, School Supervisor II Ag. on their left and Harigobin Jhinkoo, EVP, Human Resources, blink | bmobile
“Learning is not only about books anymore…Our children must be engaged through various media. Learning must be more interactive so


NGC has introduced an innovative Community Economic Development programme which seeks to utlize the physical, human, social and cultural assets of the community to promote economic growth and self-reliance. This is a distinctive feature of NGC’s approach to CSI and community engagement.

Police Youth Club Eventsdevelopmental programmes

• Chess

• Carnival Camp – history and mas making camp

• Self-esteem camp in Beetham

Capacity Building – Module Content

• Introduction of appropriate systems of management and administration.

• Use of modern communication methods that will facilitate internal and external communication and allow members to communicate effectively with each other as well as other key stakeholders. This will include the use of the internet and social media.

• Conduct of basic skills training that will enhance overall performance especially in terms of marketing and financial management.

• Enhancement of inter-personal skills and promote positive interaction among members.

• Encouragement of members to think strategically and develop realistic strategic plans.

Transforming Lives, Impacting Communities

NGC collaborates to build safe environments

The National Gas Company of Trinidad and Tobago Limited (NGC) is helping to transform the lives of children, ages 7 to 15 years, in targeted areas of the country through its sponsorship of five Police Youth Clubs.

Safe Environments

Through NGC’s association with the Police Youth Clubs located in Beetham Gardens, La Brea, Couva, Laventille Road and Penal, the state-owned company is investing in the youth of the nation who are critical to a developing country such as Trinidad and Tobago. The club’s supportive, caring and safe environments and activities seek to develop self-worth, esteem and character in children at risk in the challenged areas of the country.

Indeed, the Police Youth Clubs, which previously faced challenges of funding

and expertise to undertake meaningful and structured social interventions, are being rejuvenated by the corporate support extended by NGC, via its CSI programme of Youth Development.

The sponsorship of the Beetham Gardens, La Brea, Couva and Laventille Road Police Youth Clubs was initially for a one-year period in 2013, but was extended to 2016. Sponsorship was provided to the Penal Police Youth Club, beginning in 2014, the number of police youth clubs associated with NGC from four to five.

This involvement follows many of NGC’s community projects, which over the years, have provided meaningful outlets for young people to be given the opportunity to develop their talents, build their self-confidence and enhance interaction with others.

18 T&T CSR REVIEW 2014
CSR Story

Enforcing Discipline

Fofi George, NGC’s Community Relations Officer II says, “the Police Youth Clubs have the potential to facilitate the development of young people because of their long existence, structure and police presence which enforces discipline. The Clubs also provide the opportunity for novel experiences. These experiences have included the opera and chessplaying. In particular, the role of the police has been extremely important since the Clubs provide a soft entry point for the police into the community (and) this serves to counteract the negative images of the police as well as foster solidarity between the police and the community”.

Mr. George added, “Included in the Club’s developmental programmes are etiquette, ballroom dancing, selfesteem camps, parenting workshops, music literacy, remedial education and homework support. Social activities have also facilitated field trips, participation in sporting tournaments and music recitals”.

Age-appropriate Development

So how is the association governed? NGC’s relationship with the Clubs is governed by a Memorandum of Understanding between the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service and NGC outlining the allocation of funding and criteria for the disbursement of funds, with the reporting and monitoring systems defined. A formula for the disbursement

of funds which prioritizes developmental activities in the MOU prescribes that 65 per cent of the allocation will be assigned for age-appropriate developmental activities to facilitate the learning of social and emotional skills; 25 per cent for social activities and 10 per cent for capacity-building.

Jasmine Vesprey-David, La Brea Police Youth Club Leader listed some of the major benefits of having an active Youth Club in the southern village.

She said, “It gives the youth a sense of belonging. People love to be a part of an organization that is productive and moving forward. It gives them the opportunity to express themselves

The club’s supportive, caring and safe environments and activities seek to develop selfworth, esteem and character in children at risk in the challenged areas of the country.

through various sporting and cultural activities, and, also, to perform to the best of their ability”.

She added, “The community feels a sense of pride to see their young ones participating in training of various disciplines e.g. football, athletics, dancing, drumming just to name a few. It is also beneficial to know that the community is alive and parents feel proud seeing their young ones involved in something positive.”

Ms. Vesprey-Davidalso also said, “the police youth club has also empowered young people through training to become ‘young leaders’ and to assemble weekly under police supervision”.

T&T CSR REVIEW 2014 19
Beetham Gardens Police Youth Club Police Youth Clubs


Another worthy component of NGC’s involvement has been its provision of organisational capacity-building training, which seeks to improve the clubs’ internal development and activities to ensure their future sustainability.

The long term commitment by NGC assists the clubs’ management to grow their competencies. The training tackles their problems and considers the needs of the clubs, as well as the effective operation and potential that are inherent in police youth clubs.

In this regard, for the last year, the management teams were exposed to

training modules that allowed them to develop and administer programmes and provide for accountability and transparency while transforming the clubs into modern organizations that were attractive to the communities in which they were located.

Moreover, since the family unit is integral to the development of young persons, the Police Youth Clubs also included a parent body for programme execution. A Chaperone Committee serves to facilitate the inclusion of parents and civil society at various levels in the organization. There is therefore continuity in the composition of the

committee which ensures that there is “buy in” amongst the major stakeholders i.e. the parents, civil society, the police service and corporate entities.

With exposure to anger management training, conflict resolution, counselling and communication skills, the clubs seek to ensure the building of strategic positive partnerships with the police, community residents, the corporate world and parents that assist in the reduction of crime, violence and community decay. It is therefore easy to see why the scope of the intervention and nature of NGC’s support make the Police Youth Clubs a unique project.

20 T&T CSR REVIEW 2014
Capacity building graduation - La Brea


Sustainability refers to our intention to create long-term value for our company and shareholders, as well as for employees, communities and the wider nation. At the practical level, sustainability actions are developed to build capability within the company as well as among stakeholders, and they include our social investment programmes, environmental initiatives. our ethical conduct and good governance.

Safety is Systemic at Atlantic Engaging suppliers to promote a culture of safety

Leadership and HSE Culture

Over 24 million man hours without a Lost Time Incident. Put another way, it’s been over six (6) and a half years since any worker has lost time away from work due to injury. And the best way to look at it is that for all that time, the men and women of Atlantic, direct employees and service providers have returned safely to their families each day. This is no mean feat for a company that employs 714 employees and engages between 450500 service providers on a normal day. In fact it is a ‘best in world’ achievement in the LNG industry as evidenced by the outcome of a global industry performance survey where key aspects of Atlantic’s operations are evaluated against other LNG producers around the world. GE supports the majority of LNG facilities across the globe but they hold the Trinidad facility as a benchmark. International visitors from Canada, Australia and Peru visit frequently to learn from Atlantic.

A major point of definition of Atlantic as a world class performer in the LNG industry has been its safety record. One of the ways in which the Company aims to deliver on its stated sustainability commitment and ambition to be leaders within its sphere of influence, is by strengthening its suppliers by setting high social, environmental and quality standards along the supply chain and developing their capacities.

Atlantic’s Leadership has always believed that the key to risk mitigation in an energy company is an active HSSE culture. Over time, this emphasis has evolved into a focus on personal safety of employees and service providers, employee health and wellness and sound environmental practice, as well as on Process Safety and maintaining Asset Integrity.

Nigel Darlow, Atlantic CEO sees supplier development and the creation of opportunities which will not only benefit Atlantic’s business, but also create longterm competitive advantage for local businesses, as another important focus. He said: “When Atlantic became STOWcertified back in 2010, it became the first and only non-contractor company to do so. We then set ourselves the goal of ensuring that our service providers were also STOW-certified – a move that would ensure consistency in HSSE requirements throughout our operations.”

STOW-TT or Safe TO Work in Trinidad

and Tobago is a certification programme for contractors’ HSSE management systems initiated by the Energy Chamber in 2004. This was developed in response to complaints from its members who were challenged to meet the range of health, safety and environmental (HSSE) requirements of the major oil and gas operating companies. In 2006, the Energy Chamber received grant funds from the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) to implement the project: ‘Improving Health, Safety and Environmental Standards in the Energy Sector. ’

Standardized Contractor Prequalification

Four components of the programme speak firstly to the identification of minimum HSSE requirements and secondly to the training and authorisation of HSSE professionals to work as Independent Assessors of the level of conformance of a contractor’s HSSE management systems to the STOW

22 T&T CSR REVIEW 2014
CSR Story
A service provider executing hot work activity during a Turnaround

HSSE Minimum Requirements. The third and fourth components relate to the promotion of the project to the industry and a uniform methodology for the identification and prequalification of contractors across the industry. By the end of 2012 90% of Atlantic’s contractors were STOW certified and from January of 2014, certification became mandatory. In addition to STOW, Point Lisas Energy Association (PLEA) Certification was introduced in June of 2013. The PLEA Contractor Passport System serves as the minimum assurance that only suitably trained individuals are allowed to work on all PLEA member company facilities. All service provider personnel must be PLEA certified to work on Atlantic’s sites.

Engaging suppliers and contractors in a culture of safety at Atlantic makes good business sense. Safety is a core Atlantic value and at times as much as 70% of work carried out at the 4-train LNG facility is done by contractors. STOW certification is evidence that the contractors’ operations are in alignment with industry best practices and this gives assurance that the inherent risk faced by the energy industry will be managed effectively. Improved HSSE management systems fostered by STOW, results in a reduction in lost time incidents, accidents, down time and so enhance

are investing in developing the capabilities

local contractors, suppliers and vendors to help them meet global industry standards, which will assist them in qualifying not just for Atlantic contracts, but which will make them competitive across the global supply chain.” (Nigel

efficiency in business operations. It is a win/win situation.

According to CEO Darlow, “We have now implemented the STOW certification as part of our pre-qualification process to encourage a greater focus on safety processes and positive safety behaviours. Additionally through initiatives such as our Contractor Management Programme which aims to provide assurance around contractor performance as well as our bi-monthly Supplier Forums, we are investing in developing the capabilities of local contractors, suppliers and vendors to help them meet global industry standards, which will assist them in qualifying not just for Atlantic contracts, but which will make them competitive across the global supply chain. By actively engaging our employees and suppliers and building capacity in critical areas, we continue to contribute to the maximisation of in-country expenditure and economic activity, which promotes economic sustainability, growth of the

sector and increased competitiveness of local talent and businesses in the global energy market.“

Supplier Relationship Management Atlantic believes that the support of its service providers is critical to operational success and therefore Supplier Relationship Management is a key strategy. Service provider meetings are conducted quarterly to facilitate the exchange of best practices in HSSE as well as Finance and Procurement procedures and practices. The meetings also focus on the STOW programme, process safety and planning for routine maintenance events. When Atlantic ventured on its largest and most challenging maintenance turnaround of Train 3 in September of 2013, CEO Darlow met with the CEOs of the service provider companies, specifically those who are involved in high-risk activities on the Facility, for their support in ensuring safe and responsible operations.

T&T CSR REVIEW 2014 23
Service provider personnel on-site

One strategic intervention was the creation of a ‘Safety Village’ where prior to taking up jobs, workers received customised training in critical areas such as fatigue management, hazard identification, emergency response, and waste and spill management. Fatigue management which aims to reduce risk arising from fatigue in a shutdown work environment is now mandatory for all service providers. Since July 1, 2013, all companies wishing to do business with Atlantic must comply with Atlantic’s Consecutive Working Period Policy. In addition, Atlantic partnered with its contractors to undertake ‘walk downs’ during the turnaround. Exemplary contractor commitment to support of Atlantic’s culture of safety is recognised through an annual Service Provider Awards and Recognition Programme.

Priority, People and Pace Atlantic describes its HSSE practices in three ways:

• Priority - because HSSE is a core corporate value and one of the key strategic pillars for Atlantic

• People-centric – because of the Company’s focus on engaging employees and service providers in embracing the corporate value of HSSE and,

• Pacesetting – because Atlantic’s focus is on ever-improving performance and being among the leaders of our industry.

Atlantic’s success in its overall HSSE practice can be attributed to five factors that the company has identified:

1. Engaging employees and service providers, increasing their buy-in to the importance of the value of HSSE and empowering them to make the responsible choices necessary to ensure good HSSE practice

2. Adopting of HSSE best practice through policies that are aligned to international industry standards but which are also strictly and fairly enforced

3. Rigorous audits of performance in HSSE and Asset Integrity Management to ensure compliance and build improvements. An annual

cycle of audits is conducted internally by an Internal Audit team, and also by auditors from Shareholder companies

4. Demonstrating Safety Leadership – Atlantic’s entire Leadership Team demonstrates strong commitment to HSSE, through walk-downs and

5. Benchmarking against peers in the global industry. In the strategic pursuit of pacesetting performance, Atlantic compares its performance in key areas of business against peers in the LNG industry and works towards closing gaps.

Atlantic has built an organizational culture where HSSE is a highly-regarded corporate value and where HSSE awareness is embraced by employees and service providers alike as the normal way of doing business. This culture is underpinned by internal processes, industry led HSSE assurance programmes and submission to international benchmarking. This strategy has at its heart the safety and well-being of people, the development of the capability of suppliers and the building of strong partnerships to achieve common objectives for a better future. It has been the key to Atlantic’s solid reputation in the global LNG industry where Atlantic and Trinidad and Tobago are regarded as leaders.

24 T&T CSR REVIEW 2014
Service provider forum session Atlantic’s CEO Nigel Darlow presents an award to a service provider representative as part of the Company’s recognition of the contribution of service providers to safety and overall performance.


RBC demonstrates a leading corporate citizenship strategy that is based on our vision for building stronger communities. This approach is known as the RBC Community Blueprint, which allows us to support a wide range of community initiatives through donations, sponsorships and employee volunteer activities. Within our Caribbean business, RBC’s corporate citizenship initiatives are directed at strengthening our operational integrity, creating rewarding workplaces, building vibrant communities and contributing to a thriving marketplace and a prosperous economy. Our investments across the region through charitable donations and sponsorship programmes reinforce our presence and commitment to being an active corporate citizen and are focused in the following areas:

• Education and youth development

• Health and wellness

• Social services

• Amateur sport and renewal of playing spaces

• Arts and culture with a focus on emerging artists

• Environment and climate change with a focus on water

• Diversity and inclusion

As a secondary school student, just like thousands of teens before her, she happily became an ambassador for her school and joined a noble fraternity of leaders – a distinctive cadre of enlightened youth who are responsible, knowledgeable, and innovative.

Today, Gilline Mc Dowell has transitioned from student to teacher, but she remains committed to the RBC Young Leaders Programme she enrolled in almost two decades ago, functioning as a recruiter and mentor to the annual inductees of the programme at the Success Laventille Secondary School.

Making a Sound Investment

RBC developing young leaders in Trinidad and Tobago for more than three decades

RBC Young Leaders is a leadership development initiative with a long history of helping teens exercise teamwork, communication, creativity and problem solving in the pursuit of common goals, foster care for their community and the environment and engage in activities that strengthen the social, moral and economic well-being of their country.

What began in 1981 as a youth savings project in Trinidad and Tobago has now evolved into the bank’s flagship regional educational programme expanded to include Grenada, St. Lucia and St. Vincent.

Caribbean Commitment

The programme is evidence of the bank’s continued commitment to the Caribbean community and an avenue to empower young minds to contribute to the development of their country and the region.

For Mc Dowell the programme has been just that, an opportunity for selfdevelopment and now a chance to help develop the lives of the next generation of leaders of Trinidad and Tobago.

There are two components to the Young Leaders programme, a community development project and The Great Debate.

As a student of Naparima Girls’ High School, her teacher encouraged her to enroll in the programme. After her first year she was hooked. In the end she would represent her school a total of five times as an RBC Young Leader.

She said it is not just the magnitude of the projects but the relevance of the issues it addresses.

“It always seeks to capture the imagination and passion of young people who are anxious for change and a better society. The challenge of global warming,

26 T&T CSR REVIEW 2014
CSR Story
Gilline McDowell (right), one of the coordinating teachers of Success Laventille Secondary School Young Leaders, winners of the 2013 RBC Young Leaders programme under the theme; Be The Change with the RBC Challenge Trophy and Award of Distinction.

waste management and growing obesity figures are just some of the issues that are addressed by students who take on this challenge,” she said. “Young Leaders provides an amazing chance for students to become well-rounded citizens.”

Global Recognition

For its contribution to the holistic development of young people throughout the Caribbean, the RBC Young Leaders Programme has received several awards including its election to the United Nations Environment Programme Global 500 Roll of Honour, the Trinidad and Tobago Humming Bird Medal of Merit National Award and The Grenada Tourism Award for research and architectural heritage.

At Success Laventille Secondary School, Mc Dowell has no problem recruiting youngsters. She says the selection process has become competitive as students appreciate a chance to develop the real life skills that are critical in their transition to the world of work or higher education.

Mc Dowell provides an example for the Review.

One year the school submitted a Waste Water Management project in

response to the theme Water: Beyond the Surface; Sustaining Life, Securing our Future.

Students had to conduct independent research, interviews with businesses and households which led to the decision to introduce a special flotation device to reduce the amount of water being emitted from one of the biggest sources of water waste - the toilet tank. Before the idea could become material, the team had to come up with a suitable design that was durable, cost-efficient and simple to install.

As part of the design process, they consulted with engineers and initiated a number of tests on their own to ensure that the product delivered on expectations. In all Mc Dowell says, the process forced students to develop skills that they would not normally have the chance to develop on their own.

Transforming Lives

Since enrolling in Young Leaders in 2009, the students of Success Laventille have taken the coveted first prize on two occasions and placed third once. They’ve placed in the top ten on every occasion.

While winning is very rewarding, Mc Dowell believes the most rewarding

aspect of the programme is seeing the positive transformation of students at her school.

Mc Dowell describes the journey of one young woman during her work with the team on the Anti-Bullying Campaign in 2013 for the theme ‘Be the Change.’

The young woman was described as a very angry and violent person. She tormented smaller and weaker girls on a daily basis. When confronted about her behavior, following a series of complaints from the parents of her victims, a different profile emerged.

It was discovered that some of her behavior stemmed from the fact that she had been a victim of bullying all through her primary school years. Her suppressed pain and anxiety distorted the way she saw herself and others around her. On entering secondary school she vowed to change her circumstances by becoming the aggressor to avoid having to endure the same fate for another five years of her life.

The school’s Anti-Bullying Campaign sought to provide an outlet for this young woman through the sport of boxing. Mc Dowell credits the folks at King’s Boxing Gym and the Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs, for stepping up to the plate when

T&T CSR REVIEW 2014 27
The Power of Youth in Action - The Young Leaders of Fatima College

asked to support alternatives to bullying by using sport as an outlet.

Mc Dowell is proud of the strides her school has made through the RBC Young Leaders Anti-Bullying Campaign to combat schoolyard bullying.

She pays special tribute to poster girl Tricia Castillo who was bullied but chose not to become one. Instead, she confronted hostility with kindness, care and a persistent dignified response to her aggressors.

Camaraderie and discipline

Mc Dowell spends time reflecting on this particular project because of its relevance and the profound impact it has had on young lives. But she is also keen to celebrate the winning ‘Healthy Eating Campaign’ which took students back to basics by reintroducing traditional foods such as ground provisions and fresh fruit and which has had some lasting effects in dietary choices made by teens in her school. The RBC Young Leaders theme that year was ‘Holistic Wellness: The Journey towards a fulfilling life.’

The healthy eating campaign also provided some unanticipated but happy results. Students connected with teachers and built bonds that allowed for

healthy exchanges and a better learning environment. While exercise was the primary objective, the camaraderie was a welcome bonus, so too was the marked reduction in disciplinary problems.

Mc Dowell believes that even the organisers of the RBC Young Leaders programme may not yet fully understand the magnitude of what it delivers. There are obvious skills being acquired as she explains, but there is also psychological and mental transformation that comes with bringing a project to fruition and making a change in the society.

She confirms, as we anticipated, that many of the Young Leaders graduates go on to take up leadership roles in the school and within their communities. The current Head Girl she says is a graduate.

McDowell says, “I have benefitted so much that I feel I must continue to bring others in. I’m motivated to have them share my experience, to keep the light burning.”

Creating Opportunities

Darryl White, Managing Director, RBC Trinidad and Tobago believes Mc Dowell’s participation in the RBC Young Leaders Programme, both as a student and teacher, underscores the importance of creating opportunities for young people.

“We know that many Young Leaders have as adults, made positive contributions to the development of Trinidad and Tobago. Whenever you have the chance to influence young people positively you are making a huge investment in the leaders of tomorrow and the future of this country.

We are very proud of the impact that our Young Leaders programme has had on the nation and the region. This initiative highlights our ongoing commitment to youth empowerment through education and our dedication to the communities in which we operate.”

28 T&T CSR REVIEW 2014
”There are obvious skills being acquired…but there is also psychological and mental transformation that comes with bringing a project to fruition and making a change in the society.”
Trillium International School get involved in community activities as part of their project. The debating team of Presentation College, Chaguanas hoists the Young Leaders Great Debate Champion’s Cup after being declared the winners of the 2013 Great Debate. 2013-2014 programme logo and theme


As part of Nestlé’s long term corporate strategy for success, the Company is committed to creating value for its employees, customers, shareholders, consumers and communities in which they live and operate. For Nestlé, Creating Shared Value means proactively identifying opportunities to link its core business activities to action on related social issues.

For Nestlé there is no higher priority than enhancing the quality of life of our consumers by providing tastier and healthier food and beverage choices.

Nestlé Trinidad and Tobago Limited (NTTL) is governed by the same principles of Creating Shared Value as set out by its global operations. Over the past 52 years the Nestlé Valsayn Factory has continued to ensure the highest quality and taste of its locally manufactured products and through its on-going initiatives and programmes, supports the objectives of the Ministry of Health to ensure the long-term health and wellbeing of consumers in Trinidad and Tobago.

“Drink your milk!” How many times did we hear that while growing up? Nestlé Trinidad and Tobago Limited today still encourages the nation to drink milk and it is doing so through its SVELTY brand.

The SVELTY range of milks targets the specific needs of different types of consumers, ensuring that at any life stage, consumers can choose milk that meets their nutritional requirements. And, like many of the other Nestlé product lines, the SVELTY range of skimmed milks has been developed in line with the company’s commitment to Creating Shared Value in the society, simply by looking after the nation’s health.

“We focus not only on taste but more importantly on the nutritional value of our products,” said Denise d’Abadie, Manager of Consumer Relations and Public Affairs. “It is critical not only

Nestlé takes on the Nation’s Health

Doing good for the community, one glass at a time

because of our company’s long-standing vision and purpose but given the health realities of our society today we almost cannot do otherwise.”

Mrs. d’Abadie spoke about the health concerns facing Trinidad and Tobago in particular non-communicable lifestyle diseases such as Obesity, Diabetes and Heart Disease.

Lifestyle Diseases and Nutrition

Nestlé’s operations are underpinned by the philosophy of Creating Shared Value. Creating Shared Value at Nestlé means that for their business to prosper in the long term they must create value for employees, customers, stakeholders, consumers and the communities where Nestlé operates. This is a fundamental part of the way of doing business and it focuses on specific areas of core business activities such as water, nutrition, and rural development – where value can best be created both for society and shareholders.

By “Creating Shared Value” Nestlé seeks to provide products that promote the health and wellness of the society as this speaks directly to the company’s vision to be the leading Nutrition, Health and Wellness Company globally.

“You must practice what you preach and demonstrate a responsibility to the society. Our consumers today are generally more aware and are faced with increased choices in where they spend their dollar. Our products must also speak to that.”

This is why 75 per cent of Nestlé’s products, including the SVELTY range of milks, are specifically designed to help in the fight against lifestyle diseases. “It is

also why, globally, Nestlé has taken the decision to reduce the sugar, salt and fat content in all of our products,” d’Abadie said, a commitment that Nestlé believes will realize tangible, long-term benefits for its brand and reputation and, more importantly, in improving the health and wellness of the consumer. It is about responding to consumer trends as well as recognizing that as a responsible food and nutrition company the health of the nation must be part of its raison d’être.

For instance, the SVELTY range comprises skimmed milks which support weight management, bone health and a healthy colon through its SVELTY Slim, Bone Health and Digest, while Nestlé Omega speaks to a healthy heart.

Listening to the consumer becomes key says Shaunelle Mieres-Aparicio, Nestlé Nutritionist, who spends much of her time with consumers, educating and instructing on the simple steps to leading a healthy lifestyle and quite naturally how Nestlé products fit into their healthy lifestyle. Yes it’s about what you eat but it is also important to understand how to build a healthy meal and in what quantities, so that we neither undernourish nor over-do.

Portion control, easier said than done, is critical and the Nestlé team sees this kind of information as part of its overall approach not just to promoting its products but also to helping consumers understand their role in their daily diet.

Informed Consumers

The company has also been very deliberate in its packaging and advertising, redesigning its food labels, placing more nutritional information on

30 T&T CSR REVIEW 2014
CSR Story

the packaging with health tips and other general information. While this approach may not be unique to Nestlé, the design and content in its Nutritional Compass on all packaging is the company’s way of ensuring its consumers have the news and information that can help them make responsible choices for themselves and their families.

“More and more people are reading labels. They want to know what is in the products that they are buying and they are looking out for certain things –sugar and fat for example. Through our packaging we try to make that process a little easier for them.” The fact that consumers are beginning to take their health seriously is an encouraging sign.

In Trinidad and Tobago, childhood obesity is a growing concern. A recent study conducted by the Caribbean Food and Nutrition Institute (CFNI) over the period 2009 – 2011 found that 23 per cent of primary school children were overweight/obese, 25 per cent of secondary school aged children were overweight/obese and 14 per cent were underweight.

with as many partners as possible to begin to instil a change.” With this in mind Nestlé has further boosted their nutrition education efforts with the introduction of their first Annual Health Fair and 5K run/walk in May 2013, an activity geared primarily towards offering consumers the opportunity to learn more about leading a healthy lifestyle for the entire family. The health fair coupled with a 5K Run/ Walk supports the fact that healthy living must include regular physical activity.

Other nutrition education efforts include their ongoing Healthy Kids programme which is targeted to children between the ages of 6-12 years old and focuses on instilling healthy lifestyle habits at a young age. This programme is a global initiative which is currently being run in 5 schools in Trinidad reaching over 1500 kids and their families.

In addition to this, the Nestlé Wellness Caravan which provides free BMI and Body Fat% testing as well as free

one-to-one nutritionist consultations reaches over 15,000 consumers annually in communities across Trinidad and Tobago.

The company continues to be bolstered by its efforts and the response across several consumer groups.

“Nestlé celebrates its 100thAnniversary in Trinidad and Tobago in 2014, a very important milestone for our company. From inception we have focused on Creating Shared Value through the high quality, great tasting products that we manufacture as well as the nutritional education programmes that we develop to encourage our consumers to lead a healthy lifestyle,” said Silvan Muller, Country Manager. “As we move towards our next 100 years, we remain committed to developing products that suit the needs and lifestyles of our consumers, at all times working towards ensuring a healthier Trinidad and Tobago.”

“childhood obesity is a growing concern. A recent study conducted by the Caribbean Food and Nutrition Institute (CFNI) over the period 2009 – 2011 found that 23 per cent of primary school children were overweight/obese, 25 per cent of secondary school aged children were overweight/ obese and 14 per cent were underweight.”

Health and Fitness

Obesity and pre-obesity in Trinidad and Tobago is one of the major contributing causes to the level of chronic noncommunicable diseases (persistent, noncontagious disease). Another of CFNI’s studies looked at physical activity in T&T among citizens and concluded that the prevalence of pre-obesity (31.4 per cent) and obesity (16.8 per cent) was similar to that of other Caribbean countries.

“We cannot become complacent however and think that our products will be sufficient to support a turnaround in the nation’s health” says d’Abadie. “This is a major undertaking and we must work

T&T CSR REVIEW 2014 31
Free one on one consultation with consumers


Repsol E&P T&T Limited

Repsol has been operating in Trinidad & Tobago since 1995 with significant investments in the Energy sector through its own TSP offshore operations, and also through its 30% participation in BPTT’s assets. More recently in 2013, Repsol joined BHP Billiton (operator) with 40% interest in the Block 23 (b). For 18 years, the company has demonstrated with tangible actions, its commitment to the economic and social development of Trinidad and Tobago. In 2005 Repsol became the operator of the Teak, Samaan and Poui fields, with a participation of a 70% shareand partnership with the two national oil and gas companies The National Gas Company of Trinidad & Tobago and PETROTRIN each holding a 15% share. TSP is a mature field with 14 offshore platforms.

Increasing global attention on food security and the need for self-sufficiency is driving an expanded role for companies to support agricultural investments and ensuring its sustainable development.

It was this vision that led Repsol to ponder how their investments in the communities of Mayaro and its environs can be made more sustainable to support struggling smallholder farmers and overall agricultural productivity, growth and development.

Today, Repsol has assisted the development of six greenhouses operated by farming families and an additional two are expected by the end of 2014.

Through an arrangement with a local major grower marketer, farmers sell their sweet peppers harvested from each greenhouse at a mutually agreed price for the local market. The sweet peppers are also exclusively sold to a major restaurant chain in the country.

Applying Technology for Food Sustainability REPSOL’s farming project reaps rewards for Mayaro farmers

Farmers Gain Access to Markets

The T&T FARMS (Farmers Access to Regional Markets) Project was implemented on a pilot basis in 2008 with the construction of three greenhouses in different communities throughout Mayaro/Guayaguayare.

The farmers who were selected for the pilot project, Cilla Marie Zoe, Russell Patrice and Roopchand Baksh were trained in Jamaica in greenhouse technologybased on market/crop/ resources/business expansion; soil analysis, seedling production & transplanting, fertilization/fertigation; soil – less growing medium analysis, plant analysis & nutrition, water analysis,

irrigation, insect and pest control , pruning, trellising, and plant growth and on pollination, harvest and post harvest techniques,

Three additional farmers, Caroline Williams, Mahadeo Rambharose and Wendy Taylor also underwent training and are now operating their own greenhouses.

The greenhouses are operated by the farmers and their families. Two young men, sons of farmers, are also enrolled in Agro-Science at the University of the West Indies to further learn and obtain professional degrees to develop this sector.

32 T&T CSR REVIEW 2014
Above: Greenhouse farmers with family members at the launch of the Mayaro Greenhouse Growers Association (MGGA)
CSR Story
At right: Christian Roopchand, son of greenhouse farmer Sherry & Roopchand Baksh addresses the attendees at the launch of the Mayaro Greenhouse Growers Association (MGGA )

Competitive Business Model

Repsol has also partnered with the Caribbean Agricultural Research Development Institute (CARDI) to address the need of a business competitive advantage model to include standardizing production process for consistency and quality, develop marketing (Mayaro’s Brand) and supply strategy.

Key to the sustainability of the project is the farmers understanding that to be a viable entity, a group effort is needed, resulting in the Mayaro Greenhouse Growers Association (MGGA).

One of its major activities was seeking funding from the Global Environment Facility/Small Grants Programme (“GEF/ SGP”) for a twin-project: a Water Catchment System, an environmentally safe method to address their constraint of an adequate water supply for their greenhouses and for the Young Growers Programme, implemented at the Mafeking Government Primary School to pass on knowledge on greenhouse technology.

Protecting Natural Resources

The project has seen a conversion of a building on the school’s compound to a greenhouse and has exposed students to the intricacies of growing fruit and vegetables under protective conditions ,and also on the need for conservation and protection of natural resources.

The GEF/SGP provided USD $48,755.00 towards the MGGA’s total budget of USD $58,052.00 with additional funds being provided by Repsol.

The idea for the Greenhouses has its genesis in a Community Assessment and Development Study which Repsol commissioned the Arthur Lok Jack Graduate School of Business to undertake in 2006 to assist in the creation of a sustainable CSR Strategy and act as a guide in the company’s interaction with the communities of Mayaro and Guayaguayare.

The study found that despite the strong presence of energy sector companies in the villages, agriculture was still a major source of revenue with over 1000 farmers operating in the community.

The company implemented a Leadership Development Programme, identifying an agricultural project that could be viably undertaken and by 2008, a consultation was held with farmers, agricultural institutions and the Ministry of Agriculture.

One of the issues that arose in the consultation was that agriculture is a high-risk endeavor, dependent on several factors such as weather, pests and even market conditions.

Repsol involved experts in greenhouse production methods, with proven experience in same or similar geographic models and markets and identified and selected the Maryland Hawk Corporation (NGO), and their FARMS Model, which had been implemented with tremendous success in Jamaica, and is now generating high income to small farmers, as well as, a guaranteed supply of quality products to the local market in the country.

Supply Chain Model

The FARMS project is an agricultural supply chain model developed by the Rural Development Center (RDC) at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES) which is implemented internationally through the Maryland Hawk Corporation (MHC) - a USA incorporated non-profit organization.

The model addresses universal problems facing small farms around the world, particularly those associated with business risk; it leverages market forces to address not only these problems, but also to create a sustainable economic engine that encourages investment and drives growth.

The model is based on the

establishment of four components: appropriate greenhouse technology, an agro-business with expertise in growing, a strong market, and market demand. By developing a partnership with the public and private sectors to identify and connect these components, MHC has demonstrated the model´s capacity to provide small produce farmers with access to regional markets, reduce their risk, and increase their profitability.

T&T FARMS project provides the agriculture industry with a new business model. This model is not a replacement for existing commodity systems, but is an alternative for small farmers who are unable to attain the economies of scale necessary to compete in commodity markets.

Through a focus on new technology, improved efficiency, improved quality, and a closer business relationship between growers and buyers, T&T FARMS introduces an alternative to the traditional agriculture industry.

This alternative business model rewards agro-processors with a reliable, high quality supply of raw materials. Most importantly, it creates a means for small farmers to generate the income needed to meet the needs of rural families and transform rural communities

T&T CSR REVIEW 2014 33
The model addresses universal problems facing small farms around the world…it leverages market forces to address…but also to create a sustainable economic engine that encourages investment and drives growth.
Students of the Mafeking Government Primary School at the opening ceremony for their school’s Greenhouse and the Young Growers Programme to introduce greenhouse technology to the students.


Our Business Principles define how we operate and express our core values and behaviours. They set out our commitment to the highest integrity in business relationships, including zero tolerance for corruption. They reinforce our commitment to providing safe and secure working environments, developing our employees and treating all our people with fairness, respect and decency. They express our intention to make a positive contribution to economic, social and environmental development in the countries where we operate and to ensure consistency of approach by service providers and contractors.

We believe that operating in accordance with these Business Principles is essential for sustainable performance and long-term value creation. They are approved by the Board and must be followed by all our people at all times, including when seconded to joint ventures.

A BGTT-sponsored social transformation project to enhance parenting skills within the southern rural villages of Moruga and Barrackpore has spawned a new group that is determined to build on their strengths and capacities to assist their communities facing profound social issues.

The Family Support Foundation (FSF) which now seeks to support and sustain families in their neighbourhood communities was born out of a threeyear Parenting Programme developed by the Toco Foundation, a well-known NGO focused on addressing social issues and personal development.

Leslie Bowrin, Head Social Performance at BGTT recalled that the decision to fund the Parenting Programme over 2011-2013 emerged from a baseline socio-economic impact

Reclaiming the Family, Empowering Communities

Parenting agents transform Moruga and Barrackpore

assessment which was undertaken when the company was preparing to implement a major pipe laying project in its Central Block region in St. Mary’s/Moruga.

“Previously, when we constructed our gas processing plant, the Evergreen Facility, in the area, the local demand for available jobs generated tension and conflict within the community ,” said Bowrin.

Going Local

To avoid a repeat of hostilities and tension among villagers and threats to contractors, BGTT developed a local hire policy and plan, which facilitated an open and transparent recruitment process for persons qualified for the available jobs. The policy indicated that at least 60% of the jobs on the project should be assigned to residents, once they met the prescribed qualification and experience criteria. .

BGTT, however, wanted to integrate employment opportunities with a social investment programme since its baseline study identified social problems such as alcoholism, domestic abuse and early school drop-out among other social ills.

“We went back to the community with 5 or 6 options and during our consultations, residents requested a parenting programme because of major problems in the homes of villagers,” added Bowrin. They also requested a Gatekeepers programme, to target the men of the villages.

Part of the focus of the three-year intervention was intense residential training sessions to prepare parenting agents and gatekeepers to continue their social transformation.

34 T&T CSR REVIEW 2014
CSR Story
Parenting agents in intense training sessions

Family and Parenting

In preparation for the intervention, the Toco Foundation also conducted an independent survey of 100 homes and concluded that some of the major domestic problems in Moruga and Barrackpore stemmed from inadequate parenting skills. These problems included domestic abuse, indiscipline among young children, troubled teens, unhealthy lifestyles, drug abuse and low self esteem.

As a result of the direct intervention by the parenting agents, families were able to register children in schools, apply for and obtain housing grants to improve homes and bravely tackled the issues of alcohol and other addictions affecting family life.

On completion of the project, some of the women who took part in the parenting programme later registered the FSF as a formal organization with well thought out objectives to assist the residents of their communities.

The current directors are Lennora Blackwell, Joanne Brereton, Joan Saunders and Gail Lutchman. Fourteen persons are active in the Foundation and this does not include the principals, teachers, sporting administrators and other social advisors/activists who support their work.

Family Support Foundation

“The Family Support Foundation emerged from a need for further intervention after the two plus years of work done in the area by the Toco Foundation family intervention programme in both Barrackpore and St. Mary’s. A decision was made between both communities and based on that need for further intervention and our passion for assisting persons socially, the Family Support Foundation was formed,” said Brereton.

She said the purpose of the Foundation was to continue the work of the Toco Foundation on a different level through the schools and community groups.

Brereton said the communities face

a number of social issues /challenges including inadequate housing, poverty, unemployment, break-down in family value system, abuse, lack of the communication and coordination between school and the homes and a deficiency in sporting activities. Many children did not have birth certificates and there were adults who did not have national ID cards.

Bowrin agrees and supports the FSF in principle and will consider funding on a project by project basis. “My concern now is just to see them grow. My intervention would be to see how I can strengthen them and give them the confidence to keep their focus,” he said.

BGTT, said Bowrin, supports community groups where their facilities are located.

“The standard under which we operate is that we must have harmonious relationship with communities. They must benefit from our investments. I’m satisfied with what I’m seeing although there’s always room for improvement.”

T&T CSR REVIEW 2014 35
“families were able to register children in schools, apply for and obtain housing grants to improve homes and bravely tackled the issues of alcohol and other addictions affecting family life.”
Parenting agents discuss funding for their pepper project with Ms. Marcia De Castro, UNDP ResidentRepresentative Trinidad and Tobago and Suriname Parenting agents in ice breaking exercises and role plays


At Columbus we’re committed to giving back to the communities in which we operate. That means, enabling nation building through community development and the creation of social assets. Columbus is dedicated to achieving this through our core pillars which include:

• Learning through Technology

• Resource Capacity Building

• Promiting National Identity through Arts and Culture

• Building Stronger Communities through Sports

• Community Partnering

A Channel for Self-Expression and Entrepreneurism

Flow & the T&T Film Festival chart a new course for filmmakers

At Columbus Communications Trinidad

Limited operators of Flow and Columbus Business Solutions, the leadership has a deep commitment to education and the company is leveraging technology every day to make learning relevant to youth. One way in which they are doing so is in the promotion of the local film industry and engaging with school age youth in promoting local arts and culture.

Stepping into the modern classroom, one is taken back by how very different the learning environment has become over the last decade. Virtual libraries, remote tutors and E-books are just some of the ways that technology is influencing the way education is delivered today.

In his book Lights! Camera! Action and the Brain: The Use of Film in Education, Dr. Maher Bahoul, associate professor of English and Linguistics (The American University of Sharjah), explores just how film and media literacy are having a “profound influence” on teaching. In one of the chapters, he explores how “video can be used to boost the learning capabilities of those with special needs”, using case studies of deaf and autistic students. In an article in the UK Guardian newspaper in November 2013, journalist Harriet Swain shared how film was not just a powerful education tool but that it also works to emotionally connect people from diverse backgrounds on salient issues.

As Swain reports in her interview with Jane Fletcher, schools support director at Film Nation UK, “film watching, understanding and making (is) a fantastic opportunity, and also a cultural entitlement.”

The company espouses a bold ambition in articulating its CSR intent. The company says that it is “committed to sustained activities that…help develop communities and build nations.”

In its quest to satisfy this aspiration, Columbus works collaboratively throughout the Caribbean with communities in the area of education to transform lives and to reduce poverty. But it is Columbus’s strategic use of technology in promoting arts and culture via the Flow brand that is charting new avenues for filmmakers and producers in Trinidad and Tobago. In fact, Flow sponsors “festivals, programming, carnivals and all other kinds of arts and events that foster creativity, support local talent and keep our rich history and traditions alive.” The company’s investments exceeds US$2.5m each year.

Building a Caribbean Film Industry

Established to promote arts and culture using the genre of film for creative selfexpression and entrepreneurism, the annual T&T Film Festival (TTFF) has struck an invaluable partnership with Flow to move forward its agenda to facilitate the growth of the Caribbean film industry. Together with the TTFF, Flow is revolutionizing not just the

telecommunications industry but also how Arts and Culture is packaged and delivered to generate previously unrealizable revenue streams. Says Bruce Paddington, Founder and Director of the TTFF, “FLOW has played such an important role in the development of the TTFF that it is now the leading Caribbean film festival in the world.” As he explains, it is with Flow’s loyal and visionary support that the organisation can “continue to grow (and) to build a Caribbean film industry.”

In 2006, Paddington established the TTFF to promote home grown talent in the film industry and to heighten interest and appreciation of local cultural products. “In many ways” says Brian Collins, Managing Director, Southern Caribbean, Columbus Communications, “we had a common interest in reinforcing positive images of Caribbean peoples and the relevance of Trinidad and Tobago in those interpretations.”

Marketing Film with Technology

Collins shares how the partnership works. Following its inception in 2006, the festival needed a mechanism to expand its reach

36 T&T CSR REVIEW 2014
CSR Story
Bruce Paddington, Founder and Director, TTFF

outside of the traditional enthusiasts. Flow cable already uses its infrastructure to educate on a number of platforms. In 2008, Flow extended that use of its digital platform to strike what Collins describes as “a landmark three-year, multi-million dollar partnership” with the Trinidad & Tobago Film Festival, as the presenting sponsor of the Festival and “the only private sector company involved as a main sponsor.” The use of television to build audiences for local film, has worked exponentially to enhance support and participation beyond the theatre halls.

The use of Pay-Per-View (PPV) technology provides movie-lovers the opportunity to watch exclusively on Flow, the range of local and regional films from the Festival using both current and archival access. And now with the Video-on-Demand (VOD) service which was added in 2009, digital subscribers can view content from a video library containing hundreds of titles, at a time that is convenient to them with all proceeds going to filmmakers. Collins describes the VOD platform as “one of the fastest growing distribution platforms that provides an effective and novel form of distribution.” Despite intense competition from other online platforms, in 2012, this vehicle reached an all-time high of 700,000 orders in just one month. In 2013, 1290 of these were Caribbean films with 100% of the proceeds going directly to the film makers.

Film Festival participants and the producers of the film “Senoritas”, Lina Rodriguez and Brad Deane are deeply appreciative of Flow’s effort and the difference the Festival is making for filmmakers like them. They described the festival as “an invigorating experience”, inspiring them “to keep making the films we want to make, in our own way and pace... the Caribbean is definitely where it’s at, and the world will indeed get to see the amazing work coming from there in years to come.”

Becoming World-Class

At Columbus Communications arts and culture, and education work synergistically to create potent and powerful perspectives that can positively alter lives. This is what informs the company’s CSR policy. The policy draws from the business model of the company which aims to be world-class, “committed to the construction of technical infrastructure and systems that are technically superior to its competitors.” In its pursuit of education initiatives Columbus Communication looks towards building programmes that are equally visionary and transformational.

Wendy McDonald, Director Corporate and Government Affairs at Columbus Communications, explains just how that vision is taking root. The company’s flagship project is the introduction of free internet and cable for all schools – a project which has been successful in its objective to support the development of enabling infrastructure to enhance learning opportunities.

Flow’s internet and cable networks, provide any school, whether at the level of early childhood, primary or secondary

education, access to a 25 mbps internet connection and three cable outlets for free in order to assist with its educational objectives. In Trinidad more than 370 schools with over 200,000 children and educators are currently connected, and this infrastructure serves as the foundation for (the company’s) work in online and interactive education.”

As McDonald shares, the use of film, television and internet as learning tools is applicable for this generation of E-Learners who rely increasingly on visual stimuli as a necessary component of contemporary education. Technology brings data directly to a child’s computer, delivering new information in minutes as compared to the hours it once took to travel to and from a public library. Flow’s interventions in education through technology touches many age groups across a number of demographics. Projects such as iLearn, Community Hub, Hop Along, and reaches students ranging from age 9 to 17.

Corporate Philosophy

Pushing the limits on e-learning, Columbus Communications also engages with a number of service groups “to improve the teaching and learning environment of schools through computer donations, access to educational software, mentoring and specific skills building”. The company’s social investment programmes in technology are built on one of two pillars of corporate responsibility which underscore its core philosophy: that of “Conquering the digital divide by promoting learning through technology and resource capacity building”. The second, as evidenced in its partnership with the TTFF, is that of “Fostering prosperous communities by promoting national identity through arts and culture, building stronger communities through sports and community partnering”.

In all that it does – either operationally or through its CSR programmes, Columbus Communications is leading the way in how technology is deployed to improve lives across Trinidad and Tobago and the wider Caribbean region.

T&T CSR REVIEW 2014 37
“FLOW has played such an important role in the development of the TTFF that it is now the leading Caribbean film festival in the world.”
FLOW film festival awards ceremony 2013


BP’s objective is to create value for shareholders and supplies of energy for the world in a safe and responsible way. We strive to be a safety leader in our industry, a world-class operator, a responsible corporate citizen and a good employer. We are working to enhance safety and risk management, earn back trust and grow value.

Keeping a relentless focus on safety is a top priority for us. Rigorous management of risk helps to protect the people at the frontline, the places in which we operate and the value we create.

We understand that operating in politically complex regions and technically demanding geographies, such as deep water and oil sands, requires particular sensitivity to local environments. We continue to enhance our systems, processes and standards, including how we manage the risks that can be created by the actions of our contractors and the operators of joint ventures in which we participate.

We can only operate if we maintain the trust of people inside and outside the company. We must earn people’s trust by being fair and responsible in everything we do. We monitor our performance closely and aim to report in a transparent way. We believe good communication and open dialogue are vital if we are to meet the expectations of our employees, customers, shareholders and the local communities in which we operate.

We are working to become a simpler business, with a clear focus on what we do best. Our distinctive capabilities include exploration, operations in deep water, managing giant fields and gas value chains, and our world-class downstream business – underpinned by

The BPTT Principle of Value Creation

Today’s people securing tomorrow

Imagine a school boy or girl sitting in a classroom. What lies ahead in their future? What tools will they need for a brighter tomorrow? These are some of the questions that bpTT as a corporate citizen tries to address. While it is difficult to predict the future, the company continues to be an economic and social force in Trinidad and Tobago, playing a major role in the country’s development. The economic well-being of this twin island republic is important to the company so much so that on his recent visit to the “Beyond Borders” Beetham Gardens Project, BP group president stated

“I have visited our facilities in Trinidad but this is the best part of my visit. I am extremely proud that we all support this programme. Even if we provide the money, that in itself wouldn’t make a difference. It is what you do with it. The real difference is the impact you make on the lives of the people.

“If we carry out more of these projects in Trinidad and Tobago and other parts of the world, the world would be a different place,”

technology and relationships. Strong financial performance is vital because it enables us to make the investments necessary to produce the energy that society requires, as well as to reward and maintain the support of our shareholders.

By supplying energy, we support economic development and help to improve quality of life for millions of

BP Trinidad and Tobago (bpTT) is the country’s largest hydrocarbon producer, holding licenses covering some 904,000 acres off Trinidad’s east coast.

Through its predecessor organizations, Amoco Trinidad Oil Company and BP Amoco, bpTT has been operating in Trinidad and Tobago since 1961, exploring for, and producing oil and gas in marine areas off the east coast of Trinidad. The company has 13 offshore platforms, two onshore processing facilities and accounts for more than half of the country’s national production of oil and gas and is the single largest source of Government’s revenue. BPTT’s contribution to GDP in 2013 was between 15%-17%. With operations responsible for the employment of a growing workforce both directly and indirectly through contractors and independent operators, bpTT has been a major voice contributing to a national discussion between the energy industry and Government.

“Despite the current challenges facing natural gas businesses due to depressed natural gas prices and

people. Our activities also generate jobs, investment, infrastructure and revenues for governments and local communities. Our portfolio includes lower-carbon options with the potential to make a significant contribution, now and in the future.

38 T&T CSR REVIEW 2014
CSR Story

escalating costs, we are fully committed to the long term success of Trinidad & Tobago,” said BPTT’s President, Norman Christie while speaking at a conference on Revenue Management in Small Highly Open Hydrocarbon Rich Exporting Economies in June 2012.

Christie’s position is at the heart of the bpTT Aspiration. It speaks to both country and company benefitting from the bpTT presence in Trinidad and Tobago. “One of the greatest risks to our industry,” said Christie, “is the business environment. As gas markets continue to change, so too must our country’s approach to the energy sector. Investing in technology, safety and people are but three of the four key factors needed to keep the local industry robust.”

Evaluations of CSR effectiveness and sustainability measurement would usually consider dual perspectives of resource consumption and value creation. BPTT creates value for its shareholders and supplies energy to the world safely and responsibly. For bpTT’s CSR outlook, this manifests in several distinct ways which add value to Trinidad and Tobago, contribute to economic stability and support GORTT’s diversification agenda.

BPTT adds value through its investment in people, solid business performance and through social responsibility programming.

Adding value through investment in people

The energy sector relies heavily on the availability of highly skilled people from diverse backgrounds. It is a priority for bpTT to attract, develop and retain the best. The company’s internal CSR approach is to build the right capability within, and support this with targeted external recruitment to complement the skills and experience of existing employees. BPTT employs 900 nationals of Trinidad and Tobago and indirectly supports 5000 jobs.

BPTT focuses on ensuring the safety of employees and contractors, engaging with them, and increasing the diversity of the workforce so that it reflects the society. Globally, BP has set goals for gender representation in leadership positions. The goal is for 25% of group leaders and 30% of senior level leaders to be women by 2020. BPTT is on track with this target as, 23% of its senior level leaders are female.

“We are a pioneer within the BP Global Group with a distinctively TT identity and in delivering extraordinary business performance, we will actively participate in the development of the country by positively impacting the life of everyone who works for the company, every citizen and the global environment.”

Solid business performance

Over the years, the company has built a world class business in Trinidad and Tobago and remains optimistic about the future. The company has been at the forefront of the technological advances in the energy sector. The first ever Ocean Bottom Cable (OBC) seismic survey was conducted in Trinidad & Tobago in 2013 which revealed positive results. Other technological, cutting edge exploration and production tools were showcased to the government and other stakeholders in October 2013. BP’s Chief Executive Bob Dudley opened the BP Technology Experience in Trinidad & Tobago which

T&T CSR REVIEW 2014 39
Galeota Facilities People and Operational Safety are priorities at all bpTT’s facilities

was hosted by bpTT. It highlighted the technology that BP employs and how these innovations can boost prospects in Trinidad & Tobago.

Although there are no immediate plans for diversification of the business in T&T, bpTT is committed to contributing to the country through its investments. In the last ten years, the company has invested $55bn TTD in the country and will continue to contribute to enhance economic development.

bpTT and social investment

The Aspiration forms part of the company’s fabric and is a statement that the organization has committed to since its inception. Through its Corporate Responsibility programmes, bpTT has invested approximately $300m TTD in the past ten years, with initiatives spanning its focus areas: Education, Arts and Culture, Enterprise Development and Capacity Building and the Environment. Investments in these areas support national development and ultimately create value. Partnerships and sponsorships with NGOs and CBOs across

the nation assist in making a definite impact in at-risk communities and strive to change lives through the creation of opportunities for citizens.

In its host community Mayaro, bpTT has contributed $10.5m TTD in education and awarded 350 scholarships to residents in pursuit of tertiary education and training through the Brighter Prospects scholarship programme. The Mayaro Initiative for Private Enterprise and Development (MIPED) has $60,000,000 TTD in a revolving fund, has distributed over 2,600 loans and has created 1,400 plus full time jobs.

The discussion about how best to manage the economy starts with transparency and an understanding of how the Government derives its revenue. In 2011, Trinidad & Tobago joined the EITI as a candidate country with the aim of achieving compliant country Status in 2014. The first Trinidad & Tobago EITI report was published in on 30thSeptember 2013. BPTT agreed to participate in the TTEITI report aligning itself with the thrust towards increased transparency in the extractive industries.

In 2012, bpTT in partnership with The University of the West Indies, embarked upon a series of conferences surrounding the management of revenues in the extractive sector. Entitled, “Revenue Management in Small Highly Open Hydrocarbon Rich Exporting Economies” the conference was the first installment in a series of conferences. “Revenue Reporting” is the second conference in the “Creating a Culture of Transparency” series and will take in place in June 2014 with a focus on publishing revenues and examining how these revenues are being utilized.

BPTT creates value and contributes to the development of Trinidad and Tobago through its corporate social responsibility focus areas, contributions to technology, and investing in its employees. The 2050 vision will be as bright as the careful development and management of people and resources. BPTT is proud to be able contribute to a positive future for Trinidad and Tobago through its social investments. That little boy or girl can therefore look forward to a bright future.

40 T&T CSR REVIEW 2014
BP Brighter Prospects BP’s Brighter Prospects investment has awarded 10.5 million and 350 scholarship awards in Mayaro alone.
n n n n n n


PowerGen’s corporate philanthropic policy is “Youth Development Through Sport and Education”. This is a core value of the company and employee volunteerism supports this value.

PowerGen’s Employees

Our best ambassadors

When a company describes its workers as their best ambassadors, it says something monumental about both the company and its employees.

All year, PowerGen employees, from the top level to the base, generously give of their time to volunteer for major activities and keep busy with smaller community projects as they continuously enroll more and more employees to get involved. Volunteerism at PowerGen has an impetus of its own and in many ways it has come to define the culture of the company.

PowerGen’s employee volunteer programme is a broader concept of the company’s Corporate Social Responsibility, an essential component of ethical business practices. The energy company is among a growing number of companies globally, that are increasingly tapping into the talents and skills of their workforce to volunteer their time to causes that are making a difference and bringing benefits both to the company’s image as a responsible corporate citizen and to the lives of their workers who build valuable networks and enhance team-building skills.

It’s Personal

Annually, PowerGen’s Corporate Communications Programme invites the company’s workforce to join various committees which are coordinated by the Community Relations Committee.

“Essentially, this is employees nominating themselves for a role that they know is going to take time and effort on their part and quite often a lot of their personal time also,” says Sonya Lequay, Manager HR & Corporate Communications.

The company’s CSR activities are built around their three geographical locations, Port of Spain, Penal and Point Lisas and seeks to work collaboratively with those communities and to maintain a harmonious relationship with these neighbours.

Going National

But activities are not restricted to the three areas of their operations; projects are also carried out in other regions of the country – many times because employees have identified projects they would like to support.

42 T&T CSR REVIEW 2014
PowerGen employees opening the bus shelter in Cedros
CSR Story

Last year, after a proposal was brought by the Community Relations Committee about the need for a bus shelter in the coastal village of Cedros, the company erected a roomy bus shed, complete with seating accommodation.

Now, villagers of the deep southern village do not have to scamper for shelter when it rains or stand in the scorching sun awaiting a bus and they are assured of regular maintenance of the bus shed by PowerGen.

Many privately-run homes for the aged and for children in different locations of the country have also benefited from the volunteer spirit of PowerGen’s employees, whether it was a general paint job, refurbishment of fixtures and fittings, renovations or electrical repairs.

Giving Their Best

In all of these activities, PowerGen workers play a key role in the planning, organising and execution of the projects – all on a volunteer basis.

PowerGen’s annual calendar of events includes a Christmas Treat for underprivileged children held at PowerGen’s Sports Ground in Penal. This is a massive undertaking but volunteer employees who have built up a relationship with children’s homes, suppliers, transport and other logistics now have an easier, although still challenging time, to put all plans into action.

“I think it’s just their desire to help others. When we had our kick-off meeting for 2014, that was very clearly expressed by everyone,” said Lequay,

when asked what motivated PowerGen workers to give freely of their time.

“When they join this committee, it means they want to help young people, they want to assist communities, the elderly in homes, the under-privileged, the special needs children and they want to give the best that they can, even if it means dipping into their own pockets to do so,” she added.

Making it Special

One of PowerGen’s major annual events is the Special Children’s Fun Day, which was held this year (2014) on April 30th at the Penal Power Station’s Sports Grounds, involving over 1,750 young people from our twin-island nation, joined by a school from Barbados.

A must-attend event for this special fraternity, the children compete in Track and Field, Obstacle and Novelty events and socialize over breakfast, lunch and refreshments which are served all day.

PowerGen also contributes to education and training at a national level through its annual support of University and Technical/Vocational Scholarships and Scholarships for Primary and Secondary School students.

Its corporate philanthropic policy is focused on “Youth Development through Sport and Education” and this is at the core of the company’s values. That commitment is demonstrated in a number of ways including the sponsorship of the only annual National Special Children’s sports in the country. The company is also the longest-serving investor in youth cricket through its investment in the PowerGen Secondary Schools‘ Cricket League.

Carrying the torch and at the heart of every event are PowerGen’s employees - proud ambassadors for their company.

T&T CSR REVIEW 2014 43
“When they join this committee, it means they want to help young people…and they want to give the best that they can, even if it means dipping into their own pockets to do so,”
We are all winners! Participants at PowerGen’s Special Children’s Fun Day 2014 with a PowerGen volunteer

A Common Cause

Caribbean neighbours share the burden of recovery in 2013

Passionate and deeply committed, Avonelle Hector Joseph provides some insights into how NGOs deliver emergency relief in times of crisis

Pounding rains, hurricane strength winds and fast rising flood water on Christmas Day 2013 brought death and wreaked havoc and turmoil for the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Saint Lucia and Dominica.

When the rains and winds and floods subsided, the death toll was 18 including a man, tragically buried alive under mud while still in bed. The natural disaster disrupted 685 lives, displaced 237 persons, damaged 135 homes and totally destroyed another 30.

The islands’ governments, realizing the magnitude of the disaster and its impact on its people and infrastructure, called out for help.

Nearby in Trinidad and Tobago, the Christmas and holiday festivities were

put aside and celebrations cancelled as immediate relief was being organized by a small non-profit organization, Is There Not a Cause (ITNAC), which began rallying the public’s support for donation of food, clothes and materials for displaced families in the three islands.

Within 72 hours, ITNAC volunteers were on the ground in St. Lucia and five days later in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. ITNAC volunteers with the help of local allies, social media and referrals assisted in the task of distributing the much needed supplies to affected families. Between January and March 2014, ITNAC volunteers also made four trips to St. Vincent to clear rubble and mud and assist in rebuilding houses for displaced families.

44 T&T CSR REVIEW 2014
CSR Feature

Avonelle Hector-Joseph, the organization’s energetic and passionate founder and co-leader says, “It is a task for an army,” conjuring the colossal effort required from organizing assistance on the ground to getting it in the hands of affected persons thousands of miles away.

ITNAC’s members are a handful of devoted volunteers, most of whom have families and regular jobs. They ask for time off, use their weekends and holidays and their sleeping and rest time to work and lend their knowledge and skills as and where needed.

But the organization does not just drop supplies and leave. Avonnelle spoke of short, medium and long-term projects for St. Vincent for example, which were not initially in their 2014 plans.

“We are cause-oriented,” she explains. “We have to be very fluid. St Vincent was not in our cards. We have a lot of work going on in Haiti and Kenya that we anticipated doing in 2014. But we don’t like to say to someone that we can’t help because we didn’t plan for this.”

The name, Is there Not a Cause, comes from a quotation in the Bible. Established in 2002, the organization is a registered non-profit with the Ministry of Legal Affairs. From their humble headquarters on Charlotte Street in Port of Spain, they reach out and touch the world in meaningful ways, providing

basic needs that could mean life or death, health or disease or simply a full belly for the child of an under-employed, unsupported single mother.

Avonelle is the face and voice of the organization, which receives no sustained state or corporate funding. Most of ITNAC’s income is provided through grassroots’ funding by people who participate at their garage sales, breakfasts, shows and other fundraising activities. ITNAC provides monthly contributions to projects it has undertaken locally and in Haiti, Jamaica, St Lucia, St. Vincent, Guyana, Kenya and India.

ITNAC initially got off the ground at home in Trinidad and Tobago with a focus on youth, and as an agent for social change following the violent death of a young man with whom Avonelle was acquainted.

Since that time ITNAC has been responding to many areas of need, from providing 150 back-to-school packages to needy students, to repairing and building houses,or providing transition housing for ex-prisoners, or assisting persons in emergency situations. A major part of their focus is disaster relief.

The team has been present at the sites of most of the major regional disasters in the last 12 years: Grenada’s hurricane Ivan, Jamaica after hurricane Dean, the disastrous flooding in Guyana, in the

USA after hurricane Rita and providing a consistent response to the seemingly endless tragedies of Haiti - earthquake, floods, hurricanes and cholera.

While primarily of the Christian faith, ITNAC embraces volunteers and donations from all religious backgrounds. The organization’s relief assistance is also given to anyone who has a genuine need, regardless of faith.

At the site of a disaster, volunteers provide aid in a variety of ways: medical assistance, cleaning up, distribution of hot meals, clothing and counseling. In other parts of the world, ITNAC provides financial support to children’s homes, paying the salary of teachers and providing meals.

“In all disasters there are always people who need help but don’t get help for various reasons. Somehow we find ourselves connecting with those persons. Sometimes, two and three weeks after a disaster there are persons who still have not received assistance. We were able to reach those persons,” Avonelle remarked.

Volunteers also connect with people who may not have been directly affected by the disaster, but are living on or below the poverty line. Avonelle explains: “In countries where there is a lot of poverty, the slightest disturbance can totally upset their fragile equilibrium.

T&T CSR REVIEW 2014 45

For example in Jamaica in 2007 and last year in St. Vincent where we found a lot of poverty we didn’t even know existed, ITNAC was able to offer simple assistance such as providing bottled water to a community where there had been no clean water for days and many were getting diarrhea.”

In the greater scheme of things, a small case of water valued at about TT$25 can be the difference between life and death. A case of diarrhea can be fatal.


Traditionally the delivery of aid can be very expensive. When ITNAC goes into a country, the organization looks for reputable partners. “We look for persons who are already engaged in the work we want to do. We network. That way we don’t have to re-invent the wheel,” explains Avonelle. These partners are able to keep expenses to the minimum by assisting with transport, housing and meals. In that way the majority of funds donated can go towards the project.

Facebook, BBM, email and word of mouth have all been critical to the disaster response efforts. Avonelle says: “People just call us. Fortunately we have built a good reputation. For example with Haiti in 2010, we didn’t have to go and ask for airtime. The media called us.”

She listed a number of organizations that were quick in responding. “Airports Authority staff collected stuff and gave it to us. RBC staff ran a drive and gave us tons of stuff.” Most of the donations are in the form of materials and products. Some, in the form of cash. A few large companies give on a regular basis, among them an optical company that has been a solid supporter over the last 12 years.

Her team writes hundreds of letters every year requesting contributions from companies, most of which respond negatively.

The response from people at the grass root level, however, has been the opposite. “It is the grandmother who is bringing a hundred dollars every month from her pension or the nursery that did a dollar drive. The widow’s mite is what adds up and contributes to what we are,” said the ITNAC founder.

Jasmine, a young lady in her twenties makes a monthly contribution to the organization since she started work. She says, “This is my way of helping. My hands and my feet can’t be out there, but at least my finances can take somebody else out there, or at least provide for their needs.”

Avonelle does not receive a salary. Tricia, a full time volunteer with the organization, receives a stipend of TT$560 per week. Other volunteers get less. While a decent salary would certainly allow her to better support her family, Tricia has been changed by her experience of working with ITNAC over the past four years.

“It gives you a different perspective on life.” She says. “It is a humbling experience, a very fulfilling experience.”

With consistent funding for operations and projects, the organization would be able to do a lot more but ITNAC does not wait for the money to come. They push ahead with dream projects, one of which is a shelter for victims of domestic violence and their children.

Another is transitional housing for people who have been evicted because they were unable to pay their rent, and a dorm for adult orphans who have to leave children’s homes when they attain age 18 --many of whom, end up on the streets.

The passion that triggered ITNAC’s birth continues to energize Avonelle.

“This is my life. After God and my husband and daughter, this is my passion. This is not something that I do because I’m paid for it, because I can’t be paid for it. This is me. This is what God has called me to do. So I know the things I would like to see done in my lifetime, and the only thing that would hinder is funds, and I know that will come in time.”

46 T&T CSR REVIEW 2014
“It is a task for an army.” But they do the work with a handful of devoted volunteers, most of whom have families and regular jobs.

Perhaps, it is the very nature of the business of communications and its ever growing menu of tools deployed in the management of the complex relationship between companies and their stakeholders that generates great debates. In 1988, the Gold Paper No. 6 published by the International Public Relations Association (IPRA), an active community of Public Relations practitioners from 80 countries worldwide, debated the concepts of Public Relations and Propaganda - Values Compared. Today, the debate is about Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Corporate Philanthropy – Strategy or Nice To Do. What drives the debate is the search to find answers to questions about what companies need to do and why, in order to fulfil their social responsibility. In the movement towards rationalising the scope of corporate involvement in society, warm and fuzzy philanthropy finds itself under scrutiny and often in the same pejorative category as propaganda and even of PR when compared to CSR. The way to a word’s heart of meaning

CSR vs Philanthropy Enhancing

Corporate Strategy

is through its history, it has been said. The 5th century playwright, Aeschylus is credited with creating the word to describe Prometheus’ character in his play ‘Prometheus Bound”. The new word which combined existing words meaning ‘loving’ and ‘humanity’ was needed to describe the “love of humanity’ expressed by the far reaching impact of the gift of fire to mankind.

Corporate philanthropy today centres on the actions of companies that demonstrate a love of humanity and efforts to return a portion of profits, whether in cash or in kind, to support the society which it credits for its survival and good fortune. Most agree that philanthropic activities have helped to build societies and enhance environments: NGOs are funded, endangered turtles are saved, scholarships are disbursed, children and the vulnerable have life-saving medical treatment paid for and beaches are cleaned. So-called ‘high impact philanthropy’ has been developed in response to the criticism that the

effects of philanthropy are not always or easily measured and are difficult to be audited against external benchmarks. Programmes now use metrics to measure the value of high employee engagement and their social impact and point to these as investments that build goodwill and brand value and, ultimately share prices.

So what, then, is the problem?

Because philanthropy consumes financial resources, investors would be more comfortable with a justification of the expense that is linked to the achievement of business strategy and which meets the expectations of all stakeholders. A company’s first order of business is to be profitable, and the second is to survive. Companies and the societies in which they operate have a symbiotic relationship. The society provides resources: financial, material and human; even as its presence can have social impacts, the company provides the jobs we need to sustain our lives, the goods and services that enhance our existence. It is this acknowledged relationship that suggests that businesses

48 T&T CSR REVIEW 2014
CSR Lessons

and the societies and communities in which they operate would be better off pursuing policies and programmes that are mutually beneficial.

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is the response of business to the recognition that it can serve society best by operating in a socially responsible manner, one which takes responsibility for its social, environmental and financial impacts. The main themes in contemporary definitions of CSR focus on issues of: economic and social impact, adherence to legal and ethical requirements, the voluntary and philanthropic nature of activities, the sustainability of environmental activities and the outcomes of interventions. Positive attention to economic and social impact, rewards business with a ‘license to operate’. For those companies in the so-called extractive industries or in industrial operation close to ‘fence line communities’, continued demonstrations of the value of the company’s presence in the community can mitigate against protest action that harms operational efficiency.

So, yes, philanthropic activities are a part of CSR, but not the whole. CSR activities have also incorporated activities to protect and preserve the environment, programmes to develop employees and promote safe workplaces. They have gone as far as to look backwards in the supply chain to ensure that the practices of suppliers are ethical: no blood diamonds, child labour or animals harmed through product testing. They have raised the standard of living in communities through the funding of education and training programmes. But it seems now that there is a ‘problem’ with CSR as well!

Porter and Kramer writing in the Harvard Business Review looked at CSR practice in 2006 and declared, “The fact is that the prevailing approaches to CSR are so fragmented and disconnected from business and strategy as to obscure many of the greatest opportunities for companies to benefit society.”

The writers have proposed a framework within which to reconsider

the relationship between business and society, the identification of all impacts of business on society so that a priority for addressing can be established. They suggest that when the traditional reasons for undertaking CSR activities are examined - moral obligation, reputation, sustainability, license to operate - none provide a true compass to corporations as they weigh what is best to do, when there is so much to be done. “To advance CSR,” they recommend, “we must root it in a broad understanding of the interrelationship between a corporation and society while at the same time anchoring it in the strategies and activities of specific companies.”

Examination of a company’s value chain activities, external social conditions and an appreciation of what creates competitive advantage for the company where it operates can provide guidance for designing a “best fit” CSR strategy.

The value chain concept, with which students of marketing and Porter philosophy are familiar, considers both the primary and support activities of companies. The framework recommends a distilling of the impacts of these, both positive and negative, mining them for opportunities as well as threats around which CSR activities will be developed. Social conditions of a society: crime, unemployment, education attainment levels that impact employability, are all part of the competitive environment of companies.

Porter and Kramer propose that awarding priority to social issues that impact the company and those impacted by the company in the course of its business is one way to narrow the focus to determine ‘what to do and why.’ This can be distinguished from those ‘generic’ social issues that do not significantly affect or are affected by the company’s operations. A ranking of these supports the creation of the company’s unique social agenda. Porter and Kramer conclude: “a corporate social agenda looks beyond community expectations to opportunities to achieve social and economic benefits simultaneously. It moves from mitigating harm to finding

ways to reinforce corporate strategy by advancing social conditions.”

In the end, it is the combination of good corporate citizenship and attention to transforming value chain activities while promoting business strategy that results in effective CSR programming. One local example of how this works is the case of a national company with international partners and trading internationally. High levels of unemployables and drug abuse in its fence-line community, were social conditions that posed a direct challenge to its global competitiveness: suitable labour was scarce and drug abuse among workers posed a risk to safe operations. The company embarked on a strategy, first to make drug testing a condition of employment at above average wages. Subsequently, in collaboration with skills education institutions, the company fully funded training programmes that produced over time, skilled workers in excess of the needs of the company but who could be absorbed by other employers. Employment priority was given to trained residents of the fenceline community, and skills development was enhanced by on-the-job training and technology transfer facilitated by its international partners. The overall impact was a measurable decrease in drug abuse, an increase in the availability of skilled workers and a decrease in unemployment levels. It is this fully integrated approach of combining social agenda with the support process of the business, in this case HR management, that creates a unique value proposition for such a company.

It is therefore not a question of CSR or Philanthropy. As a valuable activity of business that consumes significant resources and which has the potential to transform societies, CSR success must be measured by the achievement of shared value that sustains both the company and the society in which it operates.

T&T CSR REVIEW 2014 49

Standardizing CSR Practice

Common process to measuring impact

In the 2013 CSR Review, I wrote about the UN Global Compact and its principles, focussing on the first two of the ten principles listed in this Compact, which was launched in January 1999. The Compact serves as a guide to any business that professes social responsibility and allows businesses to apply a common process for measuring their social impact.

The major principles of the Compact address issues of: human rights (discussed in the previous edition), labour, the environment and anticorruption. These are all important issues for discussion, but in light of the disasters posed by climate change to small island development states such as those in the Caribbean, it may be the opportune time to discuss what measures businesses

can take to assist with environmental conservation and preservation, especially those engaged in the extractive and manufacturing industries.

Environmental conservation and preservation encompass land, water, air and minimising the depletion of a country’s mineral resources. In the Caribbean, the major revenue earners of tourism and agriculture which depend on geological and climactic conditions, are susceptible to natural disasters that call for repeated outlays of costly infrastructure. The Caribbean is faced with coastal erosion due to rising sea levels and the related threat of salt water infiltration of its freshwater sources, flooding and land-slides, hurricanes and earthquakes. On Christmas day 2013,

the islands of Dominica, St. Lucia and St. Vincent & the Grenadines suffered devastation of homes, infrastructure, and the loss of 18 lives due to flooding and landslides. While countries such as Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago have to pay more attention to the depletion of mineral resources, they are also frequently affected by flooding.

The Principles of the Compact that specifically address the environment are principles 7, 8 and 9, which urge businesses to support and adopt a precautionary approach to environmental challenges, to promote greater environmental responsibility, and to encourage the development and diffusion of environmentally friendly technologies .

50 T&T CSR REVIEW 2014

Principle 7, which addresses a precautionary or preventative approach, urges businesses to: analyse potential environmental impacts of production processes and products, build in safety margins when setting standards in areas where significant uncertainty still exists; ban or restrict an activity whose impact on the environment is uncertain; promote best available technology; implement cleaner production; and communicate with stakeholders. Adopting a precautionary approach reduces unnecessary risks and remediation of environmental harm after it has occurred, which could be financially very costly and damaging for the company’s image ( partner/business).

Principle 8 urges businesses to undertake initiatives to promote greater environmental responsibility in keeping with Agenda 21 –viz: “the responsible and ethical management of products and processes from the point of view of health, safety and environmental aspects.” Environmental responsibility on a company’s part can result in benefits such as enhancement of business development opportunities and corporate reputation and could facilitate increased dialogue and partnership with key business clients and partners, customers, employees, shareholders, business partners, suppliers and many community groups.

Companies should work with their suppliers in an effort to improve their environmental performance and redefine their own strategies and policies to include the “triple bottom line” of sustainable development (economic prosperity, environmental quality and social equity). Businesses should measure and report on their progress, applying global operating standards, use codes of conduct, and ensure transparency at all times (

One concrete step that businesses could take to increase their environmental responsibility, is to actively strive to implement the International Declaration on Cleaner Production.This Declaration urges companies to play a leadership

role in encouraging the adoption of sustainable production and consumption practices; to engage in capacity building; to integrate preventive strategies; to invest in research and development for the creation of innovative solutions; to share their experiences. (http://www. pdf).

Principle 9 encourages businesses to develop and use environmentally friendly technologies as defined by Agenda 21 – technologies that are less polluting, that protect the environment, use of resources in a sustainable manner, using efficient ways of recycling wastes and products, and ensuring that residual wastes are handled in a more acceptable manner. Applying environmentally sound technologies (ESTs) result in: technology innovation that creates new business opportunities; a reduction in emissions of environmental contaminants, and a decrease in the exposure of workers to hazardous materials. Technologies that use materials more efficiently and cleanly are known to redound long-term economic and environmental benefits (

It is encouraging to know that several businesses and the donor community pledged their commitment at the Caribbean Summit of Political and Business Leaders under the Caribbean Challenge Initiative (CCI) at a meeting that took place May 17th& 18th 2013. Additionally, they signed a Corporate Compact to safeguard the Caribbean’s Marine and Coastal Environment, in which they recognised that:

“The Caribbean’s ecosystem creates and sustains vital livelihoods for its local communities and the Caribbean economy is inextricably linked to healthy marine and coastal ecosystems. The total value of ecosystem services – the shoreline protection, fisheries, and the scenic lands and waters that attract tourists — provided by coastal habitats in the Caribbean is over US$375,000 annually per hectare. Yet all marine and coastal natural capital in the Caribbean is threatened by unsustainable coastal development, land – and sea-based

pollution, unsustainable fishing, and ongoing climate change. Together we can, and will, collaborate and apply our resources and expertise to help change this.” cci/doc/corporate-compact-2013-05-17en.pdf.

Apart from adopting a preventative approach as opposed to one that is crisis responsive (Principle 7) and using ESTs (Principle 9), businesses in the Caribbean should take a number of specific steps to promote environmental responsibility (Principle 8), such as: keeping themselves informed about national and regional policy initiatives on the environment; investing in a Fund for Disaster Management and for Environmental Preservation and Conservation such as the Green Fund; supporting the work of civil society groups on the environment; and supporting groups that engage in capacity and awareness building on environmental resource management.

It is important to note that some of the world’s most profitable businesses such as Ford, Toyota, BMW, Honda, Shell, Du Pont, Swiss Re, Hewlett Packard and Unilever (Avery & Bergsteiner: 2010 and Dunphy et al: 2007), are using sustainable environmental methods for resource management. A study by the Boston Consulting Group of some 1,560 business leaders from various regions, industries, job positions and who were sustainability experts noted the viability and benefits of sustainable practice (Boston Consulting Group Report; 2009: 4 – 32). The hope is that businesses in the Caribbean will implement strategies and work for the preservation and conservation of the environment, which will not only be profitable, but ensure economic and social benefit for future generations, since environmental sustainability is a driver for investment economic growth.

T&T CSR REVIEW 2014 51
Wendy Singh is a Specialist in Human Rights and Human Development & CSR Consultant.

Caribbean Children in Crisis

Why companies must invest in protecting children

UNICEF uses the term child protection to refer to the prevention and response to violence, exploitation and abuse against children – including commercial sexual exploitation, trafficking, child labour and harmful traditional practices such as genital mutilation and child marriage. This term is also used by UNICEF to refer to children who are vulnerable to these abuses such as those living without parental care, those in conflict with the law or involved in armed conflict (www.

According to the UN study on Violence Against Children (UNVAC), violence occurs in the community, in the home, at school, at work places, and in the care and justice systems. Children witness and are exposed to violence every day. As a result, some children have themselves

become violent. Fighting and bullying among school children have become features of school life and are now a serious cause for concern in establishing secure and safe learning environments.

At home, the impact of children who witness violence between their parents can be quite traumatic and this is further heightened when they are themselves subjected to such violence. Violence as defined in the UN study includes physical, sexual and psychological violence, in addition to an often hidden form of violence – that of deliberate or wilful neglect. Children are made to endure harmful traditional practices, to experience physical abuse, or psychological abuse through public shaming or humiliation as forms of discipline.

52 T&T CSR REVIEW 2014
CSR Lessons

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has called child sexual abuse “a silent emergency” since it often goes unnoticed and is grossly surrounded by “a culture of silence and stigma”. As early as 2002, research indicated that one in 10 children is abused in the Caribbean; the breakdown is as follows: 40% by parents or step-parents; 25% by relatives, and10% by strangers. WHO estimated that 150 million girls and 73 million boys under 18 had experienced forced sexual intercourse or other forms of sexual violence” (UNVAC). In Trinidad and Tobago, there are reports of cases of incest, and in some cases children are brutally tortured, sodomized, and raped. As recent as 2013, the Minister of Gender, Youth and Child Development said that her Ministry had received reports of child abuse at the very Children’s Homes that were established to protect them.

Children who are working, both legally and illegally are enduring physical and psychological abuse across the region. Putting children to work in hazardous situations is a form of violence against children that is often ignored. Many girls work as domestic labourers, which is for the most part, unregulated. They are maltreated, humiliated and sexually harassed and abused. Children are exploited in prostitution and child pornography which is not only a form of violence in itself, but predisposes them to further physical and psychological violence.

At school, children are often subjected to corporal punishment, harsh and humiliating forms of psychological punishment, sexual and gender-based violence, and bullying. Children are also enduring violence in their communities including peer violence, violence related to gangs, drugs and guns, and police violence.

The Children’s Rights and Business Principles (the Principles) developed by UNICEF, the UN Global Compact and Save the Children and launched on March 12, 2012, provide a comprehensive set of guidelines for companies on actions they can take in the workplace, marketplace

and community. While governments have the duty to respect, protect and fulfil the rights of children, all other societal actors including businesses must also comply with domestic law and respect international standards relevant to the rights of the child.

Apart from providing financial support for the operation of children’s homes and partnering with academic and vocational institutions to promote education and skills training programmes for children, companies could take the following actions in the best interest of the child:

• Endorse a policy commitment to the upholding the rights of children and of young workers, including their right to be protected from violence and abuse. This policy should be mainstreamed throughout the business.

• Ensure that the Children’s Homes they support are operating in compliance with national standards

• Work towards the elimination of child labour by prohibiting the employment of children in keeping with national law and standards set by the International Labour Organisation (ILO). The Miscellaneous Provisions (Minimum Age for Admission to Employment) Act, 2007, No.3 of 2007 of Trinidad and Tobago, states the minimum age for employment in public or private industries at 16 years. However, children who are 14 to 16 years are allowed to work in the employ of family members or in activities approved as vocational or technical training by the Ministry of Education. Children must be protected from exposure to hazardous substances, work with dangerous machinery and tools, and from difficult conditions of work. It should be noted that all CARICOM countries have ratified ILO Convention 182 concerning the prohibition and immediate action for the elimination of the worst forms of child labour (1999).

• “Ensure the rights of children, their families and communities are addressed in contingency plans and remediation for environmental and health damage from business operations”.

• “Avoid causing or contributing to the infringement of children’s rights in the context of emergencies. Emergencies can significantly increase the risk of any adverse impact on children’s rights”. One has to bear in mind that “certain groups of children may be more vulnerable, including children with disabilities, displaced, migrant, separated and unaccompanied children and indigenous children, and that girls and boys may be affected in different ways”.

• Provide decent work conditions at all times, ensuring payment of a decent living wage, parental leave, the facilitation of quality childcare and health care for workers, and education for their dependants.

• Ensure that the company’s facilities are not used to exploit or abuse children in any way, and establish a zero tolerance policy for violence, abuse or exploitation that may arise.

• Ensure that products and services are safe for children.

• Be sensitive to any adverse impact the company’s operations may cause to the rights of the child, and provide remediation through legitimate processes when these rights are violated.

• Support civil society groups and government agencies that work to promote sustainable solutions to child labour and its causes (www.

Wendy Singh is a Human Rights & Human Development Specialist and CSR Consultant. She is the principal at JWS International Consultants based in Puerto Rico.

T&T CSR REVIEW 2014 53

The Conscious CEO Interview 2014

Dax Driver

CEO TT Energy Chamber

What’s needed in CSR as in corporate governance, is leadership…a collaborative effort – not just government and business, but notfor-profit organisations, NGOs and CBO’s all working together to progress beyond dialogue to concerted action.

The first thing one notices about Thackwray ‘Dax’ Driver is how very focused he is. There is nothing casual in his greeting. When he meets you, he is the first to outstretch his hand. He looks you straight in the eye, unwavering – characteristic of a man who is comfortable with himself and who values an honest conversation. On this occasion, the conversation is about corporate social responsibility and Driver has agreed to speak to the Review on the state of CSR in Trinidad and Tobago. He knows quite well what’s working and what still needs to be done since his Chamber co-produced the first national CSR Map Report in 2007.

He winds down over a cup of coffee as I shoot the first question. “Has anything changed in the external environment since the ten recommendations were posited by the report seven years ago?” He smiles thoughtfully and I can see he is ready with the response. He points to evidence of increased knowledge sharing among CSR practitioners, service companies giving back to communities and a heightened awareness of accountability across the wider local business community. While he laments the slow progress in the nonenergy sector on getting on board, he believes that with the right encouragement and support, we will see an increasing number of SME’s engaged in CSR. He agrees that many CSR programmes still lack focus or remain concentrated in fence-line communities of the energy sector. “This has to change”.

54 T&T CSR REVIEW 2014
Photo: Andre Neufville

Driver’s team at the Energy Chamber is getting ready to launch the ECTT Corporate Governance Toolkit which aims to improve the quality of corporate governance in country. He is always thinking about how to make things work better. He is a man driven to make things right. It is this same passion that has contributed to a vibrant safety culture in T&T and the implementation of a national Safe To Work (STOW) certification programme of which he was an architect. In progress is the Energy Industry Competency Development Initiative (EICDI), which is an industry-wide initiative led by his Chamber and which aims to raise the overall competency of the energy sector workforce in the Caribbean.

Driver sees corporate governance as that next major shift in how we will see business done locally. CSR he says, is no different. I question him on whether we will ever see that same commitment to CSR as we see with the safety agenda. He responds instantly. “I believe it’s just a matter of time…quite soon”.

Driver explains that the South Trinidad Chamber has always had a developmental objective and has sought to challenge the status quo, recalling that at the first meeting of the Chamber in 1956 the founder, Mr. Bobby Montano stated that the new Chamber should not play a passive role, merely seeing that things work smoothly in the south, but an active role in the improvement of the economy. As current CEO of that Chamber (today’s Energy Chamber), Dax Driver explains why he continues to build on that legacy 58 years later, and why this job is such a natural fit for him. One of three kids born to Charles Jonathan (“Jonty”) Driver, Driver is reflective as he describes how his father’s life-long philosophy to do the right thing regardless of the cost, has influenced him in both his private and public life. Driver’s father (Jonty) who was the President of the National Union of South African Students was held in police detention and then exiled from South Africa in 1963 for standing up against the apartheid regime. He fled to the United Kingdom where he married Ann and determined to raise children who would have a keen sense of right and wrong and an ingrained care for the environment and the society in which they live.

It is no surprise that young Dax pursued developmental studies at the University of London and was awarded a PhD from the University of London for a thesis examining land, environment and development policies in colonial Lesotho and set out for a life of academia. Things took a different turn when he moved here, with his Trinidadian wife Teresa, and he ended up working as an expert on land and natural resource projects both here in the Caribbean and in Africa. He was previously the Chairman of the Economic Development Board, a joint privatepublic sector advisory body with responsibility for overall economic development strategy for Trinidad and Tobago and is currently a Board member of the Trinidad and Tobago Coalition of Service Industries. Prior to joining the Energy Chamber, Driver was the coordinator of the Inter- America Development

Bank-funded Agriculture Sector Reform Programme.

Dax Driver’s experience brings with it both a wealth of knowledge and a burden – one which he works persistently to lighten by engaging others to commit to a shared accountability for the ills of society and to help remedy them. He knows that if every individual is given the necessary resources and opportunity to succeed, then communities thrive, economies become viable and nations sustainable. “That’s why CSR is important”, he says. It’s not just about the right thing to do…it is about doing it purposefully”. Driver explains that what’s needed is a “helmsman view…one who will steer the course, creating systems and structures to meet commonly valued objectives”. When asked about government as a possible helmsman as the Ministry of Trade and Industry looks to implement a national policy on CSR, he counters that a helmsman is not one who is “prescriptive” but rather, “directional”.

“My definition of CSR”, Driver expands, is “how a company acts and behaves in a society to build and make it better not just for them and their business, but for all of its citizenry”. “Social responsibility comes down to companies recognizing that they are not separate or apart from the places where they extract a profit, but that what they do influence peoples’ lives and their future”. He urges businesses therefore, to take action “in a good way rather than a bad way…treat employees fairly, provide safe and secure workplaces, protect the environment, conduct business with transparency, and establish ethical procedures for procurement and supply chain management.”

While policy could provide useful structure for mediumsized businesses, Dax Driver has a word of encouragement for small businesses. “Start small” he says. “Do one thing that is achievable and within a limited budget.” He draws an analogy to his own Chamber where each year his small staff of 16, embark on an annual beach cleanup. He believes that volunteerism heightens people’s sense of belonging and their responsibility to the society in which they live.

“What’s needed in CSR as in corporate governance, is leadership”, insists Driver. “It demands a collaborative effort” – not just government and business, “but not-for-profit organisations, NGOs and CBO’s all working together to progress beyond dialogue to concerted action – and with a clear alignment to national goals that resonate beyond geography, ethnic and partisan sentiments”.

Dax Driver remains resolute in his own commitment to give back and to advocate for others to do so. The next step for him, is to revive the plans for a local network of the UN Global Compact to improve the practice and delivery of CSR in Trinidad and Tobago. It is an undertaking that was made by the TTMA a few years ago and Driver believes that its time has come.

Dax Driver is married to Trinidadian Teresa (the Group HR Director at Ansa Mcal) and has two daughters. He hopes that he has passed on the values his father taught him to the next generation of Drivers.

T&T CSR REVIEW 2014 55

Managing the Price of the Profit Government introducing a National Policy on Corporate Social Responsibility

In October of 2011 the Government of Trinidad and Tobago announced that it was pursuing a national policy on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). The announcement was made at a breakfast meeting of the CSR Committee of the Trinidad & Tobago Chamber of Commerce.

Then Minister of Trade and Industry Stephen Cadiz, explained that the intention is to help companies manage existing social relationships and to develop strategies to integrate CSR into their business operations. It is his view that corporate responsibility and accountability will attract greater investment. Certainly in the EU, governments have identified a correlation between CSR and competitiveness –so writes Albareda, et al in the article The changing roles of governments in corporate social responsibility: drivers and responses. For governments, the article posits, “CSR implies the need to manage a complex set of relationships in order to develop a win–win situation between business and social organizations.”

Minister Cadiz undertook the responsibility to drive the process. Minster of Housing and the Environment Roodal Moonilal, believes that the project is much needed. He expressed his view that CSR is an important vehicle for addressing social problems including crime and juvenile delinquency. Responsible corporate action from his perspective, can provide safeguards for stability, justice and equity. The role for government, he said is to “monitor, support, facilitate and partner with the corporate sector” to ensure there is equitable distribution of resources.

In his article on Perspectives on the New Economy of Corporate Citizenship, Hojensgard Zadek explains the emergence of CSR as a critical component of how business is done. He theorises that CSR can best be understood as a consequence of global business activities, which means that business will have to take greater account of its impacts on society.

The defining matrix by Albareda, et al (2004) also explores four models of government action in the development of public policies to endorse CSR in European countries – i.e. the Partnership Model, the Sustainability & Citizenship Model, the Business in the Community Model, and the Agora Model. In T&T, the government is working towards an integrated approach that borrows from both the Partnership and the Business in the Community Models.

But just how is that sitting with business in T&T? The views exchanged are mixed. In our last year’s edition of the TT CSR Review, David Dulal-Whiteway saw CSR as simply a good way to do business. He said, “There is no way…that you can operate with a long-term vision and not have a CSR programme.” Dulal-Whiteway sees the relationship between business and society as symbiotic – when society is doing well, so does business.

There is no question as to the primary objective of business. Businesses exist for one reason: to generate profit. Regardless of the industry in which they operate, companies exist to make money for their shareholders, who in turn are interested in getting a competitive return on their investment. However with the advent of climate change and transnational migration due to social and economic

56 T&T CSR REVIEW 2014
CSR Action

instability globally, shareholders are making different demands on how profit is pursued. It is about responsible governance.

Speaking with another local businessman, the opinion was very different, “Once I pay my taxes and adhere to the rules and regulations, I am being a responsible corporate citizen,” says the veteran CEO of a local manufacturing interest when asked for his take on corporate social responsibility (CSR). “My responsibility is to execute the board’s strategy, which is to deliver a sustainable return to the shareholders.

He confessed, “I don’t understand the hype about CSR… you operate an efficient shop, pay a competitive wage, pay your taxes, and don’t break the law—that’s a company’s responsibility.” I counter with a salient question, “But what about pollution, and the impact that factories and plants have on the environment,” I asked. He has a ready response, “What about it? It’s against the law to pollute, isn’t it? As I said, don’t break the law.”

I press him on the moral obligations to society, if only through enlightened self-interest, to ensure that people in the community where they are based benefit from their presence? “I can’t speak for other companies, but people benefit from our presence. We hire people from the community; we buy as much as we can locally; and we help in other ways… sponsorships and so on. He believes that once companies “run your business properly and don’t break the law,that is your corporate responsibility –everything else will fall into place.

There are other small operators who share this view; so clearly, the government has some education to do ahead of implementation of a national policy for CSR. While many of the executives seemed to share social and environmental concerns, not many gave the impression that it was high on their agenda. In Trinidad and Tobago, business success is very much measured in dollars.

But organisations do not operate in a vacuum; they are part of the society— and no less important than the amount

of money they make, is the way they go about doing it.

In practice, CSR for many companies constitutes spending an annually budgeted amount of money on a few strategic projects to support brand visibility. While many of these projects are worthwhile, they seldom negate the impact of unmanaged environmental or social fallout.

Yet interestingly, in a 2011 UNDP survey, 75% of all CEOs interviewed supported government intervention in driving CSR.

The Ministry of Trade and Industry) took a step towards raising the bar for business behaviour when it signed the agreement with the UNDP to develop a National Policy on Corporate Social Responsibility in February 2012. Minister Vasant Bharath has now inherited that accountability.

The Ministry of Trade, Industry, Investment and Communications (the ministry’s new title) explains, “The policy aims to leverage the CSR practices of the local business sector, strategically aligning them with the development agenda, thereby obtaining its optimal contribution.”

The policy initiative is funded by the UNDP and was developed with the support of the Trade and Economic Development Unit of the University of the West Indies. The UNDP also provided technical support and project management, in the form of an international UN volunteer to drive the development of the draft policy. The final document has been presented to the ministry and is waiting to be tabled for Cabinet approval.

According to UNDP Resident Coordinator, Richard Blewitt, from the UNDP’s perspective, “The objective of the policy is to contribute to an enabling environment for sustainable development in Trinidad and Tobago and to provide a strategic approach to CSR at the national level.

“In that regard the policy seeks to determine the social, economic and environmental gaps to sustainable development and to evaluate where CSR

initiatives can play a role in closing them and thus contributing to the sustainable development of Trinidad and Tobago.”

Blewitt said the policy incorporated input from stakeholder interests, encompassing all businesses. “The CSR policy has been developed for businesses of all sizes. Small businesses will stand to benefit in many of the ways that big and medium businesses can.

“For small businesses, these benefits are sometimes amplified in their favour. Small businesses, through socially responsible behaviour, allow their customer base to develop a sense of customer loyalty to their brand. It also provides these businesses with the opportunity to contribute to the national development process.”

The National CSR Policy initiative has been actively supported by all of the country’s major private-sector organizations, including the Chambers of Commerce, Manufacturers Association, NGOs and civil-society groups.

A good sign—but while the representative business bodies have all signed up for CSR, in most cases accountability for social responsibility within individual firms remains in the public or community relations departments—not at the board or senior management level, where the decisions are made.

Hopefully, the introduction of the Government’s CSR Policy will help to push that accountability further up the corporate ladder and encourage CEOs to give greater consideration to the external impact of their operations while they seek to improve the bottom line.

Addressing the challenge of policy implementation, Blewitt says, “The draft national CSR Policy speaks to strategic CSR and as such focuses on providing a framework within which all stakeholders, public, and private, could practise CSR at all times, responsibly and transparently. Implementation would therefore include increased awareness of CSR activities among the business community and the wider public, including civil society. It would also create an environment for

T&T CSR REVIEW 2014 57
58 T&T CSR REVIEW 2014

businesses to institutionalize CSR and socially responsible investment.”

The multinationals, especially those in the energy sector, are seen as CSR exemplars, publishing triple bottom line reports – measuring economic, social and financial performance – as part of their global mandate from head office.

It’s an example the Government would like local companies to follow. “More corporate involvement should take place among local business entities, particularly, micro, small and medium enterprises,” a spokesperson from the Trade and Investment Ministry said.

“CSR has been very present amongst the energy and finance sectors, which are the large and multinational companies. The smaller businesses, local familybased businesses, have not been very involved and it has been presented as out of their scope.

“However, the local businesses can become more involved, taking a strategic as opposed to a philanthropic or community approach, thereby reducing the cost of CSR to their business and introducing sustainable measures for their long-term development. As

such, this should address matters such as internal CSR concerns on work environment and employee.”

Many companies tend to focus their efforts in largely the same areas –education, culture and sport are the most common. And a disproportionate amount of money is invested in communities within the energy belt.

The draft policy will allow for such gaps to be identified through a test phase of the National CSR Policy, in which selected businesses of various sizes will be invited to participate. Through extensive consultations with key stakeholders, the areas that require attention at the community and national levels will be identified, and corresponding CSR initiatives will then be developed to address these issues.

State-owned companies and organizations make significant “social investments” under the banner of CSR, and the policy outlines the steps for setting up a governance structure, which would provide the appropriate guidelines and procedures, based on international best practices.

What might that mean in practice?

What, for example, is the quality of the air in and around the Point Lisas Industrial Estate? Is it better or worse than it was last month or last year?

Are waste-disposal methods across the manufacturing sector environmentally friendly? What is the best practice? What’s the most costefficient way to adopt it?

How much paper did the financial services sector use last year? Was it more than the previous year? How much, if any, is being recycled?

Answering these questions and reducing these numbers would have obvious advantages—and would lead not just to a better public image for the companies involved, but also a healthier bottom line and a healthier nation.

CSR is more than just a buzzword. It brings concrete benefits for everyone involved.

Paul Charles is a former journalist and communication specialist in the finance and energy sectors. He is Director of Beach House Media and Carnival TV.

Interested in developing your voice as a more effective communication tool?

Could you use some assistance in adding more impact to your presentations and speeches?

Inkings offers

• Voice coaching and training workshops in presentation skills and public speaking for your specific needs.

• Customised Training and Coaching to help you express yourself and communicate at your best, whether for day-to-day purposes, to improve your presentation skills or in preparation for a keynote event.

• Media training.

Our services have been utilised by persons in politics, diplomats and business executives as well as rising employees in marketing and self-employed individuals. Clients include public and private sector organisations, small business operators and Non Governmental Organisations.

Thinking of developing a radio programme or feature and want high quality production? We can also help you with that.

T&T CSR REVIEW 2014 59
Inkings: professional training and facilitation services by Garfield and Barbara King | Tel: (868) 646-3158, (868) 774-0965, (868) 383-9888 | |
have something to say, we can
say it.
help you

Sustainable Development Should be Key Focus of post-2015 MDGs

At the turn of the century, the United Nations Millennium Summit attended by leaders from 189 countries made an historic announcement on eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), with human development at its centre, to be advanced over a 15-year period.

The 2015 deadline for the universal goals to the world’s most pressing humanitarian issues is fast approaching and in contemplating the future of the MDGs, the focus has now shifted to a new ambitious development agenda in post-2015. Countries have reached, not just a crossroad, but a convergence and have an unprecedented opportunity to set realistic milestones that can lead to the improvement and well-being of billions of people across the planet.

The ambitious undertaking of a new development agenda must, however, take into account the issue of sustainable development, a term coined in the late 1980s by the World Commission on Environment and Development and which developed further traction at subsequent major UN conferences.

With an estimated 10 billion people on our fragile planet, Rio+20 in its outcome document ‘ The Future We Want’ reaffirmed a global commitment and identified aspirational goals for a sustainable future through partnerships, to balance sustainable and equitable development, while creating economic opportunity, especially for the poor and marginalised.

In a May 2012 thematic think piece titled ‘Building on the MDGs to bring sustainable development to the post2015 development agenda,’ the UN System Task Team on the Post-15 UN Development Agenda said a realistic development agenda can no longer

neglect the link among the economic, social and environmental dimensions of development. Long-term development will thus require integrated policy making, where social equity, economic growth and environmental protection are approached together.

“Achieving this holistic approach will require a break away from business as usual in many fronts, including governance at all levels, policy making, implementation processes and accountability mechanisms,” according to the task team.

Discussions on the post-2015 development agenda therefore require a paradigm shift to address key issues in the context of sustainable development.

It is generally acknowledged that action on the MDGs have led to an improvement in the lives of billions of people around the globe. UN Secretary

General Ban Ki-moon notes that global poverty is declining, access to improved water sources has expanded, 40 million more children are in primary school, more than 5 million children are surviving annually who would otherwise have died, more than 1.1 million people are alive who before would have died from malaria, and an estimated 8 million people in low- and middle-income countries are now receiving life-saving HIV treatment, a 10 fold increase since 2002.

However, there are some goals which are noticeably lagging while progress on others has been distressingly uneven: almost 1 billion people will still live in extreme poverty in 2015; 57 million are not in school and 73 million people worldwide are out of work. Meanwhile, global consumption and production exceed the Earth’s capacity: we currently

60 T&T CSR REVIEW 2014

consume 150 per cent of the Earth’s annual regenerative capacity, up from 65 per cent in 1990, according to the UN Chief. There’s concern too about the resurgence of polio in countries where it was once eradicated.

As mandated by the 2010 MDG Summit in which UN member states called for open, inclusive consultations involving civil society, the private sector, academia and research institutions, in addition to the UN system, to advance the development framework beyond 2015, Secretary General Ban announced 27 members of a High-level Panel, cochaired by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono of Indonesia, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia, and Prime Minister David Cameron of the United Kingdom, and includes leaders from civil society, private sector and government.

An Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals in New York was also established and is expected to provide a report by August 2014 followed by an intergovernmental negotiation process. Before the end of the year, Secretary-General Ban will bring a synthesis report to the General Assembly on all the inputs to support the Member State negotiations. The aim is to have world leaders agree on a new

agenda at a world leader’s summit in September 2015.

To support the process, the UN development system is continuing consultations on how a new agenda might be implemented and monitored, and will work with a number of governments to test how targets and indicators might be developed in more challenging areas like governance, peace and security, and disaster risk reduction.

Finland’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, Erkki Tuomioja in a speech at the Diplomatic Academy in Lima titled ‘Sustainable development and Post-2015 agenda’ in January 2014 said counties, when discussing and analyzing what the new agenda should look like, need to think about how they can achieve the shift towards sustainable development.

He stressed that solution to these global challenges lie in cooperation –“cooperation between nations, like UN conferences but also in cooperation within one nation: the roles of the public and the private sector and the civil society need to be seen linked and equally important. Cooperation, be it national, global, vertical or horizontal is not only welcome, but necessary.”

UNDP Administrator, Helen Clark addressing, ‘Beyond the Millennium Development Goals: What could the next global development agenda look like?’ at the University of Auckland in New Zealand in August 2013 said two issues were important at this time: maintaining a high level of public interest in the outcome of the negotiations on post2015 and sustainable development goals, and accelerating achievement of the goals we have. The greater the success of the MDGs, the greater the credibility of the process of negotiating a new agenda will be.

“A sobering reflection: whether or not the MDG targets are met, around one billion people will still be living in extreme poverty in 2015. Many still will not have clean drinking water or improved sanitation. Many will still be suffering from hunger, malnutrition, gender discrimination, and more. Such suffering is inconsistent with the vision for dignity, equity, peace, and prosperity of the Millennium Declaration,” said Clark, who served for nine years as Prime Minister of New Zealand.

Countries - governments, private sector, civil society, and organisationshave another exceptional opportunity to establish an international partnership to integrate economic, social and environmental elements into a single, cohesive development agenda for post2015 with sustainable development at its core.

T&T CSR REVIEW 2014 61
“around one billion people will still be living in extreme poverty in 2015. Many still will not have clean drinking water or improved sanitation… still be suffering from hunger, malnutrition, gender discrimination, and more”

Project Care TT

How small companies are making a big difference

It started as a casual conversation one afternoon while good friends Ryan Perkins and Marc Grosberg were liming. Ryan shared that he wanted to get involved in a community project. He was having a yearning to do something meaningful outside of his everyday work at Building Spaces Ltd. where he is CEO of a small consulting, contracting and project management firm. Marc was keen to encourage him as it was something he too thought he’d like to do. Marc is Lead Entrepreneur at Caribbean Treats (2010) Ltd. Producers of exotic Caribbean snacks.

Ryan Perkins is not a man to deliberate for too long, he is very much given to action. They heard through a mutual friend that the Margaret Kistow house was in need of repair. The home takes in children who are made wards of the court because they have nowhere else to go or have no known relative. The men enrolled another friend Leslie-Ann Warner to bring a sensitive touch to the project which they called Project Care, a name that they now use for all their voluntary work.

The Kistow house received a new bank of girls’ bathrooms, an enclosed study area, a pantry, a set of new beds and a fresh coat of paint. The project took just two weekends to complete. As Grosberg puts it, “We have the skills and knowhow to do significant work in a short space of time, and that’s valuable for people like the Kistow residents who just need to get on with life without too much disruption.”

While Grosberg and Perkins did the work plan, Leslie-Ann looked at the practical needs – beds need sheets for example, proximity of dorm to bathrooms and perhaps there should be some new books in the study area. And although Leslie-Ann has moved on, the tireless crusaders were able to bring another female on board to bring balance to the work. Joanna Rostant, owner of Yay! Entertainment and franchisee for Chuck E Cheese’s has joined the team, making it three again.

Rostant speaks passionately about how Project Care has helped to change

her views about people, as she has witnessed hundreds of people willingly give money, materials, time and skills to a cause – and for no other reason but that they cared that someone was suffering and in need of help. She says anyone who works on Project Care has their faith in human nature reinforced. But more than that, she says, “When you give, something magical happens. Something deep inside changes and you know that you can never stop. As long as there is a real need, you feel compelled to respond.”

Perkins echoes the sentiment. “When a child’s eyes light up at the thought of sleeping in their own bed, having a cupboard that they can put the little things they cherish, or simply to know that this is my little space in the world, something I can call my own, that’s all the thanks in the world you need. Making others happy is an innate calling in all of us. But you never know until you step out to give.”

62 T&T CSR REVIEW 2014
CSR Perspectives
Ryan, Joanna and Marc

Grosberg describes how giving can be contagious. He recalls how one of his employees listening to him describe what they were doing at the Kistow Home, independently called in a friend who was a small landscaper. What originally looked like a patch of grass, was transformed into a small kitchen garden, fully planted with vegetables. He says he can only recall the company – a family run business called Monteco Creations. They dropped by initially to clean up the three existing beds, but they too were touched when they visited. They in fact came back with 17 volunteers, completely uprooted the old beds, laid new soil a foot deep, put down new grass and created new healthy beds which are still thriving today.

This is the fourth year for Project Care and their fourth undertaking. After the Kistow project, the team redid the interior of a safe-house for abused, abandoned and troubled girls. (The name and location is omitted for reasons of privacy and security).

The Cyril Ross Home involved 4 weeks of planning and was executed in just 4 days. In just a matter of weeks, the team secured just over 1 million dollars in pledges of cash, equipment, labour, supplies and even food. They are ever grateful for the generosity of businesses and individuals who supported them in their quest to do those important little things that can make a huge difference to the life of a child. Most of the work of Project Care focuses on bettering the life of children who are marginalised by poverty and who rely on institutions for day-to-day care and emotional support.

At Cyril Ross, the team went into action for over 40 hours with about 120 volunteers on the job site each day. They re-did the entire interior of the building, re-tiled the floors, installed new furniture and custom made beds, fully re-painted the property and built a new bank of bathrooms. Rostant recalls that some businesses offered to fund transport but when the drivers got there and saw what was being done, they too were touched. They decided that they would take no money for the transport and even chipped in to help meet the deadline. “That’s the Trinidad that no one talks about, but every day there are Trinis out there doing good… there is nothing more rewarding than giving to those in need” she says.

This year Project Care is taking on the Cotton Tree Foundation. As they become more adept at mobilising funds and people, they have also partnered with United Way of T&T to help them identify bona fide projects where institutions that are well run can benefit from the help of volunteers.

The Cotton Tree Foundation has about 14 programmes running for youth in the St. Ann’s/Belmont catchment area and surrounding communities of Mon Repos and Gonzales. The work of the Foundation includes low-cost preschool, care for the mentally challenged, professional counselling and medical support among others. As a means of helping the Foundation to become more self-sufficient and less reliant on handouts, Project Care will be transforming their hall into a secure, air-conditioned,

modernised facility which can be rented for events and conferences. That means putting in a dropped ceiling, outfitting a new kitchen, enclosing a meeting room, building an outdoor store-room and fully re-painting the premises.

Already air condition units have been secured from donors. They team is never too proud to beg for a good cause. They also have a battery of volunteers already lined up. Among them, cooks who will bring lunch every day for the many good Samaritans who have become part of the team.

To date, Project Care has been able to get support from over 30 companies and hundreds of individuals whom they describe as “amazingly responsive”. The organizsation has now set up a Facebook page (Project Care TT) to enrol more persons into volunteerism. For those who can’t give of labour or materials, Grosberg says he will gladly take a donation. “Nothing is too small…I’ll take anything if it is for those less fortunate than we are.”

The team often shies away from publicity, but on this occasion, the TT CSR Review has been able to inveigle them to share what Project Care TT is doing, so that they might inspire other individuals and groups to give back and to share how many small companies across T&T are making a difference in their communities.

T&T CSR REVIEW 2014 63
“When you give, something magical happens. Something deep inside changes and you know that you can never stop. As long as there is a real need, you feel compelled to respond.”

The TT Chamber CSR Committee CSR Workshop Launch

In the Trinidad and Tobago context, CSR is in its discovery stages. I say this not from a corporate perspective but from a societal one. You can usually gauge the enthusiasm and interest when you broach this topic at a social gathering. And if you look really closely, you will see that point at which the listener comes to a conclusion about CSR …I get it, you do Public Relations... Wonderful!

This tells us two things; firstly that the embedding of CSR is taking a while and only through the advocacy of publications like this, and by taking the initiative, will we succeed in making this the ethos of our society. The second reason and perhaps the more indicative of our society, is that we live in a country where the level of social services and the welfare system is adequate to support those in need. I do think that in some ways, CSR for Trinidad and Tobago (from a philanthropic perspective), is a welcomed enhancement to our livelihood that is better than many of our Caribbean counterparts. So while across the region, businesses are focussed on those critical interventions that support the social investment agenda, in Trinidad and Tobago the imperative for the business community is to progress the social responsibility agenda in the areas of responsible governance, ethics and sustainability.

It is the role of the Chamber to act as the voice of its membership; to represent them on the national business front in those areas which they are unable to do effectively on their own. It is this coming together of minds and influence that makes it possible to overcome challenges and work in the best interest of its membership and the wider Trinidad and Tobago business community.

The Corporate Social Responsibility Committee which sits within the Chamber and is one of 10 purpose-driven work groups, is poised to entrench CSR practice nationally and to serve as advocate. It is our mandate to educate, advise and promote CSR initiatives amongst our membership and to implement a common process for measurement and reporting.

At the start of 2014, the CSR committee completed the first of a planned series of development workshops. The series in itself is geared towards deepening the understanding of CSR and to guide the process of CSR program design and implementation. The first session looked at the fundamentals of CSR and an introduction to the UN Global Compact principles. The next two workshops will look at Strategy and Implementation, and Monitoring and Evaluation. By doing this we are able to bring everyone on an equal footing. With the members in mind, it is a way to of strengthening the network and to share learnings.

A key objective for 2014 is to work with the membership in identifying risks, particularly in the form of external expectations and pressures, and to transform these risks into opportunities and competitive advantage. Our members should be seen as the influencers in society by embedding structured CSR into their organization and making Social, Economic and Environmental responsibility an integral aspect of how business is done.

Our committee is diverse and brings rich context from across several industries including Manufacturing, Government, Regulatory, Private sector SME’s, Oil and Gas and Public Sector.

Creating sustained profitability for its shareholders is the primary success indicator for every good company. However organizations are accountable not only to their shareholders, but also have varying degrees of accountability to governments, employees, customers, suppliers, regulators, community and the environment in which they operate. Value creation includes all these stakeholders. The role of the CSR professional is to support a company’s business objectives by aligning its Social Responsibility programme with those objectives being mindful of the needs of their stakeholders.

Brand it as you may, the principles of CR, CSR, Sustainability and Sustainable Development are all the same. The Brundtland Commission in its 1987 report “Our Common Future” coined what has become the most often quoted definition of Sustainable Development, “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”.

So before a company begins to chart and implement a plan for addressing social responsibility, it should work collaboratively to define and evaluate the needs of its stakeholders and make careful analysis of how any interventions on its part can bring benefits for all.

64 T&T CSR REVIEW 2014

Trinidad & Tobago Corporate CSR Directory

Name Angostura Group of Companies

Address: Corner Eastern Main Road and Trinity Avenue, Laventille

Contact: Ms. Janeen Frection

Position: Administrative Assistant

Phone: 868 623-1841 Ext. 257; (Fax) 868 623-1847



Name: Atlantic (ALNG)

Address: Princes Court, Cor. Keate and Pembroke Streets, Port of Spain

Contact: Caroline Ramnarine

Position: Vice President, Corporate Operations

Phone: 868 624-2916; (Fax) 868 624-8057



Name: blink|bmobile (TSTT)

Address: TSTT House, 1 Edward Street, Port of Spain

Contact: Anjanie Ramesar-Soom

Position: Manager, Corporate & Community Affairs

Phone: 868 624-5703 (Fax) 868-623-3836



Name: BG Trinidad & Tobago

Address: 5 St. Clair Avenue, Port of Spain

Contact: Wendell Constantine

Position: Public and Corporate Affairs Manager

Phone: 868 628-0888 (Fax) 868 622-6520



Name: BP Trinidad & Tobago LLC

Address: 5-5a Queen’s Park West, Port of Spain

Contact: Ronda Francis

Position: Manager, Corporate Responsibility

Phone: 868 623-2862; (Fax) 868 627-7863



Name: Caribbean Airlines Ltd.

Address: Piarco International Airport, Piarco

Contact: Clint Williams

Position: Head Corporate Communications

Phone: 868 669-3000 Ext. 2992; (Fax) 868 669-1520



Name: Colonial Life Insurance Company (Trinidad) Limited

Address: 29 St. Vincent Street, Port of Spain

Contact: Gerard Barnes

Position: Marketing Manager

Phone: 868 625-4444 Ext. 1530; (Fax) 868 625-4440 Ext 1621



Name: Columbus Communications Trinidad Ltd. (FLOW)

Address: 29 Victoria Square, Port of Spain

Contact: Monique Mata

Position: Corporate Social Performance Specialist

Phone: 868 224-2348



Name: Courts (Unicomer)

Address: 3 Mulchan Feuchan Road, Chaguanas

Contact: Helen Rambally

Position: Public Relations Manager

Phone: 868 672-7577; (Fax) 868 672-1984



Name: Dansteel Ltd.

Address: South Trunk Road, La Romain

Contact: Narindra Mootilal

Position: Marketing Manager

Phone: 868 652-8562; 868 623-6731; (Fax) 868 623-0804



Name: Direct TV trinidad LImited

Address: 31 Mulchan Seuchan Road, Chaguanas

Contact: C. Adams

Position: Marketing Manager

Phone: 868 672-8111



Name: EOG Resources Trinidad Ltd.

Address: 10-12 Sweet Briar Road, St. Clair

Contact: Lisa Steele Pujadas

Position: Mgr. Corporate Communications & External Affairs

Phone: 868 622-8653 Ext. 25652


Web: www.eogresources

Name: First Citizens Bank

Address: 2nd Floor, DHL Building, Cor. Churchill Roosevelt

Highway & El Socorro Extension Road, El Socorro

Contact: Jennifer Armstrong Khan

Position: Senior Communications Officer

Phone: 868 638-5917 Ext. 5857

E-Mail: Web

Name: HCL Group of Companies

Address: Long Circular Mall, Long Circular Road, St. James

Contact: Colin Carty

Position: Marketing Manager

Phone: 868 622-4925; (Fax) 868 628-7156

E-Mail: Web

T&T CSR REVIEW 2014 65

Name: Hilton Trinidad Hotel and Conference Centre

Address: 1B Lady Young Road, Belmont

Contact: Darlene McDonald

Position: Director, Sales and Marketing

Phone: 868 624-3211 Ext 6210



Name: Hyatt Regency Trinidad

Address: 1 Wrightson Road, Port of Spain

Contact: Neemah Persad-Celestine

Position: Marketing Manager

Phone: 868 623-2222 Ext 6467; (Fax) 868 821-6401



Name: IBM World Trade Corporation

Address: 91-93 St. Vincent Street, Port of Spain

Contact: Leslie Welch

Position: Marketing Manager

Phone: 868 624-5110; (Fax) 868 625-6971



Name: Maritime Financial Group

Address: Maritime Centre, 29th Tenth Avenue, Barataria

Contact: Lesley Alfonso

Position: Marketing Manager

Phone: 868 674-0130; (Fax) 868 638-6663



Name: Methanex Trinidad Limited

Address: Maracaibo Drive, Pt,. Lisas Industrial Estate, Point Lisas

Contact: Deborah Samaru

Position: Manager, Public Affairs

Phone: 868 679-4400; (Fax) 868 679-2400



Name: The National Gas Company

Address: Orinoco Drive, Point Lisas Industrial Estate, Couva

Contact: Christine Punett

Position: Head External Communications

Phone: 868 636-4662; (Fax) 868 679-2384



Name: National Flour Mills Ltd.

Address: 27-29 Wrightson Road, Port of Spain

Contact: Cheryl Lee Kong

Position: Marketing Manager

Phone: 868 625-2416; (Fax) 868 625-8957



Name: National Lotteries Control Board

Address: 119-121 Duke Street, Port of Spain

Contact: Candy West

Position: Marketing & Public Relations Officer

Phone: 868 623-1831; (Fax) 868 627-8030



Name: Neal & Massy Group of Companies

Address: 63 Park Street, Port of Spain

Contact: Candace Ali

Position: Group Communications Officer

Phone: 868 625-3426; (Fax) 868 627-9061



Name: Nestle Trinidad & Tobago Ltd.

Address: Church Roosevelt Highway, Valsayn

Contact: Denise D’Abadie

Position: Manager Corporate Social Responsibility

Phone: 868 663-6832; (Fax) 868 663-6840



Name: Pan American Insurance

Address: 91-93 St. Vincent Street, Port of Spain

Contact: Catherine Rajkumar

Position: Mgr. Communications & Marketing

Phone: 868 625-4426



Name: Petroleum Company of T&T (Petrotrin) Ltd.

Address: #31 Casuarina Ave; Pointe-a-Pierre

Contact: Gillian Friday

Position: Mgr. Corporate Communications

Phone: 868 658 4200 xt.2026; (Fax) 868 658-3775



Name: Phoenix Park Gas Processors Ltd. (PPGPL)

Address: Rio Grande Dr; Point Lisas Industrial Estate

Contact: Joann Salazar

Position: VP Strategy & Corporate Services

Phone: 868 636-1522; 868 636-1529: (Fax) 868 636-6810



Name: Power Generation Company of T&T (Powergen) Ltd.

Address: 6a Queen’s Park West

Contact: Sonya Lequay

Position: Communications Manager

Phone: 868 624-0383; (Fax) 868 625-0983



Name: Repsol T&T Ltd.

Address: Repsol Tower, 4 Queen’s Park West, Port of Spain

Contact: Heidi Diquez

Position: Mgr. Corporate Communications & External Affairs

Phone: 868 623-2244; 868 623-1770; (Fax) 868 627-2753



Name: RBTT Financial (Caribbean) Limited

Address: St. Clair Place, 7-9 St. Clair Avenue, Port of Spain

Contact: Anna Maria Kurban Ali

Position: Manager, Corporate Communications

Phone: 868 623-1322; 868 624-7288



66 T&T CSR REVIEW 2014

Name: Republic Bank LImited

Address: 9-17 Park Street, Port of Spain

Contact: Tisha Lee

Position: Group Corporate Communications Manager

Phone: 868 625-4411; 868 625-4425



Name: Shell LNG Trinidad and Tobago Ltd.

Address: New India Assurance Building, 2nd Floor, 6A Victoria Avenue, Port of Spain

Contact: Mark Regis

Position: Communications Manager

Phone: 868 221-7729 (D.L.), 868 679-5796; Fax: 868 222-3707



Name: Scotiabank Trinidad & Tobago Ltd.

Address: 56-58 Richmond Street, Port of Spain

Contact: Heidi Bason

Position: Marketing Manager

Phone: 868 627-2684; 868 625-3566; (Fax) 627-5278



Name: Trinidad & Tobago ElNational Petroleum Company (NP)

Address: Sea Lots, Port of Spain

Contact: Rae Kelly Gilbert

Position: Manager, Corporate Communications

Phone: 868 623-6291; (Fax) 868 624-3724



Name: Trinidad & Tobago Electricity Commission (T&TEC)

Address: 63 Frederick Street, Port of Spain

Contact: Annabelle Brasnell

Position: Corporate Communications Manager

Phone: 868 623-6291; (Fax) 868 624-3724



Name: Trinidad & Tobago Unit Trust Corporation (UTC)

Address: 82 Independence Square, Port of Spain

Contact: Rory Rostant

Position: Mgr. Communications & Marketing

Phone: 868 625-8648



Name: Unilever Caribbean Ltd.

Address: Eastern Main Road, Champs Fleurs

Contact: Joleen Meharris

Position: Commmunications Coordinator

Phone: 868 6663-1787 Ext. 2264; (Fax) 868 662-1780



Editor’s note:

If you wish t be added to the CSR Directory listing for the next edition or if you wish to update the current information, please email or call us at 1 868 623-3892

Be part of the T&T CSR Review 2014/2015

The TTCSR is widely read and distributed across 200 companies nationally.

Our readership includes members of the CSR network, over 200 local business leaders, local chambers of commerce, Government Ministers and Ministries, NGOs, CBOs and Not-for-Profits, diplomatic missions, local and regional media houses, secondary and university libraries, hotels, restaurants and tea houses - as well as UN and other international organizations in T&T.

Now with on-line distribution through CPRA, we have access to thousands of readers internationally.



Virtually Yours T&T Ltd; #22 Alfredo Street, Woodbrook, POS

Phone/Fax 1.868.623.3892 . Email:

T&T CSR REVIEW 2014 67


Is There Not a Cause (ITNAC)


Phone: 868 624-4162, 868 394-2042, 868 490-0261


Bridge Consultants

Corporate & Crisis Communications, Public Relations & CSR Development

Bridge Consultants was established in 2010 and brings over 30 years of experience in the field of Corporate Communications and Reputation Management to the market. Services include: Internal & External Branding, CSR Planning, Community Relations, Customer Relations, Surveys, Technical Writing, Sustainability Reporting, Marketing Communications, Corporate Events and HR Training and HR Policy and Procedure Design.


Phone: 868 709-4444

JWS International Consultants

Stakeholder Engagement & NGO Auditing

JWS International has over eighteen years experience working in the field of human rights and human development policies, and nine years of work experience on corporate social responsibility with blue-chip companies, UN agencies and international NGOs, regional and international governmental agencies, and community based organisations. The principal of JWS International has a well-established track record in project design & implementation for CSR and Human Development. Areas of expertise include development of sustainable programmes to benefit disadvantaged communities, and project evaluation as well as training and capacity building for NGOs. JWS is based in San Juan PR, and works throughout the Caribbean and Latin America.


Phone: 787 724-3261


Sapling Solutions Ltd. Social Sector Development & Impact Assessments

Sapling Solutions was founded in 2010 with a mission to change the landscape of social sector development and revolutionize publicprivate partnerships. Sapling Solutions is committed to breaking the barriers of change and social development by continuously reinventing social impact models. Services include: Impact Assessments, Programme Monitoring and Evaluation, Intervention Testing, Social Emtrepreneurship, Incubation, Social Development, Think Tanks, Corporate

Social Responsibility Alignment and Open Learning Workshops.


Phone: 868 223-8777


Virtual Editors

Professional Editing & Writing Services

Virtual Editors is a confidential, exclusive 24-hour service provided by a team of professional writers and editors drawn from a wide range of disciplines and working from various global locations to respond to your various writing and editorial needs. The Virtual Editors team has years of academic and corporate experience. You are guaranteed the best possible standards of work when you do business with us. No need to meet. All transactions are handled virtually. No contracts required. All enquiries treated with absolute confidentiality. Payments are made directly to our accounts. There are limitless options to our editing and writing services. Services include: Speeches, Presentations, Press Releases, Strategic Plans, Proposals, Contracts, Business & Personal Letters, CVs, Bios & Profiles, Stories & Articles for Journals, Newsletters etc.


Phone: 1868 628-2288



Andre Neufville Photography

UK born Andre Neufville, is a freelance photographer who says his work is ever evolving. He refuses to specialize – staying open instead to a variety of projects including portraiture, events, corporate assignments and publications. He believes that keeping that versatility keeps him fresh and creative.


Phone: 868 365-6285


Ayrïd Chandler

Graphic Designer

Clean, Distinctive, and Edgy, Ayrïd Chandler is a Cum Laude Graduate of Savannah College of Art & Design and available for business in T&T. She specializes in a range of graphic design services including: Identity, Print, Publication, Packaging and Digital Designs, Photo retouching, Editing of Print Designs, Print Coordination, Agency Liaison etc.


Phone: 868 790-0747


Brent Mylano Ltd

Brent Mylano Ltd is a full service idea company. Founded in 2012, the company was born out of excitement for all the new ways to connect with people and a desire to explore that power. Services include Marketing Strategy, Creative Development, Production (Radio & Television), Public Relations, Design, Media Planning and Buying.


Phone: 868 625-1376



Animation & Graphic Arts

Mozart Mc Kenzie believes that his work and his life are marked by creativity and perseverance . A self-taught artist, he specializes in print, websites and motion graphics. The Mozart portfolio includes banking and finance, leisure business and agency work. He has designed a number of unique logos for conferences, new businesses and products, as well as publications.


Phone: 1.868.703.4089


O2 Oxygen Productions

Audio Visual Production & Communications

Oxygen Productions is one of the Caribbean’s leading providers of business orientated films including sales aids, training / instructional, corporate features, product launch films, annual reviews, investor relations and TV adverts. Oxygen Productions is a dynamic, integrated multimedia agency that works creatively with businesses to share knowledge more effectively with both internal and external audiences. The company sees itself as a breath of pure fresh air in the multimedia industry - cutting edge and risk-taking with artistic chutzpa! The core team is highly skilled and experienced to respond efficiently to clients’ requests - regardless of scope or complexity. And with an international network of carefully selected specialists, the company is able to offer clients the highest quality of service, innovative techniques and the best of new technology.


Phone: 1.868.622.0651


68 T&T CSR REVIEW 2014
... ...
Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.