The awareness and implementation of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in Singapore has been increasing over the past four years since the formation of the Singapore Compact, a national society promoting CSR in Singapore.
What is CSR? Some companies associate CSR with charity and philanthropy, but CSR actually goes beyond that. According to Singapore Compact:
Corporate Social Responsibility is essentially about businesses doing well and doing good at the same time. CSR is about the long term strategy of aligning business strategy and operations with universal values to achieve positive and sustainable outcomes for customers, suppliers, employees, shareholders, communities, other stakeholders and as well as the environment.
Through the implementation of CSR, companies can reap benefits and improve profits. Mr Koh Juan Kiat, Vice-President of Singapore Compact and Executive Director of Singapore National Employers’ Federation explains:
Adopting CSR brings intangible benefits such as a good reputation for the company, high morale among employees and improved performance and attracts investors. Employees will also take greater pride in their company and this will affect productivity.
In 2008, survey findings by the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) show that out of the 507 Singapore-based enterprises surveyed, 40% of the respondents were aware of the term CSR. Of the CSR-aware respondents, two-thirds have implemented CSR activities.
To date, 240 organisations have joined Singapore Compact and are implementing CSR practices. These organisations include large corporations, SMEs, co-operatives, unions, federations and NGOs. In addition, 70 companies have signed up as signatories to the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) network in Singapore.
Despite the growing awareness and implementation, CSR in Singapore is still in its infant stage and more needs to be done. As such, Singapore Compact will hold an inaugural International Singapore Compact CSR Summit from 6 to 7 October at Orchard Hotel. The conference will cover topics such as:
- CSR and the Community: The Role of Corporate Foundations
- CSR Global Trends
- CSR: Strategy for Sustainability and Success
- Investor’s Perspectives on CSR
- CSR and Sustainable Development – The Environment and Beyond
- CSR – what can be done?
This is a good and timely opportunity for your company to understand more about CSR and how to implement CSR in your organisation. Visit http://csrsummit.csrsingapore.org/ for details and registration.