Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is gaining traction among the companies in Singapore. This is evident from the significant increase in companies joining the Singapore Compact for CSR, a tripartite body charged with promoting CSR in Singapore. Its membership grew 42% from 239 last September to 341 this year. There is also an increase in sustainability reporting using the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) framework, from zero companies in 2007 to more than 20 currently.
Singapore Compact explains that CSR is picking up in Singapore due to several reasons. The public are increasingly looking at companies’ environmental and social responsibility, and more consumers are expecting companies to be ethical. Companies are also starting to understand that CSR makes good business sense as it enhances their credibility, increases their employee retention, attracts global talent, and helps them better address environmental concerns.
To further encourage companies to adopt CSR, Singapore Compact is organising the Second International Singapore Compact Summit next week on 6 Oct at the Resorts World Singapore. Inaugural awards will be presented at the summit to five companies for their contribution to CSR under the categories: Green Champion Award; Community Developer; Best Workplace Award; Accountable Marketer Award; and Caring Employer Award. Two other companies will also receive Special Mention.
Mr Seah Kian Peng, Vice-President of Singapore Compact said, “The response for the inaugural awards has been very strong. This shows that organisations take their CSR journey strongly and considers this a high priority item. Not surprisingly, the judges had a challenging task in picking the award winners. We feel that this award is a good way to motivate people to improve their CSR performance. We need leaders and innovators to lead the way in CSR, and to improve on what has been done.”
Another highlight of the summit is the launch of the ASEAN CSR Network, initiated by Singapore and made up of the networks in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines. The network to be based in Singapore, will facilitate in increasing CSR awareness, exchanging knowledge, capacity building, research, and advocacy to push for sustainability reporting.
At the summit, Singapore Compact will launch its second book called “Socially Responsible and Sustainable – Company Perspectives and Experiences”. The book features the successful CSR journeys of 10 companies:
- ComfortDelGro Corporation
- Fairmont Singapore
- Keppel Land
- ORIGIN Exterminators
- Philips Electronics
- Senoko Energy
- Sin Hwa Dee Foodstuff Industries
- SMRT Corporation
- Wilmar International Limited
The new ISO 26000 standard will also be discussed at the summit. This non-certifiable international standard offers guidance on socially responsible behaviour and possible actions. Mr Thomas Thomas, Executive Director for Singapore Compact said that they will continue to spread the CSR message to Singapore businesses, promote the new ISO 26000 standard, and help more companies embrace CSR in Singapore.