Introducing ISO 26000 – Guidance on Social Responsibility

March 16, 2011 by  
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The latest International Standard ISO 26000:2010 – Guidance on Social Responsibility, was launched yesterday by SPRING Singapore at a seminar to introduce the new standard to the business community.

What is ISO 26000

ISO 26000 provides social responsibility guidance for all types of organisations, such as MNCs and big corporations, SMEs, non-governmental organisations and government agencies.

As the world moves towards an age of radical transparency, organisations and stakeholders become increasingly aware of the need for socially and environmentally responsible behaviour. ISO 26000 is thus a timely and relevant guide to help organisations understand what social responsibility is and what they need to do to operate in a socially responsible way. Read more

Singapore to Host Regional Network to Promote CSR in ASEAN

January 12, 2011 by  
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A new initiative, the ASEAN Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Network, will be set up to push the growth of CSR, a concept fast taking hold in the international business world, in this region.

Senior Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Mr Zainul Abideen Rashid, will officiate at the incorporation of the ASEAN CSR Network on 11 January 2011.

The Network will have five founding members, and the ASEAN Foundation:

  • Indonesia – Indonesia Business Links
  • Malaysia – International Chamber of Commerce
  • Philippines – League of Corporate Foundations
  • Singapore – Singapore Compact for CSR
  • Thailand – the CSR Club of the Thai Listed Companies Association
  • ASEAN Foundation

The Network expects Brunei and Vietnam to become members too. The Network was registered on 8 December 2010 as a company limited by guarantee in Singapore.

The Network’s Secretariat will be based in Singapore. Singapore Compact for CSR, a tripartite body charged with promoting CSR in Singapore, will be its initial host and implement various activities to implement the action plan. Read more

New ASEAN CSR Network Launched at the International Singapore Compact CSR Summit

October 6, 2010 by  
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The new ASEAN CSR Network, “a network of networks”, was launched at the 2nd International Singapore CSR Summit today. The founding members of the Network are Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines. Singapore Compact will host the first secretariat of the Network.

The objectives of the Network is to:

  • Realise the ASEAN Vision covered by the Roadmap for ASEAN Community 2009-2015 and the Blueprint for ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community
  • Develop public policy model for ASEAN based on international social responsibility standards
  • Develop multi stakeholder engagement for holistic sustainable socio-economic development

The Network will be a platform for networking and exchange; a repository of regional knowledge on CSR; a capacity-builder and an advocate of CSR.

More Companies Embrace CSR in Singapore

September 30, 2010 by  
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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. Read more

New Book on CSR for Sustainability and Success

October 12, 2009 by  
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CSR bookThe new book “CSR for Sustainability and Success” by Singapore Compact was launched during the International Singapore Compact CSR Summit held last week. The book features the CSR journey and experiences of 10 local and global companies with operations in Singapore.

The 10 companies (listed below) are in the following industries: food and beverage, retail, financial services, telecommunications, property development and management, construction, steel and energy.

  • Cerebos Pacific Limited
  • Citi
  • City Developments Limited
  • Holcim (Singapore) Pte Ltd
  • NatSteel Holdings Pte Ltd
  • NTUC Fairprice Co-operative Limited
  • PowerSeraya Ltd
  • SembCorp Industries Limited
  • Shell Group of Companies
  • Singapore Telcommunications Limited

In the book, each company shares its insight on adopting CSR – the company’s motivation, process, programmes, results, impacts, challenges and opportunities during the CSR journey. The business case for CSR was mentioned by the companies and they find that CSR provides business opportunities and is critical to business success.

The book also highlights 3 key challenges and suggests what can be done for each challenge:

1. Getting Started

Companies may face a lack of understanding and knowledge on CSR, lack of interest within the organisation and by stakeholders, and also resource constraints to get started.

Some solutions:

  • Form a cross-functional CSR working group with commitment and leadership from top management
  • Refer to relevant national programmes and policies, and what other companies are doing in the same industry
  • Define what is important to the company and stakeholders, and form clear targets and milestones
  • Discuss and develop the CSR policy and strategy at the department and group levels

2. Operationalising CSR

Companies may find it difficult to translate vision and mission into CSR policies and actions throughout the company and stakeholders.

Some solutions:

  • Require top management to lead, drive change and be role models
  • Ensure perseverance to embed policies and practices across the organisation
  • Have clear roles and responsibility and a reporting structure
  • Include tools, policies and processes for stakeholders to act
  • Include measures and channels to communicate and engage with stakeholders

3. Sustaining the CSR Journey

Companies may find it difficult to maintain management commitment, employee awareness and buy-in, meet the needs and expectations of diverse stakeholders, ensuring focused efforts and measuring impacts.

Some solutions:

  • Emphasize the importance of ongoing engagement and sharing of info among employees and stakeholders
  • Educate, involve and empower stakeholders in the CSR and sustainability journey

If your company or organisation is starting on your CSR journey, this book gives useful examples and case studies on CSR strategies, policies and practices based on the Singapore context.

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