More Companies Embrace CSR in Singapore

September 30, 2010 by  
Filed under Insights

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.

Corporate Social Responsibility in Singapore: Awareness and Implementation

October 2, 2009 by  
Filed under Insights

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 for details and registration.

Interview with Thomas Thomas, Executive Director, Singapore Compact for CSR

September 25, 2009 by  
Filed under Insights

Mr Thomas PhotoThis interview with Thomas Thomas, Executive Director, Singapore Compact for CSR, is submitted by the organisers of the International Singapore Compact CSR Summit.

1. What are your hopes for International Singapore Compact CSR Summit that will be taking place from 6-7 October 2009 at Orchard Hotel?

I hope that there will be a surge in CSR awareness and implementation in Singapore and this will in turn act as an impetus for the region. The ideas and discussions leading from the Summit will motivate and ingrain the values and principles of CSR. It will result in better managed companies that take into account the interest of stakeholders and a better world for all. Read more

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