International Singapore Compact CSR Summit 2011 takes off [Press Releases]
Focus on youth, launch of CDL-Singapore Compact Young CSR Leaders Award
Singapore, 5 Sep 2011 – Mr S Iswaran, Minister, Prime Minister’s Office, and Second Minister for Home Affairs and Trade & Industry, launches the International Singapore Compact CSR Summit 2011 today, against a backdrop of CSR gaining momentum in Singapore.
Singapore Compact for CSR, the national organisation charged with promoting CSR, has reported a 60% increase in the number of members over the past two years, with 160 new members since May 2009. This is the fastest growth experienced since the body was set up in 2005, reflecting an increase in CSR awareness. Its membership now stands at 366.
The spurt in growth is directly attributable to the greater awareness and the intensified efforts by Singapore Compact to push the CSR message island-wide. This will be further impetus for the body to increase its resources and strengthen its services and training programmes.
The adoption of the CSR movement is also evidenced by the fact that more than 70 companies now provide a sustainability report in some form or other. Three years ago, there were no such reports.
Additionally, 16 more companies have signed up as signatories to the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) network in Singapore. The UNGC incorporates 10 principles covering human rights, labour standards, environment and anti-corruption. Singapore Compact is serving as the Secretariat for the ASEAN CSR Network – a network of CSR Networks in ASEAN.
Said Singapore Compact’s President, Ms Olivia Lum: “I have been glad to see quite a number of steps on a broader scale towards sustainability. The Singapore Stock Exchange launched its Guide to Sustainability Reporting for Listed Companies at the end of June. This was a significant step in encouraging public-owned companies to look at business strategies and risk management in a more holistic way.
“The Code of Corporate Governance has also been relooked at, with an eye to better transparency and governance of businesses.”
CSR is essentially about businesses doing well and doing good by working together with stakeholders. It means working with a social conscience, while running a profitable business.
Singapore Compact was set up by the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) and Singapore National Employers Federation (SNEF) and Singapore Business Federation (SBF) in 2005 to encourage the take-up of CSR by business organisations. It is the focal point for the United Nations Global Compact Network in Singapore and serves as the Secretariat for the ASEAN CSR Network.
Said Mr Thomas Thomas, Executive Director of Singapore Compact: “The pressures of the global trends lately have been building up, and we will need to be innovative and efficient in order to succeed further in our quest to promote and promulgate the acceptance of CSR in Singapore.”
Focus on youth
Singapore Compact recently announced that it will centre on youth to lay down a CSR foundation for the future. This includes:
i) Youth outreach and involvement
ii) Student chapters with ideas and events driven by students
a. Workshops and seminars for students e.g. for final year Water and Environment students at SP
b. Partnerships with tertiary bodies e.g. SMa Institute of Higher Learning-Murdoch University, Temasek Polytechnic
c. Already has CSR chapters in NUS, Singapore Management University, SMa Institute of Higher Learning- Murdoch University and Temasek Poly
d. Make frequent presentations to universities and polytechnics
e. Has been inviting students to attend the CSR summit over the last three years
In line with this focus, it has together with partner and local CSR champion City Developments Limited, launched a new initiative, the CDL-Singapore Compact Young CSR Leaders Award. This involves tertiary students working with Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to help analyse and implement CSR programmes and practices among these businesses. Singapore Compact’s existing CSR awards introduced in 2010 are for business organisations.
This joint initiative is aimed at promoting CSR to young people as well as encouraging and engaging SMEs to practice CSR. In this inaugural Award, 27 teams from tertiary institutions were assigned to 10 SMEs to propose CSR initiatives to them.
The top three teams will receive their prizes from Guest-of-Honour Mr Iswaran at the summit to be held on 5-6 September at Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel.
The three winning teams are:
First: “Team Precise Consultancy” from SMa Institute of Higher Learning-Murdoch University, which worked with ADDP Architects.
Team members: Kimberly Yap, Rosemary Lee, Sandhu Jespreet Kaur, Shyanne Wang
Second: “The Changemakers” from Singapore Management University (SMU), which worked with Siloso Beach Resort.
Team members: Bernice Ong, Teo Baona, Joseph Choy, Regina Heng, Wee ZhenYi, Pearlyn Loh
Third: “Team NUS” from National University of Singapore (NUS), which worked with Mainguard Security Services & Mainguard International.
Team members: Kwek Yi Jun, Fabian Chua, Macey Tan, Benedict Yeo
The remaining seven companies involved are Ispahan Group, Fabulous Printers, Origin Exterminators, Unison Construction, Wavelink Travel, The Sukha House, and KPK Quantity Surveyors.
Mr Thomas said its programme for youth will also include working with student bodies in tertiary institutions to expose students to CSR. Several student chapters have already been launched over the past year, including SMa Institute of Higher Learning-Murdoch University and Temasek Polytechnic. The National University of Singapore and Singapore Management University chapters were established earlier.
It will also organise more workshops and seminars for members as well as for tertiary students.
Singapore Compact CSR awards for companies
The Singapore Compact CSR Awards were launched last year to recognize outstanding achievements in how companies behave towards the environment, the local community and their people.
Having received a tremendous response in 2010, the awards opened for submission again this year in April, and closed early in July after receiving 49 entries across 4 categories: Best Workplace Award, Community Developer Award, Caring Employer Award, and Green Champion Award.
The Awards drew submissions from a range of organisations, including private corporations, social enterprises and co-operatives. In addition to the Award winners from each category, 2 organisations received Special Mentions for their commitment to CSR.
The following are the winners:
Community Developer: Citi Singapore
Caring Employer: KFC Management
Green Champion: Samwoh Corporation
Best Workplace: Maybank Singapore
Two Special Mention Awards will be given to Adrenalin Events and Education and Mirage Landscape Design & Contract.
Winning companies will receive their awards at the International Singapore Compact CSR Summit 2011 to be held on 5-6 September at Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel.
CSR programme to be ramped up
Elaborating on the ramped-up CSR programme, Mr Thomas said the focus is to raise awareness, recruit new members and build capacity.
“We are also taking steps to add value to membership,” he added. “The Singapore Compact website has been revamped and more resource materials added. The aim is to make it a one-stop centre where members can ask questions and raise issues so they can share the CSR journey. Since the revamp, the website has been getting more hits.”
The website includes updates, articles and interviews by partners and members of Singapore Compact’s consultants’ network. It has both resources to raise general awareness of public and exclusive resources for members specifically. A blog has also been created. In due course, it will have an interactive area for members to exchange ideas.
Since January, a monthly e-newsletter has been sent out to update members on developments and upcoming trends. Singapore Compact will tap on expert consultants in various fields of CSR to provide more advice and assistance over the years as Singapore’s CSR capability grows.
The International Singapore Compact CSR Summit 2011 is being held for the third time. There will be two keynote speeches, one by Dr Wayne Visser, Founder and Director of the think-tank CSR International.
Dr Visser will speak on “Sustainability, Next Mega Trend: How True? How to Respond?”
Senior Associate at the University of Cambridge Programme for Sustainability Leadership, and Visiting Professor of Sustainability at Magna Carta College, Oxford, he is also the author/editor of 12 books, nine on the role of business in society.
The second keynote speaker will be Dr Fons Trompenaars, Director, Trompenaars Hampden-Turner of the Netherlands. He will speak on CSR – Sustaining Values for Success.
Fons Trompenaars is a Dutch author and consultant in the field of cross-cultural communication. His books include: Riding the Waves of Culture, Seven Cultures of Capitalism, Building Cross-Cultural Competence, 21 Leaders for the 21st Century and Innovating in a Global Crisis. Trompenaars experienced cultural differences firsthand at home, where he grew up speaking both French and Dutch, and then later at work with Shell in nine countries.
Other subjects to be discussed at the summit will cover investor relations, sustainability reporting, CSR and supply chain management and role of media in CSR.
Source: Singapore Compact for CSR