A Guide To Doing Good

Embarking on a corporate social responsibility (CSR) programme need not be mind-boggling. For starters, companies can work towards responsible business practices that will in turn help to build goodwill with communities and consumers. Here are some examples to get you thinking.

 By Evonne Lyn Lee

 

Responsible Stewardship

Coca-Cola believes that good stewardship of resources (water, energy, materials, manpower) and working with CSR-minded partners — Wrap (lightweight packaging), Carbon Trust (minimising carbon output), Recoup (plastic recycling charity), University of Cambridge Sustainability leadership programmes — are a few measures that will take its business into the next century.

Use Social Media

A good example of the use of social media in CSR is US department store Target’s 2009 ‘Bullseye Give’ campaign. The retail giant engaged the 900,000 in its Facebook community to cast votes by selecting which of the 10 potential charities on Target’s website they felt were deserving of the US$6 million funds allocated by the company.

Support A Social Cause

BP de Silva Holdings took the unconventional route to celebrate its 140th company anniversary last year. A company cycling expedition to Sri Lanka met three objectives — boosted staff morale, strengthened brand equity and supported a local charity. A documentary film it produced had a potential reach of four million viewers.

Being Inclusive

The NTUC Fairprice Cooperative Share-A-Textbook programme has been going on for the past 30 years. It involves internal and external parties — employees,  students and volunteers — to help at collection centres to sort out old textbooks that are donated to students from low-income families.

Field Training

CapitaLand employees got practical lessons on how to build community ties and cross-cultural communications skills through its staff volunteerism initiative that has taken them on expeditions to the Asia-Pacific. In 2012, several staff volunteers visited the Longdong Hope school in Sichuan, China, to set up a library with 10,000 books and a reading room.


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