Community Care Done Right: Shell, Alaska Milk, Astra Zeneca, TrueCorp & Eastman Chemical

THE business world has evolved. There used to be a time when employees were expected to be grateful to their employers for providing them honest work.

The first paradigm shift in employee favour came when companies began seeing their staff as assets, and bundling employee welfare perks into hiring packages.

Today, after the wave of PlayStation-equipped recreation rooms, businesses have started looking after the communities they operate in.

The various award segments in the Sustainability category of the Asia Corporate Excellence & Sustainability Awards 2019 were created to recognise companies that go out of their way to share their expertise and profitability with the communities in which they operate.

Shell Company of Thailand

The Shell Company of Thailand, one of the winners in the Top Community Care Companies in Asia award segment, extends its care towards society and the local community through various programmes, with sustainability being one of the key areas of priority.

Shell believes in providing energy in a responsible manner while respecting people, their safety and the environment. These sustainability goals are aligned with the United Nation’s sustainable development goals (SDGs), such as ending poverty, improving health and education, making cities sustainable and tackling climate change.

Shell Thailand has embraced the SDGs and incorporated them into its corporate strategies and operations of its business goals.

In 2017, Shell Thailand sought to achieve 20 per cent of its fuel business from low-emission energy solutions. This has been possible with the use of biofuels and electrification of transport system, and using higher ethanol and palm oil blend ratios.

The company also continuously sources and develops renewable energy and natural gas to provide clean energy options, and aims to reduce carbon emissions from its retail and operation sites by powering service stations with solar panels.

Alaska Milk Corporation

Another Top Community Care Companies in Asia award winner, Philippines-based Alaska Milk Corporation demonstrates societal engagement by breaking the cycle of malnutrition, ending poverty in the Philippines, and establishing sustainable and inter-generational community projects. The company believes that underprivileged children stand to achieve better academic performance through good nutrition.

In partnership with the Department of Education and the Department of Social Welfare and Development, Alaska Milk Corporation provides free milk for 120 feeding days to severely malnourished school children through its Alaska School Milk Feeding Program.

The food conglomerate has also provided support to schools in disaster-stricken areas in the major island group of provinces in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. Since the program’s implementation in 2016, Alaska’s School Milk Feeding Program has reached 335 public schools with 37,019 school children beneficiaries.

It also partners with the Philippine Food Bank Foundation Inc, Defending Family Values Inc, Association of Child Caring Agencies of the Philippines, and underprivileged children’s homes and orphanages.

AstraZeneca (Thailand) Limited

Yet another winner of the Top Community Care Companies in Asia award, AstraZeneca (Thailand) Limited, threw its considerable might against the scourge of respiratory disease.

The biopharmaceutical company spearheaded Healthy Lung Thailand, aimed at supporting the Ministry of Public Health’s National Program on Service Excellence of Asthma and COPD, which is part of the national strategy for the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases.

Together with local partners, AstraZeneca Thailand aims to address current gaps in asthma, COPD and lung cancer management, and improve outcomes through a country-wide patient awareness programme. It supports activities aimed at increasing awareness of the diseases in the community, and educates asthma, COPD and lung cancer patients on the importance of managing these diseases by recognising symptoms, having early diagnosis and treatment, and adhering to treatments.

Healthy Lung Thailand also focuses on capacity and access, where holistic, partnership-driven interventions in selected countries resolve issues of infrastructure, education or access.

True Corp. Public Co. Ltd

True Corp. Public Co. Ltd., a Thailand-based telecommunications services provider applies its expertise in telecommunication and digital technologies to create social value. True has chosen to commit to creating a better quality of life and occupational potential for autistic persons and their families.

It has created a showcase through the Creating a Better Life for People with Autism project that began in 2014, and which it continues to support. The company achieved measurable success through its series of free True Autistic applications for autistics to improve their learning and communications ability.

These apps garnered around 74,000 downloads, and the company donated 2,229 True tablets equipped with these autistic applications to families with autistic children.

A total of 1,776 children and 2,500 family members and teachers were trained to use the app.

According to a survey conducted among the participating families, 70 per cent of autistic children were able to improve their learning and living skills, while 60 per cent with moderate ability were able to follow the instructions as guided by the applications.

Eastman Chemical Singapore Pte Ltd

Eastman Chemical Singapore Pte Ltd has dedicated sustainability and corporate responsibility teams working at a global level, and councils at regional level to maintain the company’s commitment to the environment, ethical business practices, and responsible corporate behaviour.

The company practises sustainability reporting at Global Reporting Initiative standards to report on its sustainability strategies, progress, and goals.

Key stakeholders in Eastman Chemical Singapore, which include the vice-president & general manager (Asia Pacific) among other heads, form a regional Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) council, which meets on a quarterly basis to manage and work on ESG-related issues, opportunities, and plans, and execute sustainability-related strategies.

Stakeholders also consistently engage with the global sustainability and corporate responsibility teams to better understand, communicate and implement Eastman Chemical’s global strategy and align it with the company’s regional focus.

Eastman Chemical has also set up a Foundation, which is operated independently of the company’s core business activities, and whose role it is to pursue funding opportunities to increase its ability to invest in partnerships that have a positive impact on society in the areas of the environment, education, economic development, and empowerment.

Through the Eastman Foundation, eligible non-profit charitable organisations can receive financial support for sustainable community improvement initiatives and projects.

Originally published in The Business Times (Oct 08, 2019)

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