Author: Glenn Eric

Nowadays, many companies come forward and embed the idea of ‘doing something good’ into their business models with the focus towards social accountability and making a positive impact on society. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives may include giving back to the community; being environmentally friendly; promoting equality, diversity and inclusion in the workplace; and ensuring the company is ethical. CSR by company is a way of describing how companies measure and control their impact on society as well as its contributions to the economy, environment and community.

When identifying and start-up a CSR initiative, a company should look at its values, company mission and core issues and determine which initiatives best align with the company’s goals and culture. Here are some ideas that you can use in implementing your start-up CSR strategy:

1. Education

Education-related initiative being the most popular for CSR types of program. In education, CSR has become a great way for the organisations to expand their contribution in schools and society. This includes financial assistance, scholarship, school supplies, expertise, skills and knowledge sharing and social work. CSR has improved school infrastructure, facilities and programs.

SOP through its CSR initiative, Young Achievers Award (YAA) and Student Adoption Programme (SAP), will continue to focus on motivating, encouraging and promoting education among the young generation in the rural areas. It has made a concerted effort especially in lending a helping hand to the needy children and motivated them to become high achieving students and setting them on a path to appreciate continuous learning. Through its YAA program, cash award and certificate of recognition will be awarded to deserving students for their examination excellent result. While, SAP is a part of SOP’s CSR initiatives to provide financial support on educational needs to underprivileged children from primary and secondary schools.

2. Health

Health issues are rapidly becoming global concerns and have emerged as one of the most crucial CSR activities. The activity covers a range of public health activities which focus on prevention of disease, promoting good health and strengthening health systems. Preventive healthcare is a very important dimension of health which requires significant attention. So, companies may conduct health awareness campaigns, provide health services such as arranging free check-ups, diagnostics, mobile ambulance facilities, and sponsor treatments for the community.

For instance, SOP Vision Care Project provides eye care services for the local communities which emphasizes on free eye check-up. Vision aids such as spectacles are given to those in need. Those diagnosed with cataract are given further medical review at nearby public hospitals. On the other notes, SOP has been partnering with Get Equip’d Australia and kick-started the SOPB-Get Equip’d Rehabilitation Program in 2016. The key focus of the CSR program is to foster acceptance, social change and equal access for children and people with special needs in local communities. Specifically, the program encourages professional development in the area of paediatric disability in the local community.

3. Local Community Development

Company that aims to solve a societal problem by offering solutions will contribute to a sustainable future. A company that wishes to contribute in community development has to actively participate in community buildout or local projects. This type of CSR serves as a way of representing a company’s commitment to society, demonstrating that they value the community beyond simply providing a workforce or source of revenue.

In SOP, in line with its CSR tagline, We Grow Together With Local Communities, the NCR Project aims to help NCR small holders to grow. The NCR Project is part of the company’s commitment to empower local communities in the areas of social and economic development as well as to eradicate rural poverty. Batu Lintang NCR Project has shown progressive development where it can be seen the upgrading of infrastructure such as schools, roads and telecommunications.

4. Volunteering

Volunteering to help others is a highly rewarding aspect of one’s personal life. Now, with the growing trend of corporate community engagement, CSR through volunteering will benefit the company, its employees as well as the communities. Participating in local causes or volunteering your time and energy to community events will show the company’s sincerity.

To live up its CSR to the community, SOP in cooperation with its permanent partners, the Blood Transfusion Unit of Miri General Hospital and Malaysian Red Crescent Society (MRCS) Miri Chapter organizes a series of blood donation drives– twice a year. The purpose of the CSR initiative is to assist local blood banks in overcoming the shortage of blood supply in the region. It is also to promote volunteering awareness amongst its employees and the public by donating their bloods.

CSR, when conducted in good faith, is beneficial to corporations and their stakeholders. SOP Group has over the years demonstrated and strived to meet its obligation in matters related to social responsibility by establishing community based programs especially in Sarawak that it operates from. SOP main programs have been focused on environmental protection; education and local community wellness, all this program can be termed as success.

The benefits of CSR speak volumes about how important it is and why companies should make an effort to adopt it into their business. There are so many benefits a strong CSR initiative can bring to a company which may improve the company’s public image; enhance customer engagement; increase investment opportunities; expand brand awareness and recognition; and increase employee engagement.

Companies can demonstrate CSR in many ways. From donations to charities, volunteering, sustainable environment actions are some of the examples. CSR is a worthy investment, perhaps the long term positive impact on the business, employee retention, and a legacy to be proud of.

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