For Chip Mong Insee Cement Corporation (CMIC), their CSR programmes kicked off even before their factory was finished in 2017.
“When we started building, there was nothing here—it is just farming land,” recalls Vichea S. Tieng, “So straight away, we decided we needed to include the local community to see what we can do to for them .”
Vichea, now serving as the cement factory’s public and government relations manager, explains how performing a social-environmental impact assessment (SEIA) helped the company to establish sustainable means through which they could help the local community.
“We knew for us to sustain we needed economic growth, good environmental performance and a strong sense of community – yes, we need money, but we also need clean air, clean water i.e. clean environment and we need community, we cannot live alone,” he says.
It was these elements of sustainability that CMIC chose to start their CSR very early and focus the majority of their CSR efforts on . Although they set about improving community infrastructure including canal restoration and enlisting the support of NGOs and relevant stakeholders to construct wells for drinking water, the company’s main efforts have been in providing education opportunities, improving WASH, environment and road safety education.
“For some projects, it was necessary to use the expertise of NGOs and local authorities – some things are best not to do alone – but working with the community to provide them with skills and education that they can keep for the rest of their life, that is something we mustdo for the community.”
Sponsoring 12 high school graduates from the local community every year, CMIC helps ensure that students receive a quality vocational education and another 12 nationwide for higher education in science, technologies and engineering
With our Enterprised base Vocational education (EVE), “we give them the chance to learn vocational skills inside our plant with teachers from the National Polytechnic Institute of Cambodia for three years. Then afterwards, we offer them a job with us – they don’t have to take it,” adds Tieng, “While we would prefer they worked with us after their studies, they are free to work elsewhere or stay in education for another year to gain their bachelor’s.”
With a philosophy that is centred around sustainability, Chip Mong Insee Cement Corporation seeks to invest in the local community.
“It’s not just about making money, it’s about a long-term investment in people,” Vichea says.
Of course, their efforts come with challenges as they’re unable to meet all of the requirements of the community without the participation of both the community itself, relevant authorities and NGOs with more experience in certain matters.
Other matters, they handle themselves – such as sponsoring 11 local high schools to invest in STEM subjects, with a view to expand the scope and scale of their CSR operations next year.