In the modern age, the true success of a corporation is not measured on its business model alone. More and more consumers, potential employees and stakeholders alike are demanding to see companies taking bold initiatives to guarantee positive social and environmental changes, through their corporate social responsibility (CSR) efforts.
It is a known fact that CSR activities bode well for corporations. A 2008 study by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) found that while the effects of CSR activities are typically indirect and intangible, they are becoming increasingly vital for the long-term health of companies.
This is also what potentially led the chief executive officers (CEOs) from 150 of some of the world’s largest companies including Microsoft, Google, Hilton and the Coca-Cola Company to unite under the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy (CECP), as they believe that: “societal improvement is an essential measure of business performance”.
Aside from the commercial side of things, CSR initiatives may bring about real, positive outcomes to the local community. Take NagaWorld and its Kind Hearts initiative, for instance. It is a group consisting of over 100 NagaWorld staff members who donate their personal time and energy focusing on volunteerism involving education enhancement, community engagement, sports development, and environmental care.
One of its most recent initiative is Green Cambodia, a collaborative effort with the Ministry of Environment, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport and City Hall to teach students about environmental conservation efforts by planting 1,000 more trees in several schools nationwide. Since 2014, Naga World has planted over 3,300 trees across the Kingdom.
Their efforts did not go unnoticed. Earlier this month, NagaWorld bagged one of Asia’s most prestigious recognitions for the second time in a row, the Best Country Award for Overall Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Excellence – Best in Cambodia, at the 11th Annual Global CSR Summit & Awards 2019.
The award was given to companies with exemplary CSR programmes that demonstrate an ongoing commitment towards incorporating ethical values, corporate governance and respect for individuals, communities and the environment.
Getting recognition is great but building a good rapport with the community is paramount. It could improve a company’s visibility and attract new talents from the local community who can resonate with the company’s core values. Several researches found that potential employees and customers would likely engage with a company that follow ethical beliefs that are similar to their own.
Aside from that, CSR initiatives could also be a platform for members of the public who wishe to contribute back to society. For instance, the Phnom Penh Clean City Challenge, an initiative by Mitsubishi Corporation Phnom Penh Representative Office, was able to gather over 800 participations during a community garbage collection drive in February this year.
This is proof that such activities could be effective in raising awareness and encouraging involvement in environmental activities among both local and expatriate communities. Additionally, CSR initiatives can also shine a light on underrated young, creative talents who just needed that extra push to make it big. With this in mind, the leaders at Mitsubishi Corporation Phnom Penh, for instance, decided to integrate designs from a collective of female Cambodian designers dubbed Dream Girls Project into stationary items for use by their office.
Companies should view CSR as a golden opportunity to make impactful changes in the world. When trust and connection is established between corporations and communities, support can be exchanged from both entities through various forms. Essentially, doing good is good for business.