Five companies were given commendations for responsible practices and contribution to sustainable economic development in the Kingdom during EuroCham’s first CSR Contest and Awards on Wednesday.
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More than two dozen companies applied to be nominated, but only 17 were shortlisted. These companies represent 25 CSR projects, and some companies submitted more than one application.
Companies shortlisted fulfilled all requirements, including recently completed or ongoing CSR programmes.
The judges chose Khmer Green Charcoal, Knai Bang Chatt, Kulara Water, Artisan Angkor and Chip Mong Insee.
Awards given were grouped into different categories, including for the most outstanding achievement, best small-medium enterprises, and jury’s choice.
The awards were administered by representatives of the EuroCham Board, the EuroCham Business Committee, the Conseillers du Commerce Extérieur UNIDO and the academic sector, while a panel of judges was presided by Sok Chenda Sophea, secretary general of the Council for the Development of Cambodia and European Union ambassador George Edgar.
“The panel of judges appointed in the contest were quite independent in selecting a winner,” EuroCham executive director Blaise Killia said.
He said during a press conference before the event that CSR programmes are beneficial to companies who conduct them.
“CSR initiative not only boost a company’s reputation – but also guarantees sustainability in long run,” he said, adding that a good reputation can help attract business partner, shareholders and motivated employees.
Mr Chenda Sophea agreed. He said companies that carry out good CSR practices are crucial to society development, and they are in line with the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goal.
He noted that many companies have greatly contributed to the country’s development.
Vichea Tieng, public and government relations manager at Chip Mong Insee, said the company has efforts in providing education opportunities, and improving the environment and road safety.
Mr Tieng noted that the company sponsors a students from local communities every year to ensure they learn science, technology, and engineering.
“We train students in our plant using teachers from the National Polytechnic Institute of Cambodia for three years,” he said. “We would prefer it if they worked with us after their study, but they are free to work elsewhere or stay with education for another year to get their bachelor’s.”
“It’s not just about making money, it’s about long-term investment in people,” Mr Tieng added. “We need money, but we also need clean air, water and environment. And we need community.”
Jacques Marcille, managing director at Kulara Water, said his company expresses its social commitments through the creation of sustainable jobs for villagers who live around the Kulen mountain, where the company sources its water for its mineral water product.
“At Kulara Water, we care about two main things,” Mr Marcille said. “The first is to be able to bring something new in the country, with a strong commitment to quality – and we also care about giving back to the community.”