Bagging the Jury’s Choice Award at the inaugural EuroCham CSR Contest 2019 last July was a good boost towards expanding its community-centric programmes, says Chip Mong Insee Cement Corporation (CMIC).
“Honestly, it was a big surprise because CMIC is new. Although we did start our CSR initiatives even before the factory was completely built in 2017, we were technically only established in early 2018. It feels great to earn such recognition in our early years,” public and government relations manager Vichea S. Tieng told Khmer Times in an interview.
Expressing gratitude for the prestigious accolade, Mr Vichea admitted that the win increased staff confidence in the company, thus boosting productivity level among the 400 existing employees.
“We are all extremely happy with this award. For us, CSR is not only about the external community but also within the company itself. In fact, all employees are constantly in the loop of the ongoing initiatives.
“Every three months we would have what we call an employees’ information event where I would share with fellow colleagues the progress of all programmes and the upcoming ones that we have in plan. Now, they understand that positive efforts will bear positive results so everyone is really supportive,” he said.
Mr Vichea said the company is now inspired to conduct more initiatives that are not only limited to the five main pillars which are community infrastructure development, road safety, education, environment and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH).
“We have bigger goals now but we will never neglect the five pillars that we hold dear to. Perhaps the next mission would be to organise a cleanliness campaign, together with the Ministry of Environment on good hygiene practices at restaurants.
“This is a common problem that we see across the country — people throwing tissue and rubbish on the floor. We need to behave better. We are still brainstorming but to ensure its effectiveness, I believe we must start in a small town, like Kep and Kampot, where our plant is. We will also engage with a non-profit group for expertise,” he said.
The EuroCham victory, he added, was also an eye-opener for many on the importance of CSR efforts, which he felt were still undervalued here in the Kingdom.
“More and more businesses are embracing CSR efforts but the mindset has to be shared by all employees — from top to bottom. Right now not everyone knows or appreciates the value of CSR, some unfortunately don’t even care.
“Partly because I think the idea originated from the West so we are still trying to adapt. But with awards such as this, people are getting educated and becoming more aware of its perks. Not only does it help with (a company’s) reputation and sustainability, but it also attracts potential business partners,” he said.
Chip Mong Insee is one of the five companies whose efforts in giving back to the society are lauded at the EuroCham’s first CSR awards last July. The others are Khmer Green Charcoal, Knai Bang Chatt, Kulara Water and Artisans Angkor.
The awards were administered by representatives of the EuroCham Board, the EuroCham Business Committee, the Conseillers du Commerce Extérieur UNIDO and the academic sector.
The final decision was made by a panel of judges presided by Sok Chenda Sophea, secretary general of the Council for the Development of Cambodia and outgoing EU Ambassador to Cambodia George Edgar.