The Global Compact Network Singapore celebrated 10 years of pushing the envelope on corporate sustainability on Tuesday by organising a gala dinner and an awards ceremony that recognised companies with the best practices in the country.
Attended by Chan Chun Sing, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office and secretary-general of the National Trades Union Congress, the event was held at the Suntec Singapore Convention and Exhibition Centre to honour companies that champion CSR before more than 200 guests.
The Compact launched the Singapore Apex CSR Awards in partnership with the Singapore Business Federation, The Business Times, City Developments Ltd (CDL) and KPMG in February this year to recognise Singapore-based companies making strides in engaging their employees, customers and the communities they operate in.
Global Compact Network Singapore was formerly the Singapore Compact for CSR, which was established in 2005.
Moving forward, we will need more companies to realise that in today’s business environment, stakeholders such as consumers, investors, governments and employees are expecting corporations to run their business in a responsible and transparent manner.
Kwek Leng Joo, president of the Global Compact Network Singapore
Kwek Leng Joo, president of the Global Compact Network Singapore and deputy chairman of property developer CDL, said that companies have made signficant progress in their CSR initiatives over the last 10 years, having moved beyond philanthropy and volunteerism.
“As we celebrate the Compact’s achievements, we also recognise the hard work put in by companies to integrate sustainability into their business. This is why we decided to launch the Singapore Apex CSR Awards this year,” Kwek noted in his speech.
Award winners include Keppel Land, the property arm of Singapore conglomerate Keppel Group, which earned the top award in the ‘Large Organisations’ category. The developer was recognised for its efforts in risk management, corporate governance as well as occupational safety practices, and for its environmental and community initiatives.
Large organisations are Singapore-incorporated companies with revenues of at least S$300 million, while small and medium enterprises are those with revenues of less than S$300 million, the Compact said in a statement.
Meanwhile, the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), which won in the ‘Small & Medium Organisations’ category was hailed for its comprehensive stakeholder engagement which include responsible environmental practices, encouraging community involvement and an inclusive programme which looks at employees’ career growth and work-life balance, among others.
The Singapore Apex CSR awards committee recognised MPA’s marine biodiversity conversation efforts in its reclamation project and the inclusion of sustainability approaches in its long-term development plans for Singapore as a global maritime centre.
Palm oil trading group Wilmar International received special recognition for leading the industry in sourcing palm oil products responsibly. The awards committee hailed Wilmar for stepping up to ensure its supply chain - a first and a big move within the sector in Singapore - is not involved in any forest destruction and human rights abuse in its plantations. Wilmar made the pledge in 2013 and targets to achieve these goals by the end of this year.
Global Compact Network Singapore announced in June this year that it has become the formal network of the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), the international voluntary CSR movement which promotes UN-backed principles of corporate governance.
The rebranding is part of the not-for-profit group’s plan to align members’s CSR objectives with the UNGC’s focus on human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption. The group also aims to assist multinational firms headquartered in Singapore in their local CSR programmes.
There are now 66 Singapore firms which are signatories to the UNGC after seven new companies signed the agreement, the Compact announced on Tuesday on the sidelines of the International CSR Summit. These firms include CapitaLand, Facility Link, Ghenni, Greenpac, Qi Group of Companies, Sembcorp Industries and YTL PowerSeraya.
“Moving forward, we will need more companies to realise that in today’s business environment, stakeholders such as consumers, investors, governments and employees are expecting corporations to run their business in a responsible and transparent manner,” said Kwek.