Champions of Good Driving Corporate Stewardship and Social Impact

60 Champions of Good exemplify a new spirit of giving – one that espouses strong corporate stewardship and values to drive impact from the top.

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(Photo – 1st row, 4th from left onwards): CEO of NVPC Melissa Kwee, Senior Minister of State Sim Ann, GOH, Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat, NVPC chairman Mildred Tan, and recipients of the Champions of Good 2018 at the Conferment Ceremony.)

Singapore, 16 November 2018 – The National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre (NVPC) today recognised 60 organisations as Champions of Good 2018 for their exemplary corporate giving, and their commitment to amplifying the impact of giving. Guest-of-Honour Minister for Finance, Mr Heng Swee Keat was joined by 200 C-suite executives and top business leaders at the conferment luncheon.

Champions: Leaders Are Pivotal For Positive Change and Stewardship

Mildred Tan, Chairman, NVPC said, “Corporate giving has increasingly become a national movement, thanks to our Champions of Good who continue to raise the bar by practising and advocating corporate stewardship across their organisations and supply chains. These truly inspiring companies have made giving the lifeblood of their businesses, galvanising senior management, employees and the public to meet the needs of the community.”

Global Trend: The Rise of Corporate Stewardship and the Role of Businesses

Businesses are being expected to fill a leadership vacuum in society. Across the globe, people trust business more than government. The 2018 Edelman Trust Barometer reported that people worldwide (across 28 markets and over 33,000 respondents) place 52% in business “to do what is right”. Citizens are looking to business to address critical issues such as environmental sustainability, inclusive employment and diversity. This expectation is placing pressure on companies, but it is also creating opportunities. Our Champions of Good are the catalysts of change to do good in society.

Businesses Are Expected to Lead and Be the Force for Good

Melissa Kwee, CEO, NVPC said: “Many companies including Champions are responding to the demand for good stewardship and the growing link between social impact and financial performance. We see the heightened need for a new type of leadership to emerge. The recent 2018 Edelman Trust Barometer shows that 65% opined that CEOs should take the lead on change rather than waiting for government to impose it. Through our Champions, we witness examples of business as a force for good. The power is in the hands of CEOs and leaders to walk the talk and drive meaningful change. Corporate philanthropy and volunteerism in Singapore needs to be more regular and driven right from the top of the organisation.”

Corporate leaders are stepping up to lead positive change. NVPC’s Corporate Giving Survey (CGS) 2017 Findings showed that almost half of the companies that engaged in either philanthropy (49%) or volunteering (42%) indicated that senior management interest was crucial in driving giving within the company in Singapore. This trend mirrors the willingness of the Champions of Good reaching out to their customers, suppliers and partners, and their drive to unlock even more value. This demands a new form of stewardship to drive the future of corporate giving in Singapore, to collaborate and address long-standing complex issues.

As testament to this new form of leadership, first-time Champion of Good Woh Hup attributes their strong performance to the spirit of giving long instilled by its four generations of founders. Their senior management’s stellar commitment to championing causes (from environment to uplifting persons with disabilities) has allowed Woh Hup to directly address pressing needs of the community, and strengthened its philanthropic focus in donating more than $1 million to over 20 non-profits while supporting youths through scholarships and bursaries. Crucially, their management has also encouraged staff to launch their own spin-off Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives, further amplifying their impact on the community and integrating giving into the company’s DNA.

Good Corporate Stewarship: Performance with Purpose

Global technology giant and first-time Champions of Good, Cognizant believed that they can perform with purpose, “I am proud of the work our employee volunteers do every day in our communities in the areas of education and skilling, environment and sustainability, and community welfare. Just in the first half of this year, Cognizant has contributed nearly a quarter-million volunteer hours — with 80 percent of these hours happening during evenings and weekends. That tells how embedded volunteerism is in our culture, making Cognizant not just a business enterprise but also a social enterprise,” said Jayajyoti Sengupta, Head, Asia Pacific, Cognizant.

Smaller companies can align their profit and purpose too. A well-established SME and first-time Champion, Buckman Laboratories (Asia) Pte Ltd recognises that their business is more than just their financial prosperity, but their ability to sustain the health and well-being of our communities, and environment. Apart from educating their employees and youths on the need for personal environmental ownership, Buckman Asia has aligned its operations and customer activities towards Return on Environment (ROE) concepts, which highlight the hidden non-monetary costs of embarking on a project. Costs such as the risk of pollution, the increase of a carbon footprint, and the generation of waste are further considered in every action taken, which help better inform Buckman Asia’s next steps.

And as one of the three public agencies recognised as Champions of Good for the first time, Building & Construction Authority (BCA) showed that giving back to the community and greening the environment is embedded in their DNA. Senior leaders championed impactful CSR movement and saw stronger employee engagement. Hugh Lim, CEO, BCA said, “Our CSR project at AWWA’s transitional shelters is a strong collective example of how the public and private sectors can join hands to give back to our society. As we work with our industry partners, to shape a safe, high quality, sustainable and friendly built environment, it is equally important for us to take some time to care for those who are in need.”

Today’s emerging Champions of Good are refraining from giving in silos; instead, they leverage opportunities to work with their employees, customers and business partners. Driving the frontiers of corporate giving, Champions prove that organisations of all sizes and sectors can integrate giving into their DNA and use business as a force for good. Today, we recognise and celebrate these Champions that not only go the extra mile to influence people but are the catalysts of change.

Please see a full list of Champions of Good 2018 and the panel of judges found in the Appendixes.

To view the Business Times Supplement for the Champions of Good 2018, please visit: https://www.businesstimes.com.sg/hub/champions-of-good-2018.

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For media interviews and queries, please contact:

Jessica Chai Pei Shan

NVPC, Lead, Comms and PR

HP: 9823 8554

Email: peishanchai@nvpc.org.sg

Appendix

The Champions of Good is a national recognition framework aimed at catalysing corporate giving. Each Champion has been selected by a panel of 7 judges based on their contributions as a role model for corporate giving, and their ability to rally others and amplify the impact of their giving.

The judges deploy NVPC’s 4 “I”s framework which assesses the investment, integration, institutionalisation and impact of each applicant’s giving efforts. Companies are recognised as Champions of Good for one year from the date of recognition and re-apply a year later, alongside new applicants. A total of 105 recognitions have been conferred to date since the establishment of the framework last year.

These 60 Champions hail from professional services, finance and insurance, hospitality, retail, and education industries, have been selected from amongst more than 1,200 companies in the Company of Good network.

Champions of Good are unique in that beyond establishing strategic, sustainable, and impactful corporate giving within their company, they also rally whole systems of customers, suppliers, external stakeholders, the public to amplify the impact and extent of their corporate giving. Against traditional actions of corporate giving, they tap on the respective strengths and competitive advantages of varied stakeholders to optimise business and make a social impact.

The Champions of Good 2018 Judging Panel comprises:

  • Mildred Tan, Chairman, NVPC
  • Theresa Foo, Chairman, Singapore Business Federation Foundation
  • Zainul Abidin Rasheed, Ambassador to Kuwait & Special Envoy to Middle East, Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • Fernando Zóbel De Ayala, President & COO, Ayala Corporation
  • David Chan, Professor of Psychology & Director of Behavioural Sciences Institute, Singapore Management University
  • William Adamopoulous, CEO of Asia, Forbes Media, President and Publisher, Forbes Asia
  • Anthea Ong, Immediate Past President, Society for Wings, Impact Investor & Social Entrepreneur, Hush, Playground of Joy, and Nominated Member of Parliament (2018)