NVPC and Global Compact Network Singapore to develop national framework to guide companies on strategic, sustainable and impactful corporate social responsibility and sustainability

NVPC and Global Compact Network Singapore (GCNS) entered into a two-year MoU today that sets out to establish a national framework to guide companies on practices in CSR and sustainability.

Singapore, 29 August 2017 – The National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre (NVPC) and Global Compact Network Singapore (GCNS) entered into a two-year Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) today that sets out to establish a national framework to guide companies on practices in corporate social responsibility and sustainability. The MoU was signed by Ms Melissa Kwee, CEO of NVPC and Mr Wilson Ang, Executive Director of GCNS.

Currently, companies in Singapore are guided by two frameworks – the *Company of Good framework on corporate social responsibility and the *UN Global Compact framework on sustainability. Following the introduction of mandatory sustainability reporting for all listed companies by the Singapore Exchange (SGX) from FY2017, the new integrated framework will be aimed at helping companies better align their CSR efforts with sustainability investments for greater impact. The issue of sustainability is significant for businesses as investors increasingly focus on such issues when making their investment decisions. At the same time, companies are keen to continue to meet community needs through their business operations and contributions.

On the new common framework, Mr Ang commented, “We are delighted to partner with NVPC to integrate our respective frameworks and develop a Trustmark for businesses in Singapore. Companies can expect to be guided by a recognised roadmap in their journey towards becoming a sustainable and internationally competitive enterprise.”

Ms Kwee said  that NVPC is aware that there are many companies in Singapore that  already have a strong CSR programme and that might be concerned that they have to scale back on CSR in order to meet the requirements for sustainability, “What we would like to do is to show them how they can concurrently tick the boxes of their sustainability requirements with their ongoing CSR programme. One of our Company of Good members, BusAds, for instance, provides employment opportunities to the autistic community. This initiative is in fact also fulfilling requirements for inclusivity and diversity in hiring practices.” 

By aligning corporate social responsibility with best sustainability practices, companies can not only help the community, they will also have a positive impact on their bottomline and corporate goals such as better brand recognition, increased sales and customer loyalty, operational cost savings, and a greater ability to attract talent and retain staff. The Deloitte Millennial Survey 2017 revealed that millennials, which will make up half of the working population by 2020, intended to stay longer with employers who engaged with social issues like education, unemployment, and healthcare.

Andrew Buay, Vice President of Group Sustainability at Singtel, says the framework can benefit companies by giving them a clearer focus, “The integrated framework creates congruence between both corporate giving and sustainability. It will enable organisations to better mobilise capabilities and resources on a more sustainable basis in support of a social cause. For their people, it will deepen the raison d’etre behind the giving.”

CEO of Maybank Singapore, Mr Lim Hong Tat, says sustainability and corporate giving can co-exist, “Maybank’s sustainability strategy is connected to our mission of humanising financial services. Our sustainability plan not only defines our focus areas, it is also a framework to manage sustainability issues, meet stakeholder expectations, and guide our corporate giving strategies.”

In the next two years, other areas of collaboration between NVPC and GCNS will include:

Conducting a joint feasibility study on the establishment of a Trustmark for corporate giving and sustainability: The Trustmark will provide assurance and recognition of good standards and practices undertaken in CSR and sustainability

Co-developing an internship programme:  A programme will be developed to equip students with skills for a career in CSR and sustainability, as well as to provide support to companies in these areas of work.

Co-organising events and activities: Companies will get to participate in events and activities to exchange ideas and experiences, as well as network with like-minded parties in CSR and sustainability.

Initiating the development of a professional development programme: Current and potential practitioners  can  be trained with knowledge and skills in CSR and sustainability. 

*Company of Good measures good and holistic giving through a framework comprising 4 ‘I’s (Investment, Integration, Institutionalisation and Impact). For more information on Company of Good Framework, please visit https://companyofgood.sg/about

*The 10 principles of UN Global Compact guides companies in meeting fundamental responsibilities in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption. For more information on the 10 principles, please visit https://www.unglobalcompact.org