Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is more often than not brushed aside by the uninitiated as an insincere mechanism for corporations to either ‘greenwash’ their actions or soothe the ills of capitalism out of guilt. However, CSR – when carried out effectively – is an important and effective tool to benefit the society while also benefiting the company. It has been proven that organisations that execute well-planned social responsibility programs are not only capable of improving their brand’s reputation, but also attract more valuable candidates and customers to join them. In an effort to recognise the goodwill of such companies, Top 10 takes a look at its list of the nation’s 10 leading companies in CSR (presented in no particular order).
Sime Darby Berhad
Incorporated in 1910 as a small British company managing 500 acres of rubber estates in Malacca, Sime Darby has since come a long way in establishing itself as the leading force in various industries, including plantation, industrial equipment, motors, property and energy in more than 25 countries. As a company that emphasises both economic and personal growth, Sime Darby has conceived Yayasan Sime Darby, its philanthropic arm which focuses on the company’s wider corporate commitment to sustainability. One of the megacorp’s most noteworthy CSR initiatives is being the first company in the country to develop an in-house Child Protection Policy as part of its commitment to address the issues of child safety, protection, abuse and well-being.
CIMB Group Holdings Berhad
Regionally renowned CIMB Group is arguably the largest investment bank in the Asia Pacific, with more than 1,080 branches across the world. Operating under several entities, the group’s business activities include consumer banking, corporate banking and strategic investments in various markets, with the core countries being Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand. The CSR division of the group is the CIMB Foundation, one of Southeast Asia’s leading CSR advocates which to-date has contributed nearly RM76 million to various programmes related to community development, leading the group to win first place in The Edge Billion Ringgit Club Corporate Awards for Best CSR Initiatives in 2013.
Axiata Group Berhad
One of Asia’s leading telecommunications group, the Axiata Group Berhad boasts approximately 290 million subscribers in 10 countries. With controlling interests under the brand name of ‘Celcom’ in Malaysia, ‘XL’ in Indonesia and ‘Dialog’ in Sri Lanka, in addition to the group’s telecommunications infrastructure company ‘edotco’ which operates across six countries, Axiata Group amassed a group revenue of RM19.9 billion in 2015. Nonetheless, the multinational enterprise keeps its feet firmly on the ground with its various IT-based CSR programmes namely Pusat Internet 1Malaysia and Kampung Tanpa Wayar (KTW) 1Malaysia which earned the group third place under the The Edge Billion Ringgit Club Corporate Awards 2014 for Best CSR Initiatives.
Malayan Banking Berhad
Ranking fourth in terms of assets among banks in ASEAN, Malayan Banking Berhad, or Maybank, is officially the fifth largest Islamic bank globally. The bank’s regional arm for corporate responsibility initiatives, Maybank Foundation, was established in 2010 as a key vehicle for the group to support its sustainability agenda across its network. Working together closely with stakeholders and employees, the Foundation serves to ensure that the group creates a long-lasting impact to improve the lives of communities everywhere possible. For the group’s never-ending efforts in sustainability, Maybank has won numerous awards, including the Best Corporate Social Responsibility Reporting Award (Platinum) at the National Annual Corporate Reporting Awards (NACRA) 2015.
Allianz Malaysia Berhad
One of the leading general insurers in Malaysia, Allianz Malaysia Berhad, through its wholly-owned subsidiary Allianz General Berhad, possesses a broad spectrum of services in motor insurance, personal lines, small to medium enterprise businesses and large industrial risks. As part of the company’s CSR efforts, Allianz4Good, its philanthropic division, organises corporate volunteering activities that focus on four main pillars, namely Road Safety, Financial Literacy, Community and Environment. In 2014, the group’s 417 volunteers dedicated over 3,050 volunteering hours to reach over 17,600 people through their structured volunteering programmes. The group won the Best CSR Initiatives (for below RM10 billion market cap) at The Edge Billion Ringgit Club Corporate Awards 2014.
Carlsberg Brewery Malaysia Berhad
The nation’s renowned manufacturer of beer, stout and other malt-related beverages, Carlsberg Brewery Malaysia was incorporated way back in 1969. Boasting a wide portfolio of leading international brands that include Kronenbourg 1664, Asahi Super Dry, Somersby Cider, SKOL, and Hoegaarden among many others, Carlsberg is just as well known for its CSR activities as it is for its variety of alcoholic beverages. The first prize winner in The Edge Billion Ringgit Club Corporate Awards 2014 for Best CSR Initiatives (for below RM10 billion market cap) had also raised over RM469 million in school-building funds for 690 schools nationwide through its flagship ‘Top Ten Charity Campaign’ and ‘I Love Chinese Education East Malaysia’ charity concerts.
With 12.1 million customers in Malaysia, DiGi is known as a game-changer for the Malaysian telecommunications industry with a long history of product and service innovation. Recognised as one of Forbes’ 100 World’s Most Innovative Companies in 2014, the subsidiary of Telenor Group is famous for creating socio-economic developments and helping businesses to grow through the use of technology. During 2014, DiGi solidified efforts towards nurturing a safer Internet ecosystem through the CyberSAFE in Schools programme, an initiative in partnership with CyberSecurity Malaysia, which reached out to almost 38,098 school children and empowered 130 ICT teachers with online safety skills, in addition to helping educate children living in urban poor centres.
RHB Capital Berhad
Founded in 1997, following the merging of DCB Bank and Kwong Yik Bank, RHB Capital Berhad is currently the fourth largest fully integrated financial services group in Malaysia. In the CSR territory, the Group’s flagship programmes for children include the RHB-NST Spell-It-Right Challenge, the RHB-The Star Mighty Minds National Challenge and the Students Educational Enrichment Development Leadership Programme. Since 2007, the group lent its facilities in helping to track missing children through the Missing Children – Reuniting Families Programme. The Group is actively involved in encouraging healthy living and environmental awareness through its Jom Sihat and the RHB TrEx Broga Challenge. RHB received The Asset’s Excellence in Management and Corporate Governance Benchmarking Award for its overall performance in all fields including Social Responsibility and Environmental Responsibility, the MSWG-ASEAN Corporate Governance Transparency Index 2015, the ASEAN Corporate Governance Awards for Top 50 ASEAN Publicly Listed Companies and the Asia Corporate Excellence & Sustainability Awards 2015.
Fraser & Neave Holdings Berhad
One of the country’s oldest companies, F&N is a market leader and household name when it comes to beverages and dairy products. Growing from strength to strength with an annual turnover in excess of RM4 billion, the company has invested a significant portion of its revenue into its CSR activities, successfully building a name for itself as a caring corporation. As part of its CSR programming, 100 Plus has been the Official Isotonic Drink of the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) for the past 10 years, supporting the National Circuit Championships and all tournaments and events hosted by BAM. Education-wise, the F&N Empowering Lives Through Education (ELITE) programme, done in collaboration with Kassim Chin Humanity Foundation (KCHF), was able to provide children from 600 poor households with free tuition classes.
Petroliam Nasional Berhad
Founded in 1974, national oil and gas company Petroliam Nasional Berhad, or better known as Petronas, is wholly owned by the government of Malaysia, and is also listed among Fortune Global 500‘s largest corporations in the world. Petronas is renowned for its CSR programmes that cater to helping the community, preserving the environment, supporting health and safety, and promoting education among the communities where they operate in. One of its key CSR programmes is on biodiversity, which focuses on preserving nature parks in Malaysia, while its community programmes work towards organising and sponsoring community-based activities such as drug prevention and arts and science exhibitions.