OPINION – How do you start your company’s CSR journey in Macao?
Kim, Oi Mei Kuok
Member, Executive Council,
Macau Institute for Greater China Corporate Social Responsibility (MICSRGC)
How can a company start exercising its corporate social responsibility (CSR)? There are two most representative forms of guidance that most organizations refer to when developing their CSR or sustainability strategies and practices. The first is ISO 26000 which was launched in 2010. The main objectives of ISO 26000 are to provide guidance to organizations that voluntarily engage in CSR. A group of 500 global experts made up of different stakeholders from around the world discussed and negotiated for five years before its launch and reached a consensus on the fundamental elements of social responsibility, namely organizational governance, human rights human rights, labor practices, the environment, fair operating practices, consumer issues, and community participation and development. The guide serves to help organizations translate the concept of CSR into action through day-to-day operations in these seven areas.
The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by the United Nations in 2015 also provide useful resources that companies can refer to. These SDGs aim to end poverty and protect the planet. The integrative nature of these SDGs makes a strong case that while countries and organizations strive to achieve prosperity, social, economic and environmental sustainability cannot be sacrificed. Many companies are developing their sustainability strategies that support these SDGs at the same time. For example, MGM China Holdings Limited (MGM China) implemented sustainability practices in 15 different areas in 2021. To name a few, these areas include indirect economic impact, climate change and energy management, water management, occupational health and safety and liability. gambling. All of these practices support 9 of the 17 SDGs while positively impacting stakeholders such as employees, community partners, business partners, customers and investors at the same time.
Many people can argue that large companies have sufficient financial and human resources to develop and implement a comprehensive sustainability strategy. In fact, even large companies often have to work with third parties to implement many of their sustainability practices. For example, MGM China has held various training sessions such as “Professional Workforce Development Series” and activities such as “Happy Workplace Happy Life” for its employees and the public with the support of the Bureau of Labor Affairs (DSAL), Macao Trade Unions Federation and Macao General Women’s Association. On the other hand, people wonder whether small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Macau have sufficient resources, compared to large companies, to initiate and/or implement any sustainable development action. In fact, there are many SMEs in Macau that carry out sustainable development projects. In terms of size and capital, SMEs in Macau are in fact “nano” enterprises. About 99% of companies registered in Macao are SMEs. They are everywhere. The daily life of Macau citizens is surrounded by these SMEs. If more SMEs in Macau are willing to engage in sustainability operations, the resulting impact can be significant.
When the focus of CSR is placed on the environment, soil, trees and water are three of this planet’s most precious resources. Paper production consumes and affects a large part of these resources. For example, producing one ton of tissue paper and standard office paper consumes 17 and 24 trees respectively, while each ton consumes 20,000 gallons of water. In addition to the high consumption of trees and water, the paper production process also produces a lot of waste water which affects soil fertility and water quality, not to mention that 26% of landfill waste comes from paper. Modern life would be difficult without paper but can we use less of it in our daily lives? JC Human Resource Consulting (JCHR) is a “nano” company in Macau that mainly provides HR services to small and large companies. JCHR’s Managing Director, Ms. Jacinta Ho, acknowledged the environmental impact of using a lot of paper in our modern societies. With her full support, JCHR initiated, organized and sponsored a very meaningful community handkerchief project. The project was not just about promoting the use of handkerchiefs instead of handkerchiefs in our daily lives. During the process, Ms. Ho collaborated with many different parties who, in turn, contributed to the project and also benefited from it. First, the designer, Ms. Florence Hoi Kuan Fong conceptualized and designed the handkerchiefs for free. Then Macau Productivity and Technology Transfer Center (CPTTM) took care of fabric printing, handkerchief production and also quality control. The Sunshine Center of Macao Caritas was in charge of sewing the handkerchiefs. As a beneficiary of the project, the Bosco Youth Service Network (BYS) also participated in the packaging and management of on-site sales, while Maria Centre, another beneficiary, was the campaign’s media partner. Even the packaging has been designed into a 2-in-1 reusable letter and envelope. All funds raised through the project have been used to support the production of music videos that promote environmental protection. With the support and agreement of third parties, roadshows and charity sales have been organized in high schools, universities and backstage at hotels and casinos. The JCHR Handkerchief Project has demonstrated that even if a company is small, with the right attitude, the right concept and the joint effort of various parties and organizations, meaningful sustainable actions can be taken to protect the planet and promote the concept of sustainability to more people. .
Sustainability is an attitude. Attitude drives actions. Actions have an impact. All the examples above show that, regardless of the size of organizations and the scale of sustainability activities, the cooperation of different parties is needed to carry out these activities in order to generate impact. Many for-profit and non-profit organizations are increasingly undertaking joint activities to plant the seeds of sustainability in the minds of members of the public. At the student level, the University of Macau Faculty of Business Administration and Melco Resorts and Entertainment Limited (Melco) jointly organized the Guangdong Hong Kong Macau Greater Region Sustainable Business Case Study Competition Bay Area Integrated Resort 2021 which educated high school students about sustainability. and university students. At the enterprise level, the Wofoo Foundation Limited in Hong Kong, the Macau Ricci Institute and other organizations jointly organized the “Deignan Award for Responsible Entrepreneurship”. With assistance from the MICSRGC to develop the award criteria, this ongoing award aims to recognize SMEs in Hong Kong and Macau that have demonstrated outstanding performance in CSR, sustainability, ESG and ethics. Business. It also aims to raise public awareness of the importance of CSR and sustainability.
It is a fact that as human beings our existence has interfered with the ecological balance of this planet. To minimize this interference, human beings must engage in sustainable practices so that a welcoming and livable environment can be “preserved” for future generations. Organizations, whether large, small or even “nano”, are called upon to participate fully in the resuscitation of our living and business environment in a responsible and sustainable manner.
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