In times of back-to-back socio-economic difficulties and challenges like now – from global warming, environmental pollution, and depletion of natural resources to the threat of poverty, the marginalization of the poor, and the emergence of deadly contagious diseases, most recently the Covid-19 pandemic – governments and businesses alike are facing a grim reality: how to sustain development amidst uncertainties.
Numerous businesses, especially multinationals, have come to a defining moment. They have become aware that long-term business success cannot be achieved in a world – or to a lesser extent a community – still facing hunger and poverty, without adequate education for all, and without protection of the environment and conservation of natural resources, let alone other debacles. And they have committed to sustainable development as a vital part of their business strategies.
In fact, social corporate responsibility (CSR), for most enterprises, is no longer limited to philanthropic activities like sharing bread with the hungry, providing ad-hoc support for those battered by calamities, or giving scholarships to poor students, although such activities can still be integrated into a company’s CSR program.
The awareness that business can only grow alongside a developed community has prompted a strong shift among enterprises to invest in the society where they operate, and, in a deeper sense, to protect the social and natural environment for the good of all stakeholders in the long term.
Many corporations have laid out long-term visions to this effect. Unilever, for example, has set sustainable development goals for decades ahead. HEINEKEN has pledged to become carbon neutral in all breweries worldwide by 2030, and fully circular by 2050. Coca-Cola with “A World Without Waste” vision has committed to environmental protection by collecting and recycling the equivalent of every bottle or can Coca-Cola sells globally by 2030.
Vingroup as Vietnam’s biggest private conglomerate has generously supported the country’s scientific-technological advancement with trillions of Vietnam dong. Others like Duy Tan Plastics Corporation and Sao Mai Group have also invested hundreds of billions in recycling and renewable energy. Their stories are a strong motivational factor for many other businesses in the country to follow suit as sustainable development is ultimately indispensable.
In the recent past, there have been stories of numerous business entities like Hung Thinh Corporation, Thaco, Herbalife and PNJ to name but a few which have opened their coffers to support the people adversely affected by Covid-19. Without their generous CSR activities, the country’s healthcare sector might not have had sufficient medical supplies and equipment to provide good treatment to the infected.
As stated early on, while pursuing business goals, enterprises have also invested in the community for the advancement of the society, which can be seen as investment for long-term value. That will help build a solid foundation for the development of business towards the goal of sustainable growth.
We at The Saigon Times wholeheartedly support enterprises integrating CSR programs into their business goals, devoting their resources for the good of the society while pursuing profits. Saigon Times CSR 2022 – Investment for Value is now kick-started to accompany enterprises in their CSR endeavor.
Businesses with operational CSR programs or activities are kindly advised to send their stories to The Saigon Times via email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Where appropriate, we will carry these CSR stories.