Amcham honours 47 firms for CSR efforts

business January 26, 2014 00:00

By The Nation

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Thai, other non-US companies among those recognised for ethical practices

The American Chamber of Commerce in Thailand aims to ensure that ethical business practices and CSR become a fundamental part of all American businesses operating here – and what better encouragement for companies’ efforts than recognition?
In its seventh year, Amcham’s “Corporate Social Responsibility Excellence Recognition” programme honoured 47 companies whose sustainable practices benefit their business, their employees and society.
Among them were some non-US companies, such as HSBC, Standard Chartered Bank (Thai), Minor International and Bank of Ayudhya. 
Amcham consists of nearly 800 member companies that provide more than 250,000 jobs in Thailand. 
The US companies awarded in 2013 include AIA Group, which in the past 75 years has been active in the community for the benefit of children, youth, seniors, families and the needy. 
AIA has been supporting the School Library project since 2005, assisting 26 libraries in locations throughout the Kingdom. In addition to the library project, AIA provides scholarships, stationery, sportswear, sports equipment and lunch for the students.
Amway (Thailand) has promoted education among Thai students through two projects. The “Amway Flying Book” programme provided the 33 Amway school libraries in remote areas with 100 popular children’s books, while the “Amway Thailand 25th Anniversary Mobile Library” programme gathered book donations to establish mobile libraries. The libraries were then donated to 144 schools, benefiting 23,175 children across the country.
For the fourth consecutive year, Chevron Thailand Exploration and Production was recognised for its long-term “4E” framework. The cornerstone of Chevron Thailand CSR activities, it is focused on four areas – education, environment and energy conservation, economic development, and employee engagement – to sustainably support and empower communities. 
The company sponsors petroleum engineering and geosciences education to benefit the petroleum industry.
Meanwhile, Dow Chemical Thailand was honoured for its “Community Success Programme”, which has contributed to society in general, as well as to specific communities, by focusing on education, environment and community well-being.
Another honoree was Du Pont (Thailand), for its community outreach programme, which includes polymer houses for flood victims; water-purification system donations; building dams; and providing solar water pumps for rural communities.
Esso (Thailand) supports local economies and communities, while improving the local business environment. The firm’s employees volunteer to teach English, build homes and support toy libraries at local schools. 
Last year, Esso partnered with Sa Kaeo Community College on the “Knowledge Enhancement toward AEC Programme” to boost the preparation and readiness of students to cope with new opportunities and challenges for the upcoming Asean Economic Community in 2015. 
Through the “FedEx Cares Week 2013”, FedEx Express saw more than 80 volunteers in Bangkok and Chiang Mai participate in tree-planting activities.
Focus on water
Coca-Cola (Thailand) is focused on programmes to help conserve and manage water resources. The global goal is to safely return to communities and nature the amount of water equivalent to what we use in all of the company’s beverages and their production by 2020. 
In Thailand, Coca-Cola is rolling out a range of sustainable community water partnerships and schemes through its “RAKNAM” programme.
Another US company honoured by Amcham was Ford Motor Company, whose “Driving Skills for Life” programme is helping to address the serious issue of road safety and fuel-efficient driving in Thailand. 
Since 2008, more than 7,000 licensed drivers have participated, and last year Ford included special training sessions for over 200 school bus drivers working in greater Bangkok.
Diageo Moet Hennessey Thailand is committed to cutting alcohol misuse while positively contributing to Thai communities and the environment. There are six key focus areas of the company’s “Sustainability & Responsibility” strategy that it manages across the value chain: alcohol in society; socio-economic development; environment; water; governance and ethics; and employee relations.
Microsoft (Thailand) was also honoured for the global initiative “YouthSpark” – designed to tackle the opportunity gap by creating opportunities for 300 million young people over a three-year period.
The programme’s approach is to empower youth by helping transform education and expand digital inclusion; to unleash future innovators by giving youth the inspiration and tools to imagine new opportunities; and to help youth realise new opportunities of employability and entrepreneurship.
Meanwhile, the CSR programme of Seagate Technology (Thailand) promotes education and environmental sustainability, through projects such as donations of water-filtration systems, school supplies and money to Ayutthaya schools, as well as the renovation of playgrounds. 
Last year, it also sponsored a robotics competition in conjunction with King Mongkut Institute of Technology, and a reforestation project in Khao Yai National Park.
Finally, Yum Restaurants Inter-national (Thailand) was honoured for raising money through its restaurants to feed the hungry. The company also places emphasis on employee coaching and development programmes.