A PASSION OR RHETORIC
THE SUCCESS STORIES HAVE TO BE HIGHLIGHTED TO WAKE THE LAGGARDS UP.
SHABBIR H. KAZMI
Apr 16 - 22, 2012
In the simplest words, corporate social responsibility (CSR) is the commitment of a business or company to continuously upgrade its processes, systems, products, and services by behaving responsibly and creating value for local communities they operate in, and by enabling its employees, existing and potential customers to improve their standards of living.
CSR is also about transparency, saying no to corruption and rooting it out, complying to international human and labor laws, environmental and fair business practices and regulations, as well as giving it back to the society in the form of initiatives and projects that directly benefit and have a positive impact on the lives of local communities and all stakeholders of a company.
In recent years, major international and national businesses have realized that CSR is good for society and good for business.
Better understanding of the potential benefits of CSR for the progress of individual companies and national economies could encourage the spread of CSR, especially in developing countries that are in desperate need of community and socio-economic development programs and initiatives.
Global, regional, and local organizations use corporate contributions not only to benefit their communities and helping themselves fulfill the role of a good corporate citizen, but also to help improve their profits.
Businesses and companies that align their growth with that of their employees, communities they operate in, as well as their customers and consumers emerge more successful, with improved profits.
Contrary to the global practice many businesses in Pakistan still consider CSR rhetoric, mere philanthropy, charity and social or community development work. This may be because they lack the knowledge and expertise to implement CSR programs and don't consider it their responsibility till the time following such rules become mandatory.
Most businesses in Pakistan give charity and make donations for noble causes. Nevertheless, there are ample and tangible opportunities for responsible businesses aiming to make a difference in the lives of ordinary people.
There is increasing pressure on the healthcare, education and sanitation facilities in big cities, creating pollution and seriously challenging the sustainability of resources.
Pakistan is the world's sixth most populous country and more than 70 per cent of its people live in the rural areas. Development of infrastructure and community improvement programs in small towns and villages could reduce migration to big cities, as well as bridge the widening gap between standards of living of the urban and the rural population.
The opportunities for doing responsible business outnumber the odds in key sectors including energy, alternate energy, fast moving consumer goods (FMCG), pharmaceuticals, textiles, sports goods, livestock and dairy development, food chain business, banking, telecommunications, mining and industrial manufacturing.
Good practice of CSR in Pakistan could more than double its exports to major international markets, as well as see the development of joint ventures and strategic partnerships for the transfer of expertise and technology between international and Pakistani companies and businesses.
Let one accept that corporate willingly or under legal compulsion are doing something but some entities standout. While it is not possible to mention in detail the contribution made, an effort has been made to cover some of the distinguished entities. However, this is not an exhaustive list and one may say that some entities have been ignored.
According to an oft-repeated axiom goes 'charity' begins at home, but at Engro CSR also starts at home.
It is believed that the communities in which it operations are home to it. Established recently, Engro Foundation has quickly initiated social development projects in different areas of Sindh. Its primary focus has been people residing in a three to five kilometer radius of its plants and installations.
Engro Corporation businesses include fertilizer plants at Daharki, a power plant at Qadirpur, milk and juice plants in Sukkur, an ice cream plant in Sahiwal and a rice processing plant in Muridke. Engro Foundation has initiated CSR projects in adjoining areas of each of these installations.
The foundation has so far adopted 26 government primary schools, upgrading their infrastructure, providing books and training to teachers. It has set up mobile and static healthcare units, including an anti-snake venom centre in Daharki where hundreds of snakebite victims are treated annually.
The foundation has also partnered with various local non-governmental organizations in health, education and disaster management projects. Engro has many ongoing projects but since floods, there has been a rush to address the needs of affected population. He explained that as immediate effects of the deluge have subsided, focus has shifted from relief to rehabilitation.
Engro Foundation has joined hands with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) for a six-month rehabilitation project for flood-hit areas in Larkana and Dadu.
The project was worth more than Rs77 million and aimed at vaccinating and treating animals. Livestock in these areas are the most vulnerable various diseases therefore, Engro decided to vaccinate as many animals as possible, free of charge, he added.
The foundation also distributed complementary rations of multi-cut grass seeds (jowar), oat seeds and mineral mixtures with fertilizer bags to help preserve the health and productivity of livestock in flood-hit areas.
The point to be remembered is that the primary source of funding was its own employees and internal sources through which Rs13 million was raised. Another point worth mentioning is that while the relief work was carried out by many different companies, organizations and individuals, livestock largely remained neglected. This realization provided the impetus for the Khushhal livestock program initiated with the help of USAID.
Engo enjoyed an edge over others because fertilizer, milk and food products were obtained from its associate companies.
Engro Corporation Limited was ranked Pakistan's leading company for CSR, in the first Asian Sustainability Rating (ASR). Engro also achieved the distinction of being the only Pakistani company included in ASR's top 50 Asian companies.
Kot Addu Power Company (KAPCO) is consolidating its philanthropy and charity work into a comprehensive CSR program. KAPCO is not only generating the much-needed electricity in Pakistan, as a responsible corporate citizen it is also busy in improving the standards of living in communities it operates in.
KAPCO's vision is to be a leading power generation company, driven to exceed expectations of the shareholders and meet customers' requirements. It declared mission is to be a responsible corporate citizen, maximize shareholders' return, provide reliable and economical supply of electricity, excel in all aspects relating to safety, quality and environment, and to create a work environment that fosters pride, job satisfaction and equal opportunity for career growth the employees.
The cross-country pipeline network makes Pak Arab refinery (PARCO) next-door neighbor to many remote and underprivileged communities. PARCO has extensive schools and clinics support program which aims at providing basic education and health facilities to these communities. Under this program, PARCO has provided assistance to 42 institutions along our pipeline and refinery across Pakistan. These institutions have been provided assistance in developing infrastructure, civil works, procurement of equipment, etc to help them sustain their operations of providing basic health and education.
Out of 42 institutions, 34 are schools where more than 9,000 children are receiving education. PARCO's assistance to these institutions has raised the communities` interest to enroll their children in these refurbished and well-maintained schools diverting them from child labor to primary education, raising the literacy rate.
PARCO has partnered with The Citizens Foundation (TCF) in developed various campuses at various locations. These campuses have been built in under-privileged communities to impart quality education among the children.
Impact on the environment from the refining process is controlled by treating and managing emissions.
Low NOx (Nitrous Oxide) burners and Sulfur removal from fuel gases are examples. Waste water is discharged/reused for plants after compliance with NEQS (National Environmental Quality Standards) is ensured. All contractors' equipment is checked for compliance to NEQS. All effluents are checked and verified regularly before discharging by third party EPA (Environment Protection Agency) approved Labs to comply with NEQS.
PARCO's Effluent Treatment Plant has a capacity of 340 m3/hr.
Waste water from the refinery is collected and through skimming, neutralization, dissolved air floatation, aeration, clarification, filtration and drying operations, the effluent water is brought within NEQs limits before discharge into local drainage or reuse for plants.
With commissioning of the DHDS plant at its Mid-Country Refinery, PARCO now has the capability of producing High Speed Diesel conforming EURO II standards and is the only refinery in Pakistan to have achieved this capability. This product will help EURO II compliant automobiles to perform better by being fuel efficient with low emissions. All impacts on the community, flora and fauna identified in the Environmental Impact Assessment study for the DHDS project had mitigation strategies which were implemented with meticulous care.
About 36 km of PARCO's pipelines traverse through Kirthar National Park. In order to preserve neighboring wildlife, PARCO contributed significantly to the Sindh Wild Life Department for the preservation of Wildlife in the Kirthar National Park and Mahal Kohistan Wildlife Sanctuary. PARCO has installed a tube well and pond for crocodiles besides constructing a 700 gallon overhead tank to ensure water supply for wild life including the rare Chinkara Deer, Sindh Ibex and the endangered Houbara Bustard species.
The Hub Power Company (HUBCO) since inception has integrated CSR into its business, and has consistently worked for the uplift of communities that are influenced directly or indirectly by its business. Community and stakeholder needs are carefully assessed and strategic support is extended in line with the Company's policies, Code of Business Ethics and business objectives.
Traditionally, HUBCO's CSR program has focused on education, healthcare, environment and the welfare of the less privileged in society. The initiatives undertaken seek to ensure that there is clear value addition and that the real impact is made at the grassroots level.
The program is enacted in partnership with qualified, well-respected and reputable NGOs and other organizations, with an impeccable track record. Over the years, the partners have been organizations that are widely recognized for their sterling work in their respective fields.
HUBCO extends support to fully funded TCF School in Hub, arranges free transportation of the students. In addition it provides students free school bags and uniforms. Approximately 450 students from Hub & Gadani areas are studying in this school.
Fifty female students belonging to Balochistan province are awarded scholarships, with full funding for studies and residence at the Sardar Bahadur Khan Women University (SBKWU) Quetta.
In 2011, HUBCO sponsored 20 student-participants from Balochistan province for the Young Leaders Conference held in Karachi. The sponsorship covered participation fee, return travel fare, accommodation and meals.
HUBCO provides annual donation to LRBT Quetta towards medical expenses of patients who are being treated at this hospital. The Company has previously donated a Laser Photo Coagulator and Yag Laser machine to LRBT Quetta.
On top of that medicines are provided to the government hospital in Hub and to government dispensaries in Gadani and surrounding areas. HUBCO organizes an annual free eye clinic, conducted by specialist eye doctors. At 12th Free Eye Clinic funded by HUBCO organized in Jam Ghulam Qadir Hospital, Hub, an opportunity was provided for the less privileged villagers of catchment areas. This time 1754 patients were treated and 122 operations were carried out.