Companies should look beyond corporate philanthropy and volunteerism

Speaker of Parliament Halimah Yacob says it is now a good time for corporations to go beyond their usual corporate social responsibility activities like corporate philanthropy and volunteerism. -- BH FILE PHOTO: MOHD TAUFIK A KADER
Speaker of Parliament Halimah Yacob says it is now a good time for corporations to go beyond their usual corporate social responsibility activities like corporate philanthropy and volunteerism. -- BH FILE PHOTO: MOHD TAUFIK A KADER

It is now a good time for corporations to go beyond their usual corporate social responsibility activities like corporate philanthropy and volunteerism.

Speaker of Parliament Halimah Yacob on Wednesday said this at the opening ceremony of the 5th International Singapore Compact CSR Summit held at the Raffles City Convention Centre. The two-day summit, now into its fifth year, features over 40 speakers and aims to highlight the value of CSR in driving inclusiveness, growth and innovation in times of economic uncertainty.

Madam Halimah explained that companies could focus on "social innovations" that would bring about new business opportunities and more productivity, which in turn could help to narrow the income gap. These innovations may include providing products and services for the lower-income group and the elderly.

Singaporeans could also have a more fulfilling pace of life and better social well-being if businesses apply CSR principles, she said. For example, companies could institute labour policies which give employees better work-life balance and create a more inclusive environment.