Corporate giving helps to build caring society: Heng

Corporate giving these days is not just a business practice, but an integral part of how companies engage stakeholders and inspire their employees, said Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat.
Corporate giving these days is not just a business practice, but an integral part of how companies engage stakeholders and inspire their employees, said Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat. PHOTO: ST FILE

Corporate giving these days is not just a business practice, but an integral part of how companies engage stakeholders and inspire their employees, said Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat.

At the inaugural Champions of Good recognition event yesterday, he said: "Each of us has an important part to play in giving. None of us can go at this alone.

"(The) Government's efforts alone will not be sufficient nor sustainable. A caring and inclusive home for all must be built by all of us together."

The annual event recognises businesses here that practise good giving, and are committed to "influencing and multiplying" corporate giving in Singapore.

The event, held at the Shangri-La Hotel Singapore, is an extension of the Company of Good programme launched by the National Volunteer and Philanthropy Centre (NVPC) in June last year.

The programme helps companies kick-start or design more meaningful ways to give. The Business Leaders Network, which the NVPC had earlier launched, will help these companies connect with one another.

"Today, we celebrate the Champions of Good as powerful catalysts of change and meaningful contributors to our community," said Mr Heng, referring to the 25 large enterprises and 20 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) recognised for their outstanding giving efforts in the past year. They were selected from a pool of 74 companies.

This year's award recipients included large enterprises such as United Overseas Bank, Mastercard, CapitaLand, Singapore Press Holdings and OCBC Bank, and SMEs including Spic & Span, Direct Funeral Service, Dynasty Travel and Ang Chin Moh Funeral Directors.

Microsoft, for example, holds the annual We Tech Care event, where the public can take part in hands-on activities or talks on digital transformation, innovation and digital literacy for those with disabilities.

Eco-friendly packaging company Greenpac, one of the SMEs recognised, has sponsored hydroponics systems in schools to teach students about sustainability. Its volunteers also teach students how to take care of the plants.

Mr Heng said: "When we look at our champions, we see that whether you are an established MNC (multinational corporation) or a young SME, a traditional professional service provider or a disruptive tech start-up, you can play a part in giving.

"Whether you give of your professional knowledge, your employees' time, or even involve users of your services to do good, you can make a difference."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 08, 2017, with the headline 'Corporate giving helps to build caring society: Heng'. Print Edition | Subscribe