Friday, September 04, 2015

Asia Sustainability Reporting Awards 2015 Categories

The Asia Sustainability Reporting Awards 2015 are open for entries from organisation operating in Asia. The Awards will be given out in 14 categories. Multiple entries are allowed. The Awards include the following categories:
  1. Asia’s Best Sustainability Report
  2. Asia’s Best Integrated Report
  3. Asia’s Best First Time Sustainability Report
  4. Asia’s Best Sustainability Report (SME)
  5. Asia’s Best CSR Communication within Annual Report
  6. Asia’s Best Online CSR Communication
  7. Asia’s Best Materiality Reporting
  8. Asia’s Best Stakeholder Reporting
  9. Asia’s Best Carbon Disclosure
  10. Asia’s Best Supply Chain Reporting
  11. Asia’s Best Community Reporting
  12. Asia’s Best Workplace Reporting
  13. Asia’s Best Environmental Reporting
  14. Asia’s Most Transparent Report
 Descriptions of each category can be found on the Awards webpage at www.csrworks.com

Stay tuned to get regular updates about the Awards which aim to be the most inspiring recognition for sustainability disclosure in Asia!

Thursday, September 03, 2015

Asia Sustainability Reporting Awards 2015

Entries are being invited for the inaugural Asia Sustainability Reporting Awards 2015.
The  Awards recognize and honour sustainability reporting leaders in Asia. The Awards celebrate best practices in sustainability reporting and communications.
The Awards are being offered in 14 categories including Asia’s Best Sustainability Report, Asia’s Best Integrated Report, Asia’s Best Sustainability Report (SME) and Asia’s Best Carbon Disclosure.

ELIGIBILITY
The Asia Sustainability Reporting Awards are open to all kinds of periodic sustainability reporting by all types of organisations in Asia. The types of reports eligible for the awards include:
  • Annual Sustainability Report / Annual CSR Report
  • Integrated Report
  • CSR Communication within an Annual Report
  • UNGC Communication on Progress
  • Online CSR or Sustainability Communication (i.e. Company website or micro-site)
  • Any other type of CSR or sustainability communication disclosed and available publicly
Entries will be accepted for the most recent report published by an organisation for the calendar year 2014 or the Financial Year 2014-15, as the case may be.


JUDGING
An independent panel of judges with distinguished backgrounds will assess the entries to decide the winners. The judging panel will have members drawn from diverse fields such as non-profit organisations, academia, sustainability advocacy, professional bodies, industry networks, media etc to enrich the judging process. 
The judging panel is completely independent of the organisers to maintain the highest possible neutrality and objectivity. The judging panel is being put together and will be announced shortly.
The Asia Sustainability Reporting Awards are committed to follow the highest standards in awards judging. The guiding principles for judging the Awards include: independent from organisers, integrity, objectivity, impartiality, avoidance of conflict of interest, and transparency.
More information is available on the Awards webpage.



ABOUT THE ORGANISERS
The Asia Sustainability Reporting Awards are organised by CSRWorks Events, a unit of CSRWorks International, Singapore’s leading sustainability advisory, research and training firm. Established in 2005, CSRWorks closely works with businesses and other stakeholders to promote excellence in sustainability across the region. Our vision for the Asia Sustainability Reporting Awards is to become the most inspiring recognition of sustainability disclosure in Asia.


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Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Upcoming Sustainability Training Programmes

 
How to Write a Professional Sustainability Report

15-16 September 2015, Tuesday & Wednesday

Singapore
Keeping in line with the regional and global trends, the Singapore Exchange (SGX) CEO announced in October 2014 that sustainability reporting would be mandatory for Singapore-listed companies in the near future. SGX had previously issued voluntary sustainability reporting guidelines in 2010-11. Several other exchanges in the region and around the world have either made sustainability reporting mandatory or are moving in that direction.
Leading global investors are increasingly taking into account a company’s social and environmental performance to make investment decisions. Sustainability disclosure increases a company’s credentials and opens up new sources of investment. Sustainability reporting also helps a company reduce business risks, improve efficiency and lower operational costs. Early adopters will also have an edge over their peers, will gain stakeholders’ respect and reap a number of benefits of embracing sustainability reporting.
Many organisations already practice Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in some form. However there are several gaps between their existing CSR approach and the globally accepted sustainability reporting guidelines such as the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) G4 and IIRC’s Integrated Reporting guidelines.

This course is designed to help listed-companies in moving from traditional CSR to a strategic Sustainability Reporting in an easy Do-It-Yourself manner.

This training will be very useful to those in the following functions:
Senior executives responsible for CSR and Sustainability Reporting in their respective organisations.  Directors and managers from corporate affairs, corporate communications, investor relations, public relations, human resources, environmental health & safety and senior management.
 
Measuring and Reporting Organisational Carbon Footprint
22 September 2015, Tuesday

Singapore
This program is designed to offer a foundation course in carbon emissions footprinting (measurement). Participants at this course will learn the essentials of GHG management and carbon performance.  This course will provide the attendees with an excellent knowledge and understanding of the GHG Protocol to facilitate quantification and management of your carbon footprint and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. They will learn how to measure their organization’s carbon footprint using the GHG Protocol.

This course will be very useful to those in the following functions:
GRI Reporting team members, CSR/Sustainability, EHS, energy management and facilities management.
For more details about these trainings, please contact Frederique Perpetu at frederique.perpetu@csrworks.com or +65 6471 2833.

 

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Creative CSR Awards 2015 Winners

A big congratulations to the winners of the Singapore Creative Awards 2015! The winners in various categories include Maybank Singapore (Community Building), GSK (Environment),  DBS Bank (Social Enterprises) and Club 21 (Cause). Glaxo Wellcome Manufacturing also was the Grand Prix Winner.
The Creative CSR Awards, debuted in 2014, are organised by the Association of Accredited Advertising  Agents Singapore (4As). The award recognises and honours business organisations in the Singapore private and public sectors for creative, sustainable and effective CSR programs and projects. In order to qualify, they should be able to demonstrate the organisation’s ethical values, creative approach to differentiate their CSR initiatives, commitment to sustaining the program, impact on the community, environment and social purpose, measuring and evaluating results.
Entries for the Creative CSR Awards 2016 are now open. CSRWorks International is proud to be an advisor for the awards. Hope to see you at the awards night next year!
To find out more about the Singapore Creative CSR Awards 2016, please email Amanda Khoo at amanda@4as.org.sg.
(Contributed by: Frederique Perpetu, Head of Marketing & Outreach, CSRWorks International)

Monday, May 11, 2015

Greenpeace at war in India

Environmental campaigner Greenpeace has run into serious trouble in India. The government has barred Greenpeace India from receiving foreign funding and has frozen all its bank accounts including the domestic bank accounts. As a result, Greenpeace India has no more access to new funding – local or foreign-  or the monies in its various bank accounts.

The government’s tough stand against Greenpeace is based on a report submitted by the Intelligence Bureau to the prime minister’s office last June when the new federal government was taking charge. The report leaked to media terms Greenpeace as a “threat to India’s economic and national security.” The report says that a number of large development projects have been cancelled, disrupted or delayed because of Greenpeace campaign against coal mining, coal fired power plants, Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO), hydro power projects, tea farming practices and several large industrial projects. The intelligence report has mentioned London-based Vedanta’s bauxite project and South Korean company POSCO’s steel plant in Odisha state and hydro power projects in Arunachal Pradesh state bordering China as examples of affected projects.

The intelligence agency estimates that disruptions to large projects have cut India’s gross domestic product growth by 2-3 per cent a year.

The intelligence agency has noted that Greenpeace and other NGOs are using funds from donors in USA, UK, Germany and the Netherlands to mobilize protests against development projects in India. The agency also alleged that Greenpeace has flouted laws relating to receiving and accounting foreign funding. The agency has raised questions about the intentions of a number of expat Greenpeace officials, consultants and journalists who were brought to India for various campaigns and projects. The agency has also raised the issue of steep salaries being paid to Greenpeace officials and consultants.

Growth pledge
The Indian government, led by prime minister Narendra Modi, came to power by promising rapid development and fight against corruption. Since taking office, PM Modi has made development his key priority. He has launched an unprecedented reform agenda to create a welcoming environment for foreign investors. He has toured almost all industrialised nations inviting their governments and businesses to “make in India.” His energised pitch and the reform agenda have earned friendly postures from the world leaders and global CEOs with US president Barak Obama even calling him India’s Reformer-in-Chief.  He wants to modernise India’s creaking infrastructure and needs nearly one trillion dollars in the next five years, mostly from the foreign investors. The last thing he wants is activists coming in the way. Aggressive campaigns by activists can potentially turn off foreign investors.

Even though PM Modi has repeatedly said he is for sustainable development and will not allow development at the cost of environmental destruction, Greenpeace has a different vision for India’s development. PM Modi looks at coal fired power plants, hydro power and nuclear power as crucial to quickly solve India’s acute shortage of power. Greenpeace advocates India should embrace renewable energy instead and has actively tried to physically halt power projects.

The government thinks that the GMO is important for India’s food security; Greenpeace is against it citing ecological dangers. For the government, large industrial and infrastructure projects across the country are badly needed for the economic development, creating employment and alleviating poverty. Greenpeace says these projects are risking bio-diversity, destroying forests and displacing communities.

The government, based on the Intelligence reports, seems to have concluded that Greenpeace is obstructing India’s development at the behest of foreign interests. The action has been swift.

Lock down
In March, Greenpeace campaigner Priya Pillai, who was headed to the UK to brief British MPs on the ongoing campaign against a coal mine in Madhya Pradesh state jointly owned by London-registered Essar Energy, was deplaned and put on a no-fly list on the orders of the home ministry. Later, a Delhi High Court judge ordered the government to lift the ban on her travel, a victory for Greenpeace. In another judgement in January, Delhi High Court had ruled that the home ministry had not followed due process or shown justification in blocking money from Greenpeace International to Greenpeace India. This however followed by freeze on domestic bank accounts and new investigations against the campaigner.

Greenpeace has taken a confrontational position. The campaigner has categorically denied all charges and has labelled the government action as “attempts to silence criticism and dissent”, “an attack on civil society” and “a cynical move to suppress democracy.” Greenpeace India Executive Director, Samit Aich has said that “a campaign is being waged against dissent, but we will not be cowed.”

The government looks determined to act tough against those who oppose its development plans. At the time of writing this piece, the news came in that the Indian government has asked the Ford Foundation; the New York based private foundation which funds several local NGOs in India, to get government clearance before spending money, to make sure its funds were used for "bona fide welfare activities within the country."

The battle lines are drawn. The war is over which development model is good for India and who decides what is good for India.

Contributed by Rajesh Chhabara, founder of CSRWorks International and a member of Ethical Corporation's editorial advisory board.
This article originally appeared in Ethical Corporation magazine, May 2015 issue.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

India's corporate espionage wake-up call

A fast developing espionage scandal in India has exposed a shocking nexus between corrupt government officials, middlemen and some of the most powerful local corporations. The organised racket of espionage shows how domestic companies owned by influential business families may have gained competitive advantage through illegal means.
The growing list of companies allegedly involved in the scandal now includes India’s top energy companies Reliance Industries, Essar Group, ADAG Reliance and Jubilant Energy, Cairn India - the oil exploration division of billionaire Anil Agarwal’s London-listed Vedanta Resources, infrastructure developer GMR Group and accounting and consulting giant PricewaterhouseCoopers and a bunch of local consulting firms.  At least twelve people have been arrested that include senior executives from the suspect companies. More arrests are expected, investigators have indicated.
Investigators have revealed chilling details of the modus operandi. Local consulting firms would pay bribes to government employees in various ministries to get commercially sensitive secret information about government decisions and proposals. The final recipients of the information were some of the largest domestic companies. The information could be used for lobbying, playing stock markets, gain competitive advantage and even defraud the government by manipulating bids for infrastructure projects.
Government employees involved had fake identity cards and duplicate keys to the offices of ministers and senior bureaucrats. They would re-enter the ministry premises after office hours, make copies of the documents and leave, all this while security cameras would be turned off. They will then pass on the documents to consultants, lobbyists and companies for money.
The investigations started in October last year after the new central government’s newly appointed national security advisor noticed frequent reporting of highly classified details of government meetings by media. He then asked the Research & Analysis Wing (RAW), India’s little known elite intelligence agency, to investigate. A highly secret investigation that involved taping phones of the suspects and monitoring their movements resulted in several arrests in February this year.
Investigators say they have more than 100 hours of taped phone conversations that indicate senior executives of some of the top energy companies in India were actively involved in the espionage. The CEO of Metis Business Solutions, a top energy consultancy in India with an office in Melbourne, is among those arrested. The company’s website, no more accessible, claimed more than 250 clients worldwide in the oil, gas, power and coal industries.
Examples of documents stolen include sensitive information about the national gas grid, national budget input, market sensitive data, confidential plans and minutes of high-level government meetings, government plans for foreign collaborations, planned projects with other countries, foreign investment proposals by multinational companies and disinvestment decisions relating to public sector companies.
Started with the petroleum ministry, the investigations have so far discovered stealing of commercially sensitive classified information from the ministries of finance, commerce, coal, power, defence.

Action promised
The federal government, headed by prime minister Narendra Modi who came to power last year with unprecedented majority by promising that he will fight corruption,  has promised a strict action saying that no guilty will be spared. Reacting to the arrests, Reliance Industries and the Essar Group have said that they have launched internal probes and have promised action.
Prosecutors are, however, going to face likely difficulty in effectively charging the culprits as India does not have a proper corporate espionage law. The Official Secrets Act, India’s anti-spying law dating back to 1923, can be applied only if “obtained or attempted to obtain information which is calculated to be or might be, or is intended to be, directly or indirectly, useful to an enemy.” Prosecutors are therefore charging those arrested under other laws covering “house trespass or house-breaking by night” and “forgery”.
“India Inc is not surprised with the corporate espionage scandal now rocking the petroleum ministry, with many chief executive officers (CEOs) saying documents are regularly leaked from the ministries, tax authorities, banks, and regulators – thus giving competitive advantage to corporates with deep pockets,” Business Standard, a leading local newspaper published from Mumbai, said in a report based on interviews with unnamed CEOs in February.
The government estimates that $1 trillion of investment would be needed to develop India’s infrastructure in the next five years, much of this will have to come from private investors, mostly from foreign investors. There are more than 600 mega infrastructure projects presenting huge business opportunity for local and multinational companies. Ports, oil & gas, telecom, power, railways and airports together account for 69% of the required investment, according to the Planning Commission, India’s central planning body.
The current scandal may unsettle foreign investors already frustrated with India’s antiquated laws, rampant corruption and spectacularly slow and inefficient bureaucracy. India ranks at number 85 in Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index 2014, and is at number 142 on the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business 2015 list.
Multinational companies eying investment opportunities often find themselves at a disadvantage compared with domestic companies when it comes to bribery. Multinational companies, particularly the ones from the UK and USA, are often bound by tough anti-bribery and corporate espionage laws at home. In India, they have to compete with large domestic companies helmed by influential families who may find bribery and espionage a fair game. The scandal has only reaffirmed their suspicion that India does not offer a fair level playing field.
It’s time to act tough by the government to win foreign investors’ confidence. For Indian companies, it’s time for introspection. Illegal means to gain competitive advantage may dent their reputation, increase regulatory risks and make them a target for international stakeholder action.

Contributed by Rajesh Chhabara, founder of CSRWorks International (www.csrworks.com)

(This article first appeared in Ethical Corporation, April 2015 issue)

Monday, April 13, 2015

Measuring and Reporting Organizational Carbon Footprint


Training Course
Measuring and Reporting Organizational Carbon Footprint
28 April 2015
Singapore

Introduction
This program is designed to offer a foundation course in carbon emissions footprinting (measurement). Participants at this course will learn the essentials of GHG management and carbon performance.   This course will provide the attendees with an excellent knowledge and understanding of the GHG Protocol to facilitate quantification and management of your carbon footprint and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. They will learn how to measure their organization’s carbon footprint using the GHG Protocol. 

Topics covered

  • An understanding of greenhouse gas emissions and their effect on climate change.
  • Introduction to the GHG protocol for corporate accounting and the GHG protocol for project accounting.
  • GHG Reporting Indicators contained in the GRI G4 Reporting Framework and how they relate to the GHG Protocol standards.
  • Introduction to GHG inventories (Scope-1, Scope-2 and Scope-3).
  • GHG protocol for measuring and reporting corporate carbon emissions.
  • Establishing a GHG information management system.
  • Creating a user-friendly tool to monthly measure and monitor GHG emissions from the facility/office operations.
Who Should Attend?
This course will be very useful to those in the following functions: GRI Reporting team members, CSR/Sustainability, EHS, energy management and facilities management.

Trainer
This workshop is facilitated by Rajesh Chhabara, founder and managing consultant of CSRWorks International, one of the earliest sustainability consulting firms in Singapore. Rajesh has helped more than 50 organisations across the region to measure and manage their carbon footprint.

Training Style
Training is delivered in a highly interactive and fun style through case studies, activities and real examples.

Date & Time
28 April 2015, Tuesday
9 am – 5 pm (Registration starts at 8.45 am)

Cost
$300 per person for Singapore Compact and SBF-SDBG members
$380 per person for non Singapore Compact and SBF-SDBG members
*Course fees are inclusive of course notes and tea breaks

Venue
Singapore Business Federation
10 Hoe Chiang Road
Keppel Towers, #22-01
S089315

Please contact Diana Chng at diana@csrsingapore.org or (65) 6827 6825 for more details.

(This training is organised by Singapore Compact and Singapore Business Federation (SBF), and facilitated by CSRWorks International)