Participants at CSR Conference urge local businesses to learn from Multinationals

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Patrons and stakeholders at the 4th National CSR and Sustainability conference have encouraged indigenous Ghanaian businesses to engage in responsible Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and sustainability activities in order to enhance their company profile among others.

This consensus was arrived at the end of yet another successful conference on how to improve the impact of CSR on society and the environment by businesses in Ghana beyond the usual ad-hoc approach.

Trend analysis of CSR activities in Ghana indicates that most Ghanaian companies do not engage in CSR that enhances the image of their companies and impacts on the environment positively.

It emerged at the 4th National CSR and Sustainability conference held at the LA Palm Royal Beach Hotel on June 30, that, Owners of Small and Medium scale Enterprises in Ghana must learn from multinational companies in the country on how to engage in CSR activities that can impact society and the environment positively.

The Conference was organised by the Centre for CSR West Africa with sponsorship from Tigo Ghana and Guinness Ghana Limited, under the theme: “Promoting a culture of social responsibility among indigenous Ghanaian companies: lessons from multinationals.”

In attendance were business associations including the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), International aid agencies such as JICA, blue chip companies, government agencies, civil society organizations and NGOs, academia and local and international media partners.

In an interview with ghananewsonline.com.gh, the Lead Project Manager and Co-Founder of the Centre, Mr. Kojo Williams, said the aim of this year’s CSR and Sustenability conference is to whip up the interest of indigenous companies and to encourage them to learn some of the best practices in CSR activities from multinational companies such as Tigo and Guinness Ghana.

He urged businesses with low capacity to fulfill a stated CSR activity to strike partnerships with other firms that are engaging in similar ventures. That according to him, would enhance their profile instead of throwing money at spontaneous acts of benevolence to orphanages and the likes in the name of CSR.

There were some presentations by the two multinational companies present to the effect that they had aligned their CSR and sustainability activities with the core goals of their respective organizations. The explanation was that it ensures that these activities are not seen as a drain on the resources of the company but more of a complement but at the same time addressing the need of the society.

For example, Tigo which is a telecommunication company has leveraged on the use of technology to reduce the time for the acquisition of birth certificates for under one year old babies from 3 months to less than 5 minutes. While Guinness Ghana has also improved the livelihood of local farmers and lessened the import burden on the country by sourcing close to 50% of its production inputs locally.

These according to them are more sustaining ways of ensuring responsible CRS and sustainability activities that positively impact society as well as enhance the image and profitability of business.

The Centre for CSR West Africa is so far the main advocate for responsible CSR and the promoter of the sustainability goals of the United Nations sustainability Development Goals (SDGs) in Africa.

The Centre also used the occasion to launch the 7th edition of the Ghana CSR Excellence Awards, (GHACEA 2017). According to the Centre, small, medium-sized enterprises and large companies can now submit details of the CSR activities and projects they implemented between July 2016 and June 2017 for vetting by a team of CSR professionals and experts.

On the awards, Mr. Kojo Williams explained that “the awards scheme measures an organization’s commitment to the triple bottom-line: People, Planet and Profit. It is no longer acceptable for businesses to only consider profit as the main rationale for being in business, they have to start giving accounts of their commitments to people, the environment and society at large by implementing sustainable projects that address the needs of society. This is the new acceptable way of doing business.”

Source: Clement Akoloh || ghananewsonline.com.gh

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