KUCHING: Sarawak Energy’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) programmes, have made a positive and significant difference for communities affected by its projects.
Developed in consultation with these communities, the corporation’s CSR programmes have been accorded the Gold Award at the prestigious 9th Annual Global CSR Summit & Awards in Langkawi recently.
Sarawak Energy was recognised in the ‘Best Community Programme’ category for its overall CSR programmes at Batang Ai where the state’s first hydroelectric plant developed 30 years ago is located.
These programmes include supporting the Batang Ai communities in terms of education needs, culture and heritage preservation, development projects and the regeneration of social and economic opportunities. Sarawak Energy’s CSR Solar Project at Batang Ai, river clearing initiatives and recreational event, the Batang Ai Mountain Bike Jamboree were specially mentioned.
Jiwari Abdullah, Sarawak Energy’s Head of CSR received the award from Ramesh Kana, President of United Nations Global Compact Network Malaysia. Also present were Joanne Tan, Sarawak Energy Senior Manager for Social Investment and Community Development and Goh Chin Chai, Senior Manager for Renewable Energy.
Sharbini Suhaili, Sarawak Energy Group Chief Executive Officer said the corporation was both humbled and honoured by the award.
“This further validates our CSR strategy. We believe in developing long term, sustainable partnerships that meet real community needs and this shows we’re on the right track”.
“This will motivate us to do even more to contribute to the wellbeing of Sarawakians especially through projects that leave a long-term positive legacy.”
Adding on, Aisah Eden, Sarawak Energy Executive Vice President of Corporate Services, said the award added on to the accolades earned for its CSR efforts including the Gold Award in 2015 for its flagship Penan Literacy Programme and education initiatives for the Murum community and Silver Award in 2016 for its CSR initiatives in education and literacy for Baram’s rural communities.
“On this award, we highlighted our long-term work with the communities in Batang Ai. Although the power station was commissioned some 30 years ago, we believe there is still more to be done to support the communities there and we do so guided by the International Hydropower Association Sustainability Assessment Protocol,” she said.
Out of 146 entries received from all over the world, a final selection of 38 companies were awarded top honours in the 16 main award categories which included Best Community Programmme, Best Environmental Excellence, Excellence in Provision of Literacy & Education, Empowerment of Women and CSR Leadership.
Other winning companies this year include Tenaga Nasional Berhad, Bank Indonesia, XL Axiata, YTL Corporation Berhad, DHL Vietnam, Samsung South East Asia, Friesland Campina, Tata Consultancy and Indosat Ooredoo.
The event also featured a panel discussion on ’Rural Community Engagement Strategies – How to Keep Rural Communities Engaged & Committed to Sustainable Practices for the Long Run’ during which Jiwari shared Sarawak Energy’s experience in managing expectations of the communities, its active engagements and how sustainability is incorporated in its operations.
The panel also consists of heads from businesses and NGOs across the region namely David Aru Regional Director for Asian Society for Social Improvement and Sustainable Transformation; Datuk Ir. Aminuddin Mohd Amin, Tenaga Nasional Senior General Manager for Corporate Affairs and Warakom Kosolpisitkul, Bangchak Petroleum Vice President for Oil Retail Business. The discussion was moderated by Martin Blake, CEO of Blake Advisory Pte Ltd.