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Lauding efforts by businesses to make a difference
AN INITIATIVE to recognise businesses that are making a positive impact on their stakeholders, communities and the environment returned for its second instalment last month.
Organised by IPOS Society and the International Intellectual Property Commercialisation Council (IIPCC) Singapore, the Brands for Good awards ceremony saw some 59 awards being given out to 43 small-to-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) at a gala dinner hosted by CEO Asia on Sept 26. The enterprises were honoured in four main categories: Workplace, Community, Environment and Patents.
The winners were selected from a list of 120 nominees, who were assessed by a panel of 15 independent judges helmed by Chief Judge and President Emeritus, Professor Su Guaning, who formerly served as president of Nanyang Technological University (NTU) from 2003-2011.
Nominees were assessed according to five components: social responsibility activities (50 per cent); profit and growth (15 per cent); accountability and transparency (15 per cent); stakeholder engagement (10 per cent) and mission and values (10 per cent).
A MISSION TO RECOGNISE POSITIVE IMPACT
The Brands for Good initiative was started in 2017 by IPOS Society, IIPCC Singapore and CEO Asia, with a belief that intellectual property - and in particular patented inventions - possess the potential to "do good".
"It is not just an economic asset but also an instrument to turn a brilliant invention into a means for the betterment of human life," said Esther Wee, co-chair of Brands for Good.
"In the face of daunting global challenges, especially social and environment challenges, we've learned that science and technology can uncover big solutions. But these solutions don't just happen, they take dedicated people, passionate entrepreneurs, purpose-driven partnerships with a huge amount of motivation, toil and probably countless failures."
Brands for Good also wants to encourage businesses to start doing good from the outset by embedding a "positive impact" element into their business model.
Brands for Good is a non-profit organisation with a three-fold purpose.
- Firstly, to help brands in Asean that do good to differentiate themselves and create value through their intangible assets;
- Secondly, to promote these brands to the rest of the world; and
- Thirdly, to build a global community of responsible and inclusive businesses.
To achieve its goals, it organises the Brands for Good awards and gala dinner to bring value to its community members.
"With climate change, fair employment and sustainability dominating global headlines at an unprecedented rate, there is no better time to emphasise the importance of companies - no matter how big or small - looking beyond their bottom-line and stepping up to engage in shared social responsibility.
"Through the Brands for Good movement, we hope to help these 'good' brands differentiate effectively and create transformative value by their intangible assets," said Alan Ng, Brands for Good co-chair and president of IPOS Society.
The movement has attracted a number of corporate supporters from a range of different sectors. Sponsors of Brands for Good include Maybank Singapore, BBX World, Zero1, Questel, and Bass Aero.
"As a sponsor of Brands for Good for the second consecutive year, Maybank is excited to recognise companies that are getting ahead in their journey of responsible business management.
"Our continuous engagement with the winners has been an enriching experience since the awards event's inception last year," said Marc Leong, Maybank Singapore's head of SME Banking. "We have been working closely with these wonderful entrepreneurs to curate practical financial solutions to help their businesses thrive and grow sustainably."
The 2019 edition of Brands for Good also saw the launch of two initiatives aimed at promoting sustainability in the corporate world.
The first was the Brands For Good CarbonCare® Label for Singapore, a collaboration between Brands for Good and Hong Kong-headquartered sustainability consultancy Carbon Care Asia (CCA) to recognise the efforts of organisations in accounting for their carbon footprint. Since its launch in 2011, CCA's CarbonCare® Label series has been awarded to over 300 publicly-listed and private companies, government departments, public bodies, social enterprises and non-profit organisations across Hong Kong. The Brands For Good CarbonCare® Label is the Singapore edition of this recognition and will be awarded annually at future Brands for Good awards events.
"This year we have worked extremely hard to extend the impact of the Brands for Good programme through initiatives. One is the introduction of carbon footprint accounting through the CarbonCare Label which has been successful in Hong Kong. We are looking forward to making this a permanent highlight at our main event, as a way of doing our part for the climate change cause," said Mr Ng.
Also launched through the Brands for Good platform was the ASEAN Responsible and Inclusive Business Alliance (ARIBA) in partnership with ASEAN CSR Network. ARIBA seeks to align best practices in sustainability across the region and it is also launching a code on responsible and inclusive business. Guided by internationally-accepted standards such as the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, UN Global Compact 10 Principles and various ASEAN guidelines, it aims to complement existing standards and set new expectations on sustainable business practices across the ASEAN region.
Ms Wee said that, while many organisations focus on sustainability issues and impact, they tend to emphasise the business or entrepreneurship dimension. "Only Brands For Good, as represented by IPOS Society and IIPCC Singapore, capably integrate the importance of intellectual property into the criteria equation. Hence Brands For Good's differentiation is IP + Profit + Purpose."