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The future of a growing movement

The Brands for Good initiative is gaining steam as a force for good in the corporate world

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Esther Wee, co-chairperson of Brands for Good

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Alan Ng, co-chairperson of Brands for Good

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BBX group CEO George Lee

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Marc Leong, head of SME banking, Maybank Singapore

In less than two years, the Brands for Good movement has grown into a force for inspiring companies to make a positive impact through their businesses. To achieve its goals, it organises the Brands For Good Award & Gala dinner annually to recognise businesses that have succeeded in doing good.

The inaugural awards in 2018 had 80 nominations, 24 winners and 300 participants, all from Singapore. This year, this grew to 120 nominations, 43 winners and 500 participants from Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Indonesia. 

"We will continue to work hard to expand our networks of knowledge partners and to build our community members locally, regionally and eventually globally," said Esther Wee, co-chairperson of Brands for Good.
 
New categories were also introduced to the 2019 edition of the awards program. These were: Workplace Redesign Practices, Corporate Volunteerism, Business Model, and Empowering Local Markets. In the Patents-For-Good category, there were sub-categories for Improving Lives, Enabling Workforce and Protecting the Environment.

It also introduced Capital-For-Good as a new category to encourage financing that further enables positive impact. In 2020, Brands for Good plans to consolidate its awards into four broad categories: Business for Good, Technology and IP for good, Capital for Good and Leadership for Good.
 
In the longer term, Brands For Good aims to become a global community of responsible and inclusive businesses. At that stage it will have three areas of focus: thought leadership to provide insights to help the community thrive; an annual celebration of the global community’s stakeholders; and business-oriented programs to support corporate members in their efforts to build competency, connect to new markets and find capital to fund their growth.

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"Ultimately, we hope to highlight brands-for-good stories to inspire the world and send the message that every brand should be a brand for good," said Alan Ng, co-chairperson of Brands for Good.

Sharing the same ethos

Brands for Good has found many like-minded partners to support its cause.

BBX, a global community of small and medium-sized enterprises that believe in the collective power of supporting each other, is one organisation that shares an ethos with Brands for Good.

"It is often said that what gets measured, gets done, and Brands for Good presents an objective framework for companies to benchmark and assess how they match up to social objectives. In this way, Brands for Good provides companies with a framework for positive impact that goes beyond a mere marketing or public relations statement," said BBX group CEO George Lee.

"At the same time, Brands for Good itself is a community, a support network for companies to learn from each other and to grow mindfully. There is no substitute for having the ability to reach out to other like-minded organisations to learn about how we can all do better. With almost 20,000 members across 11 countries and a growth that will take us past a few hundred thousand in the next few years, BBX is unique in its ability to support the objectives of Brands for Good," he added.

Marc Leong, head of SME banking, Maybank Singapore, said the bank has supported Brands for Good for the past two years, and will be doing so again in 2020, as it shares the same beliefs as the award winners in its management and business approach. 

"Keeping to our credo of humanising financial services, we are committed to delivering long-term positive economic and social values to the communities that we serve. Elements that contribute to business sustainability in terms of environmental, social and governance are also embedded in our operations and customer interactions – this approach is aligned to the Brands for Good movement," he said.
 
He said that the movement is timely as the business climate is changing constantly as competition intensifies. "The recipe for business success goes beyond resilience. It calls for sustainable business practices that enable businesses to do well by doing good, and making a positive impact on society and the environment. The Brands for Good movement is an encouragement to industry winners who are forces for good. We hope to see more socially responsible companies join in this journey," he said.
 
While it's still early days, Mr Lee believes that the champions and honourees of Brands for Good now have the ability to be role models and ambassadors for corporate change. He said: "It is our hope that Brands for Good becomes synonymous with the good that can be done for communities, families, and individuals around the world. We are confident that Brands for Good will grow into a truly global movement, to cover all aspects of commercial activity, and eventually to be the gold standard for socially responsible enterprises."