KUALA LUMPUR: The standard and quality of corporate responsibility (CR) reporting by the larger listed companies have improved, according to Securities Commission chairman Tan Sri Zarinah Anwar.
Zarinah, who is also chief judge of the StarBiz-ICR Malaysia Corporate Responsibility Awards 2010, said CR reporting had come a long way since the CR awards was introduced in 2008 for listed companies on Bursa Malaysia.
“We now have more listed companies that not only outline their CR activities in their annual reports, but also provide detailed and comprehensive information about their CR activities in a supplementary CR report together with their annual reports to stakeholders,” she said in an interview with StarBiz yesterday.
Zarinah said the judges were in the midst of selecting the eight winners of the awards in four categories, which will be announced on March 29.
She said the Malaysian public-listed companies invited to be considered for the awards were assessed based on four dimensions of Bursa Malaysia CSR framework-marketplace, workplace, environment and community.
Moreover, Zarinah said, the companies were divided into two categories: above RM1bil and below RM1bil market capitalisation.
“In total there will be eight winners, two in each of the four dimensions,” she said, adding that winners of each of the four dimensions were assessed based on certain criteria set.
For instance, Zarinah said, for the environment dimension, “we will look at a company’s current environmental footprint such as measurement and reporting on carbon and greenhouse gas emissions as well as use of energy, water, and treatment of waste, its goals for improvement (targets, reductions, programmes) and environmental standards and impact studies, among others.”
For the workplace dimension, she said, judges looked at a company’s code of conduct such as equal opportunities, health and safety, trade union rights, health and safety (management system, improvements, training), human capital development (training and appraisals), work-life balance (benefits and provisions) as well as working conditions (induction, handbook, grievance procedures, staff communication), as well as diversity and equal opportunity (gender, special needs employees, and minority groups).
Bursa Malaysia chief executive officer Datuk Yusli Mohamed Yusoff, who is also one of the judges of the CR awards, said currently, leading practitioners in Europe were moving away from Corporate Social Reporting Responsibility (CSR) to CR because CR included the wider issues of governance, ethics and environment.
“Dropping the word ‘social’ is a conscious act to avoid placing too much emphasis on the social aspects of business, such as being philanthropic and community-driven activities,” he said.
Yusli said CR now covered governance, ethics and also a way to ensure sustainability of business in the interest of stakeholders.
Another CR judge, Datuk Kok Wee Kiat, said Malaysia’s CR would not have gone so far without public figures that supported the CR cause and the CR awards.
The awards was jointly organised by The Star and the Institute of Corporate Responsibility (ICR) Malaysia, together with its working partners PricewaterhouseCoopers and the Securities Industry Development Corp
By Danny Yap, The Star Online