Big businesses of the 21st century have evolved quite differently from the companies that existed in the 20th century. For one, modern-day organisations contribute to the development of society through corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives.
Different organisations may see CSR through the lens of their own experience; still, the apparent similarities between their strategies are more or less the same. Large companies in Pakistan are still warming up to the idea of CSR practices, but certain organisations have become trailblazers in making meaningful contributions to the society and people of Pakistan.
CSR is defined as business practices involving initiatives that benefit society. It includes a commitment by business to behave ethically and contribute to economic development while improving the quality of living of the workforce, their dependents and the community as a whole.
Renowned organisations in Pakistan are stepping up to the challenge by devising and implementing CSR initiatives that can improve living conditions of people by providing them basic amenities of life and sustaining the growth of pro-environment initiatives. Some local examples are as follows:
Unilever Pakistan CSR Initiatives
The most notable step taken by this organisation to fulfil its social responsibility is Unilever Sustainable Living Plan. According to this plan, the company seeks to achieve certain CSR goals by the year 2020.
Unilever Pakistan’s Sustainable Living Plan revolves around providing livelihood opportunities through its rural programmes, reducing greenhouse gases, optimising water usage and waste management, educating people about benefits of health and hygiene, and encouraging the growth of a sustainable workplace that supports diversity.
Moreover, Unilever Pakistan is also involved with the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) – Pakistan to find solutions to the rising temperatures in Karachi by planting trees in the city. Under this initiative, Unilever Pakistan and WWF-Pakistan have planted 2,000 trees in all parts of Karachi to help the city fight extreme heatwaves with a healthy tree cover.
Zameen.com CSR Initiative
Pakistan’s leading online property portal, Zameen.com, recently launched its ‘Clean Your Zameen’ campaign. The initiative launched by the property portal under its CSR program is targeted at the general population and seek their help in fighting pollution in all its forms. The primary goal of ‘Clean Your Zameen’ initiative is to find a simple and workable solution to the inefficient garbage disposal problem in Pakistan.
The initiative was launched on 14th August 2016 on Zameen.com’s social media page to celebrate Pakistan’s Independence Day.
PSO CSR Initiatives
Pakistan State Oil (PSO) has a history of supporting causes that really make a difference in society. The company has launched several initiatives in the fields of education, healthcare, community building, women empowerment, special children welfare, sports development and relief activities during natural calamities.
Women empowerment: In the past PSO has supported Behbud Association, a Pakistani NGO working in the field of reproductive health, community development, education, and vocational training to impart different skill sets among the less-privileged class. Further, PSO also supports Rashid Memorial Welfare Organisation which is involved in education, health and vocational training for females and orphans as poverty alleviation measures.
Special Children Welfare: PSO helped Institute for Special Children Quetta which is the only such institution in Balochistan that has upgraded its equipment to make education easier for children with special needs.
Moreover, the company also provides financial assistance to Pakistan National Institute for Deaf and Mentally Disabled Children in Kamoke, Gujranwala.
Siemens CSR Initiatives
Siemens Pakistan has been an ardent supporter of sustainability projects. The company believes that they should act responsibly to ensure economic, environmental and social progress for future generations.
If one looks at the CSR history of Siemens Pakistan, the company swears by its sustainable initiatives. Most importantly, Siemens Pakistan has played a major role in ensuring sustainable development for a large part of the Pakistani population.
Large and small scale companies have always played their part in making financial contributions to economies of different countries. But this is not all. On a local level, these companies have also invested back a part of their earning in the Pakistani society through different CSR programmes.
It is necessary that more Pakistani companies step forward for the betterment of the country and its people by engaging in CSR initiatives on a consistent basis.