The Kuala Langat North Forest Reserve (KLNFR) is a 960-hectare peatland forest. In 2017, about 95 hectares of the peat swamp forest was razed by fires due to its combustible nature as well as the hot and dry spell that commonly hits Malaysia. Peatland fires lead to the loss of forest resources, biodiversity and generate Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions and smoke which affect the health of local communities in addition to economic losses.
Ms. Caroline Russell, Deputy Chairman & CEO of BOH Plantations proudly showing her ‘Tenggek Burung’ tree she planted. Looking on are Encik Faizal Parish, Director of Global Environment Centre (left) and Mr. Michael Isthyben Sawairnathan, Manager of Kuala Selangor Nature Park
To conserve and rehabilitate this delicate ecosystem, 200 volunteers including 40 school children from SK (Asli) Busut Baru and SK (Asli) Bukit Cheeding, local communities, NGOs and corporate representatives, joined hands to save the KLNFR peat swamp forest. Together, they planted 600 trees of Tenggek Burung(Melicope lunu-ankenda), a pioneer species, on a 1-hectare plot of Forest Compartment 6, KLNFR. The volunteers also learnt about the importance of the KLNFR ecosystem to its surrounding areas and its link to issues such as climate change. This awareness is crucial to change, and events like these are an important avenue to educate the masses about biodiversity and sustainable development.
A student showing off her ‘Tenggek Burung’ tree
Highlights at the event also included the launch of the Sahabat Hutan Gambut Kuala Langat Utara (SHGKLU) (Friends of Kuala Langat North Peat Swamp Forest), a ‘peat guardian team’ formed among the local indigenous people from two villages, namely, Kampung Bukit Cheeding and Kampung Pulau Kempas. They will work together to address the issues and assist on the conservation and protection of KLNFR and surrounding landscape.
YBhg Dato’ Dr. Hj. Mohd Puat bin Dahalan, Director of the Selangor State Forestry Department (far left) launches the Sahabat Hutan Gambut Kuala Langat Utara (SHGKLU; Friends of Kuala Langat North Peat Swamp Forest) together with Ms. Caroline Russell, Deputy Chairman & CEO of BOH Plantations (fifth from left) and Encik Faizal Parish, Director of Global Environment Centre (third from left)
DoubleTree by Hilton Johor Bahru recently collaborated with Diversey and Kechara Soup Kitchen Society Johor Bahru for its inaugural soap-recycling program, Soap for Hope. This soap-recycling program marks a first of its kind to take place within a Hilton hotel in Malaysia.
“It truly is an honor to be the first Hilton hotel in Malaysia to champion a campaign that is part of Hilton’s commitment to repurposing used goods for community needs that helps to give back to society,” said Daniel Alcaraz, General Manager of DoubleTree by Hilton Johor Bahru.
Soap making workshop
This innovative ‘Soap for Hope’ programme pioneered by Diversey, is to recycle used soaps which focuses on three core objectives – saving lives by providing access to soap to communities who need soap but have no access to it; to provide livelihood to the local community through recycling and reprocessing soap to help hotels reduce waste by turning used soap into something useful again.
Alcaraz further commented, “This is a great initiative to not only preserve the environment but also support our local communities in need and together with the help of Diversey and Kechara, we can make a huge difference around us.”
In line with Hilton’s corporate responsibility, Travel with Purpose, this collaboration supports Hilton’s goal to double its investment in social impact and cut environment footprint in half by the year 2030.
“To date, Hilton hotels all over the world are doing their part in soap recycling. Over 437,000 kg of soaps has been recycled in Hilton Asia Pacific alone and that amounts to 3.5 million new soap bars, how amazing is that!” said Alcaraz. “While the concept of soap recycling is still very new in Malaysia, we have already managed to recycle 24,000 kg of soap and that amounts to 191,000 new soap bars.”
To date globally, Hilton hotels across 127 countries have successfully participated in their very own Soap for Hope campaigns to recycle all used soap bars, and will continue to take place with all other properties around the world in committing to sending zero soap to landfills by the year 2030.
Attendees participating in the Soap making workshop
“By sending zero soaps to landfills we are not only giving back to the community but also saving lives,” said Alcaraz. “Many children lose their lives due to poor sanitization and that breaks our hearts. As the leading hospitality company in the world, we intend to do our part in making the world a better place for the communities around us.”
In addition to its soap-recycling program, Hilton leads many sustainability initiatives through Hilton’s Travel with Purpose corporate responsibility strategy that helps to impact the world both socially and environmentally. From reducing food waste to cutting water usage in operations by 50% and to giving back to the community by volunteering, creating opportunities for all regardless of race, gender or orientation, Hilton commits itself to a driving a positive social and environmental change.
The final product from the Soap making workshop
“From here, we can only be moving upwards. We intend to take this to the next level and with the help of the Malaysian Association of Hotels (MAH), we will be doing just that,” said Alcaraz. “From hotel to hotel then city to city, slowly we will gather each individual hotel in Johor to recycle their used soaps as a form of giving back to the community.”
CSR Malaysia, a not-for-profit social enterprise division of RHA Media recently carried out a survey on the engagement of some 100 small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) in corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities or more specifically how much they have forked out for their CSR activities in 2018. The direct-contact survey was conducted to obtain a good insight into the kind of CSR activities these SMEs do and the amount of money they spent on them.
The findings of the survey indicated that out of the 100 SMEs contacted, 17% of them did not spend anything on CSR in 2018 while the remaining 83% spent on their CSR activities in the following manner: 28% (RM1 to RM 1,000); 35% (RM1,001 to RM10,000); 13% (RM10,001 to RM 50,000) and 7% spent above RM 50,000. It is interesting to note that the SMEs in the 28% and 35% spending categories carried out most of their CSR activities in connection with festivals and celebrations during the year. They visited orphanages, welfare and old folks homes giving them cash donations as well food and other necessities. Some SMEs take children from the homes for a good shopping spree and treat them to a memorable meal prior to a festival celebration.
Today, the world is getting more and more borderless and people are more interconnected than ever before. They are better informed on many issues that affect their lives be they social, cultural or environmental and they do take a stand on these issues, directly or indirectly. More and more consumers expect these issues to be addressed and therefore, companies need to prioritise them and are expected to be at the forefront shouldering their corporate social responsibilities. Indeed, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has taken its place in today’s corporate world and companies that ignore it do so at their own peril. Companies are expected to change the way they do business, become more transparent, and take an active role in ensuring there are positive social and environmental effects associated with the way they do business.
Hence, being a good corporate citizen is really not an option for companies going for the long haul. However, there is the inevitable cost of being one. But the good news is that there are many benefits that come with taking ownership of CSR that ingrains in the values and culture of a company, positively affecting the way the company does business. Some of the numerous benefits would include attracting and retaining investors and productive employees, promoting a positive workplace environment, increasing creativity and encouraging professional and personal growth of employees, forging mutually beneficially corporate partnerships, improving public image and increasing media coverage.
CSR need not be intimidating at all and neither is it to be regarded as a ‘necessary evil’. One must take cognizance of the fact that businesses cannot be successful when the society around them fails. True, needs are everywhere and the task of meeting every single one of them is daunting, to say the least. For those of us who have yet to assume the mantle of CSR, surely we can start by adopting the right mindset about CSR and go from there – do what we can, with what we have, where we are.
The community partnership program under Lendlease Foundation looks to create long- term partnerships and engagements that foster inclusive communities
Two (2) local public housing communities in Kuala Lumpur received support from Lendlease through ‘Projek Komuniti Kita’- a community partnership project in collaboration with local social enterprise, Surprise Ventures. The project aims to support local community growth and development through infrastructure enhancements and upgrades, arts, culture, and sports.
Federal Territories Minister of Malaysia, Yang Berhormat Tuan Haji Khalid Samad (in the middle) along with Projek Komuniti Kita futsal tournament finalists. Both teams were made up of children who took part in futsal workshops recently organised by Lendlease. On the right is the Mayor of Kuala Lumpur, Yang Berbahagia Dato’ Nor Hisham Ahmad Dahlan and Lendlease Project Director for The Exchange TRX, Mr. Brendan Walker, while Lendlease Chairman, Mr. Dinesh Nambiar is on the left (of YB Khalid)
Perumahan Awam (PA) Sri Selangor and PA Hang Tuah were the first beneficiaries of the program which received refurbishments to their futsal courts, breathing new life into the community’s common gathering space for recreation and sports. Opportunities for children living within these communities to learn and play such as Futsal clinics, arts, and crafts workshops and theatre classes were also conducted over the past four (4) weeks.
“One of Lendlease’s core values is to be an active participant in the communities where we operate,” said Dinesh Nambiar, Chairman of Lendlease Malaysia. “Lendlease Community Day is an event that we conduct annually here in Malaysia, where our people volunteer their time and skills to make a difference in their community. This year, we wanted to go beyond that and look at how we can create a truly lasting impact in the communities where we live and work in, over a longer term.”
Federal Territories Minister of Malaysia, Yang Berhormat Tuan Haji Khalid Samad kicking off the final match of the futsal tournament at the ‘Projek Komuniti Kita’ Carnival while Brendan Walker, Project Director of The Exchange TRX and Dinesh Nambiar, Chairman of Lendlease cheer on. The tournament saw participation from children who attended earlier futsal workshops organised by Lendlease
The program culminated with a Community Carnival held at Perumahan Awam Sri Selangor’s community court in Jalan San Peng, Kuala Lumpur yesterday. Yang Berhormat Tuan Haji Khalid Samad, Federal Territories Minister of Malaysia and Yang Berbahagia Dato’ Nor Hisham Ahmad Dahlan, the Mayor of Kuala Lumpur were also present to lend their support.
Speaking at the event, Federal Territories Minister, Yang Berhormat Tuan Haji Khalid Samad said, “The Ministry’s strategy can’t only be carried out by the government alone. It truly requires co-operation of various parties and private entities like Lendlease who are experts in urban regeneration and the creation of places that are built with a focus on driving inclusive communities. Programs such as this are very much in line with the governments focus on improving the quality of lives of people living in our local public housing communities.”
The carnival included a fun-filled futsal tournament where children who attended the futsal clinics, formed teams and participated. An Art Exhibition featuring the kids’ works of art were displayed and showcased at the event while those who participated in the theatre workshops performed the Dikir Barat and Sajak at the carnival.
Children from ‘Perumahan Awam’ Sri Selangor performing the ‘dikir barat’ and delivering a traditional ‘sajak’ at the ‘Projek Komuniti Kita’ Carnival. This performance was the result of three fun-filled theatre workshops organised by Lendlease
Lendlease is a leading international property and infrastructure group. The company has a long and proud history of giving emphasis to environmental, social and economic outcomes to deliver places that respond to the complex global forces shaping the future, including rapid urbanization, climate change, inequality and resource stress.
The Hard Rock Heals Foundation, in collaboration with Hard Rock Hotel Desaru Coast announced a $5,000 USD grant to be awarded to Pertubuhan Kebajikan Cahaya Surya Bakti (CSB), a Johor based non-governmental organisation that runs three schools for Rohingya refugee children. The $5,000 grant will be used to provide the students at the schools, access to music lessons, musical instruments, performance opportunities as well as music scholarships.
“More than a means of expression, music connects people and cultures. Working closely with Pertubuhan Kebajikan Cahaya Surya Bakti, we at Hard Rock Hotel Desaru Coast hope to provide a platform for the students to discover the power of music and to inspire the love for music. We are very excited to begin our partnership with Pertubuhan Kebajikan Cahaya Surya Bakti and together, continue working towards inspiring and building hope through music.” Peter Wynne, Area Vice President of Operations (APAC).
Children from Pertubuhan Kebajikan Cahaya Surya Bakti (CSB) performing at Hard Rock Hotel Desaru Coast during the soft launch of Hard Rock Roxity Kids Club
Over 12 months, Hard Rock Hotel Desaru Coast will be providing monthly music lessons to 150 students taught by experienced music teachers and also the hotel’s resident band and staff. They will also be equipping the school with their very first musical instruments including acoustic guitars, bongos, percussion instruments and cajóns for the students to practice and perform with. Students will also have an opportunity to perform at Hard Rock Hotel Desaru Coast where two best performing students will stand a chance to receive a 1-year music scholarship to learn an instrument.
The Hard Rock Heals Foundation was created by Hard Rock International in 2016, to contribute positively towards people and communities through the power of music. For the third consecutive year, the foundation has provided grants to support community-run programs for those who share Hard Rock’s passion for music; with Hard Rock Hotel Desaru Coast being selected as one of the 50 grant recipients around the world to continue its mission.
“Working closely with Hard Rock Hotel Desaru Coast, we are glad that the children are given with the valuable opportunity to learn music as part of their school curriculum. This exposure and skills learnt will be very useful for the children in the future and impart good virtue in their growing up years,” said Puan Soraya Alkaff, the Founder & Executive Director of Pertubuhan Kebajikan Cahaya Surya Bakti.
CSB Children meeting Hard Rock Hotel’s mascot
This announcement marks the foundation’s third consecutive year supporting community-run programs through grants that provide greater opportunities for those who share Hard Rock’s passion for music. In 2019, the Hard Rock Heals Foundation will donate a total of $250,000 to charities in support of their music-related efforts.
Pertubuhan Kebajikan Cahaya Surya Bakti is based in Malaysia and strives to meet the needs of the growing Rohingya population in the state of Johor. In 2018, the home was awarded the implementing partner for education the United Nation High Commissions for Refugees (UNHCR). Any enquiries for support and partnerships can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Hard Rock Heals Foundation
The Hard Rock Heals Foundation is a registered 501(c)(3) charitable organization and oversees all philanthropic outreach for Hard Rock International. Music is energy; it stirs emotion, inspires, connects and restores. The Hard Rock Heals Foundation exists to improve lives through the power of music. Since its inception in 1971, Hard Rock International has brought people together through the power of music. We have developed partnerships with artists ranging from emerging to iconic in support of charitable efforts around the world. The Hard Rock Heals Foundation provides grants and assistance to individuals whose goal is to heal through the power of music. Partnerships with like-minded, music-centric organizations allow Hard Rock Heals Foundation the opportunity to improve lives and promote wellness.
About Hard Rock International
With venues in 76 countries, including 184 cafes, 27 hotels and 12 casinos, Hard Rock International (HRI) is one of the most globally recognized companies. Beginning with an Eric Clapton guitar, Hard Rock owns the world’s most valuable collection of music memorabilia, which is displayed at its locations around the globe. Hard Rock is also known for its collectible fashion and music-related merchandise available in Rock Shops and online at https://shop.hardrock.com. HRI owns the global trademark for all Hard Rock brands including Hard Rock Live performance venues. The company owns, operates and franchises Cafes in iconic cities including London, New York, San Francisco, Sydney and Dubai. HRI also owns, licenses and/or manages hotel/casino properties worldwide. Destinations include the company’s two most successful Hotel and Casino properties in Tampa and Hollywood, FL., both owned and operated by HRI parent entity The Seminole Tribe of Florida, as well as other exciting locations including Atlantic City, Bali, Cancun, Daytona Beach, Desaru Coast, Ibiza, Orlando, Shenzhen and San Diego. Upcoming new Hard Rock Cafe locations include Piccadilly Circus and Oxford Street in the United Kingdom, Djerba, Tunisia, Gran Canaria, Spain, and Chandigarh, India. New Hard Rock Hotel, Casino or Hotel & Casino projects include Amsterdam, Berlin, Budapest, Dublin, London, Los Cabos, Madrid, Maldives, New York City, Ottawa, Sacramento, Dalian and Haikou in China. In 2018, Hard Rock International was recognized as a Forbes Magazine Top Employer for Women and Land Operator of the Year at the Global Gaming Awards. For more information on Hard Rock International visit www.hardrock.com.
The humble light bulb is something that is taken for granted by some of us but for the villagers in Kampung Pos Sinderut in Raub, Pahang, it wasn’t something that they had a lot of. A small remote village about 5 hours away from the heart of Kuala Lumpur, Kampung Pos Sinderut (Pos Sinderut Village) houses over 250 villagers in about 40 bamboo homes with zinc roofs. The basic necessities we enjoy, such as electricity, are not available to them due to their remote location.
In partnership with Incitement Malaysia, a 40-strong team from Experian Malaysia got together for their 2nd Liter of Light project. The Liter of Light is a global movement to bring solar-powered lights to remote areas throughout the world and organized by Incitement in Malaysia. They had a successful project a couple of years ago which brought lights to 51 families in Kampung Rako in Cameron Highlands and they wanted to continue that run, giving back to our communities, #PoweringOpportunities and helping others to create a better tomorrow.
Kampung Pos Sinderut in Raub, Pahang
The first day was spent building the actual solar-powered lights in an open space in Kuala Lumpur. Their team, along with engineers and crew from Incitement, spent the better part of a day putting together the lights – from the solar panels to the electrical wiring, to the construction of the final product. Their people were divided into different teams with different responsibilities, collaborating towards the final product which was then loaded into big 4WDs for the long journey to the village.
The second day saw the team waking up before the break of dawn to meet up at the office. When they were all accounted for, they took the 4WDs, hired by Experian to drive them on the 5-hour long journey through highways and rough terrain – uneven and dirt roads – to get to the village. The village of 250 people did not have electricity to all parts of the village, with most homes being built using bamboos for walls, with zinc roofs.
Testing out the solar panel of the light
They spent the best part of a day setting up the lights in various parts of the village, with some the villagers taking part in the activities as well. Their teams were welcomed with glee by the children, with some taking breaks in the nearby river having a swim with them. As the sun came down, everyone took a minute to appreciate their efforts for the day, seeing the solar lights come on, shining brightly in the village, with the children loving every additional minute of play time they had now that they did not have to stop when the sun went down. The drivers whom they hired then prepared dinner for them and they all sat down to share a simple but scrumptious meal.
Once their bellies were full, they rested a while more by the river and started making their way back to the city. They ended up reaching the office past 2 in the morning and everyone was understandably exhausted but contented, knowing they had done something good.
The launch of Edible Park by Medini Iskandar Malaysia Sdn Bhd (MIM) since March 2018 saw various green initiatives and direct exposure to nature that benefitted the local community. The park is a 5-acre edible landscape park that was carefully designed and themed to build a community around conscious and sustainable living which addresses the environmental issues in the public realm.
It is one of MIM’s 46 urban park developments in Medini City, the Central Business District of Iskandar Puteri, Johor. With the ideas of merging urbanism with sustainable food systems, the park combines community garden with edible landscape and focuses on community participation, sustainable living practices, and environmental awareness.
Edible Park aims to strengthen the relationship between the people and their environment that helps build a shared identity for the city and its inhabitants. Equipped with a workshop studio, café, designed gardens, and organic urban farm, the park was meticulously planned to allow residents, workers and visitors alike to experience Medini as a city built within a park.
As part of MIM’s Corporate Social Responsibility initiative, the Edible Park hosts a series of nature-related workshops every weekend, and a green market held on every first Saturday of the month selling fresh green and organic produce, plant-based food and products. These goods are often available alongside organic produce from local vendors in the region. Edible Park promotes inclusivity and diversity by championing values which resonate with contemporary society. Through this MIM aims to provide a socio-economic platform for the local entrepreneur and encourage them to venture into the small and medium business industry.
A good rapport between MIM and the local council, sub-developers, communities and organizations alike are central to its capacity to address sustainability goals while providing recreational value to residents and tourists. Hence, MIM provides a free-weekly programme such as nature class, sustainable living session, volunteer session, garden yoga to name a few that have attracted the surrounding community such as Sekolah Kebangsaan Medini, Majlis Bandaraya Iskandar Puteri, and other groups from various background. Topics explored in the park include waste management, food awareness, and permaculture.
Last year, MIM received the Winner Award for Placemaking and Public Space (Private Sector) Category for the Edible Park, from the Malaysian Institute of Planners Planning Excellence Awards (MIPPEA) 2018. Organized by the Malaysian Institute of Planners (MIP), the MIPPEA acknowledges projects and initiatives made by planners and property industry players in Malaysia. “It is our sincere hope to continue this good effort and to help and educate the community about sustainable living. We are also happy to see the Green Market has grown and featured more local entrepreneurs that sell pineapple juice, dumpling, handmade shoes and shirts and a variety of organic produce,” said Dr. James Tee, Managing Director / Chief Executive Officer of MIM.
The Top 10 Cup Mini Golf Challenge 2019 was held in Sungai Long Golf & Country Club to help the underserved and needy of our community. Organised by Top 10 in association with CSR Malaysia and NiagaTimes and in collaboration with Exim Bank, it was attended by many CEOs of corporate companies. The event was a success in both the golf tournament and in supporting charity.
CSR Malaysia recently visited the orphanage Pertubuhan Kebajikan Islam Peribadi Mulia for the contribution of food and a cheque presentation. The friendly children of the home, as many as 65, got to enjoy freshly delivered food for their dinner. The visit aims to raise awareness of disadvantaged children while also providing meaningful assistance.
McDonald’s ushers in Chinese New Year this year by bringing cheer to more than 60 old folks’ home nationwide
McDonald’s Malaysia showcases the True Meaning of Prosperity by visiting more than 60 old folks’ home around Malaysia to mark this year’s Chinese New Year celebration.
Residents getting their hair trimmed at Rumah Charis Puchong
This is the third year that McDonald’s is embarking on this initiative, which aims to bring cheer to residents of homes while bringing Malaysians together through joy & laughter.
“McDonald’s believes that ‘Prosperity’ does not necessarily equate to material wealth alone. It also means embracing the simple joys of spending time with friends and family, as well as carrying out acts of kindness for others. We hope that our effort here will help to fill the homes with warmth and joy while spreading the festive spirit especially since Chinese New Year is just around the corner,” said Azmir Jaafar, Managing Director and Local Operating Partner of McDonald’s Malaysia.
Prosperity Toss (Selangor King George V Silver Jubilee Home)
The first visit started a few days ago on 21 January and will continue on until 20 February 2019. During these visits, McDonald’s employees representing more than 270 McDonald’s restaurants together with volunteers from the public will spend a joyous time with the residents of various homes across the nation and bring cheer to them through light entertainment activities. McDonald’s employees and volunteers from the public will also be participating in the cultural Prosperity Toss or Yee Sang with residents of the homes. McDonald’s will also sponsor the residents’ a hair trim as they usher in the lunar new year.
My Father’s Home, Selangor
Visits to these old folks’ homes is in line with McDonald’s ‘Prosperity’ values and reaffirms the company’s commitment in giving back to the communities it operates in.
McDonald’s is the world’s leading global foodservice retailer with approximately 35,000 restaurants worldwide, serving more than 70 million customers daily in more than 100 countries. With 35 years of presence in Malaysia, McDonald’s serves over 13.5 million customers a month at more than 270 restaurants nationwide. McDonald’s employs more than 12,000 Malaysians in restaurants across the nation providing career, training and development opportunities. For more information on McDonald’s, please visit www.mcdonalds.com.my.